“FNC Commentator is the New GOP Presidential Candidate”
Amid all the hullabaloo over Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s off-the-cuff quotes in Rolling Stone’s The Runaway General, I found my brain hazily remembering some offhand commentary from a few weeks back that the Right would consider him a strong contender for a 2012 GOP run. Consider that. Could an ex-general take on the incumbent President who fired him? In this political climate? Hell yes. Which got me thinking about what some of the other 2012 GOP hopefuls are doing to bide their time before kicking back off: being commentators on Fox News.
So if McChrystal is fired – how long does it take for him to show up on Fox as a commentator? Months? Weeks? Hours? Tim Carmody of Snarkmarket asks if that might have been his intention all along. A well-executed maneuver if so.
Is it ethical? A fired general becomes the government’s critic on the opposition media outlet? I’m not familiar with American military ethics, but my gut tells me it would be frowned upon. But, these days, completely plausible. (Tim says, “it’s like an ivy league kid getting a job at Goldman Sachs”) And before we throw stones at Fox, CNN picked up Ret. Gen. Russell Honoré to talk about anything Gulf-related.
As a sidenote – I found the article itself really interesting. A good, tough look at the efforts of the counter-insurgency effort in Afghanistan. It’s politically inexpedient for McChrystal to shit-talk his civilian bosses in print, but honestly the piece made me appreciate the work he and his team are doing a lot more. (Open question as to whether or not his strategy is working.) This was a particularly great scene that I was surprised to find a little endearing:
The general’s staff is a handpicked collection of killers, spies, geniuses, patriots, political operators and outright maniacs. There’s a former head of British Special Forces, two Navy Seals, an Afghan Special Forces commando, a lawyer, two fighter pilots and at least two dozen combat veterans and counterinsurgency experts. They jokingly refer to themselves as Team America, taking the name from the South Park-esque sendup of military cluelessness, and they pride themselves on their can-do attitude and their disdain for authority. After arriving in Kabul last summer, Team America set about changing the culture of the International Security Assistance Force, as the NATO-led mission is known. (U.S. soldiers had taken to deriding ISAF as short for “I Suck at Fighting” or “In Sandals and Flip-Flops.”)…. By midnight at Kitty O’Shea’s, much of Team America is completely shitfaced. Two officers do an Irish jig mixed with steps from a traditional Afghan wedding dance, while McChrystal’s top advisers lock arms and sing a slurred song of their own invention. “Afghanistan!” they bellow. “Afghanistan!” They call it their Afghanistan song.
McChrystal steps away from the circle, observing his team. “All these men,” he tells me. “I’d die for them. And they’d die for me.”
UPDATE: Tim blogged about it too! He expands on his theory that this was planned by McChrystal, AND is pretty sure that Obama is Billy Crudup.