Meet Chesty

by Jonah Goldberg

In today’s Wall Street Journal, there’s a great profile of Chesty, the Marine Corps mascot and the controversy over his promotion so soon after his confrontation with Bravo, Leon Panetta’s golden retriever (and the No. 2–anked canine in the chain of command).

As Chesty’s growl erupted into an angry bark, an officer urgently whispered in the ear of his handler, Sgt. Chris Harris: “Keep the leash tight.”

That kind of breach of decorum at the headquarters barracks, where the top generals and their wives reside, could have been career-ending for most Marines.

Chesty weathered the controversy and came out of it with a new stripe on his uniform.

Privately, some wives of senior Marine officers, more focused on politeness than doggedness, let it be known they didn’t approve of the promotion. A whispering campaign against Chesty reached the ears of Col. Paul Montanus, barracks commander. Some said Chesty was getting too fat. Some senior wives wanted Chesty relieved of duty in favor of a more pliable bulldog private serving in another unit.

Other senior Marines worried about the message promoting Chesty might send. In military chain of command, Bravo is second only to Bo Obama, the president’s hypoallergenic Portuguese water dog. The Constitution puts the military under civilian control, and some senior officers thought promoting Chesty might appear insubordinate.

I think Chesty would make a great subject for Fox News Sunday’s “power player of the week.”

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