Sunday, February 06, 2011

A beautiful moment in civilian-military relations 

Perhaps this hilarious yet also disturbing story reveals that the cultural divide that bedevils much of America also cleaves Washington's power elite:

Four-star Army Gen. Peter Chiarelli -- the No. 2 general in the U.S. Army -- says he is absolutely not offended that Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett mistook him for a waiter at a fancy Washington dinner this week and asked him for a glass of wine.

Apparently both generals and waiters have stripes on their pants. It actually does sound like the sort of thing that could happen to anybody.

That said, Valerie Jarrett is hardly anybody. She is a senior advisor to Barack Obama with a title -- "assistant to the president for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs" -- that suggests expertise in precisely such subjects as the identification of generals. How does the Intergovernmental Affairs czar -- of all people -- not instantly recognize the #2 general in the United States Army?

Perhaps they are not in frequent contact.

MORE: Good point:
It’s a good thing Sarah Palin didn’t make this mistake. Because if she did, it would be a univerally reported indicator that she’s an idiot and should never be allowed anywhere near issues of public policy. Luckily, since it was Valerie Jarrett, it’s all in good fun.


By Anonymous Mr. Ed, at Sun Feb 06, 03:25:00 PM:

Chiarelli should lose a couple stars for that. What's the likelihood a Marine would set such an example?


By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Sun Feb 06, 04:04:00 PM:

Had Valerie Jarrett channeled Senator Barbarz Boxer , when the General returned with the drink, eliciting a "Thank you" from Ms. Jarrett and a "You're welcome ma'am," from the General, Valerie Jarret might have replied something like this:

"Could you please not call me ma'am? My title is Assistant to the President for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. I worked so hard to get that title, so I'd appreciate your using it. Thank you."

Her job title sounds like something out of Yes, Minister . I guess that "Sidekick" doesn't have the appropriate bureaucratic weight to it.  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Sun Feb 06, 06:27:00 PM:

*laughs* Oh, my.

I'd heard about it, but only as gossip... gossip I was pretty sure was true, but still.

I'm still pretty sure my sister could tell a general from a waiter, and she doesn't do military stuff.....

Her title is funny, though.

(word verification: Mooloxy. I thought it looked like a punchline.)  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sun Feb 06, 07:07:00 PM:

With this administration, casual incompetence is the order of the day.  

By Blogger JonRobert, at Sun Feb 06, 09:47:00 PM:

Jarrett was a public servant at a very public event, and was not able to stay on game.

By Anonymous E Hines, at Sun Feb 06, 10:30:00 PM:

How does the Intergovernmental Affairs czar -- of all people -- not instantly recognize the #2 general....

Why would conclude that? She's a highly intelligent woman. She knew what she was doing, and she did it anyway.

Eric Hines  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Sun Feb 06, 11:59:00 PM:

+1 to Eric. It is wrong to assume that this was a "mistake". That is the attitude of the people BO has surrounded himself with for his entire life. Not to mention BO himself.  

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Mon Feb 07, 10:43:00 AM:

BT's hypothetical in italics is outstanding. I read it three times straight, snorting laughter.  

By Anonymous Reply to AVI, at Tue Feb 08, 11:44:00 PM:

AVI, Senator Barbara Boxer was dead serious when she made such a statement. Dead serious libs don’t know how hilarious they sound.

Many times a commenter will write a parody of lib-speak, and get hammered by someone who thought the comment was made in a serious tone. It is difficult to distinguish between a parody of lib-speak and real actual dead sincere lib-speak.

For some reason, my previous comment got eaten, so I will try another way to get by the spammeister.

Boludo Tejano  

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