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Tom Nichols @RadioFreeTom
, 8 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Look, I think it's time for some of you folks to get off the ledge about Patrick Shanahan. The man will be Acting SecDef, and it's not the end of the world that he's the one that will do it. Here's a couple of things to think about.
(Note: My personal opinion, obviously.) /1
First, there is no denying that Mattis's resignation is a disaster for the country. Period. I said so right here:…
So spare me any whining that I "don't get it." I get it. But Shanahan is the DepSec. His stepping in is, as far as anything can be, normal. /2
Second, remember that a four-star general running DoD is the exception, not the rule. It shows you how much we all came to rely on Mattis that we cannot imagine this administration without him, but there's a reason Congress had to grant a waiver. /3
I do not know Shanahan, and I don't know his views. (You can all stop sending me the McCain footage.) I saw McCaffrey earlier today saying this was a good choice for now, and I think that's probably right. Civilian defense exec is closer to the norm than a four-star. /4
Previous SecDefs include an academic, members of Congress, and yes, industrialists. But he's going to be *acting*. Raising hell before he even steps in is a reflex panic reaction, but *somehow* has to keep the lights on at DoD. Which leads to one last point. /5
Those of you saying Shanahan should quit or refuse the Acting slot: what do you prefer? Tom Cotton? Graham? SecDef Gorka? Seriously, I get tired of the hair-on-fire stuff; if you want to dare Trump to find someone awful to fill in for Mattis, he'll take you up on that dare. /6
I think we are in peril due to Mattis leaving. But throwing a fit about Mattis's own deputy stepping in is short-sighted and pointless. He might be an awful SecDef. He might be a good one. (Greatness is precluded in this adminstration.) But this isn't some crazy move. /7
This is not, for example, like sticking Whittaker in DoJ . *That* was a terrible, banana-republic move. That's not this. There's plenty to be really worried about. But give it a rest with the "unqualified crony who will build a Space Force Gulag" crap.
At least for now. /8x
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