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The Morning Plum

* What will happen today, per George Stephanopoulos: Obama will ask Stanley McChrysal if the Rolling Stone article has crippled his ability to fight the war. McChrystal will say, Absolutely not, sir. And Obama will keep him on.

* After all, as historian Doris Kearns Goodwin notes, Lincoln kept George McClellan on despite far worse insolence than anything McChrystal said. And Obama can argue that it's time to rise above the petty sniping for the good of the overall war effort.

* If Obama were to fire McChrystal, it could give him an opportunity to hit reset on his Afghanistan strategy.

* But there doesn't appear to be any unraveling of consensus among administration officials about the current approach.

* John Boehner's office will celebrate the three-month anniversary of the signing of health reform by releasing a report this morning called: "ObamaCare: Three Months of Broken Promises."

With the White House currently engaged in a big health care push, it's another sign that neither side is backing off making health reform a central issue in this fall's elections.

* The labor-backed White House ally Americans United for Change keeps up the pressure over the Joe Barton mess with a new ad on national cable linking Barton to GOP opposition to energy reform.

* Out of the bunker: Sharron Angle has agreed to submit to a grilling on Nevada journalist Jon Ralston's TV show next week, Ralston emails. Ms. Angle, what did you mean by the phrase "Second Amendment remedies"?

* Takedown of the day: Harold Meyerson versus the suddenly-deficit-obsessed Blue Dogs for favoring...well, no one can figure out exactly what they want.

* What to watch today: Will Russ Feingold continue standing firm for a stronger financial reform bill?

* Blanche Lincoln breaks with Senate Dems and the White House by pushing for FinReg changes that would benefit a single Arkansas bank owned by the Walton family. But the unions are big fat losers!

* Telling GOP primary voters to stop listening to Glenn Beck isn't a particularly sound political strategy.

* And it's time for the right wing to pick one smear and stick with it: Is Obama a bullying and intimidating thug, or is he Obambi the weak and limp professorial pushover?

Actually, believe it or not, he can be both. When it comes to defenseless corporations and Israel, he's a thug. When it comes to our enemies and stopping the oil spill, he's Professor Obambi.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  June 23, 2010; 8:23 AM ET
Categories:  Climate change , Financial reform , Foreign policy and national security , Health reform , House GOPers , Morning Plum , Senate Dems  
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Next: Joe Barton privately apologizes to GOPers for BP mess; he'll keep committee slot

Comments

qb:

Hope you get to see this. I've been thinking about it the last couple of days, and have decided that, with the banning of Bilge, I'm not all that interested in sticking around here anymore. As you said the other day, Greg can do what he wants with his blog, and if he thinks, as he intimated to me the other day, that he is losing "hits" and readers because of Bilge, then maybe he made the right business decision. (Kind of ironic, eh?) But I see no reason why his disparate treatment of Bilge itself ought to have no consequences. And let's face it, Bilge's posts made this place a lot more interesting and entertaining. He was actually quite humorous in a not entirely unsophisticated way. The peanut gallery will no doubt disagree, but they likely didn't get half of his humor. Anyway, I'm sure I won't be missed by most people here, but I did want to let you know I was going. I've appreciated your insights, particularly on issues of law. If you ever find another interesting place to post, let me know. You can contact me by clicking on my name on any of the posts at the (out-of-date) blog below. Keep up the good fight.

http://theamericanexpatinuk.blogspot.com/

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 23, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Kathleen Parker makes the argument that owning a uterus plus ambition equals feminism... http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/22/AR2010062203211.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Posted by: bernielatham | June 23, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

BTW, Greg...Lincoln kept George McClellen around, not Scott McClellen, which would have been some trick.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 23, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

"What else is happening?"

A federal judge with extensive investments in the oil industry, sitting on a bench where half his colleagues recused themselves due to their own oil industry conflicts, has just told the Executive branch it can't temporarily stop deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico even though the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, caused by a deepwater Gulf accident, continues unabated, and the oil industry admits that it has no viable plans to contain another deepwater accident should one occur and even though it isn't even known yet what caused the ongoing disaster.

My prediction: McCrystal stays.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 23, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Who could have predicted that Blanche Lincoln would do something like that?

My response to ALL requests from the DNC (in all its forms) for money is: NO, as long as you keep funding incumbents against good primary challengers.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 23, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

I think Obama needs to ask McChrystal whether or not he supports the mission as it has been laid out, including a draw down in surge troops in one year. If he responds with anything less that a resounding "Yes, sir!" then he should be taken out of the game.

Also, the editor of RS was one MSNBC again this morning. While many of the quotes in the article are attributed to unnamed aides, he said that most of the time McChrystal was present when they were made and he did not object.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 23, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Scott.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 23, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

"Absolutely not, sir."

Close. More like, "Absolutely not, SIR!"

"And Obama will keep him on."

Dunno. That high-road approach might be good, except for his remarks revealing his callousness towards civilian collateral damage, which Greg highlighted yesterday. It's hard to see how that doesn't seriously hobble his ability to pursue the mission.

Posted by: jzap | June 23, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

This could be very telling:

McChrystal to Administration Official: 'I've Compromised the Mission'

During his round of phone calls to top officials of the Obama administration whom he and his team disparaged to a Rolling Stone reporter, Gen. Stanley McChrystal said, "I've compromised the mission," a senior administration source tells ABC News.

Whether he did so irrevocably is at the top of the agenda in his Oval Office meeting with President Obama this morning. The president will press him as to what he was thinking and whether he still has the ability to serve as commander of 100,000 US troops in Afghanistan after making remarks about the president and his national security team that the general could use to justifiably fire any of his underlings if they were made about him.

"He'll have to have some pretty good answers to some tough questions," a senior White House official tells ABC News.

McChrystal will have a legitimate opportunity to make his case to keep his job, officials said.

Officials described the reaction within the West Wing as immediate anger and certainly that McChrystal be fired, followed by a willingness to hear the counterargument given the importance of the war, its perilous state, the fact that the story revealed no policy disagreements, how closely tied McChrystal is with the current strategy, and the fact that Gen. David McKiernan was dismissed from the same job last Summer.

But if McChrystal by his own admission has compromised the mission, where does that leave him?

- Jake Tapper


http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2010/06/mcchrystal-to-administration-official-ive-compromised-the-mission.html

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 23, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

What decision will President Obama make on The Renegade General?

One thing we know about President Obama is; he will not fire The General out of a sense of personal hurt, and will make his decision only on if keeping the General on will do more good than harm.

This President does not hold personal grudges.

If you want to know how he will approach this decision; all you have to do is take a look at how he decided what should be done with Joe Leiberman.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 23, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

If Obama doesn't fire this guy he's as weak as the GOP says!

Posted by: obrier2 | June 23, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

jzap,

I kinda think the focus yesterday was on the direct dissing of civilian leadership, because they truly popped off the page and are easy to repeat. But they are also gossipy, and probably the least important part of the story.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 23, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

All, here's the latest on the Joe Barton mess:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/06/joe_barton_privately_apologize.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 23, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Greg, Don't inflate glenda with too much credit. He is already a fat sob.

And you thank scott for his correction or his taking his ball and going home ? :)

My $0.02 - McC stays.

Posted by: amkeew | June 23, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

"The labor-backed White House ally Americans United for Change keeps up the pressure over the Joe Barton mess with a new ad on national cable linking Barton to GOP opposition to energy reform."

First of all, the end of that ad is so over the top that it dulls it's effectiveness. "Which will it be...A, or B" in a menancing voice? Really?

More than that, groups should really drop the climate side of the debate when doing the advertising. It just opens the whole campaign to the hippie-punching mentality that the beltway loves. If you want to pass a bill that will help the climate, then spend the whole time arguing the economic side of alternative energy.

Jobs.
American Made.
Secure.
Stable.
Infinate.

A carbon tax will help the evironment, but the way to win the debate on the airwaves and in Congress is to point out how it creates an economic incentive to invest in domestic based energy alternatives - especially if you use the tax to pay for tax CUTS for green energy.

Create a policy that's good both economically and ecologically...but focus on the economics to sell/pass it.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | June 23, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Two things that bother me about The General:

1) Karzai wants to keep him around. We know that Karzai is an election stealing, big time crook, and also a worthless administrator. If Karzai wants to keep The General on, that means Karzai finds him to be someone he can manipulate easily.

2)The part of the article which reported how The General was whining about having to attend a party being thrown by a French official.

McChrystal's role is to be the face of the Afghanistan operation, and to schmooze with the Representatives of the NATO allies.

He said that he would rather have his "ass kick" than having to go to such a function. Then one of his aides said that the party was very "gay".

The General sounds very chidish for someone who is fifty five years old.

After he said he would rather have his "ass kicked", he added but there is no one here that could do it. What is he 55 going on 16?

Posted by: Liam-still | June 23, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

@Greg

"Takedown of the day: Harold Meyerson versus the suddenly-deficit-obsessed Blue Dogs for favoring...well, no one can figure out exactly what they want."

Is there any way you can try and follow up on this issue? It's really aggrivating to see so-called "centrists" just bounce back and forth at will. It's time that a journalist really tried to nail down what exactly they are supposed to stand for.

This op-ed is great...but it lacks the next step in which it tries to get the Blue Dogs to EXPLAIN themselves. I'd really like to see that.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | June 23, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

@Liam

Honestly, I have to say that as long as the planned drawdown of troops stays on schedule, I don't care if he stays or goes. He's an a..hole, sure. But this waste of time and money in that country is more important to me than punishing him.

Whatever move means less of our troops fighting in a war...that's my choice.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | June 23, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

BBQ,

Since McChrystal probably does not support the withdrawal timeline, he may be trying to also undermine it, by delaying the assault on Kandahar. The later that big offensive starts, the more he will be able to start complaining about not having enough time to complete it, before the July 2011 start of draw down, deadline.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 23, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

@Liam

If that was the case, then this Rolling Stone article nonsense is nothing in comparison. If he's actively undermining the Military's mission in a way, that's court martial, maybe even treason-level stuff right there.

Again, whatever gets our soldiers home sooner, I don't care.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | June 23, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

ScottC, QB,

If you're lurking, I responded to your comments on yesterday's morning thread in our discussion of "morality" and "justice".

ScottC,

While I'm not particularly unhappy to see you go, I do wish you the best of luck and I have enjoyed our more theoretical discussions, particularly those that took place after the HCR debate when the rhetoric on this blog (including comments I made) was over-the-top and heated. I apologize again if I was mean or nasty towards you in that period. I think the town halls and the death panels and all that BS got to me. But anyway, again, good luck with your endeavors and I hope you were sincere when you said, "Keep up the good fight." I encourage you to remember that the "good fight" includes fighting for individuals' rights over the powerful (in many cases corporate) interests. I have found in your many posts that you have often lost sight of the plight of the individual, the poor, and the middle class and I urge you to more conscientiously integrate those people in your views going forward. Again, best of luck.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 23, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Scott,

I appreciate the heads up very much and have been mulling precisely the same decision. I am travelling today so am a bit hit and miss. Check back here later and I will try to leave a more complete response. You are a great commenter and asset wherever it might be.

Ethan, I did read your latest response on the thread we have been beating up and down. I will see later whether there is anything further that would be useful for me to add.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 23, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Scott,

Should you see this, having finally reached my destination today, I've decided to take the same course. I don't think it is vanity to say that PL without the few conservative voices who brave the insults and banalities will me a more boring place, a truer echochamber of conformity. And that perhaps will be its own just and fitting reward for what Greg has made of it, banning a voice that was original and interesting at the urging mainly of a few nonparticipants, and consistently tolerating and even encouraging abusive liberals.

I also think my time can be used a hundred better ways. In my time here I've seldom if ever found an open or even fair mind on the other side, and it is frankly depressing to see close up the blindly dogmatic and extreme nature of current liberalism and its imperviousness to reason. I am not vowing never to comment again, but I am taking my leave and plan not to read PL, at least not regularly. I will look up the expat blog and be on the lookout for a better place for discussion.

Ethan, my parting words to you are simply this: Liberals are not more concerned with the poor and less fortunate than conservatives. Liberals just believe poverty issues should be addressed by government's redistribution of other people's money. And my statement is supported as well by all the empirical research ever done, which shows that conservatives (particularly the benighted religious right) are more generous than liberals. Nor is the question of the morality of A's enjoying prosperity while B does not the same as the question of the government's taking from A to give to B. To you one follows from the other, but they are separate questions.

In parting, and in Bilgey's immortal words,

Moonbat, please!

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 23, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

qb,

Thanks for the kind comments, and the final post. Best of luck if I don't hear from you.

Posted by: ScottC3 | June 23, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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