IN ‘HER PLACE’?…. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not at all pleased that Gen. Stanley McChrystal publicly shared his views on what the administration’s policy in Afghanistan should be. In an interview with Charlie Rose, Pelosi said, “with all due respect” for the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, “His recommendations to the president should go up the line of command. They shouldn’t be in press conferences.”
The National Republican Congressional Committee issued a statement blasting the House Speaker for her comments.
“If Nancy Pelosi’s failed economic policies are any indicator of the effect she may have on Afghanistan, taxpayers can only hope McChrystal is able to put her in her place.”
As Amanda Terkel asked in response, “What place does the NRCC think that this accomplished woman — the first female Speaker of the House in U.S. history — deserves to be in?”
Anyone who sees NRCC press releases regularly starts to get inured to the campaign committee’s routinely offensive rhetoric. But once the official House campaign arm of the Republican Party starts talking about putting the Speaker “in her place,” GOP leaders have to realize how insulting this is.
Of course, the substantive nonsense of the NRCC press release is likely to be overlooked given this ugly condescension towards the House Speaker, but it’s worth noting that the Republicans’ campaign committee also argued that leading policymakers should simply “listen to a four-star general’s assessments” on Afghanistan, and not consider their own judgment.
Matt Yglesias added, “The substance of the NRCC memo, such as it is, seems to be that it’s obviously absurd for the Speaker to not immediately accept whatever policy conclusions General McChrystal reaches. In the real world, of course, responsible policymakers are going to listen to military experts about military matters and then they’re going to have a reach a policy judgment. Generals disagree!”
Quite right. I’d just add that Republicans seem to have changed their mind on simply listening to whatever four-star generals have to say. It was, for example, Eric Shinseki who told Senate Armed Services Committee before the war in Iraq that the Bush plan was inadequate and that vastly more troops and resources would be needed for the conflict. Republicans decided not to “listen to a four-star general’s assessments” on Iraq.
And no one thought to put them in their place, either.