Why Hiring General Petraeus Was A Smart Political Move For President Obama

When the story broke two days ago, Bill O'Reilly tried to portray the Rolling Stone article as "tepid" and not worthy of all the hype it's receiving. Really? Bill knows all about military protocol so he's fibbing, trying to save McChrystal from himself. Obama HAD to fire Gen. McChrystal. I won a bet with Howie when I told him Obama would fire him quickly.

I lost a wager yesterday. Amato was certain Obama had no choice but to fire McChrystal after the now infamous Rolling Stone feature showed the Afghanistan War disaster was being run by a gaggle of arrogant, insubordinate, disloyal overgrown frat boys. Amato thought right from the start that Obama would have no choice but to fire McChrystal.

That RS article was hideous on so many levels, I won't name them all here. But the sewerage coming out of the mouths of the General and his frat boy entourage was quite shocking for a man who has built his reputation on being the ultimate soldier. We all complain about either our bosses, co-workers or friends, but we have a small circle we can trust to listen when we vent these things. McChrystal went directly to a Rolling Stone reporter and laid them all out on a Internet silver platter.

We've had many issues with Obama's handling of issues (as has been laid out on the pages of C&L), but as a political move, he did the exact right thing and when he named The Holy Petraeus to take the job. He trumped the right once again. His pick may endanger the withdrawal timetable (because he is a true believer even if he says the right things now), but the Afghan policy isn't the debate here.

Esquire writes a good piece about the policy switch: 10 Things to Know About the Petraeus-McChrystal Switch

The incident might be the first time since Obama took office that the right-wing noise machine could not figure out a way to pile on the President. Even when he does something they approve, they still attack him incessantly, so I found this whole situation interesting. There's one thing that they cannot argue about: the chain of command. Colonel Hunt, who works for FOX, is a blood and guts type of guy and he agreed with Obama even though Bill did his best to save the general.

Hunt: If anybody, Bill... If anybody in your chain, Bill... If anybody working for you said something close to you, that building would implode you're sitting in. If anyone in McChrystal's chain of command below him said anything even close to this, he'd be fired. You cannot do this in the chain of command. You can't do it.

BillO: I got it. Military discipline dictates, the Commander in Chief and all the generals have to have loyalty, up and down.

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Hunt:...these kinds of comments are not done in vacuums. These kinds of officers have a great deal of experience. Tony and I have served a long time. There is never a time you could say anything like this about your military boss -- certainly not your civilian leadership with a Rolling Stone guy in the room.

BillO: But again, you're assuming that he did it, I'm not assuming that yet.

He's been apologizing all night , Bill....[Bill speaks] You can't do what he did, you can't.

Last night, Bill conceded that Rolling Stone didn't sandbag the general, but in a very "tepid" way. There may be a few stragglers, but Brit Hume's performance with Megyn Kelly summed up the right wing pretty well. Hell, he should be fired just on the basis that he gave an interview to a DFH magazine like Rolling Stone, right?

Bill O'Reilly did try to save McChrystalMeth, but crazy Colonel Hunt would have none of it, either.

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