Olbermann: "Rioting from the Hard Right" If Bush Appointed Democrat

<p><img hspace="0" src="media/2005-12-08-MSNBCCWO.jpg" align="right" border="0" />On his <em>Countdown</em> show Thursday night, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, while interviewing <em>New York Daily News</em> correspondent Ken Bazinet about rumors that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld would soon retire, wondered if there would be &quot;rioting from the hard right&quot; if Bush replaced him with a Democrat. While speculating on the possibility of Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman being chosen to replace Rumsfeld, Olbermann asked, &quot;But a Democrat of any shape, stripe, or form in the Bush administration, would there not be rioting from the hard right?&quot;</p><p>Since the Bush administration has already had a Democratic Cabinet member for almost five years, Bazinet reminded Olbermann, &quot;Well, you know, we already have Secretary Mineta obviously at Transportation, so it's not out of the question,&quot; but then went on to voice agreement with Olbermann's expectations of conservative opposition: &quot;I think that you might have a rebellion just this side of Harriet Miers on your hands, quite frankly.&quot;</p><p>Earlier in the show, while introducing the rumors of Rumsfeld's retirement, Olbermann also compared the Bush administration to a &quot;perversion of reality television&quot; like <em>The Apprentice</em>, but in which, when it comes to dealing with Iraq, &quot;No matter how badly anybody does, nobody ever gets fired.&quot; Olbermann referred to &quot;Three architects of the conflict having already been bestowed with America's highest civilian honor,&quot; and coined the phrase, &quot;Nothing breeds success like failure.&quot;</p><p>The three honor recipients Olbermann evidently saw as all being failures were former CIA director George Tenet, retired General Tommy Franks, and former Iraq administrator Paul Bremer. In his final question to Bazinet, Olbermann wondered if Rumsfeld would &quot;immediately walk right from his resignation to a Medal of Freedom ceremony&quot; since &quot;we've had George Tenet get one, Tommy Franks got one, Paul Bremer got one. It would be, is that an indicator of how dissatisfied the President would be with his work?&quot;</p><p>Below are transcripts of relevant portions of the Thursday December 8 <em>Countdown</em>:</p><blockquote dir="ltr" style="MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px"><p>Keith Olbermann, introducing the show: &quot;Good evening. It sounds like a perversion of reality television. Maybe it's just its next mutation, a version of <em>The Apprentice</em> set inside the Bush White House. The task: war in Iraq. The twist: No matter how badly anybody does, nobody ever gets fired. Three architects of the conflict having already been bestowed with America's highest civilian honor, two more, it seems, now moving on to greener pastures, and eligible for it. Our fifth story in the <em>Countdown</em>, nothing breeds success like failure. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said to be engineering his own exit strategy from the Pentagon on his own terms, while former Deputy Paul Wolfowitz, already ensconced in his next post, feels he has nothing to answer for or to apologize about.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>After covering President Bush's improving poll numbers, Olbermann then began his segment with Bazinet. The interview started with the following question and answer from Olbermann and Bazinet:</p><blockquote dir="ltr" style="MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px"><p>Olbermann: &quot;Working backwards here about Senator Lieberman, we had Republicans in FDR's Cabinet, William Cohen was Defense Secretary in Bill Clinton's, but a Democrat of any shape, stripe, or form in the Bush administration, would there not be rioting from the hard right?&quot;</p><p>Ken Bazinet, <em>New York Daily News</em>: &quot;Well, you know, we already have Secretary Mineta obviously at Transportation, so it's not out of the question, but this is, as you pointed out, a war council position, so it's significant. I think possibly if this long-shot appointment were to take place, I think that you might have a rebellion just this side of Harriet Miers on your hands, quite frankly.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>The interview ended with the following question and answer from Olbermann and Bazinet:</p><blockquote dir="ltr" style="MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px"><p>Olbermann: &quot;And does he immediately walk right from his resignation to a Medal of Freedom ceremony? I mean, we've had George Tenet get one, Tommy Franks got one, Paul Bremer got one. It would be, is that an indicator of how dissatisfied the President would be with his work?&quot;</p><p>Bazinet: &quot;Well, I don't think it is. I think it's just a badge of honor. Remember, Secretary Rumsfeld twice tendered his resignation over the Abu Ghraib disaster, and the President refused. The word was, and I think accurately so, that the President did not want anyone behaving like something was wrong, like Iraq was a failure, as if Iraq was a failure. So I think that what happens here is you serve your time, you do your job, and the President says 'Well done,' and he hangs a medal around your neck.&quot;</p><p>Olbermann: &quot;As we used to say in radio, it's leaving here fine.&quot;</p></blockquote>