In “Notes on mojo,” I offered my recollections of the young Congressman Donald Rumsfeld during the summer of 1969. I also took the opportunity to steer readers to the definitive version of the essential Muddy Waters recording of “Got My Mojo Working,” the song that CNN had cited to explain a question to Secretary Rumsfeld inquiring whether his mojo had gone AWOL.
Rumsfeld still has his mojo, of course, and St. Paul native Midge Decter has devoted a new book to locating its origins. According to Decter, Rumsfeld’s mojo derives from his Midwestern heritage and his old-fashioned manliness. Mackubin Owens of the Naval War College weighs Decter’s thesis in “The Rumsfeld mystique.”
Mac led a Marine infantry platoon in Vietnam in 1968-69; he is certainly one of the manliest men I have ever met. He knows whereof he speaks, and he takes issue with Decter’s adulation of Rumsfeld in the context of civilian-military relations. But his judgment overall seconds Decter.
Owens writes: “Rumsfeld is merely a particularly apt representative of the manliness that suffuses the Bush administration as a whole. Gone are the days of a president ‘feeling our pain’ and biting his lip. In dangerous times, this is not reassuring to citizens, especially women who after 9/11 saw their families at risk. War requires men like President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld, not what Decter calls ‘clever boys’ like Bill Clinton.
“A clear indication that Decter is on to something is the apoplectic reaction of the American ‘glitterati’ to Rumsfeld. Ridiculing Decter
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