The year was 2010. The POTUS was Obama.
President Obama relieved Gen. Stanley McChrystal of his command of the war in Afghanistan Wednesday because of insubordinate remarks by him and his aides in a Rolling Stone article published earlier this week.
“I accepted General Stanley McChrstal’s resignation,” Obama said to reporters in the Rose Garden. “I did so with considerable regret, but also with certainty that it is the right thing for our mission in Afghanistan, for our military and for our country.”
Here’s the offending passage from a June 2010 Rolling Stone piece by Michael Hastings. McChrystal and his staff are talking about a speech he had just given in Paris, and musing about what he could’ve said to a reporter asking a question about his nemesis Joe Biden:
“Are you asking about Vice President Biden?” McChrystal says with a laugh. “Who’s that?”
“Biden?” suggests a top adviser. “Did you say: Bite Me?”
Just like that, McChrystal was out. He made the president look bad, and his career was over. Nobody screamed that Obama was a fascist. (Well, nobody worth listening to.) The people who didn’t like it still conceded that Obama had the right to fire McChrystal. That’s just how it goes.
But the people who did like it? The people who were aghast that McChrystal disrespected the then-current administration? Those people are easy to spot, because they’re the ones who are now kicking up a fuss about President Trump firing an insubordinate underling. They were just fine with one guy wielding all that power, when it was their guy. Now it’s a big problem, because it’s not their idea.
I’m starting to think this will become a regular feature. Just the other day our moral, ethical, and intellectual betters were all freaking out about Trump not waving while boarding Air Force One, somehow forgetting that Obama did the exact same thing his first time. Now this. Whether it’s collective amnesia or just plain dishonesty, it really is remarkable.
I think I’ll call this new feature: Guess That President!