Friday, December 03, 2004

Terrible News About Danforth

I have written of my admiration for Jack Danforth. He is a sincere, thoughtful, serious person trying to accomplish good in this world. He is a Republican, but he is a Republican I can support and admire. The fact that Bush had appointed him as envoy to the U.N. provided a gleam of hope that perhaps the Bush Administration had room in it for someone reasonable and compassionate.

Jack Danforth is leaving his post after less than half a year. This is absolutely terrible news. Danforth has the rare kind of integrity that prevents him from "going along" with evil, even if it gives him power (some of us thought that Powell had that kind of integrity, too, though we were apparently mistaken). When I saw him speak a couple months ago, he stressed how he only agreed to serve because he believed that the Bush Administration was sincere in its efforts to work multilaterally in the international sphere.

The right wing will downplay the seriousness of this departure, and the lapdog press will play along. Danforth is using the excuse that he wants to spend time with his wife - while I am sure that he looks forward to more time with his spouse of many years, he did not take this important job without thinking through the personal commitment involved.

Most people don't know Jack Danforth, and most people won't care about his departure from a position they little understand. For me, though, this is one of the most depressing developments since 11/2. This means that Bush will be proceeding in a manner that Jack Danforth refuses to associate with. This means that the Bush Administration has no room for good men with independent minds. This means that even a supporter of Clarence Thomas and a life-long Republican is outside the circle of this administration.

If Jack Danforth is leaving the administration, it is because he could not stomach the evil they have planned. Stay tuned, and prepare for a draft.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the same reaction, or fear. In a glass half-full mood today, I wondered if he was clearing his responsibilities for another role within the administration or a nomination to the Supreme Court. But I seriously doubt any further association with the Bush adminstration will come to pass.

Bush does a very good job of keeping those who might pose a political threat to him close so as to neuter them. Powell, for all his faults, at least was a voice of moderation, although I lost respect for him for towing the line as his doctrine was repudiated, and after I learned more of the story of his involvement in the My Lai aftermath. Danforth may have saved himself with this move, although like Powell in the first term, he let himself be used in the run up to the campaign to give an air of moderation to the administration's zealotry.

The other remote possibility here is that Bush had promised the role to someone else, someone more capable of doing his bidding, and Danforth was pushed out now that the "mandate" lets Bush spend his political capital.

12/03/2004 11:49 PM  

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