This week we see Admiral Farragut's successor, who has never yet found a problem with an easy solution, at last find something with a really quick and simple fix. Having knowledge of his president's preferences and having a calendar showing election day 2010, he is able to cut this ancient, awful Gordian knot in one stroke!
Not even his very own Joint Chiefs of Staff - made for consultation - were consulted, so quick and sure was his decision. There having been no "council of war," the Joint Chiefs were actually moved to write and sign a letter of complaint against their admiral and boss addressed to the political opposition! (McCain in the Senate)
This beats even the extraordinary affair of Lincoln's corps commanders.
Previously, I thought it astonishing that Lincoln would hang four Republican corps commanders around McClellan's neck, intimate to them his desires for an overland campaign, and then ask them to vote McClellan's watery Urbanna plan up or down in a council of war.
Here, the positions are inverted, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs rushing through "an easy answer" unplateable to "the corps commanders" who then appeal to the president's foes for relief.
So, indeed, the past isn't even past and it's getting wilder every day.