Contributor Post Created with Sketch. James Mattis Compares Donald Trump to Nazis in Statement to The Atlantic

 

In a statement given to the Leftist magazine The Atlantic, former Secretary of Defense James Mattis compared his former boss President Donald Trump to Nazis. Mattis wrote:

Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that “The Nazi slogan for destroying us…was ‘Divide and Conquer.’ Our American answer is ‘In Union there is Strength.’” We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics.

Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.

In his statement, written for a liberal audience, Mattis also downplays the violent riots that have spread across our nation as “a small number of lawbreakers” that we should “not be distracted by.” Mattis’s screed was inspired by what he called “a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.” And he further stated, “We must reject any thinking of our cities as a ‘battlespace’ that our uniformed military is called upon to ‘dominate.’ “

However, 58% of registered voters in a Morning Consult poll out today disagree with Mattis and would support using the military to supplement police forces against radical Left rioters and looters. The poll was taken May 31 – June 1 as the riots were destroying American cities.

Morning Consult poll of 1,624 Registered Voters

There is a long history of using the military in extraordinary circumstances on domestic soil.

George Washington, our first president, led an army of states militia to quell the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794. Abraham Lincoln, our first Republican president, used the military to win a civil war and free the slaves. (Mattis says we should only deploy troops when requested to do so by state governors, but I doubt that would have worked out well in 1861.)

Dwight Eisenhower, who led the Normandy invasion, sent the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock, AR, to enforce the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education. John F. Kennedy federalized the Alabama National Guard to force the state’s Democrat governor George Wallace to desegregate the University of Alabama.

Lyndon Johnson sent the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions to Detroit to put down the 1967 riots (with the aid of the Michigan National Guard, which was sent by Gov. George Romney). Likewise, George H.W. Bush federalized the California National Guard and supplemented them with the 7th Infantry Division and the Marines (commanded by Mattis’s former Trump Administration colleague, John Kelly).

There may be other examples, those are just the ones I thought of off the top of my head (and then did some research about).

An Emerson College poll also out today finds that 76% of registered voters disapprove of the riots, apparently not realizing that they are being perpetrated by “a small number of lawbreakers” only. At the same time 87% of registered voters want to see justice for George Floyd in the form of criminal charges against the officer, Derek Chauvin, who appears to have callously killed him. (I watched the video, it’s abhorrent.) In fact, Chauvin has been arrested and charged with murder. That has not stopped the riots. Perhaps the “small number of lawbreakers” have not been watching the news since they have been too busy kicking unconscious people in the head, murdering black police officers, and stealing designer clothes.

I am confident Mattis is someone who should be listened to when it comes to the most effective way to mobilize the military against al-Qaeda or ISIS. His military career is exemplary. As a political commentator, however, his opinion is no different from that of any number of NeverTrumpers, especially when he falsely compares the president of the United States so directly to Nazis. That is not the statement of a wise leader.

His full statement is below:

I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words “Equal Justice Under Law” are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation.

When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.

We must reject any thinking of our cities as a “battlespace” that our uniformed military is called upon to “dominate.” At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors. Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict—a false conflict—between the military and civilian society. It erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are a part. Keeping public order rests with civilian state and local leaders who best understand their communities and are answerable to them.

James Madison wrote in Federalist 14 that “America united with a handful of troops, or without a single soldier, exhibits a more forbidding posture to foreign ambition than America disunited, with a hundred thousand veterans ready for combat.” We do not need to militarize our response to protests. We need to unite around a common purpose. And it starts by guaranteeing that all of us are equal before the law.

Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that “The Nazi slogan for destroying us…was ‘Divide and Conquer.’ Our American answer is ‘In Union there is Strength.’” We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics.

Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.

We can come through this trying time stronger, and with a renewed sense of purpose and respect for one another. The pandemic has shown us that it is not only our troops who are willing to offer the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of the community. Americans in hospitals, grocery stores, post offices, and elsewhere have put their lives on the line in order to serve their fellow citizens and their country. We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Square. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution. At the same time, we must remember Lincoln’s “better angels,” and listen to them, as we work to unite.

Only by adopting a new path—which means, in truth, returning to the original path of our founding ideals—will we again be a country admired and respected at home and abroad.

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  1. Bishop Wash Member

    Mattis was a disappointment as Secretary of Defense. He didn’t do enough, or sometimes attempt, to roll back the bad policies from the Obama presidency. As you say, his thoughts on military tactics should be listened to but not so much his politics. He wasn’t alive for the Obama presidency?

    • #1
    • June 3, 2020, at 5:16 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  2. Richard Easton Member

    Mattis did nothing about the transgender issue. He’s big on preening but was shown to be a fool when he was on the board of Theranos. A big con like Elizabeth Holmes is his type of corporate executive. 

    • #2
    • June 3, 2020, at 5:20 PM PDT
    • 18 likes
  3. Henry Racette Contributor

    Thanks to General Mattis for his service to our country.

    Having said that, he’s an idiot.

    Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try.

    The last President pretended to try, but was hugely divisive. President Trump, for all his flaws, is not the one fueling division. Trump, for all his many flaws, continually emphasizes common features of Americans rather than focusing on identitarian nonsense.

    And The Atlantic was once, like The New Republic, a decent magazine. Mommas don’t let your babies grow up to be incompetent twenty-somethings woke pseudo-journalists….

    • #3
    • June 3, 2020, at 5:24 PM PDT
    • 26 likes
  4. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    Either.

    Mattis lies. Like a rug.

    Or.

    Mattis is entirely un-self-aware. He truly does not see the calculated divisiveness of Obama

    And.

    For all his self-proclaimed study of history, he is scandalous unware of real American history.

    .

    • #4
    • June 3, 2020, at 5:29 PM PDT
    • 23 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  5. Max Ledoux Admin
    Max Ledoux

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Thanks to General Mattis for his service to our country.

    Having said that, he’s an idiot.

    Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try.

    The last President pretended to try, but was hugely divisive. President Trump, for all his flaws, is not the one fueling division. Trump, for all his many flaws, continually emphasizes common features of Americans rather than focusing on identitarian nonsense.

    And The Atlantic was once, like The New Republic, a decent magazine. Mommas don’t let your babies grow up to be incompetent twenty-somethings woke pseudo-journalists….

    Yeah. That he “does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try” really bothers me. It’s a complete lie. He doesn’t pretend to try. He tries. His remarks the other night in the rose garden were wonderful. “We need healing not hatred.” That’s not trying to unite the American people? What reality is Mattis living in?

    • #5
    • June 3, 2020, at 5:30 PM PDT
    • 20 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  6. cdor Member
    cdor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I posted this Mattis comment just previously to Max. I have no idea what Mattis is talking about or in what universe he is living.

    • #6
    • June 3, 2020, at 5:30 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  7. Danny Alexander Member

    What, did “Call Sign Chaos” get remainder-binned much sooner than Mattis’s publisher had promised him?

    I can only guess that what would apply here is an age-reversed variant on the standard excuse an actor gives when his early forays into porn are discovered: “I was old and I needed the money — plus they promised me it would be scholarly.”

    • #7
    • June 3, 2020, at 5:30 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  8. Gary Robbins Reagan

    I am with Mattis. Along with Mattis, Trump is the first President in my lifetime, or even first Presidential Nominee in my lifetime who did not try to unite the American people, and does not even attempt to try.

    Mattis says that we are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. Amen.

    Mattis is appalled that troops would be used to provide a bizarre photo op for an elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside. I agree, and I note that Secretary Esper has strongly questioned how he ended up in this stunt. (I predict that Mark Esper will not be Secretary of Defense for much longer.)

    Trump is going to destroy the Republican Party. The Republican Party must break with him, or drown with him.

    • #8
    • June 3, 2020, at 5:49 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Here is George Will’s column today that denounces Trump’s stunt, and the willingness of the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff for participating in it. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-military-officers-aiding-trumps-stunt-have-been-promoted-to-the-level-of-their-incompetence/2020/06/03/e73330ce-a5d6-11ea-b473-04905b1af82b_story.html

    • #9
    • June 3, 2020, at 5:52 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. Henry Racette Contributor

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    Mattis says that we are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. Amen.

    What Mattis is saying, specifically, is that he sees a divisive leader in Trump, but did not see a divisive leader in Obama.

    Now Gary, can you honestly tell me that you didn’t see Obama as a divisive leader?

     

    • #10
    • June 3, 2020, at 5:54 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  11. Gary Robbins Reagan

    The Drudge Report carried a story in red ink, about Secretary Esper’s statements, “Insurrection Act: Pentagon Chief Defies Trump.” https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/trump-s-church-photo-op-took-defense-secretary-esper-gen-n1222391 I doubt that Secretary Esper will be serving much longer. Yahoo news notes that after this break with Trump, Esper is still the Secretary of Defense “as of right now.” https://news.yahoo.com/after-breaking-with-trump-esper-is-still-secretary-of-defense-as-of-right-now-211441618.html Trust me, Secretary Esper is on the way out.

    • #11
    • June 3, 2020, at 5:56 PM PDT
    • Like
  12. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    Mattis says that we are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. Amen.

    What Mattis is saying, specifically, is that he sees a divisive leader in Trump, but did not see a divisive leader in Obama.

    Now Gary, can you honestly tell me that you didn’t see Obama as a divisive leader?

    I saw Obama as a divisive leader. I see Trump as a destructive leader, which is worse.

    • #12
    • June 3, 2020, at 5:59 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. Richard Easton Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    Mattis says that we are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. Amen.

    What Mattis is saying, specifically, is that he sees a divisive leader in Trump, but did not see a divisive leader in Obama.

    Now Gary, can you honestly tell me that you didn’t see Obama as a divisive leader?

    I saw Obama as a divisive leader. I see Trump as a destructive leader, which is worse.

    You do? Why don’t you post about it.

    • #13
    • June 3, 2020, at 6:01 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. Henry Racette Contributor

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    Mattis says that we are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. Amen.

    What Mattis is saying, specifically, is that he sees a divisive leader in Trump, but did not see a divisive leader in Obama.

    Now Gary, can you honestly tell me that you didn’t see Obama as a divisive leader?

    I saw Obama as a divisive leader. I see Trump as a destructive leader, which is worse.

    Focus, buddy.

    So why doesn’t Mattis recognize Obama as a divisive leader as well? How far off does a man’s judgment have to be not to recognize that?

    • #14
    • June 3, 2020, at 6:01 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  15. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Having experienced the Saturday Night Massacre in law school, I think that the “Wednesday Night Massacre” is coming up. When Nixon was on the brink of resignation, Alexander Haig intervened to ask that any use of nuclear weapons would need to go through a chain of command. I think that we might be looking at very, very scary times.

    • #15
    • June 3, 2020, at 6:02 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    Mattis says that we are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. Amen.

    What Mattis is saying, specifically, is that he sees a divisive leader in Trump, but did not see a divisive leader in Obama.

    Now Gary, can you honestly tell me that you didn’t see Obama as a divisive leader?

    I saw Obama as a divisive leader. I see Trump as a destructive leader, which is worse.

    Focus, buddy.

    So why doesn’t Mattis recognize Obama as a divisive leader as well? How far off does a man’s judgment have to be not to recognize that?

    Obama would listen to others. Trump only listens to his own Id as he thrashes on his phone as President Tweety. Can you seriously say that Trump is wholly a stable human being?

    • #16
    • June 3, 2020, at 6:03 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. Guruforhire Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    Mattis says that we are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. Amen.

    What Mattis is saying, specifically, is that he sees a divisive leader in Trump, but did not see a divisive leader in Obama.

    Now Gary, can you honestly tell me that you didn’t see Obama as a divisive leader?

    I saw Obama as a divisive leader. I see Trump as a destructive leader, which is worse.

    Focus, buddy.

    So why doesn’t Mattis recognize Obama as a divisive leader as well? How far off does a man’s judgment have to be not to recognize that?

    Obama would listen to others. Trump only listens to his own Id as he thrashes on his phone as President Tweety. Can you seriously say that Trump is wholly a stable human being?

    More stable than the Quislings and Vichy cosigning the razing of 140 american cities.

    • #17
    • June 3, 2020, at 6:08 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  18. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    Mattis says that we are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. Amen.

    What Mattis is saying, specifically, is that he sees a divisive leader in Trump, but did not see a divisive leader in Obama.

    Now Gary, can you honestly tell me that you didn’t see Obama as a divisive leader?

    I saw Obama as a divisive leader. I see Trump as a destructive leader, which is worse.

    You do? Why don’t you post about it.

    That is a great idea!

    • #18
    • June 3, 2020, at 6:09 PM PDT
    • Like
  19. Henry Racette Contributor

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    Mattis says that we are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. Amen.

    What Mattis is saying, specifically, is that he sees a divisive leader in Trump, but did not see a divisive leader in Obama.

    Now Gary, can you honestly tell me that you didn’t see Obama as a divisive leader?

    I saw Obama as a divisive leader. I see Trump as a destructive leader, which is worse.

    Focus, buddy.

    So why doesn’t Mattis recognize Obama as a divisive leader as well? How far off does a man’s judgment have to be not to recognize that?

    Obama would listen to others. Trump only listens to his own Id as he thrashes on his phone as President Tweety. Can you seriously say that Trump is wholly a stable human being?

    That’s not responsive.

    Mattis claims that Obama is a uniter. Doesn’t that suggest that his judgment is suspect?

    • #19
    • June 3, 2020, at 6:10 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  20. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    Mattis says that we are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. Amen.

    What Mattis is saying, specifically, is that he sees a divisive leader in Trump, but did not see a divisive leader in Obama.

    Now Gary, can you honestly tell me that you didn’t see Obama as a divisive leader?

    I saw Obama as a divisive leader. I see Trump as a destructive leader, which is worse.

    Focus, buddy.

    So why doesn’t Mattis recognize Obama as a divisive leader as well? How far off does a man’s judgment have to be not to recognize that?

    Obama would listen to others. Trump only listens to his own Id as he thrashes on his phone as President Tweety. Can you seriously say that Trump is wholly a stable human being?

    That’s not responsive.

    Mattis claims that Obama is a uniter. Doesn’t that suggest that his judgment is suspect?

    Trump makes Obama look like Mr. Rogers.

    • #20
    • June 3, 2020, at 6:16 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Richard Easton Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    Mattis says that we are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. Amen.

    What Mattis is saying, specifically, is that he sees a divisive leader in Trump, but did not see a divisive leader in Obama.

    Now Gary, can you honestly tell me that you didn’t see Obama as a divisive leader?

    I saw Obama as a divisive leader. I see Trump as a destructive leader, which is worse.

    Focus, buddy.

    So why doesn’t Mattis recognize Obama as a divisive leader as well? How far off does a man’s judgment have to be not to recognize that?

    Obama would listen to others. Trump only listens to his own Id as he thrashes on his phone as President Tweety. Can you seriously say that Trump is wholly a stable human being?

    No Obama wouldn’t. He was notorious for thinking he was far smarter than he was. He went ahead with his disastrous ObamaCare and the terrible Iran deal. He said that he didn’t have power to legalize the Dreamers and then did it.

    The spying on Trump, opponents of the Iran deal, and investigative reporters like Sharyl Atkinson was not an anomaly. It was an expansion of the Obama campaign’s unprecedented attempt to shut down Milt Rosenberg’s show twice in 2008. Obama went repeatedly on Al Sharpton’s radio program. I suggest you read up on Crown Heights. His picture with notorious anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan was not an anomaly.

    • #21
    • June 3, 2020, at 6:20 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  22. Judge Mental Member

    Max Ledoux:

    There may be other examples, those are just the ones I thought of off the top of my head (and then did some research about).

     

    New York City Draft Riots, 1863.

    • #22
    • June 3, 2020, at 6:28 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. Henry Racette Contributor

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    Mattis says that we are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. Amen.

    What Mattis is saying, specifically, is that he sees a divisive leader in Trump, but did not see a divisive leader in Obama.

    Now Gary, can you honestly tell me that you didn’t see Obama as a divisive leader?

    I saw Obama as a divisive leader. I see Trump as a destructive leader, which is worse.

    Focus, buddy.

    So why doesn’t Mattis recognize Obama as a divisive leader as well? How far off does a man’s judgment have to be not to recognize that?

    Obama would listen to others. Trump only listens to his own Id as he thrashes on his phone as President Tweety. Can you seriously say that Trump is wholly a stable human being?

    That’s not responsive.

    Mattis claims that Obama is a uniter. Doesn’t that suggest that his judgment is suspect?

    Trump makes Obama look like Mr. Rogers.

    Again, that’s non-responsive.

    There’s a point to this, Gary. General Mattis is, in my opinion, being a fool, but I don’t think he’s a stupid man. I think he must see, or would if he paused to reflect, that President Obama routinely played the race card and spoke in a way that communicated his conviction that America was a nation of haves and have-nots, a deeply divided country with serious racial, class, and identity problems.

    I don’t believe any of those things. I don’t know if President Obama believed any of those things. But I do agree with you that he was a divisive leader.

    So why does General Mattis feel it necessary to pretend otherwise? And doesn’t it call into question either his judgment or his honesty that he would claim that President Obama was not a divisive leader, when in fact I think most conservatives would agree that he’s the most explicitly divisive President we’ve had in years?

    • #23
    • June 3, 2020, at 6:28 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  24. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Richard Easton (View Comment):
    He’s big on preening but was shown to be a fool when he was on the board of Theranos.

    And what qualifications did he bring to the management of a medical technology company? None. Just his famous name. This is an unfortunate and long-developing trend, putting people on boards who do not know much about that business–much like the notoriouis MBA’s fresh out of school but with no real world experience.

    • #24
    • June 3, 2020, at 6:36 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  25. Henry Racette Contributor

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Richard Easton (View Comment):
    He’s big on preening but was shown to be a fool when he was on the board of Theranos.

    And what qualifications did he bring to the management of a medical technology company? None. Just his famous name. This is an unfortunate and long-developing trend, putting people on boards who do not know much about that business–much like the notoriouis MBA’s fresh out of school but with no real world experience.

    This is another of those situations where I feel compelled to excuse an act of foolishness. I thought Elizabeth Holmes was screwy from the beginning and that there was something wrong with Theranos. But I’m a tech geek and distrustful of revolutionaries in general.

    She’s not my type, but I can understand how men of a certain age might have found her youthful blonde intensity entrancing when combined with her obvious intelligence and truly sociopathic ability to, as they said of Steve Jobs, create a “reality distortion field” about herself.

    Mattis, and a lot of other bright, elderly men, got conned by the pretty young med-tech messiah. I can forgive him that; we have our limitations, after all.

    But his willingness to conveniently forget the Obama years is inexcusable.

    • #25
    • June 3, 2020, at 6:44 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  26. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Max,

    I just answered this for cdor on his post.

    Mattis only got it partly right. Trump is the first President, in his lifetime, who does not instantly acquiesce to the phony pseudo-moral emotional extortion of the left. I could only add, ‘thank Gd he doesn’t’.

    Mattis had built up a wonderful reputation as a hard-headed realist. He has just blown it entirely. Civilian executive authority and more importantly civilian executive responsibility, apparently, are above Jim Mattis’ pay grade.

    Be kind, severe TDS can strike even the best of us. Perhaps research can someday find a cure. There is always hope.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #26
    • June 3, 2020, at 6:51 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  27. Henry Racette Contributor

    I’m going to go ahead and answer the question I posed to Gary, because I think the answer is self-evident but I’m not confident the counselor is going to get around to offering a succinct response.

    General Mattis can claim that Trump is the first President in his lifetime to be divisive — even though it is plain that President Obama was not only divisive, but vastly more so than President Trump — because General Mattis is willing to sacrifice rationality and/or integrity in order to vilify a man he despises.

    (Note that “and/or.”)

    This is hardly unique. It’s the signature behavior of the passionate anti-Trump partisan. (It might be the signature behavior of the passionate anti-Obama partisan as well, though I was one of those and think I didn’t carry it to such extremes.)

    What Mattis said is clearly untrue. If he understands that, then he doesn’t care what he says as long as he gets to skewer the man he hates. If he doesn’t understand that, then he’s blinded to reason and consumed by, again, his passionate hatred.

    Either way, he’s typical of the extreme anti-Trump partisan who sees everything through the lens of his disgust for an admittedly boorish and often foolish man. At some point, that antipathy displaces everything else, including the sound judgment required to realize that, as bad as Trump is, it’s very easy to imagine worse, and very easy to elect worse.

    I expect the left to be unhinged and reckless in its condemnation of Trump. It’s particularly hard to see the anti-Trump right make the same mistakes. It’s possible — simplicity itself, really — to be critical of the President, even scorchingly critical, without sacrificing good sense.

    Unfortunately, some really good thinkers, including some conservative luminaries, have gone to ridiculous extremes, and made themselves ridiculous and, worse, useless to the conservative cause.

    • #27
    • June 3, 2020, at 6:56 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  28. cdor Member
    cdor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Max,

    I just answered this for cdor on his post.

    Mattis only got it partly right. Trump is the first President, in his lifetime, who does not instantly acquiesce to the phony pseudo-moral emotional extortion of the left. I could only add, ‘thank Gd he doesn’t’.

    Mattis had built up a wonderful reputation as a hard-headed realist. He has just blown it entirely. Civilian executive authority and more importantly civilian executive responsibility, apparently, are above Jim Mattis’ pay grade.

    Be kind, severe TDS can strike even the best of us. Perhaps research can someday find a cure. There is always hope.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Jim, I asked in my simple post for an explanation and you are trying, with your tremendous analytic abilities, to answer. Honestly, I don’t think there is an answer. Perhaps Mattis earned his nickname, “Mad Dog” for other reasons than we thought.

    • #28
    • June 3, 2020, at 7:00 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. Lockdowns are Precious Inactive
    Lockdowns are Precious Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Boys, this is the way it works in Washington. 

    • #29
    • June 3, 2020, at 7:07 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  30. Petty Boozswha Inactive

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    Mattis says that we are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. Amen.

    What Mattis is saying, specifically, is that he sees a divisive leader in Trump, but did not see a divisive leader in Obama.

    Now Gary, can you honestly tell me that you didn’t see Obama as a divisive leader?

    I saw Obama as a divisive leader. I see Trump as a destructive leader, which is worse.

    Focus, buddy.

    So why doesn’t Mattis recognize Obama as a divisive leader as well? How far off does a man’s judgment have to be not to recognize that?

    When good guys like Henry retreat to threadbare whataboutism you know Trump is going down. What about the peccadilloes of Richard Nixon or Slick Willie? The difference is Trump is President now, Mattis watched him up close and was disgusted by what he saw. That’s why he didn’t take this opportunity to slam figures from history. You know that Henry. The fabulous Trump is fighting off sleazy, no integrity weasels like Mattis or Romney or John Roberts or Jeff Sessions, and Ricochet is behind him all the way.

    • #30
    • June 3, 2020, at 7:12 PM PDT
    • 3 likes