Friday November 13, 2020
The US establishment, and the world, has spent the last four years trying to adapt to the disruptive policies of a childish president. Now the Democrats’ "adult" leadership team will return. Watch out, folks.
To those watching the drama unfolding in Washington, DC around the stalled efforts on the part of nominal President-elect Joe Biden in forming a transition team, the parallels are eerily familiar: a bitterly contested election between an establishment political figure and a brash DC "outsider’," a controversial outcome delaying the implementation of the transition between administrations, and an openly condescending atmosphere where the incoming team postured as comprising a return to "adult" leadership.
That time was December 2000, when a Republican team led by President-elect George W. Bush stood ready to install a cabinet composed of veteran spies, diplomats, and national security managers who had cut their policy teeth during the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. With Colin Powell as secretary of state, Donald Rumsfeld as secretary of defense, George Tenet as director of central intelligence, and Condoleezza Rice as national security advisor, the foreign policy and national security team that Dubya surrounded himself with upon assuming the presidency was as experienced a team as one could imagine.
And yet, within two years of assuming their responsibilities, this team of “adults” had presided over the worst terrorist attack in American history, and the initiation of two wars (in Afghanistan and Iraq) that would forever change both the geopolitical map of the world and America’s role as world leader.