Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 6, 2009

IN 'HER PLACE'?.... House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not at all pleased that Gen. Stanley McChrystal publicly shared his views on what the administration's policy in Afghanistan should be. In an interview with Charlie Rose, Pelosi said, "with all due respect" for the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, "His recommendations to the president should go up the line of command. They shouldn't be in press conferences."

The National Republican Congressional Committee issued a statement blasting the House Speaker for her comments.

"If Nancy Pelosi's failed economic policies are any indicator of the effect she may have on Afghanistan, taxpayers can only hope McChrystal is able to put her in her place."

As Amanda Terkel asked in response, "What place does the NRCC think that this accomplished woman -- the first female Speaker of the House in U.S. history -- deserves to be in?"

Anyone who sees NRCC press releases regularly starts to get inured to the campaign committee's routinely offensive rhetoric. But once the official House campaign arm of the Republican Party starts talking about putting the Speaker "in her place," GOP leaders have to realize how insulting this is.

Of course, the substantive nonsense of the NRCC press release is likely to be overlooked given this ugly condescension towards the House Speaker, but it's worth noting that the Republicans' campaign committee also argued that leading policymakers should simply "listen to a four-star general's assessments" on Afghanistan, and not consider their own judgment.

Matt Yglesias added, "The substance of the NRCC memo, such as it is, seems to be that it's obviously absurd for the Speaker to not immediately accept whatever policy conclusions General McChrystal reaches. In the real world, of course, responsible policymakers are going to listen to military experts about military matters and then they're going to have a reach a policy judgment. Generals disagree!"

Quite right. I'd just add that Republicans seem to have changed their mind on simply listening to whatever four-star generals have to say. It was, for example, Eric Shinseki who told Senate Armed Services Committee before the war in Iraq that the Bush plan was inadequate and that vastly more troops and resources would be needed for the conflict. Republicans decided not to "listen to a four-star general's assessments" on Iraq.

And no one thought to put them in their place, either.

Steve Benen 4:45 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (39)

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Comments

Remind us again why President Bush FIRED General Shinseki?

Posted by: Moxo on October 6, 2009 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

And Kay Bailey Hutchison and Cornyn of Texas who voted strongly against the Stimulus are now begging for stimulus money. The main feeling among progressives is to ask Texas to secede.Good idea?

Posted by: JS on October 6, 2009 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

"Her place" is second in the line of presidential succession..

Posted by: skybluewater on October 6, 2009 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Is there anybody in the whole wide world who could explain to all the clueless Republicans why they can't get anybody but white men to vote for them?

Posted by: K in VA on October 6, 2009 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

The comment was routinely stupid and clearly offensive to women everywhere. I am sure Boss Limbaugh approves.

Posted by: Ron Byers on October 6, 2009 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

NRCC... run by Eddie ("Good Afternoon, Mrs. Cleaver") Haskell...

and wishin' the world was always 1957...

Posted by: neill on October 6, 2009 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Best talking point to combat the nonsense.

And... Shinseki was ASKED for his opinion in public.

Posted by: lobbygow on October 6, 2009 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

I think Gates and Jones have let McChrystal know to shut up. There is a Chain of Command. Of course, most Repugs don't fight wars themselves; they just send someone else. They might not know about the COC. Maybe we should send them all to basic training and school them.

Posted by: cat on October 6, 2009 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Wasn't there just something that happened.....a missile defense thingy or something.....Republicans all up in arms when Obama listened to his generals (i.e. The Join Cheifs) and went in another direction on the subject?

So....Obama DOES NOT listen (yet) to military leaders, i.e. McCrystal.....to Republicans this is bad.

Obama DOES listen to military leaders, i.e. The Joint Chiefs of Staff....to Republicans this is bad.

The consistency of argument is stunning.

Posted by: Victory on October 6, 2009 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

The NRCC should stop letting Joe the Plumber write its press releases.

Posted by: Winkandanod on October 6, 2009 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

So, Obama is uppity, I mean "narcissistic," and the woman needs to be put in her place.

Yes, that would be the Republican position.

Posted by: JM on October 6, 2009 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

IIRC, Shinseki was asked for his opinion in a congressional hearing where he was under oath to answer. It wasn't a press conference.

Posted by: VOR on October 6, 2009 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Not accidental. They're speaking to the base and hoping that the reaction from the left will give them an excuse for disingenuous "We can't criticize anyone without being called racist and sexist!" chatter. That sort of thing plays very well with what's left of the Republican party.

I never thought I'd be nostalgic for people who were openly white supremacists or sexists. There was an honesty there -- you knew what you were dealing with. Nowadays the GOP wants to do the insulting but pretend to be unfairly maligned when you call them on it. Bully + coward = top-flight asshole.

Posted by: shortstop on October 6, 2009 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

"...taxpayers can only hope McChrystal is able to put her in her place.

Yes, good call, have the General put that bitch in her place, right after he puts that boy, in the White House, in his place.

When is it going to end. I thought we were going to stop going backwards after Bush, not begin to accelerate. Is this how it felt at the onslaught of the Dark Ages ?

Posted by: ScottW on October 6, 2009 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

I suppose that the appropriate 'place' for Speaker Pelosi, according to the NRCC, would be in the kitchen, barefoot + pregnant.

Idiots.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on October 6, 2009 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

Wasn't Mc Chrystal selected from the Republicans? Perhaps he listens to Right Wing Billionaires before he listens to his Commander - in- Chief. Court Martial seems to be in order.

Posted by: MlJohnston on October 6, 2009 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

What do you call the first female Speaker of the House?
c*nt

What do you call the first black President?
n*gger

Just in case anyone was interested in buying the Neoconservative Joke Book, I just saved you 12 bucks. Don't thanke me. No, really, DON'T thank me.

Posted by: slappy magoo on October 6, 2009 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

I'm still waiting for the goopers to start referring to Pelosi as Nanzi Pelozi. Maybe they will, once they learn they *cannot* put her "in her place"...

Posted by: exlibra on October 6, 2009 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

"IIRC, Shinseki was asked for his opinion in a congressional hearing where he was under oath to answer. It wasn't a press conference."

Yep, as a member of the US military testifying before congress I think it was illegal for him not to answer.

BTW Pelosi's place at the moment is a high post in the the civilian government to which the US military is subservient.

Posted by: JeffF on October 6, 2009 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

Leaked reports and press conferences -- Obama needs to fire Gen MacArthur, er, McChrystal, before he does some real damage.

Posted by: Disputo on October 6, 2009 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

For anyone to expect the generals to make policy is absurd. I'm sorry, but for the president to fob off his responsibilities on the military is pure cowardice. The purpose of the generals is to tell you how to do what you have decided to do, not to tell you what to decide.

If Obama has decided that he wants X to happen, then he goes to McChrystal and says, "How do we do this?" He doesn't go to McChrystal and say, "What should we be trying to accomplish in Afghanistan?" McChrystal's response to the latter would be kill everyone and conquer the whole country.

There is no equivalence between the Shinseki and McChrystal circumstances. Shinseki was talking about how to accomplish a goal that had already been decided on, invade Iraq. McChrystal is commenting on a goal that is still undecided. For the Repugs to go on about listening to the military just demonstrates again how intellectually bankrupt they are.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on October 6, 2009 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

I read this as McChrystal having already lost the policy debate. He was doing an end run and should be replaced. We don't have an endless pile of money or personnel. It looks like we will reset objectives. Generals love the word "if."

Posted by: Sparko on October 6, 2009 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

Since Pelosi is not the CIC, her views on McChrystal mean nothing more than any of her constituents. Maybe she should expound on her views of a VAT to pay for health care rather than criticize a general who does not answer to her.

Posted by: Pully Bulpit on October 6, 2009 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

The Republican Party: Fearlessly Leading the Way to the 12th Century and Beyond!

Posted by: Dennis-SGMM on October 6, 2009 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

If memory serves me, McChrystal seems to be pulling a bit of a MacArthur. All speaker Pelosi warned about was the problem with this. The RNCC, the sexism, everything else is secondary to the fact that the military does not make policy - it only implements in. Living in 2 dictatorships, and traveling in quite a few others I know firsthand where this can end up. Bottom line, even the repuglicans would chafe under it.

Posted by: henryedward on October 6, 2009 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

"Since Pelosi is not the CiC, her views...mean nothing more than any of her constituents." Pully Bulpit @ 7:45 PM.
Besides being a civilian, which outranks ANY member of the military, I always understood that whoever writes the checks has the final say...
(in case PB isn't a faux troll)

Posted by: Doug on October 6, 2009 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

"And no one thought to put them in their place, either."

I thought of it, but alas, their place was in congress, cause some dumb ass pieces of shit voted them in.

Posted by: Boronx on October 6, 2009 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

"If Nancy Pelosi's failed economic policies are any indicator of the effect she may have on Afghanistan, taxpayers can only hope McChrystal is able to put her in her place."

Ah yes, Pelosi's failed economic policies. If only that b*tch hadn't deregulated banks and lowered government loan rates to nothing back in 02, we'd be so much better off.

And by the not so subtle "taxpayers" name drop, I think we can safely assume which part of the 'base' the NRCC is playing to.

Putting her in her place? Is the NRCC spokewriter a 12 year old boy? Come on, better opposition please!

Posted by: about time on October 6, 2009 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

"failed economic policies" . . . now where have I heard that phrase before . . . .?

Posted by: Toad on October 6, 2009 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

Whether or not Pelosi agrees with McChrystal's advice has nothing to do with the absolute validity of the comment she made. Generals should observe the chain of command, and affect policy by discussing these things with their commanders and their Commander-in-Chief.

It's possible to think McChrystal has the right solution for Aghanistan and still object to his manner of communicating his ideas.

Stupid, insulting Republicans.

Posted by: biggerbox on October 6, 2009 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

They're apparently okay with Sarah Palin trashing our President on foreign soil, but they complain about one of our political leaders (merely) reminding a military person that they should advise privately.

Amazing.

Posted by: MarkH on October 6, 2009 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

I'd love to see the banana republicans put in their place, I'm just not sure where that is.

An insane asylum? Not fair to the residents who are able to be helped, unlike Bec, Hannity, or Limbaugh, who belong in straight jackets in padded rooms. The only help you can offer them is occasionally wiping the spittle off of their chins onced they've finished ranting.

Gitmo? I hear it is being closed.

Somewhere in the deep south, like Texas or Arkansas? In deference to their antipathy towards big government, we would withhold all federal funds from whatever state or states they went to. But, on the plus side, they would have their new conservative bible (purged of those subversive "love thy neighbor" and "turn the other cheek" notions) to comfort them.

One of those secret facilities in eastern Europe or the middle east that republicans were so fond of (where torture wasn't really torture, it was more like hazing, and we all remember how much fun that was)?

An undisclosed location, preferably some God-forsaken island known only to Somali pirates, with Dick Cheney. It would be a modern retelling of "Lord of the Flies". How hard is it to picture Rush or Glenn in the role of "Piggy".

Posted by: Broken Arrow on October 6, 2009 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

La guerre! C’est une chose trop grave pour la confier à des militaires.--Clemenceau, who also didn't know his place.

Posted by: rea on October 6, 2009 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

The NRCC really seems to be an awfully ignorant bunch. Don't they know that Nancy Pelosi's place is at Capitol Hill, Washington, DC?

Oh, and when they give General McChrystal that address information so that he can drop her off there, they may also do him a favor and remind him to be nice to the lady. After all, she has a say in the toys he gets to play with.

Must say that what puzzles me though, is since when is the NRCC running a chauffeur service? Most be a pretty posh one too! Where else can you hire a commanding general as your driver. How much do they charge for that, and what is the general's cut?

Posted by: SRW1 on October 7, 2009 at 2:19 AM | PERMALINK

Look at the typical anti white male racist and sexist criticism of McChrystal from the Democrats. No wonder they have to support illegal migration to try to scrape up votes.

Posted by: Linda Re on October 7, 2009 at 2:50 AM | PERMALINK

They were the same about four-star general Wesley Clark when he testified against it.

Posted by: catherineD on October 7, 2009 at 2:59 AM | PERMALINK

Look at the typical anti white male racist and sexist criticism of McChrystal from the Democrats.

What "anti white male racist and sexist criticism of McChrystal"? Name some. The criticism, you numbskull, is of the National Republican Congressional Committee, which, I'll admit, has pretty much reduced itself to a rump party of Southern white males.

No wonder they have to support illegal migration to try to scrape up votes.

Are you kidding? Democrats didn't need to "scrape up" votes in 2006 and 2008; Obama won by more than 5 million votes (a feat Bush couldn't manage in 2000). Demographics are already against the GOP if it wants to continue its brand as the party of angry white men, so if they want to double down on the nativism and pretend that illegal immigration is responsibile for their rejection by American voters, that's fine with me. They'll be out of power for generations until they clean up their act.

Posted by: Gregory on October 7, 2009 at 7:46 AM | PERMALINK

Obama won by more than 5 million votes

Don't be so modest, my friend.

Obama: 69,456,897
McCain: 59,934,814

Posted by: shortstop on October 7, 2009 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

So if I wanted to protect feeding birds from cats, what is the best way of doing this? Is it ok if I link to this article?Thank you

Posted by: Salvatore Clagett on January 14, 2011 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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