QUOTE OF THE DAY…. When President Obama explained this week why he was relieving Gen. Stanley McChrystal of command in Afghanistan, the president said the conduct represented in the Rolling Stone piece “undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system.” He added that democracy depends on “respect for civilian control” over the “chain of command.”

It was a good reminder about a bedrock principle of our system of government. Someone might want to remind Dianne Feinstein.

A senior Senate Democrat on foreign policy issues said on Sunday that the president’s pledged July 2011 timeline for a troop drawdown in Afghanistan was malleable to the requests of military command.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Cali.), whose hawkish grounding has angered progressive in the past, likely facilitated that anger again, when she told “Fox News Sunday” that if General David Petraeus asked for more troops next summer, he should be granted them.

“I would say give it to him, absolutely,” said the California Democrat.

The California Democrat added that Petraeus should also have influence in changing the civilian U.S. leadership in Afghanistan — as she put it, “If the team isn’t right I think Gen. Petraeus’ views should be taken into consideration” — and basically suggested the general should have control over practically the entire policy.

“I think we put all of our eggs in the Petraeus basket at this stage,” Feinstein said.

Maybe the president’s comments about democracy depending on “respect for civilian control” over the “chain of command” weren’t quite clear enough?

Here’s hoping Petraeus knows better than to believe the unrealistic hype.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.