Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Captain Queeg

 

[Update: I posted this not knowing that member Gossamer Cat beat me to much the same observation a couple of years ago in this post. And, frankly, GC’s post is the better one. Go read it. — H. ]

I read Herman Wouk’s famous novel a long time ago and saw the 1954 movie adaptation many years later. I don’t recall the novel well enough to know whether the movie is faithful to the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, but both the movie and the book are excellent. Humphrey Bogart, as the problematic Captain Queeg, ball bearings twirling nervously in his hand as he obsesses about the pilfering of strawberries from the ship’s larder, created a cultural icon for the paranoid in power, impossible to like and an easy target for righteous contempt.

There are spoilers ahead, starting now. (But come on. The movie is older than I am.)

The movie ends after the trial of the ship’s officers for mutiny. Following their acquittal Lt. Greenwald, the lawyer who defended them (played by José Ferrer), finds the men celebrating their victory. Unexpectedly — at least, unexpectedly to a much younger me who certainly didn’t see it coming — their defender turns on the men, accusing them of disloyalty to their admittedly imperfect commanding officer. In a blunt and brutal critique (aimed most pointedly at Lt. Keefer, played by Fred MacMurray in another of his great dramatic roles), Lt. Greenwald punctures their smugness and reveals the men as the disloyal officers they are:

Lt. Greenwald: You didn’t approve of his conduct as an officer. He wasn’t worthy of your loyalty. So you turned on him. You ragged him. You made up songs about him. If you’d given Queeg the loyalty he needed, do you suppose the whole issue would have come up in the typhoon? You’re an honest man, Steve, I’m asking you. You think it would’ve been necessary for you to take over?

Lt. Maryk: It probably wouldn’t have been necessary.

Lt. Greenwald: Yeah.

Ensign Willie Keith: If that’s true, then we were guilty.

Lt. Greenwald: Ah, you’re learning, Willie! You’re learning that you don’t work with a captain because you like the way he parts his hair. You work with him because he’s got the job or you’re no good!


“You work with him because he’s got the job or you’re no good!”

I was thinking of that scene today as I considered the past three and a half years of this administration and wondered how things might have been different — and might still be different — if conservative luminaries had rallied around and supported the very imperfect man we elected.

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  1. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    I have made the exact same association through the last 3 years. I wrote a post about it after the NY Times Op Ed article: http://ricochet.com/550205/archives/the-caine-mutiny-and-the-nyt-op-ed/

    • #1
    • July 1, 2020, at 11:00 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  2. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’d like to steal clips of Fred MacMurray in WWII Naval uniform for my imaginary mash-up version of The Richard Nixon Story. 

    • #2
    • July 1, 2020, at 11:09 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  3. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    I have made the exact same association through the last 3 years. I wrote a post about it after the NY Times Op Ed article: http://ricochet.com/550205/archives/the-caine-mutiny-and-the-nyt-op-ed/

    Ah, I missed that, and you’re way ahead of me. Well done!

    • #3
    • July 1, 2020, at 11:51 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  4. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    I have made the exact same association through the last 3 years. I wrote a post about it after the NY Times Op Ed article: http://ricochet.com/550205/archives/the-caine-mutiny-and-the-nyt-op-ed/

    Ah, I missed that, and you’re way ahead of me. Well done!

    It’s a good post and a strong comparison. But I’ll resist going along 100% because of a non-pedantic (I hope) difference. In the armed forces, your superior is the boss, period. Your job is to obey the boss. Unless he or she issues a clearly illegal order, obedience is required. 

    As conservatives, we owe the president the benefit of the doubt, But at the same time we’re not enlisted men on the Caine. As citizens, we are for him what we are for every president, stern employers. 

    • #4
    • July 2, 2020, at 12:04 AM PDT
    • 13 likes
  5. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    Henry Racette: I was thinking of that scene today as I considered the past three and a half years of this administration and wondered how things might have been different — and might still be different — if conservative luminaries had rallied around and supported the very imperfect man we elected.

    This is one of the great “what if’s” and I hope that these so called luminaries come to their senses and start to support him (and he needs to get back on message-I suspect he is completely exhausted at the moment though).

    But if they don’t, my question now is whether the luminaries will rally around the frail and doddering Biden if he is elected? Because he will have been their choice.

    • #5
    • July 2, 2020, at 12:09 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Franco Member
    Franco Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    I have made the exact same association through the last 3 years. I wrote a post about it after the NY Times Op Ed article: http://ricochet.com/550205/archives/the-caine-mutiny-and-the-nyt-op-ed/

    Ah, I missed that, and you’re way ahead of me. Well done!

    It’s a good post and a strong comparison. But I’ll resist going along 100% because of a non-pedantic (I hope) difference. In the armed forces, your superior is the boss, period. Your job is to obey the boss. Unless he or she issues a clearly illegal order, obedience is required.

    As conservatives, we owe the president the benefit of the doubt, But at the same time we’re not enlisted men on the Caine. As citizens, we are for him what we are for every president, stern employers.

    I agree, but people supposedly for ‘conservative values’ intentionally undermined him because they apparently think that a President’s primary job is to be some kind of moral icon so little boys and girls can believe in “the American Dream” rather than craft policies that help them actually thrive in a free, fair and prosperous land. 
    I really despise these people at this point.

    • #6
    • July 2, 2020, at 4:23 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  7. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Franco (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    I have made the exact same association through the last 3 years. I wrote a post about it after the NY Times Op Ed article: http://ricochet.com/550205/archives/the-caine-mutiny-and-the-nyt-op-ed/

    Ah, I missed that, and you’re way ahead of me. Well done!

    It’s a good post and a strong comparison. But I’ll resist going along 100% because of a non-pedantic (I hope) difference. In the armed forces, your superior is the boss, period. Your job is to obey the boss. Unless he or she issues a clearly illegal order, obedience is required.

    As conservatives, we owe the president the benefit of the doubt, But at the same time we’re not enlisted men on the Caine. As citizens, we are for him what we are for every president, stern employers.

    I agree, but people supposedly for ‘conservative values’ intentionally undermined him because they apparently think that a President’s primary job is to be some kind of moral icon so little boys and girls can believe in “the American Dream” rather than craft policies that help them actually thrive in a free, fair and prosperous land.
    I really despise these people at this point.

    As do I

    • #7
    • July 2, 2020, at 5:22 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  8. Stad Thatcher

    Henry Racette: I was thinking of that scene today as I considered the past three and a half years of this administration and wondered how things might have been different — and might still be different — if conservative luminaries had rallied around and supported the very imperfect man we elected.

    If only those 40+ House Republicans didn’t throw in the towel in 2018. Trump’s victories would also be their victories, much as Trump’s Federal judge and SCOTUS appointment victories are shared with the Senate. Still, they sat on their butts for two years, their only major accomplishment to produce a tax cut. Kinda like Clinton and Obama. They had the trifecta going their first two years too, and only accomplished one big thing.

    The next time Republicans get control of the House, Senate, and the White House, I expect the busiest two years of legislating this country has ever seen. Act like there’s no tomorrow, because voters won’t give you a tomorrow if you don’t produce.

    • #8
    • July 2, 2020, at 5:46 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  9. Richard Fulmer Member

    Henry Racette: I was thinking of that scene today as I considered the past three and a half years of this administration and wondered how things might have been different — and might still be different — if conservative luminaries had rallied around and supported the very imperfect man we elected.

    Trump had most of his successes early in his presidency when he had strong people in his cabinet and strong Republicans in the House and Senate pushing his agenda. He got rid of the people around him and helped get rid of strong Congressmen. Since then, he has been largely ineffectual. Like Queeg, he needs support and guidance from strong people, not from yes men who praise and enable his worst instincts. Automatically applauding his every move is not support.

    • #9
    • July 2, 2020, at 6:09 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  10. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: I was thinking of that scene today as I considered the past three and a half years of this administration and wondered how things might have been different — and might still be different — if conservative luminaries had rallied around and supported the very imperfect man we elected.

    If only those 40+ House Republicans didn’t throw in the towel in 2018. Trump’s victories would also be their victories, much as Trump’s Federal judge and SCOTUS appointment victories are shared with the Senate. Still, they sat on their butts for two years, their only major accomplishment to produce a tax cut. Kinda like Clinton and Obama. They had the trifecta going their first two years too, and only accomplished one big thing.

    The next time Republicans get control of the House, Senate, and the White House, I expect the busiest two years of legislating this country has ever seen. Act like there’s no tomorrow, because voters won’t give you a tomorrow if you don’t produce.

    Unfortunately you can expect the same the next time the Dems get control of all three.

     

    • #10
    • July 2, 2020, at 6:13 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Franco Member
    Franco Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: I was thinking of that scene today as I considered the past three and a half years of this administration and wondered how things might have been different — and might still be different — if conservative luminaries had rallied around and supported the very imperfect man we elected.

    Trump had most of his successes early in his presidency when he had strong people in his cabinet and strong Republicans in the House and Senate pushing his agenda. He got rid of the people around him and helped get rid of strong Congressmen. Since then, he has been largely ineffectual. Like Queeg, he needs support and guidance from strong people, not from yes men who praise and enable his worst instincts. Automatically applauding his every move is not support.

    Where do you get your news? 

    Who is “strong” and who in his cabinet are weak? I’m not seeing it. His advisors were not aboard his agenda, he didn’t have a network in place like every other President who came from inside party apparatuses.

    You don’t have any idea what his advisors say to him in private. Likewise Trump has made hiring mistakes, like Bolton, Prebius, Scaramucci, Omarosa, and more. But he’s made great firing decisions also.

    Trump is not ineffectual at all. He’s gotten more done in his first term for conservatives than any Bush has, that brings us back to 1988. Reagan had a much easier Democrat Party to deal with. 
    Still, to the point of this post, many influential people in his own party have been actively undermining him.

    When someone gets attacked unfairly, as Trump has been, it’s a gross misinterpretation to claim that, by defending him from egregious attacks, false charges and corrupt motivations, that people are “automatically applauding his every move”.

    • #11
    • July 2, 2020, at 6:32 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  12. Steve C. Member

    Franco (View Comment):
    I really despise these people at this point.

    You and me both.

    The putative leaders of the conservative tendency have deluded themselves into believing “the one simple trick” to a Republican Renaissance is electing Democrats.

     

     

     

    • #12
    • July 2, 2020, at 6:35 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  13. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    I have made the exact same association through the last 3 years. I wrote a post about it after the NY Times Op Ed article: http://ricochet.com/550205/archives/the-caine-mutiny-and-the-nyt-op-ed/

    Ah, I missed that, and you’re way ahead of me. Well done!

    It’s a good post and a strong comparison. But I’ll resist going along 100% because of a non-pedantic (I hope) difference. In the armed forces, your superior is the boss, period. Your job is to obey the boss. Unless he or she issues a clearly illegal order, obedience is required.

    As conservatives, we owe the president the benefit of the doubt, But at the same time we’re not enlisted men on the Caine. As citizens, we are for him what we are for every president, stern employers.

    And I would add still further: Trump chose the men and women around him. That a few would turn out to be unsuited to those posts is understandable (read the histories of any presidential administration, or go read Maggie Thatcher’s memoirs, to see some astounding levels of cabinet cupidity and backstabbing – it happens to everyone), that so many have turned is worrisome, especially when several of those were loudly lauded here and elsewhere at the times of their appointments. To borrow an old Goldfinger quote: “Once is happenstance. Twice is circumstance. Three times is enemy action.” Who, then, is the enemy? Can we honestly say that everyone around Trump is his enemy? Or is he himself his own single worst enemy, alienating those have tried to help him?

    And secondly, consider how many “conservative luminaries” have rallied around him, sometimes grudgingly, others vehemently, and some even quite militantly. Whom do you mean by “conservative luminaries” when you suggest that none have rallied, and how much has their lack of rallying actually affected anything? And don’t go trotting out the tired list of anti-trump opinion writers because their influence is almost entirely limited to politics nerds – their influence on the effectiveness and leadership abilities of Trump is nil, and more than outweighed by Fox News in terms of reach. Do you mean the Congress Critters? The senators? There you have more of a case.

    Remember the whole context of the Caine Mutiny – the lawyer was right to chide the officers to a point, but he had just come away from revealing Queeg to likewise be unsuited to command. Both things can be true at the same time.

    • #13
    • July 2, 2020, at 8:02 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  14. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    There’s another aspect of this to consider too: Are you really wanting to compare Trump to Queeg? As I noted above, in both the book and the play Queeg is unsuited to command, or at least command under pressure. In the stories he is a petty capricious martinet, who is further embittered at having been denied any significant command despite his years (his being passed over is, in fact, very bound up with his nature, both explained by and contributing to his temper and inability to actually command when needed). The officers under his command are all youthful and made officers by dint of their eduction, Queeg simply by having been in the Navy since well before the war – he worked his way up, they sauntered in, adding to the friction.

    Are any of these really apt comparisons for Trump? If anything the experience paradigm is entirely reversed – Trump jumped into government right at the top while most everyone around him have been the careerists. Trump was never “passed over” for anything. And say what you will about his actual competence in office, he’s no Queeg. As Franco notes above, Trump has gotten much more accomplished than usually credited (though I would argue that much of what he has gotten credit for has been overstated). Trump is no Queeg, and Twitter is not a set of worry-balls, no matter how often Trump resorts to it.

    Queeg was a failure. Despite the lawyer’s monologue, Queeg’s life was over, his career and reputation ruined. Is it really so late in the day for Trump that you would associate him with that sort of failure? Or then lay blame for that on the alleged failures of “conservative luminaries”? What the lawyer leaves unsaid at the end is that the officers are not free of guilt, but neither is Queeg.

    November is a long way off, I’m not ready for a post-mortem over whiskey.

    • #14
    • July 2, 2020, at 8:46 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  15. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    I have made the exact same association through the last 3 years. I wrote a post about it after the NY Times Op Ed article: http://ricochet.com/550205/archives/the-caine-mutiny-and-the-nyt-op-ed/

    Ah, I missed that, and you’re way ahead of me. Well done!

    It’s a good post and a strong comparison. But I’ll resist going along 100% because of a non-pedantic (I hope) difference. In the armed forces, your superior is the boss, period. Your job is to obey the boss. Unless he or she issues a clearly illegal order, obedience is required.

    As conservatives, we owe the president the benefit of the doubt, But at the same time we’re not enlisted men on the Caine. As citizens, we are for him what we are for every president, stern employers.

    I agree, but people supposedly for ‘conservative values’ intentionally undermined him because they apparently think that a President’s primary job is to be some kind of moral icon so little boys and girls can believe in “the American Dream” rather than craft policies that help them actually thrive in a free, fair and prosperous land.
    I really despise these people at this point.

    As do I

    I’m pretty frustrated with them, too.

    It would be nice to have a President who is a moral icon, and a great leader, and strong on policy, and polite. In the current environment, I don’t think that polite is feasible, because there are many truths that have been declared impolite and unutterable by the Left.

    I do support the President, strongly, despite his past moral failings.

    • #15
    • July 2, 2020, at 9:26 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  16. Franco Member
    Franco Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Analogies always have their limits.

    I can’t help but add my movie metaphor here. I waited so as not to distract from this one, however mine makes a similar point. It wasn’t promoted to the main feed, and it was a while ago, so in case you missed it:

    http://ricochet.com/498432/archives/colonel-nicolson-republicans/

    • #16
    • July 2, 2020, at 9:41 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  17. Stad Thatcher

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: I was thinking of that scene today as I considered the past three and a half years of this administration and wondered how things might have been different — and might still be different — if conservative luminaries had rallied around and supported the very imperfect man we elected.

    If only those 40+ House Republicans didn’t throw in the towel in 2018. Trump’s victories would also be their victories, much as Trump’s Federal judge and SCOTUS appointment victories are shared with the Senate. Still, they sat on their butts for two years, their only major accomplishment to produce a tax cut. Kinda like Clinton and Obama. They had the trifecta going their first two years too, and only accomplished one big thing.

    The next time Republicans get control of the House, Senate, and the White House, I expect the busiest two years of legislating this country has ever seen. Act like there’s no tomorrow, because voters won’t give you a tomorrow if you don’t produce.

    Unfortunately you can expect the same the next time the Dems get control of all three.

     

    I’m not so sure. I think the next time the Dems win all three, you’re going to see the biggest push toward socialism since the Russian Revolution. Full speed ahead! It will happen in the first two years, and it will be so deep and sweeping, even a midterm takeover by Republicans in the House and Senate won’t be enough to reverse the effects . . .

    • #17
    • July 2, 2020, at 9:42 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: I was thinking of that scene today as I considered the past three and a half years of this administration and wondered how things might have been different — and might still be different — if conservative luminaries had rallied around and supported the very imperfect man we elected.

    If only those 40+ House Republicans didn’t throw in the towel in 2018. Trump’s victories would also be their victories, much as Trump’s Federal judge and SCOTUS appointment victories are shared with the Senate. Still, they sat on their butts for two years, their only major accomplishment to produce a tax cut. Kinda like Clinton and Obama. They had the trifecta going their first two years too, and only accomplished one big thing.

    The next time Republicans get control of the House, Senate, and the White House, I expect the busiest two years of legislating this country has ever seen. Act like there’s no tomorrow, because voters won’t give you a tomorrow if you don’t produce.

    Unfortunately you can expect the same the next time the Dems get control of all three.

     

    I’m not so sure. I think the next time the Dems win all three, you’re going to see the biggest push toward socialism since the Russian Revolution. Full speed ahead! It will happen in the first two years, and it will be so deep and sweeping, even a midterm takeover by Republicans in the House and Senate won’t be enough to reverse the effects . . .

    You’re not disagreeing with me.

     

    • #18
    • July 2, 2020, at 9:47 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Some of you are overthinking this.

    The issue is one of loyalty and honor. America has two parties, one of the left and one of the right. The party of the right elected a man to lead the nation. He’s a flawed man but is pursuing goals with which most of his party are in accord, and doing so with significant success: his policies are not dangerous, not comparable to the opposition party, and not a betrayal of the promises on which he campaigned.

    The honorable and productive thing to do is to work to help him govern well. The honorable, though deeply foolish, alternative is to switch sides and join the party of the left. The dishonorable — but still deeply foolish — thing to do is to remain ostensibly within the party but to seek to sabotage its efforts.

     

     

    • #19
    • July 2, 2020, at 9:47 AM PDT
    • 15 likes
  20. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    I have made the exact same association through the last 3 years. I wrote a post about it after the NY Times Op Ed article: http://ricochet.com/550205/archives/the-caine-mutiny-and-the-nyt-op-ed/

    Ah, I missed that, and you’re way ahead of me. Well done!

    It’s a good post and a strong comparison. But I’ll resist going along 100% because of a non-pedantic (I hope) difference. In the armed forces, your superior is the boss, period. Your job is to obey the boss. Unless he or she issues a clearly illegal order, obedience is required.

    As conservatives, we owe the president the benefit of the doubt, But at the same time we’re not enlisted men on the Caine. As citizens, we are for him what we are for every president, stern employers.

    But I do think it apt for those who are also in government and particularly those he appoints or hires. We are all free to follow our conscience but the deliberate back stabbing through either arrogance or ambition of fellow Republicans was what struck me as reprehensible. They did not do the country a favor.

    • #20
    • July 2, 2020, at 10:07 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  21. Franco Member
    Franco Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    I have made the exact same association through the last 3 years. I wrote a post about it after the NY Times Op Ed article: http://ricochet.com/550205/archives/the-caine-mutiny-and-the-nyt-op-ed/

    Ah, I missed that, and you’re way ahead of me. Well done!

    It’s a good post and a strong comparison. But I’ll resist going along 100% because of a non-pedantic (I hope) difference. In the armed forces, your superior is the boss, period. Your job is to obey the boss. Unless he or she issues a clearly illegal order, obedience is required.

    As conservatives, we owe the president the benefit of the doubt, But at the same time we’re not enlisted men on the Caine. As citizens, we are for him what we are for every president, stern employers.

    But I do think it apt for those who are also in government and particularly those he appoints or hires. We are all free to follow our conscience but the deliberate back stabbing through either arrogance or ambition of fellow Republicans was what struck me as reprehensible. They did not do the country a favor.

    Certainly. Bolton is the posterboy for that.

    • #21
    • July 2, 2020, at 10:31 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Franco (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    I have made the exact same association through the last 3 years. I wrote a post about it after the NY Times Op Ed article: http://ricochet.com/550205/archives/the-caine-mutiny-and-the-nyt-op-ed/

    Ah, I missed that, and you’re way ahead of me. Well done!

    It’s a good post and a strong comparison. But I’ll resist going along 100% because of a non-pedantic (I hope) difference. In the armed forces, your superior is the boss, period. Your job is to obey the boss. Unless he or she issues a clearly illegal order, obedience is required.

    As conservatives, we owe the president the benefit of the doubt, But at the same time we’re not enlisted men on the Caine. As citizens, we are for him what we are for every president, stern employers.

    But I do think it apt for those who are also in government and particularly those he appoints or hires. We are all free to follow our conscience but the deliberate back stabbing through either arrogance or ambition of fellow Republicans was what struck me as reprehensible. They did not do the country a favor.

    Certainly. Bolton is the posterboy for that.

    It’s telling that Bolton seems to have alienated almost everyone at this point, pro or anti Trump.

    • #22
    • July 2, 2020, at 10:33 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  23. Franco Member
    Franco Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    It’s telling that Bolton seems to have alienated almost everyone at this point, pro or anti Trump.

    I read that G. W. Bush has some real problems with him too, so yes. 
    Trump all but admitted he hired Bolton to scare certain people, as in, good cop bad cop, and he wanted his perspective, but never took his advice. Bolton confirms that latter part, creating frustration and animosity.

    Ultimately, I think Boltin’ Bolton exposed himself and his neo-con cohorts as frauds. So it didn’t faze Trump one bit.

    • #23
    • July 2, 2020, at 10:43 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  24. Columbo Member

    The GOP had its own Capn’ McQueeg for far too long ….

    • #24
    • July 2, 2020, at 10:48 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  25. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Some of you are overthinking this.

    The issue is one of loyalty and honor. America has two parties, one of the left and one of the right. The party of the right elected a man to lead the nation. He’s a flawed man but is pursuing goals with which most of his party are in accord, and doing so with significant success: his policies are not dangerous, not comparable to the opposition party, and not a betrayal of the promises on which he campaigned.

    The honorable and productive thing to do is to work to help him govern well. The honorable, though deeply foolish, alternative is to switch sides and join the party of the left. The dishonorable — but still deeply foolish — thing to do is to remain ostensibly within the party but to seek to sabotage its efforts.

     

     

    This.

    • #25
    • July 2, 2020, at 11:40 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  26. tigerlily Member

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    I’d like to steal clips of Fred MacMurray in WWII Naval uniform for my imaginary mash-up version of The Richard Nixon Story.

    If they’d served together I wonder what amateur psychologist Lt. Keefer would have to say about Nixon.

    • #26
    • July 2, 2020, at 12:40 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  27. David Foster Member
    David Foster Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The movie is excellent; however, there’s a lot more in the book than in the film…I reviewed it here.

    In the review, I cited the original 1952 Commentary reviewer, who wasn’t very impressed with the book. He did note, though, that contemporary American intellectuals have concerned themselves little, if at all, with problems of responsibility and command:

    These problems are familiar in past literature. Aeneas, Creon, and Henry V are perhaps too ancient to mention; but Conrad and Kipling are full of conflicts of allegiance and more or less explicit moral codes of action. The reason, I think, is fairly clear: Conrad had lived with Nostromo and Lord Jim, Kipling with his bridge-builders and colonial administrators. The modern writer who has been around had done all sorts of odd jobs, no doubt, but subordinate odd jobs. At best he has been in charge of the college paper, and he has spent most of his life among other intellectuals.

    …whereas this book was an exception, and:

    One more suggestion: the intellectual, in spite of his splendidly wretched alienation, does from time to time participate in the intoxication and the pangs of power, and will probably participate more and more in the coming years. He cannot have failed to notice that power has its own moral problems and that it may require a “code of honor” even in the middle of the 20th century; but he is not yet studying the question, and he is not writing his novels about it. In this respect if in no other, The Caine Mutiny, for all its huge sales and its Pulitzer Prize an attempt at serious fiction, is ahead of the intellectuals. If it cannot teach them their own business, it at least points to where an important part of their present business lies.

    In 2013, Commentary published a re-review, under the title How This Magazine Wronged Herman Wouk.

    • #27
    • July 2, 2020, at 1:45 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  28. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Henry Racette:

    “You work with him because he’s got the job or you’re no good!”

    I was thinking of that scene today as I considered the past three and a half years of this administration and wondered how things might have been different — and might still be different — if conservative luminaries had rallied around and supported the very imperfect man we elected.

    Henry,

    You and I have the same taste. I always liked that movie and especially that final speech. There’s just one thing. Trump isn’t rolling ball bearings in his hand. BLM/Antifa/CNN/MSNBC/Pelosi/Schumer they are about to go to trial with crazy Joe as their perfect Queeg. Nobody could deter them from their fate. Nobody could talk sense to them. Russia Hoax, Impeachment Palooza, Lockdown Mania, and now Black Lives Burn Down America.

    They are cruising for a bruising.

    Screw Johnny Friendly.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #28
    • July 2, 2020, at 1:48 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. Stad Thatcher

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: I was thinking of that scene today as I considered the past three and a half years of this administration and wondered how things might have been different — and might still be different — if conservative luminaries had rallied around and supported the very imperfect man we elected.

    If only those 40+ House Republicans didn’t throw in the towel in 2018. Trump’s victories would also be their victories, much as Trump’s Federal judge and SCOTUS appointment victories are shared with the Senate. Still, they sat on their butts for two years, their only major accomplishment to produce a tax cut. Kinda like Clinton and Obama. They had the trifecta going their first two years too, and only accomplished one big thing.

    The next time Republicans get control of the House, Senate, and the White House, I expect the busiest two years of legislating this country has ever seen. Act like there’s no tomorrow, because voters won’t give you a tomorrow if you don’t produce.

    Unfortunately you can expect the same the next time the Dems get control of all three.

     

    I’m not so sure. I think the next time the Dems win all three, you’re going to see the biggest push toward socialism since the Russian Revolution. Full speed ahead! It will happen in the first two years, and it will be so deep and sweeping, even a midterm takeover by Republicans in the House and Senate won’t be enough to reverse the effects . . .

    You’re not disagreeing with me.

     

    Guess I didn’t get the right message when I read it. Now, where are my glasses?

    • #29
    • July 2, 2020, at 1:52 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  30. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    Henry Racette: [Update: I posted this not knowing that member Gossamer Cat beat me to much the same observation a couple of years ago in this post. And, frankly, GC’s post is the better one. Go read it. — H. ]

    Thank you @henryracette. You didn’t have to do that but it was very nice of you.

    • #30
    • July 2, 2020, at 2:00 PM PDT
    • 4 likes