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The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Donald Rumsfeld Tries and Fails to Ride the Bus

William Willis
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Feb 03, 2009

There once was a time when former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was considered a visionary. His sweet-tooth for technology in warfare won him sexualized praise from other conservative men’s wives. The trouble is that Rumsfeld, among other things, is a fraud who doesn’t actually understand the first thing about technology, preferring to fetishize the idea of technology. Case in point: Rumsfeld was apparently confounded by a public bus.

Here in DC, we have a rechargeable plastic farecard for the Metro system’s bus and subway lines. It’s called a SmarTrip. You wave it over a fare reader; it deducts the appropriate amount for your trip; and you go about your travel. This was a concept lost on the former defense secretary, according to Raw Story’s John Byrne, who’s going off a subscription-only Roll Call report. Last Thursday Rumsfeld apparently didn’t do such a great job of catching the No. 42 bus at Dupont Circle.

“It was almost like the guy at the first day of work,” [Roll Call]’s source remarked. “He was looking at the card, thinking, ‘How does this work?’”

My goodness gracious. Did his research assistant buy him the card or something?

Right now, Rumsfeld is working on a memoir defending his possibly-worse-than-McNamara tenure at the Pentagon. When you read it — particularly its inevitable defenses of network-centric warfare or other pet theories of future combat — remember that it was written by a man who couldn’t understand that you can essentially use a kind of credit card for public transportation.

William Willis | William Willis is a freelance writer and social media manager who specializes in assisting finance professionals and Fintech entrepreneurs in growing their online audience and attracting more paying customers. William worked as a bank teller and virtual assistant for financial firms in the United States and the United Kingdom for six years before beginning her writing career. William is a strong force in the workplace, inspiring others to work hard and excel with her optimistic attitude and boundless energy. He enjoys hiking, crocheting, and playing video games with her grandchildren in her spare time.


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