Wednesday, June 23, 2010


This morning, Roger Ailes (the good one) declared that very soon we'd hear a new wingnut war cry: Palin/McChrystal '12! And -- predictable as the sunrise -- the groundswell has begun at Free Republic. Or maybe not: the Rolling Stone article says McChrystal voted for Obama in '08, and that turns out to be a dealbreaker for a lot of Freepers.

Yesterday, James Pinkerton of Fox News was predicting McChrystal would stay on, for reasons along these lines:

... Obama might think to himself that if he fires McChrystal, he will be minting a possible new Republican presidential or vice presidential candidate to oppose him in 2012.

In wartime, people naturally look to military leaders. McClellan, it will be recalled, was the Democratic presidential candidate in 1864, running against Lincoln. And for his part, MacArthur angled, unsuccessfully, for the 1952 Republican nomination, to take on his old boss, Truman.

Um, right -- but James, as you say, MacArthur angled unsuccessfully for the '52 nomination. So how would that even be a relevant analogy?

But in 1952, Truman, a Democrat, found his own further presidential ambitions thwarted; political reality made his re-election impossible, and so he chose to retire.

And the new president was another Army general, a colleague of MacArthur's--although a very different personality--Dwight Eisenhower. Ike was not Scots-Irish, he was Pennsylvania Dutch. And he was an easy winner in the '52 election, serving two successful terms in the White House.

And let’s see, today there's a prominent general with a Dutch surname, a proven leader, successful in war, still active in public affairs, whom some see as presidential timber. What’s his name? Ah, yes. Petraeus. General David Petraeus.

And so we see the evil genius of Barack Obama: he's figured out that if he fires a top general, the voters, as in 1952, will automatically want to replace him as president not with that general, but with another general.

So now he's replacing McChrystal with the other general who seemed most likely to be on the GOP presidential ticket -- David Petraeus.

Always thinking, that sly devil Obama.


By the way, the guy who really seemed to be bringing the snark in the RS article wasn't McChrystal -- it was the unnamed aide who was presumably the now-terminated Duncan Boothby. How soon before the wingnuts start talking about running him for office?

(Or, as this guy says, how soon before he's a pundit on Fox?)


(And I'll note that obviously I was wrong when I predicted that McChrystal would stay on. But my thinking was that Obama would be risk-averse with regard to his right-wing adversaries, and now I'm noticing that three of his top people in foreign policy -- Bob Gates, Hillary Clinton, and now Petraeus -- were all effectively pre-endorsed by the right before Obama's inauguration. As I say, risk-averse.)

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