Whither Claude?

bushclaude.jpgClaude Allen (right), the President's principal domestic policy adviser, resigned abruptly this week, citing the old Washington Classic about spending more time with one's family. Allen was a Movement Conservative with strong ties to the fundamentalist Christian element of Bush's base and acted as "point person on abstinence initiatives."

It's possible Allen left on his own accord, but the abruptness makes it rather unlikely. We have no clue, actually, why the hell he'd be forced out, especially now, when one might think Bush would want to refocus on "morality" in preparation for a midterm election which has thus far looked pretty lousy for the party. It's possible it's Bush's anger at being faced with criticism at the King funeral, but that doesn't quite seem bad enough to cause a midnight train to the family departure.

But hell. He's a morality-issues Christian-right Republican. So he's probably a drug-addicted gambling gay adulterer with illegitimate children. But if anyone has proof (or a different theory, or idle speculation), we're dying to hear it.

Update: We should've known to ask the house organ of the Republican Party. The Washington Times has an explanation.

In a Jan. 22 conversation with Rep. Walter B. Jones reported in The Washington Times, Mr. Allen promised the North Carolina Republican that President Bush would pressure Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld into allowing military chaplains to be more explicit about their faith. According to a military source, Mr. Allen resigned to protest the White House's refusal to lean on the Pentagon about the issue.

We're still curious. Bush has sold out the fundies enough time to make this one seem rather harmless, right?

Senior Administration Official Resigns [Hotline]

President Thanks Domestic Policy Advisor Claude Allen for Service [White House]

Air Force sets revised rules for prayers by its chaplains [WT]


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