The news media has been abuzz with the latest news that President Obama has told Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, to kick rocks in favor of Gen. Petraeus. Just to recap: in an interviewed with Rolling Stone magazine, the good General had some pretty choice words about the Prez, the Veep, the French, and just about everybody in between. To counter the attack (partially motivated, I suspect, by the militaristic code prohibiting public criticism of superior officers), Obama laid down the law and made an example of McChrystal.
Ever since the General’s interview and subsequent firing, the left has been using this as another example of how Bush’s people should not be trusted, and how Obama should have completely cleaned house of Bush’s men after he was sworn in. For example, consider the commentary by MSNBC’s Ed Schultz:
While it’s true McChrystal served in commanding posts under President Bush, to make him another problem Obama “inherited” from Bush is flat out wrong. In May of last year, Obama agreed to specific recommendations to put McChrystal in charge of operations in Afghanistan, in an effort to change the complexion of the war. In that spirit, the buck either stops with Obama or it doesn’t. Which is it?
This represents an ongoing issue with the left. Instead of placing the responsibility of Obama’s decisions/indecisions on his shoulders (necessary criticism for the person serving as leader of this country), they are constantly attempting to use President Bush as a red herring. For all the blunders and precarious situations Bush has left us in, to allow Obama’s hands to be clean of this is insane – AND politically ineffective. Tried as he might, President Carter couldn’t use the consequences of Nixon/Ford’s policies to divert attention away from his own performance. Neither can Obama.
To the president’s credit: he isn’t specifically trying to tie McChrystal to Bush. And if he’s smart, he’ll ignored the contentions of the left and won’t even try to making a connection. Own up to the decision, fix it, and move on. As much of a bumblehead Dubya was, it’s too late in the era of Obama to make Bush the fall guy.