The National Republican Congressional Committee did not backpedal Tuesday after coming under attack for a press release calling on a U.S. general to put House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "in her place."
The release was triggered by Pelosi's criticism of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. Pelosi told interviewer Charlie Rose, "with all due respect, [McChrystal's] recommendations to the president should go up the line of command. They shouldn't be in press conferences."
Pelosi went on to express doubt that House liberals will support a troop surge in Afghanistan, to which the NRCC replied in a press release:
“General Pelosi has no problem sacrificing her own credibility as the Obama administration and liberals in Congress attempt to walk back a strategy they strongly advocated just months ago,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “Nancy Pelosi continues to make party politics a higher priority than our national security. Rather than listening to a four-star general’s assessments on Afghanistan, General Pelosi somehow believes she is better suited to craft our country’s military policy.”
If Nancy Pelosi’s failed economic policies are any indicator of the effect she may have on Afghanistan, taxpayers can only hope McChrystal is able to put her in her place.
"What place does the NRCC think that this accomplished woman — the first female Speaker of the House in U.S. history — deserves to be in?" asked Amanda Terkel at ThinkProgress.
Following-up, Greg Sargent at The Plumb Line got a response from NRCC spokesman Ken Spain, who wrote:
“The Speaker of the House is taking on a highly decorated general who has outlined a strategy in Afghanistan that she once claimed to advocate. This is the same San Francisco liberal whose military foresight — or lack thereof — led her to oppose General Petraeus’ successful surge strategy. Up until it became politically inconvenient, Pelosi and her puppets were referring to Afghanistan as the ‘real central front’ in the war on terror, now their excuse is that there is just not enough political will to keep America safe. Nancy Pelosi might think she’s a general, but she’s playing out of her league and she knows it.”
"I'd just add that Republicans seem to have changed their mind on simply listening to whatever four-star generals have to say," noted Steve Benen at Washington Monthly. "It was, for example, Eric Shinseki who told Senate Armed Services Committee before the war in Iraq that the Bush plan was inadequate and that vastly more troops and resources would be needed for the conflict. Republicans decided not to 'listen to a four-star general's assessments' on Iraq.
"Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who is close to Pelosi, could barely contain her anger," added Politico.
"I think the place for a woman is at the top of the House of Representatives," she said.