Scapegoat at the Bat

In a true profiles in courage moment, John McCain announces that he’ll stand tall against our failed national security policies by raking General George Casey over the coals at the hearings on his forthcoming appointment as Chief of Staff of the United States Army. I have no particular brief for Casey, who obviously did not bring this country fabulous successes in Iraq and who carried more than his share of water for George W. Bush over the years. Nevertheless, this is a raw deal in the extreme.

Highly-ranked career Army officers aren’t like you and me and presumably Casey will just stand willingly and let the right scapegoat him in exchange for which he’ll serve out his career and retire with little fuss. And if Casey’s happy with that well then on some level it’s no concern of mine. The larger political game, however, is perfectly clear — we’re supposed to believe that there was nothing wrong with the war except the bungling of the fool Casey and that the Great Leader Petraeus will save us all. It’s probably the best play the war’s supporters have left, but one did tend to believe that on some level McCain would have more respect for our armed forces and the officers who serve in them than to personally spearhead this sort of tawdry smear.