COMPARE AND CONTRAST. Joe Klein thinks the "left wing of the Democratic Party" doesn't "respect the military sufficiently." Meanwhile, in recent weeks a lot of generals have put forward the idea that America's current military policies are serving the country poorly. Uber-hawk columnist Charles Krauthammer accuses them of laying the groundwork for a coup d'�tat and/or opening the United States to foreign subversion in the course of comparing George W. Bush to Abraham Lincoln. In the real world, of course, the Lincoln-McClellan point cuts in the other direction. Lincoln had some policies. General McClellan disagreed with them.

Eventually, McClellan got fired. He expressed his disagreements with Lincoln vocally, eventually becoming Lincoln's opponent in an election. The Republic survived this outbreak of elected leaders being subject to criticism, and by adopting an un-Bush-like strategy of implementing successful policies, Lincoln won the election. No coup, nothing bad happened, and we all learned that adult politicians can survive the arduous ordeal of being criticized by people who disagree with them without the wheels falling off of American democracy.

--Matthew Yglesias

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