I had meant to blog on this piece by Victor David Hanson when it first appeared, but was on the Grand Family Christmas Tour. Anyway, its worth our attention now, since last weeks discussions of wiretaps brought repeated reference to the precedent of Abraham Lincoln.
The entire op-ed is worth reading (and its brief), but his point is that wartime presidents like Lincoln and FDR were able to build consensus by appointing some of their political opponents to important positions. He notes that three recent critics--John Murtha, Richard Clarke, and Wesley Clark--could all have remained friends of the administration had they been given a respectful hearing:
There are lessons here in managing a difficult war. We must never forget age-old considerations such as pride, honor and status. Washington is a Darwinian place where the ambitious arrive, leaving friends, family and birthplace behind to calibrate their new self-worth by the degree to which they are considered important — and needed.