I mean, this is banal, insipid tripe, and about the only thing that makes it distinctive is the fact that Thomas mixed her personal politics into her advice. Even worse–apparently, the piece wasn’t proofread by anyone. After all, how does one reconcile this . . .
Sorry, Mr. President, but when you go into the White House, you had better know that you live in a fishbowl with few hiding places. You are public property. Don’t go into public life if you want a private life.
And never forget you are not the boss. You work for the people. Lyndon Johnson might have been joking, but one day on the South Lawn his outsized ego got away from him. As a phalanx of helicopters assembled to transport his entourage, someone asked, “Mr. President, which helicopter is yours?”
“Son, they’re all mine,” Johnson replied.
In Afghanistan, Mr. President, you risk repeating Lyndon Johnson’s disastrous escalation of the Vietnam War after listening too much to the generals. Again, the Pentagon wants more troops for a tricky war, vowing success in Afghanistan if you only agree. That’s what the British and the Russians thought before they utterly failed to subdue their foes in Afghanistan’s difficult terrain.
Have courage to resist such pleas if your instincts say otherwise, Mr. President. That is why the founders of our nation put a civil servant in charge of the military. You are the decision-maker, not the follower.
Remember, the generals work for you. Think about how Harry Truman once proved the point. He had just fired Gen. Douglas MacArthur for publicly disagreeing with his policy against expanding the Korean War into China.
Um, if Lyndon Johnson was wrong to say that all those helicopters on the South Lawn were “his,” why is it right to say that “the generals work for [Barack Obama]“? The helicopters belong to the American taxpayer, and the generals work for the American taxpayer, don’t they?
Helen Thomas has stopped being cute a long time ago. Maybe we should stop indulging her.