June 23, 2010

POINTS THAT DIDN’T QUITE MAKE THE MAIN COLUMN:

* The 1981 controversy regarding OMB director David Stockman’s comments to The Atlantic involved genuine points of policy. President Ronald Reagan had said supply-side economics, and supply-side tax cuts, were fundamentally intended to help the poor: Stockman told The Atlantic that everyone in the White House knew supply-side was a gift to the rich – that White House rhetoric was “a Trojan horse” to conceal what the Republican Party’s wealthy donors wanted. Top-rate income tax reduction may have been justified, but that’s a separate issue from whether the president was being honest with the public. Compared to the dustup over McChrystal, the Stockman controversy was substantive.
* The 1951 firing of Douglas MacArthur involved policy disagreements and statements far worse than a worst-case reading of the Obama-McChrystal situation. MacArthur publicly accused President Harry Truman of advocating “appeasement and defeatism” regarding China, attempted to order his units into military actions that civilian leadership had forbidden, and demanded the Korean War end with China surrendering to him personally – the latter suggesting MacArthur had come unglued.
Truman made himself seem weak by flying out to Wake Island to meet MacArthur, rather than recalling him to the White House. It’s a long trip from Washington to Wake Island even today, via jet; imagine doing this in a prop plane, for the convenience of your disobedient general. In the White House, the president has the home-field advantage. Barack Obama was right to meet McChrystal there.
*Wasn’t there some kind of oil spill? The McChrystal confabulation gives BP a few days’ vacation from the front page. “They will never forget you/till somebody else comes along,” as the song goes. And we’ve already forgotten who BP pushed off the front page — Toyota and Goldman Sachs. Sources tell me Toyota sent BP a big box of fancy chocolates, while Goldman Sachs sent flowers and a card that reads, “BP, luv u 4-ever! {signed} Goldy S.”
* This sort-of-scandal needs a name, and the “XXXX-gate” formulation is exhausted. Propose your names for the scandal using the reader comment space below.

3 comments

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McChrystal Ball Game. Who knows how the war turns, the cleanup/respill drill and liars in general (tongue in cheek)tend to get out of the line of fire -thank you short news cycle. The insatiable media prefer fresh blood from the War to rotting seafood industry, liars from across the political/economic spectrum. Scape goats don’t have McChystals’ balls. The nation needs answers and workable solutions not -”gates”. Baseball and war should never have a clock.

Posted by pHenry | Report as abusive

Obama reacted shamefully to place full confidence in a Rolling Stone article.

Oh here’s one I heard from unnamed sources therefore it has to be true. Obama shaves his arse and walks backwards to appear more handsome and to see his trail of tears.

I am eagerly waiting to read McChrystal forth coming book.

Posted by rgrowley | Report as abusive

McChrystal and the aids have every right to voice their opinions! It’s America and we have a constitutional right to speak our mind. Washington, including the Obama administration, should encourage free speach and respect those who express different opinions and should not attempt to stifle those who don’t necessarily look and think like they do. Perhaps the article points toward fact in a lighthearted, sort of cavalier, way! Politicians don’t like facts…they stand on their own and yout can’t spin them to promote yourself. They are either good or bad!

Posted by m2u | Report as abusive