James “Mad Dog” Mattis was a distinguished Marine general, who was an exceptional choice by President Trump as Secretary of Defense. When it was announced that Mattis would be resigning in January of 2019, the news was met with initial consternation by many conservatives and understandably so.
What didn’t receive any press was that during the coin toss at the Army Navy football game last month in Philadelphia, President Trump received a nice ovation, but the biggest ovation was reserved for Mattis.
One Army Afghanistan veteran and dyed-in-the-wool Trump supporter that I occasionally break bread with lamented that he was disappointed Mattis would be leaving with two years remaining in Trump’s first term. Initially, it was difficult to disagree as I was familiar with Mattis’ steadfast reputation as a Marine Corps flag officer prior to his appointment as Secretary of Defense.
When Mattis announced he would resign, his popularity within Liberaldom soared.
They now love Mattis after they first reviled him?
Liberaldom loathes the military and prefers that they are utilized for social experiments, yet now sing hosannas to “Mad Dog” Mattis?
Since when does Liberaldom ever go Lady Gaga over who runs the Pentagon?
No one cared when Obama pushed Gen. Mattis out, who should have been appointed Commandant of the Marine Corps.
Liberals are now defense hawks when two years ago they wanted nothing to do with Syria? Six months ago, they were whining why Mattis had not yet pulled us out of Afghanistan, while demanding that ICE be shuttered and the borders porous.
National security? Forget about it.
Since the founding of the American Republic, presidential cabinet members have always served at the pleasure of the president. If one can no longer in good conscience serve, the honorable thing to do is resign.
Mattis is not the first Secretary of Defense to resign. The chronicles of history are littered with such paradigms from cabinet members to mythical American generals.
President Abraham Lincoln fired Gen. George McClellan, who was one of the most incisive military minds of his generation, much like Mattis. The Philadelphia Inquirer, branded McClellan, “The Napoleon of the American Republic.” However, during the Civil War as General of the Army of the Potomac, he wasn’t getting the job done. Lincoln was just getting started, as our sixteenth president plowed through one general after another until finding Ulysses S. Grant. McClellan went on to run for president as the Democratic Party’s nominee against Lincoln, where he promptly lost.
President Harry Truman relieved Gen. Douglas MacArthur of his command during the Korean War, despite having delivered impressive victories against the North Koreans. When China came to the aid of North Korea, MacArthur crusaded for using atomic weapons against the Middle Kingdom. Truman strongly opposed. Despite his national popularity and legendary reputation, MacArthur, a highly decorated Army general and national treasure, was relieved of duty by an American president who, like Trump, was maligned often in the media.
Liberaldom’s favorite president, Barack Obama, had a revolving door of defense secretaries. In 2011, Obama’s first Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, resigned and revealed in his memoir a troubled relationship between Obama and the Pentagon. In 2013, then Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, resigned after frustrations with Obama that he wrote about in a telling memoir. The following year after the 2014 midterm elections, Obama fired Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel over policy disagreements. Hagel said Obama had no strategy for restoring Syria.
The Wall Street Journal reported Mattis opposed moving our embassy to Jerusalem and opposed leaving the Paris climate accord. Moreover, Mattis opposed the creation of a separate branch of the military, a Space Force that Trump desires. Mattis was also against troops on the border, yet argued for keeping troops in Syria and disagreed that the Pentagon should have anything to do with building a wall on our southern border.
Trump, however, did campaign that he would withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and is still trying to get a wall constructed on our southern border.
In every case outlined above, our nation’s egalitarian institutions and our republican system of governance, endured and it will continue to do so even minus the talents of James Mattis.