LA Times: Pipe Down, Rummy

Rumsfeld's cranky outburst mangles a historical analogy, bad-mouths legitimate critics, and illustrates once again why the defense secretary should resign.

TWO REPUBLICAN ADMINISTRATIONS ago, the mantra of conservatives was "Let Reagan be Reagan." Apparently President Bush has decided to let Rumsfeld be Rumsfeld - even when Bush himself is no longer the Bush who taunted Iraqi insurgents with "Bring 'em on!" and posed in front of a banner proclaiming "Mission Accomplished."

In a cranky speech Tuesday to an American Legion audience, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld compared critics of U.S. policy in Iraq to those who sought to appease Hitler before World War II. For good measure, Rumsfeld suggested (echoing Jeane Kirkpatrick's liberal-bashing speech at the 1984 Republican National Convention) that those same critics "blame America first."

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