The Sunday Shows In Five Bullet Points

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1. Sen Dianne Feinstein urged President Obama to approve Gen. Stanley McChrystal's "middle" approach -- 40,000 more troops.  On This Week:

"I don't know how you put somebody in, who is as 'cracker jack' as General McChrystal who gives the president very solid recommendations and not take those recommendations if you are not going to pull out. If you do not want to take the recommendations then you put your people in such  jeopardy."

The architect of the Iraq surge, Gen. Jack Keane (Ret.) said that, if he were in McChrystal's position and Obama rejected his advice, he would probably resign.

2.  Arianna Huffington joined the chorus of progressives who want Rep. Charlie Rangel to removed as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

3. On State of the Union, Sen. John McCain addressed a variety of issues. On Sarah Palin:

MCCAIN:  With a high-pressure situation, there's always tensions that develop within campaigns. And there were clearly tensions between Steve Schmidt and people in the Palin camp. There's -- there are fundamental facts, though, that cannot be denied. When we selected or asked Sarah Palin to be my running mate, it energized our party. We were ahead in the polls, until the stock market crashed. And she still is a formidable force in the Republican Party. And I have great affection for her. Will Sarah and I -- did we always agree on everything in the past? Will we in the future? No. But let's let a thousand flowers bloom. Let's come up with a winning combination the next time.

4. Gen. Richard Myers (Ret.), the former JCS chair, had an interesting colloquoy with Sen. Carl Levin, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, on Don't Ask, Don't, Tell, which President Obama promised last night to end.

Senator Levin, will the president live up to this pledge?  Can he?

SEN. LEVIN:  I think he, he will and he can.  I think it has to be done in the, in the right way, which is to get a buy-in from the military, which I think is now possible.  Other militaries in the West, the British and other Western armies, have ended this discriminatory policy.  We can do it successfully.  But it ought to be done with thoughtfulness and with care, and with a buy-in from the military.

GREGORY:  General Myers, is it time?

GEN. MYERS:  I can't talk about whether it's time or not.  I think the process that Senator Levin outlined is exactly right, that the senior military leadership needs to be part of this.

GREGORY:  Mm-hmm.

GEN. MYERS:  The Pentagon needs to be part of it.

GREGORY:  Do you have an opinion about whether it's time?

GEN. MYERS:  Well, I, I take some exception to what Senator Levin said, because gays can serve in the military, just can't serve openly.  And they, they do and there's lot of them.  And we are, and we are, and we're the beneficiary of all that.

5. Ronald Brownstein, the Atlantic's Political Director, on the public and the president, and the president's strategy in Afghanistan:

MR. BROWNSTEIN:  Paul [Gigot], it's not--but it's not clear, first of all, that he would be renouncing what he, what he, what he affirmed in, in March.  And can I just make a broader point?  The politics--I want to make a counterintuitive point.  The politics are not as dire, I think, as has been suggested.  I mean, the, the history is that the president has enormous leeway in these kind of arguments.  And the first time a majority of Americans said the Vietnam War, it was a mistake to have sent troops, was August of 1968; we stayed there another seven years.  And for all of the weariness and frustration with Afghanistan, the fact is that Americans, I think, do see more of a genuine national interest there than they did in Iraq.  We still have 61 percent of Americans saying it was not a mistake to send troops, and we have 80 percent of Americans in Gallup polling saying that denying terrorists the opportunity to re-establish bases in Afghanistan is in our core national interests.  So I actually think he has more leeway here to drive the debate than, than, than is sometimes suggested.  That doesn't mean he's going to end up where Lindsey Graham or Paul wants him to go.


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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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