In a special comment Tuesday night, Keith Olbermann advised President Obama to reject Gen. Stanley McChrystal's offer to resign.
"You should take General McChrystal's resignation, and fold it up, and put it in your top drawer, and tell him that that is where it will remain, and that as of now you are not accepting it. Correct," Olbermann said. "He tenders his resignation. You tell him to get back to Afghanistan because he's not getting out of this morass he helped create, and tell him to make sure we get the surge troops withdrawn on time or faster if he can. And then, Sir, you sit back and watch the political world's collective jaw drop."
Olbermann said that McChrystal is not irreplaceable, but that rejecting his resignation would be a politically powerful move for the president:
What exactly will the ouster of General McChrystal provoke, in our stupid, under-informed, constantly propagandized America of 2010? Who will be the first to identify McChrystal as a martyr to the evil Obama Administration? How many Americans, still looking for a rationalization to justify their rage at a Democratic president, or a black one, or an intelligent one, will have new fuel to feed their blind hatred?
Keep him, Mr. President. will not merely neuter the political blowback, you will present a front of force, and calm, and intelligence, and a willingness to, dare I use the phrase Sir -- a willingness to listen to the Commanders on the ground, even when they shoot off their big brass-covered bazoos.
You can own him, Mr. President, and own the political aftermath, now pregnant with opportunities for your critics. The General can be your voice to speed up the de-escalation. My goodness, he could be your mouthpiece if you suddenly saw the morass for what it is and decided to declare victory and get the hell out now. Who would fight you on that, Sir?
"Which is more useful to this President and this nation right now?" he asked. "A martyred ex-General, around which an irresponsible and potentially dangerous opposition can coalesce? Or a spared and humbled General, surely no worse than any potential replacement, whose retention can recalculate the political formula... without a drop of blood, or a drop of teers, being shed?"