General McChrystal and Vice President Biden have both made public gaffes recently and I question whether there is a double standard for public comments made by high level officials.
McChrystal’s troubles began with a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine where the General and his staff made some inappropriate comments about a number of civilian leaders including Joe Biden. McChrystal should have never granted the interview and any complaints he had should have been discretely addressed through the chain of command. McChrystal realized his mistake, offered his resignation and was relieved of his command by President Obama.
I don’t disagree with the President’s decision to relieve McChrystal; it is clear it was a tough decision for Obama to make. The ongoing BP oil spill and the President’s failure to take quick control of that issue probably did not help McChrystal; President Obama needed to look decisive. I also find it odd that the President choose General David Petraeus to head the Afghanistan war effort. If memory serves me correct, some of the organizations that supported Obama in the election referred to Petraeus as “Betray Us”; seems conditions on the ground have changed.
Vice President Biden is a civilian and he also has a knack of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Biden was recently on the campaign trail in Milwaukee and stopped at Kopp’s Frozen Custard. The Vice President did offer to pay for his frozen custard; the store manager Scott Borken replied, “Don’t worry, it is on the house – lower our taxes we will call it even.” Biden then told the store manager, “Why don’t you say something nice instead of being a smart a_ _ all the time?”
I watched the video and the Vice President did not have a malicious tone and he subsequently told the store manage he was joking.
McChrystal is a professional soldier, the chain of command and the code of conduct is clear. He made a mistake, he took responsibility and his long distinguished career in the US Army is over.
Vice President Biden is a civilian but he works for the American people and the American taxpayer works hard to finance the government. Tax revenues are not a big piggy bank for the pet projects of politicians. It seems Joe Biden does not understand the burden put on the American taxpayer or he is aloof to the issue. He could have handled the situation more diplomatically.
An off cuff remark by Vice President Biden certainly does not rise to the error McChrystal made. President Obama demanded accountability and relieved McChrystal; an American taxpayer made a casual remark and was dismissed as a smart a_ _.
What code of conduct is appropriate for our elected officials?