Donald Rumsfeld…Statesman, Patriot, Heartthrob

So, he’s gone. Okay, I’m just going to come out and say what I know we’re all thinking: I want to have Donald Rumsfeld’s babies. If somebody had to pay the price for this election, why couldn’t it be Nicole Richie? Or that guy in Research with the stupid bow ties?

“Oh, Lord. I didn’t mean to say anything quotable.”


We’re years away from history’s verdict on Rumsfeld, and I’m too ignorant to take a stab at it (okay, I’ll take a stab at it: I bet history remembers him pretty damn favorably). But I’m surely in love with the weird and wonderful things that come out of that man’s mouth. The media tries hard to pretend they can’t understand a word of it, but however eccentric his construction, he could flat out nail an idea to a sound bite. Donald Rumsfeld can shove butter up a cat’s ass with a hot awl.

“I would not say that the future is necessarily less predictable than the past. I think the past was not predictable when it started.”


The first I knew I had the Rummylove was the vase incident. I was riding in a truck with a hippie when the quote came over the radio, and she was all, like, “Oh my god! How evil!” But, you know, he was right. The elderly mother of a friend of mine lived in a perpetual state of alarm because she left CNN on and, every time they repeated the news at the top of the hour, she thought the same dreadful stuff had happened all over again. That damn stupid vase was all over the place.And, as it turned out later, the reports of looting really were hugely exaggerated.

“The images you are seeing on television you are seeing over, and over, and over, and it’s the same picture of some person walking out of some building with a vase, and you see it 20 times, and you think, “My goodness, were there that many vases? Is it possible that there were that many vases in the whole country?”


He isn’t just cracking wise, though. He doesn’t often misspeak. He isn’t indulging in some Dan Rather style old man cornpone bullshit. His ideas are clean and succinct, but the weird-ass way he says things made you think about familiar concepts in unfamiliar ways.

“If you try to please everybody, somebody’s not going to like it.”


The media must have had a love-hate relationship with Rummy quotes. On the one hand, he provided irresistible sound bites guaranteed to rile the hell out of their fellow travelers on the Left. On the other hand, even they must have realized his kung fu is strong. They ran a terrible risk that people would think about what he said. And be healed.


“Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”


There it is. The grandaddy of all Rumsfeldisms. Look upon his work, ye mighty, and despair.

That just rolled right out of his mouth. Him just standing there. Saying stuff. He could have observed that we tend to get blindsided by things we don’t even know to brace ourselves for, but where’s the magic in that?

Somewhere far away, high in the snowy mountains of China, a Shaolin monk shakes his shaven head and thinks, “Rumsfeld. Dude. Deep.

Goodbye, Don. Call me sometime. ‘K?


  1. Posted December 17, 2006 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    More Rumsfeldian goodness:

    “Learn to say “I don’t know.” If used when appropriate, it will be often.”

    “The worst thing you can do is allow a coalition to determine what your mission is.”

    “Our task, your task… is to try to connect the dots before something happens. People say, ‘Well, where’s the smoking gun?’ Well, we don’t want to see a smoking gun from a weapon of mass destruction.”

    “Don’t divide the world into “them” and “us.” Avoid infatuation with or resentment of the press, the Congress, rivals, or opponents. Accept them as facts. They have their jobs and you have yours.”

    “If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.”

    “Beware when any idea is promoted primarily because it is ‘bold, exciting, innovative, and new.’ There are many ideas that are ‘bold, exciting, innovative and new,’ but also foolish.”

    “(Cluster bombs are) being used on frontline al Qaeda and Taliban troops to try to kill them is why we’re using them, to be perfectly blunt.”

    “We aren’t running out of targets; Afghanistan is.”

  2. Posted December 21, 2006 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Ha! I love this post (and Rummy).

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