As much as I loathe the Bush administration, I never disliked Donald Rumsfeld. While I’m sure he’s as corrupt as anyone else who is ambitious enough to reach such a lofty position in government, I always admired his willingness to speak in what for Washington DC was a laudably open manner.
Since I’ve spent little time examining the pre-mortem intra-administration fingerpointing, I don’t know what mistakes were his responsibility and which were saddled on him by his superior. Still, I never saw him as a neocon, and if his arrogance led him to believe he could achieve the imposssible, well, this was not the first nor the last time that will happen.
What’s good about his “resignation” is that it’s pretty clear that Gates signifies a willigness to withdraw from an untenable position in Iraq. Of course, he’s part of the Baker gang, so this does not mean that one should get carried away and assume that the president has abandoned his New Wilsonian principles entirely.