I was all ready to write a post noting the hypocrisy of conservatives who pilloried Barack Obama for sacking Stanley McChrystal for his insubordination, when those very same conservatives were fond of arguing that it was unconscionably anti-American for anyone, let alone a general, to criticize the commander in chief during a time of war, so long as that commander in chief was a Republican. But guess what happened? In looking around the right side of the web, I've seen some recycled criticism of Obama in general, but almost no one railing against the decision to give McChrystal the boot. There's even some actual praise. Take this post from National Review editor Rich Lowry, titled "Obama's Home Run":
I'm not sure how Obama could have handled this any better. He was genuinely graceful about McChrystal and his explanation of why he had to go made perfect sense. He called for unity within his adminstration in pursuing the war and sounded quite stalwart about both the war and about the strategy. More importantly, his choice of Petraeus as a replacement for McChrystal is a brilliant move: He gets a heavy-weight, an unassailable expert in this kind of warfare, and someone who presumably can step in pretty seamlessly.
That can't have been easy to say. So let's give our conservative friends their due -- for whatever combination of reasons, some of them are showing themselves to be able, at least for a moment, to step outside the blind partisanship that says you have to criticize each and every thing the other side ever does. I hereby pledge that when Mitt Romney ascends to the White House in 2017 after his third run, I'll try to be open-minded about him.
-- Paul Waldman
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