Posts Tagged ‘Harry Truman’

Over the past week there was a huge noisy story, and a huge quiet one.  Is there anyone who has not by now,  heard the saga Of General Stanley McChrystal, his wise-cracking mouth, and Barack Obama’s “Truman Moment”  in either accepting McChrystal’s resignation or in firing him, depending on the story you heard or read?  No, I figured not.

The “Truman Moment” of course refers to President Harry S. Truman’s firing of the very popular General Douglas MacArthur in 1951 for his direct, written opposition to Truman’s strategy  in Korea.  McChrystal, of course, did not oppose, in writing or otherwise, tactical or strategic policy in Afghanistan.   He merely wise-cracked about certain government officials.  The fact that one comment, really simply an opinion, was aimed at the head guy, the Commander-in-Chief, was less than prudent.  But if one is going to make comparisons, MacArthur is not as appropriate as George Patton.  Maybe FDR should have fired Patton for his battle-hardened, wiseacre remarks.   That battle-hardened officers might make off-the-cuff comments should come as no surprise to an experienced commander.  To elevate the comments to the level of insubordination Truman saw from MacArthur is the height of hyperbole.

As for FDR (who did not fire Patton for his profanities), there was Rachel Maddow this week comparing her American Idol Rock Star, Barack Obama,  to FDR himself, citing the many Rooseveltian bills Obama has jammed through Congress.  Well, the jury is still out on that, and while replacing McChrystal with David Petraeus appears roundly popular, the degree to which it was fair or wise is questionable.  Will this make a difference on the ground? The jury is still out on that, too.  The bottom line is that Obama’s numbers continue to tank which brings us to the huge quiet story of the week.

It is a cautionary tale.   Pictured above with our wildly popular Head Homegirl and Secretary of State, is Kevin Rudd,  Prime Minister of Australia beleaguered by low approval ratings up until June 24 (Thursday) 2010 when he was summarily replaced as head of Australia’s Labor Party (and thus as PM) by his Deputy PM, Julia Gillard.

She is Australia’s first woman Prime Minister, and in the land of Germaine Greer, some women are wondering why it took so long.  Sex war rages on as Sheila takes a bow.  The cautionary part of this tale is that the way parliamentary democracy works is that the majority party chief stands as PM.  This is not comparable to a challenge to Obama by Sarah Palin.  The challenge to Rudd came from within his own party.  Got that?  Rudd and Gillard are both members of the Labor Party.  The more popular one replacing the guy whose popularity slid down the tubes.

So, as we welcome a new female world leader on the scene, I’m just sayin’.

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