January 19, 2020

DON SURBER: WaPo shocked to learn Trump is the commander in chief.

Despite all the pearl-clutching over Trump’s “dopes and babies” line, he wasn’t really saying anything that Tom Ricks didn’t say in 2012. But that’s different because shut up. Quoth Ricks: “Looking back on the troubled wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, many observers are content to lay blame on the Bush administration. But inept leadership by American generals was also responsible for the failure of those wars. A culture of mediocrity has taken hold within the Army’s leadership rank—if it is not uprooted, the country’s next war is unlikely to unfold any better than the last two. . . . To a shocking degree, the Army’s leadership ranks have become populated by mediocre officers, placed in positions where they are likely to fail. Success goes unrewarded, and everything but the most extreme failure goes unpunished, creating a perverse incentive system that drives leaders toward a risk-averse middle where they are more likely to find stalemate than victory.”

The difference is, Ricks is a member of the establishment in good standing, and Trump is Orange Man Bad.

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