Though it’s undoubtedly true that President Obama was unprepared on Afghanistan and continues to lag sadly behind the competency curve on all matters presidential, how to explain the incredibly poor judgment shown by Gen. McChrystal in airing his dirty laundry in a lengthy Rolling Stone profile? A terminal case of buyer’s remorse? He did vote for Obama. Hot Air:
Via Chris Cillizza on Twitter, Politico has the PDF of the Rolling Stone article that has created a firestorm for General Stanley McChrystal — and it’s at least as bad as advertised. Michael Hastings paints a damning picture of a military leader who seems to have built a toadying entourage, whose disdain and contempt for the political leadership of the country drips from every page, and who doesn’t seem to mind who knows it — until it hits the presses.
Hot Air quotes a McChrystal aide from the article:
Their first one-on-one meeting took place in the Oval Office four months later, after McChrystal got the Afghanistan job, and it didn’t go much better. “It was a 10-minute photo op,” says an adviser to McChrystal. “Obama clearly didn’t know anything about him, who he was. Here’s the guy who’s going to run his [bleeping] war, but he didn’t seem very engaged. The Boss was pretty disappointed.”
Of course this is perfectly consistent with everything else we know about Obama’s “leadership style.” But I don’t see how Obama can do anything but fire him. Read the rest at Hot Air.
Updated to add insight from Byron York, quoting a source who knows McChrystal well:
“Those of us who knew him would unanimously tell you that this was just a matter of time,” the man says. “He talks this way all the time. I’m surprised it took this long for it to rear its ugly head.”
“He had great disdain for anyone, as he said, ‘in a suit,’” the former military man continues. “I was shocked one day in a small group of people when he took [former Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld to task in front of all of us.”
“The other thing about him is that he is probably one of the more arrogant, cocksure military guys I have run across. That in itself is not necessarily a character flaw, but when you couple it with his great disdain for civilians, it’s a very volatile combination.”
Guy Benson does justice to Obama’s wasteful, politically partisan commissions:
Candidate Barack Obama famously ridiculed his 2008 opponent for suggesting the next president establish a bipartisan commission to thoroughly investigate the myriad factors that contributed to the financial meltdown. Obama snarked that John McCain was employing the “oldest…stunt in the book” and seeking to “pass the buck” by tasking others to “study the problem.” (Here he paused for laughter). Building up to an audience-fueled crescendo, Obama bellowed, “What we need now is leadership.”
Once elected president, Obama changed his tune. Having created and exacerbated record budget deficits, Obama cracked open the old Washington playbook and found a certain stunt he thought might be useful. Hello, deficit commission. It promptly ran out of money. Beyond that irony, many observers suspect Obama ultimately intends to use the panel as political cover (sometimes known as buck-passing) to violate his campaign’s central “firm pledge.”
Now the president is facing one of the gravest environmental disasters in US history. Managing the crisis effectively, providing leadership, etc. has proven rather difficult, so Obama has found himself once again strangely attracted to the stunt he forcefully rejected on the campaign trail. Hello, oil spill commission — for which Obama has requested $15 million in funding. Their job? To study the problem. [Pause for laughter]. A wise use of taxpayer dollars? You’ll have to ask the deficit commission.
What we still need now is leadership. Read the rest.
Lastly, Peter Robinson interviews Mark Steyn and Rob Long, all week. Part 1, about 8 minutes, is on the continuing relevance of Ronald Reagan. Part 2, 5 minutes long, is on Reagan’s prescient opposition to government healthcare. Worth watching. (Mark looks very dapper, as usual.)