Greg Djerejian feels relief:
Regardless, what we saw [Tuesday] was American democracy at its finest. We saw the public mount a critically needed intervention, because without it a President well beyond his depth would have likely continued to cast his lot with discredited cocksure ideologues and/or Jacksonian nationalists like Rumsfeld.
In Gates, we have an anti-ideologue and a realist. In his role with the Baker-Hamilton commission (a welcome dose of bipartisan sanity in an increasingly moronic Washington, media and blogosphere), he will have had access and been influenced by distinguished peers grappling with what to do next in Iraq in a climate characterized by sober appraisal of the national interest, rather than the agenda-driven hysterical harrumphing afoot in all the usual quarters.
What we are seeing is an almost Shakespearean drama in which the wayward son is forced back to the advisers of the father he once rejected. Two words: Poppy's back! His arch-nemesis, Rumsfeld, is gone. Two of Poppy's closest allies and friends are now trying to figure a path out of the hole Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld dug. So the Bush presidency is back! The other Bush presidency. The one that, in retrospect, seems sane and wise.