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June 07, 2017

Flashback: Defense Sec. Robert Gates Somehow Felt Compelled to Pledge His Loyalty to Obama; Bob Schieffert Accused Gates of a Lack of "Loyalty" In Writing a Memoir About His Obama Years

The NeverTrumpers are virtue signalling en masse that we never would have put up with a President Obama who demanded a pledge of loyalty from a cabinet-level officer who's actual loyalty lay with the Constitution, had he done that.

Well here's the thing: President Obama did do that, or so it seems -- we don't have the full conversation (Gates did not apparently write a memo about it immediately after it occurs). At the very least, the conversation seems to have gone into the area of Gates' loyalty to Obama -- with Gates pledging loyalty, of a kind.

Why did Gates go down this road? Certainly seems like Obama must have prompted him along these lines, no?

I'm going to assume the answer "Yes," because people don't routinely pledge loyalty to individual men without that being sought.

Even if you somehow believe Gates pledged loyalty to Obama without prompting, then you'd have to take Gates as expert testimony that people who actually work in the upper reaches of official DC understand that if you want a job, or want to keep your job, you're expected to tell a president you're loyal to him.

And, frankly, I gotta say, the politics in DC are right now so obvious and obviously rotten that the first question I'd have for anyone -- including law enforcement and intelligence officials, who naive authority-worshiping conservatives childishly still maintain are above any such doubt -- is "Are you actually working for the Democrat Establishment?"

I trust Bob Gates understand better what the normal and usual course of conduct is in Official DC then some gadfly writers imagining a movie-set ideal of how Washington works.

The NeverTrumpers didn't make any noise about Gates' statement. In fact, no one did. I think it's only being revealed now. Still, now that it has been revealed, they haven't exactly rushed to point out this problem with their own Narrative:



Later, in 2014, when Gates wrote a tell-all (or tell-some, I'm thinking) book about the Obama years, CBS' then-nightly anchor Bob Schieffert accused him of a lack of "loyalty" and for making life "harder" for President Obama.

I think there's a certain loyalty to the presidency. And I think when you make it harder for a president while he is still in office I think -- I have problems with that.

Newsbusters, which made an issue of this, which as far as I know the NeverTrumpers did not, noted:

Strangely, Schieffer did not share such sentiments in 2008, when Scott McClellan, former Press Secretary to George W. Bush, published a harsh critique of Bush while he was still in office.

So it's all a bit too much to have the flighty abortive presidential candidate David French now twisting his knickers over Trump similarly requesting "loyalty" from a subordinate.

It's now the vogue to call this "whataboutism," whereas I would call it context: if a certain practice is common and tolerated, then it's simple factual context to note that, not "whataboutism."

For example, the media/NeverTrumpers make much of Trump's "contacts" with foreign leaders, without noting the critical context that every president (and president-elect) has "contacts" with foreign leaders, and never before has it even been suggested that this alone was somehow evidence of guilt of some kind.

When Claire McCaskill made a big deal over Sessions' private meetings with Russian Foreign Ambassador Kislyak, it was not "whataboutism," but simple, useful, factual context to note she herself had had private meetings with Kislyak.

If she had had such meetings, and they were no evidence of anything at all except being a Senator, why should we suddenly apply a completely different rule to Sessions?

If "loyalty" is in fact asked about -- and I don't think Gates would have pledged loyalty had Obama not hinted around the subject -- as part of the everyday workings in Washington, then it is not "whataboutism" but simple application of the generally governing rule to say "If Obama did it, then Trump can do it."

And if you didn't complain about it then, but complain of requests for loyalty now -- why are you treating the two situations differently?

Are you like Claire McCaskill, who sees one rule for herself (meeting with Kislyak is normal and proper) and another rule for a political opponent (if Jeff Sessions meets with Kislyak, it's a sign of deep corruption and indeed treason)?

It is not "whataboutism" to insist that the same rule be applied to the same situations, even if you find yourself now rather admiring of that jaunty crease in Obama's trousers, and even if you don't like this Tangerine Tyrant.

In the guise of "You wouldn't say this if Obama did it," many casually overlook the fact that Obama did do it and they themselves said nothing much about it.

And that what little they said had absolutely no effect.

This is called precedent -- if you plead for a rule in a court case, but lose, then the opposite rule now becomes the rule. You don't have to go on playing by the rule you urged -- and the rule that was rejected.

So it's not that the anti-anti-Trumpers are being inconsistent here -- we didn't think this was a big deal back then (largely, I have to confess, because the media hid it from us, or no one thought to even ask anyone about it pre-Trump), as we're not making a big deal of Trump's thing now.

But the NeverTrumpers and the mainstream media, an increasingly difficult set of twins to distinguish between, did not make any grief about this, but now are labeling Trump's similar request for "loyalty" -- same as Obama asked of Gates -- an impeachable offense.

Who is it being inconsistent in favor of the president they plainly prefer and the president they plainly despise again, fellers?

Incidentally, Comey confirms that yes, he told Trump three times -- just as Trump said, and just as "sources close to Comey" denied -- that Trump was not the subject of any FBI investigation.

Trump asked him to make this fact public -- Comey refused.

Because, he claimed, that was merely a fact. It could change. So he would refuse to put out a true fact about the state of the investigation -- that is, there isn't one-- while the leakers leaked and the media insisted otherwise.



In fact, Trump was right to ask where Comey's loyalties lay -- because a former AG under Bush asserted that Comey did in fact have political loyalties: It's just that those loyalties lay with Chuck Schumer and the scorched-earth wing of the Democrat Party.

One more thing:


If the Useful Idiots don't know that they're being used as catspaws, well, they're too prideful to ever realize they are in fact Useful Idiots.

Open thread.

Update: Comey's "friends" told their media friends that Trump must be lying about having assured Trump that he wasn't under investigation -- see, they were "familiar with Comey's thinking" and knew, as a fact, that he would never offer such an assurance.

I guess the media's sources with intimate familiarity with Comey's mindthoughts and soulpatterns aren't quite as intimately familiar with his brain as they claimed.


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posted by Ace at 07:10 PM

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