Taegan Goddard reports:
President Obama has relieved Gen. Stanley McChrystal of his command over remarks made to Rolling Stone magazine.
Well, no, not really.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal lost his command because he had lost the map. Those remarks showed that he seemed to think he outranked the democratically elected civilian government it was his job to serve.
McChrystal's remarks, and even more so those of his staff, showed that he was openly contemptuous of not just the particular civilians of this particular government, but of the whole idea that generals should be accountable to such mere civilian representatives of mere civilian citizens.
He was openly contemptuous, in other words, of democracy.
And since a huge part of his job in Afghanistan involved nurturing and developing the habits and institutions of democracy, McChrystal's remarks showed that he wasn't up to that job. His remarks displayed a preference for the habits and institutions of a military Banana Republic.
A general does not outrank the vice president of the United States. A general does not outrank the vice president of the local Lions Club. A general does not outrank the vice principal of the local elementary school.
Generals who forget that tend to start giving orders to such civilians. And then they start enforcing them.
I really don't have much to add, though thoughtsdriftby did note that such a summary dismissal of a registered Republican just gave the neocons a martyr—and a new pundit. "Look at how the Administration suppresses and punishes opposing viewpoints!"