The Corner

Too High a Price

If McClellan believed that we went to war on false premises, or that it was a terrible mistake, the fact that he continued to serve the president at the highest levels and defended the president and the war effort is, I certainly believe, worthy of contempt. He could have resigned quietly or with a splash contemporaneous to the events he damns, or at least within a few months of them. Be he didn’t. In fact, he was part of the effort he now condemns, defending and attaching his credibility to most of them. If he had resigned in a timely manner, the objections of his critics would have to be made on different grounds. But whatever his critics objections had he resigned on or around the time of the events, his conduct now leads many reasonable people to conclude that both the book and its timing were driven by other than principle. He will have numerous opportunities to explain himself during his publicity tour. I can’t think of a satisfactory explanation, but we shall all see. I’m all for profit, but not when the price is betrayal — which is what I and several others smell here.

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