Water Cooler – Is Patraeus To DCI The Path To The White House? Probably Not
Wendy Davis had a very good post today about what it might mean for Gen. David Petraeus being given the DCI slot as the current Director of Central Intelligence Panetta moves over the Sec. Defense slot. There are a lot of things to be concerned about but I don’t really think that a future in politics is one we should worry about from this move.
The diary is spot on about the continued blurring of the line between military and intelligence and the dangers of such a thing. However there are a lot of factors that suggest to me that Gen. Dave will never have a career in electoral politics.
First off is the nature of the work that he has been doing. It is not at all the same thing to be an elected official and being a top general. For most of the commands that Gen. Dave has had in the last decade he was pretty much in charge. Under the criminal Bush Administration he had pretty much a free hand in Iraq. After all they used the “listen to the generals” line to keep from having the responsibility for ending a war of choice that they lied us into.
He has had been more constrained, but not that much more, by the Obama Administration. He took the job in Afghanistan when it became clear that Gen. McCrhystal was a true loose cannon and needed to be replaced (even though a lot of us knew that way before the Rolling Stone article) . Now that it seems the president has come to another conclusions that FDL and its readers came to years ago, namely that the war in Afghanistan is not winnable and the only viable option is to leave, the White House is probably giving this position to him by way of thanks. I know it makes me want to puke too.
Given all of that I don’t think that Gen. Dave is going to be willing to put up with the BS of campaigning, even as a VP candidate. First off he would have to leave a job that he had just taken. But more importantly he is not as loved by the Right as we on the Left might think. He has been a target of the deranged Frank Gaffney (Gaffney is the nut bag who thought that the Muslim Brotherhood had infiltrated CPAC this year because a former Bush Administration official who was Muslin was invited to speak) for criticizing Pastor Terry Jones for his threat (and eventual follow through) to burn Qu’ran’s on tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Today Mark “I love torture” Theissen expressed concerns that there might be a new CIA Director who was not sufficiently willing to push against the so called “restrictive administration views on interrogations.” After all for all the other things we don’t like about this general he did speak out against the CIA torture of detainees.
Obviously if Gen. Dave takes this gig he is going to have to follow the Obama Administration policies on interrogation, he is not going to harrow off on his own and restart waterboarding.
The final reason that I don’t think Gen. Dave can use this post as a stepping stone to higher office is that while there has been a general who was elected president who never held elected office before, Dwight Eisenhower, Iraq and Afghanistan are not WWII. General Petraeus is losing some popularity with the Neo-Con Right and will continue to voluntarily follow the policies of the president the racist Birthers and Teahadists dispose more than anyone else.
No amount of media rehabilitation will make those things change. It would mean that he would have to run as a Democrat, and to borrow an old phrase, that dog just won’t hunt.
All in all I think that we need to keep a sharp eye on the nominee for DCI but I don’t think that there is a whole lot of need to worry about his political future. There just is not one there.
What is on your minds tonight Firedogs?