It’s easy to think you’re the most important and that you’ve arrived when you become a Congressman. But no matter how important you think you are, you should always remember, you are not more important than a four star general.
This congressman got too wrapped up in his own ego when he felt like he could push a general around. Funny how that happens. The general leads thousands of men into war, and you can’t get bills approved.
Apparently there was some miscommunication in some emails, and the congressman acts as if he’s just going to leave. Secretary McHugh is given a chance to reply, but is beside himself that their hearing was just going to end like that.
“Would you care to hear a brief response?”
“Mr. Secretary we’ve been talking about this for about a year and a half…” His response gets lost in nonsense where he attempts to make the situation seem more difficult than it has to be. To say he’s being rude to the Secretary and General is an understatement.
He’s then abruptly cut off by General Odierno, as his anger has been triggered, and finally going to tell this bureaucrat exactly what’s on his mind.
“First off, I object to this. I’m tired of someone telling me, ‘I don’t care about our soldiers, and we don’t respond.’ Everybody on my staff cares about it, and they do all they can to help…”
The Congressman attempts to interject, because he knows he’s about to get destroyed.
The Congressman says, “You have a very powerful personality but that doesn’t refute the facts that you have gaps in the capability…”
The General kicks it up a notch,
“We have more capability today than ever before.”
The congressman attempts to interject again,
“We can’t have a conversation if you won’t let me say anything.”
“Well, you weren’t going to let us say anything.”
“You’re right, but I have that prerogative when I’m sitting up here.”
“Well, I have a prerogative too, and that’s to answer a question or an accusation when it’s made.”
The Chairman then cuts them both off, smiling. Almost as if he let the argument go on briefly just to see the Congressman get his head handed to him.
He says, holding back a laugh,
“I wanted to let the General respond…”
The Congressman’s lack of respect for the General is abhorrent. You give a civilian a little bit of power, and a title and it goes straight to their head. Where as a General earned their position every step of he way.
Moral of the story: Don’t go up against a four star general. It’s not going to end well for you.