Why does anyone care what James Mattis has to say about Donald Trump?

BELGIUM-BRUSSELS-NATO-DEFENSE MINISTERS-MEETING

The New York Times did several things to piss me off and make me rethink my subscription yesterday. One, they continued to endlessly soften Trump’s fascism in ALL of their coverage. Two, they published Sen. Tom Cotton’s “Send In the Troops” op-ed, wherein a sitting United States senator argued that Donald Trump should call in the United States military to violently and murderously suppress free speech in the United States of America. Currently, NYT staffers are in revolt that their editors even decided to publish that mess.

Then, hours after the Cotton op-ed debacle, the Times published a statement from James Mattis, who (to be fair) released the statement to all media outlets. But it just felt like it was yet another sycophantic, short-sighted moment for Times editors, and all the nation’s editors. Why are we giving a former military guy so much space again? He willingly chose to work for Donald Trump. There was no “I only learned what kind of man Donald Trump is two years into his administration.” All of these a–holes knew what Trump was and is. That’s why they chose to work for him. But sure, allow another old dude to be our “savior.”

Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, breaking months of public silence on President Trump since resigning in protest in December 2018, on Wednesday offered a withering critique of the president’s leadership amid growing protests across the country.

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try,” Mr. Mattis wrote in a statement issued late Wednesday. “Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.”

Mr. Mattis, a retired four-star Marine Corps general, also criticized comments by the current defense secretary, Mark T. Esper, who in recent days has described protest sites across the nation as a “battle space” to be cleared.

“We must reject any thinking of our cities as a ‘battle space’ that our uniformed military is called upon to ‘dominate,’” Mr. Mattis wrote. “At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors. Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict — a false conflict — between the military and civilian society.”

[From The NY Times]

Old White Dude Says Things Which Women of Color Knew In 2016. I mean, yes, every voice against fascism counts. But don’t canonize this dude because he left a job he never should have taken in the first place and is now issuing statements about how Trump is a garbage human being. We f–king knew that sh-t years ago.

Trump of course had to rage-tweet.

Trump Visits St. John's Church

Update: I hear you guys about why some people might find Mattis’s words important and how we should all stand against fascism and all of that. I just find Mattis’s words too little, too late. I think he chose to work for Trump, gave Trump legitimacy, and then profited (through a book) from Trump when things inevitably went to hell. Why would I respect his judgment?

Donald Trump Visits St. John's Church

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, WENN & Backgird.

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88 Responses to “Why does anyone care what James Mattis has to say about Donald Trump?”

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  1. 10KTurtle says:

    I think the same about Mattis as I did about W yesterday- if he’ll endorse Biden, I’ll take it. If his essay convinces anyone to not vote for Trump, I’ll take it.

    • LahdidahBaby says:

      Yup. Me, too.

    • Bookie says:

      Mattis is widely respected in conservative circles and with military men and women. More and more of these old white men coming out in criticism of Trump really is helpful. Of course, none of these people should have enabled him in the first place, but there were those who seriously thought he could maybe be tempered or reined in if he surrounded himself with “adults” in the room. Many Republicans are outwardly endorsing Biden and abandoning ship trying to get on the right side of history at the very last minute.

      • Lua says:

        Yup yup! You may not like him, but he’s very highly respected, and him speaking out against Trump will start a wave of criticism. So I respectfully disagree with you. Everyone should be posting about this to get the word out. He’s an extremely important voice

      • MissMarierose says:

        Yes, it’s important for Mattis to speak out because there are people in the military who still respect him and those active duty soldiers and leaders are the ones who will be asked by this horrid administration to stand against American citizens. They need to hear a voice they respect tell them that this is wrong.

      • Duchess of Corolla says:

        Agreed. Mattis’ opinion will carry some weight. If it motivates more people to speak up, great. We need all the help we can get to get tRump out!! Up till recently, we have heard nothing but crickets from people who could really make a difference. General Mattis has opened an important door here, and I hope more will follow his example.

      • Mac says:

        Mattis is the designated messenger and he is speaking for the entire military. Trump has lost their support.

      • Nan says:

        YES – agree – he has influence with military, he’s well-regarded no matter what Rump says. (“Chaos”? Projecting much?)

    • Maida says:

      I truly hope that Mattis’ statement — which I agree is both too little and too late — will convince some Trump supporters to rethink. Mattis has extensive military experience, and that matters to some people who voted for Trump last time.

    • Lizzie says:

      Include George Will in the same group as Mattis and Bush.

    • SM says:

      Yes! And I am sorry but you are in the wrong with your “who cares what he thinks” approach. Especially someone lite Mattis who is highly regarded in the military. It is very important that military people denounce the use of force against citizens. Mind you – essential. It signals to those who actually posses the power of force like military that following orders of the President are not obligatory when they are in conflict with the Constitution they swear to protect. And I will take it from someone who is held in high regard among the military ranks, this message is not for me. It is for military and the republicans who still have a functioning brain. I am sorry but not much will change if people just keep disregarding political opponents, such as republicans and conservatives. Just remember that there is a vast plurality of people and opinions, he is not talking to you or me here. He is talking to Republicans. Isn’t it better even some of them can draw a line at some point and let others know there is actually a line, unlike the spineless Lindsey Graham or The constipated frog Mitch?

    • Mcali02 says:

      Agreed.

  2. Darla says:

    Trump’s tweets are such lies, it’s amazing really. He did NOT fire Mattis, Mattis resigned. AND, he definitely did not name him Mad Dog. In fact, one of the reasons Trump wanted him was because his nik was Mad Dog. I mean, my god, does reality matter at all anymore?

    As for Mattis, he should have done this when he resigned. Still, It’s not a big deal to me and you, but it is to the republican establishment. This shook them, believe me. And there are reporters posting on twitter that there’s more. that Mattis is beside himself, and trump’s behavior is much worse than we know. So…this could be something. I am not giving him any awards believe me, but whenever anyone can take a piece out of the lunatic, I’m down for it.

    • Lightpurple says:

      And Mattis resigned because he disagreed with what Trump does to the Kurds.

      And you’re right about what this signifies. To the average person, yes, way too little, way too late, but to the military? To the military’s backers in Congress? This is huge. These people do NOT speak out like this, and even though Mattis’s words were measured and calm, in military presentation, this was nearly revolutionary. It is giving a signal to those in the military to stand up to Trump and apparently, numerous deputies and underdeputies and directors are trying to do just that. None of them agree that they are there to attack law-abiding US citizens.

    • Becks1 says:

      I agree with you and LightPurple.

      Mattis should have done this ages ago. Mattis should never have worked for Trump. etc etc. It’s still something, and I’m here for it in general. But it is important to also consider the importance of something like this to the military, to the republican establishment that is currently reeling, to older white men who respect a 4 star general, etc.

    • Christin says:

      My first thought was “too little, too late”. Yet as others point out, his voice will reach a core base.

      Maybe the timing is better than we might assume?

      All four former presidents have spoken out, and now a military figure. And he did not mince words.

      • Juls says:

        Timing is everything. Yeah, they all could, and should, have spoken about everything they knew in the beginning. But what if it didn’t work? What would they have left to throw at him now? Sometimes a constant drip is better than a barrage. I once worked for a government entity where higher-ups were very corrupt and sometimes their actions were illegal. Sometimes I spoke up, and sometimes I held information in my back pocket, to be released at a time and place where it would have maximum impact. And it worked. I think this is the time for Mattis to say this. Maximum impact at the right time.

    • Holly hobby says:

      He did write a very pointed letter when he resigned. People paid attn to it for one hot minute before bunker bitch changed the narrative. This is how exhausting this whole thing is!

  3. Lindy says:

    I canceled my nyt subscription last year; I just couldn’t take it anymore. The Cotton piece is unconscionable and is better suited for some right wing rag.

    Like you, my first reaction to the Mattis piece was, “cool cool cool late to the party, aren’t you?”. And I think history will judge harshly anyone who willingly worked in 45′s regime.

    But there’s one really good thing, I think, about him publishing this now: it makes it absolutely clear to 45 that he won’t actually get to use the military as his personal army to put down protests. And I actually do think that (however insane it seems to those of us who have known how terrible Cheeto is all along) having someone of Mattis’ stature speak out, at a moment like this, will be the push that some country club Republicans need to completely break ties with the GOP.

  4. isabel says:

    As a Marine, I don’t think Mattis is speaking to you. I think this was a message for any active duty servicemembers that end up getting called to suppress the protests. He’s right to worry about what may happen if it comes to that, even though yes, I do think he should have spoken up earlier. Mattis is legendary for his regard for troop welfare, so it matters what he has to say because he is basically asking troops to disobey unlawful orders.

    • Allie says:

      So, I have no idea about any of this… Is it possible for active army members to disobey unlawful orders without consequences? Are they supposed to do so?

      • Isabel says:

        Hi Allie. Yes, you are still accountable for your actions, even if you are following orders. There are several famous examples including the attempt to use it as a defense at Nuremberg, and there are some Supreme Court rulings that have set precedence. I think that’s why Mattis specifically compared Trump’s administration to Nazis and also referenced the Constitution.

      • Boo says:

        My hubs is a Marine and we just talked about this the other day. If you follow an unlawful order you are responsible for those crimes. Following orders is not a legitimate defense for committing a crime.

      • Allie says:

        Thanks for clarifying!

    • Spunkymama says:

      @Isabel, I rarely comment on sites but I just wanted to thank you for your service and sacrifice. Semper Fi!

    • Lightpurple says:

      It was especially a signal to the higher ranking service members, some of whom are expressing anger behind the scenes. I understand that the Air Force is particularly unwilling to comply with Trump’s orders against the American people.

    • Original Jenns says:

      I agree with this. He’s not speaking to us, he’s speaking to servicemen and women, he’s speaking to a party that still supports this lunatic. I agree that anyone working in this administration will hopefully be judged in all future history books, however I was glad that Mattis was there. He was one who would do the right thing for the job, not for Trump. I really wish he would have spoken out sooner like this, but I’m on the fence bashing him for taking a position he knew needed him. If he hadn’t, we might be looking at General Kushner.

    • Bookie says:

      Thanks for your service, Isabel! And yes, I agree this was a message for a very particular audience – an important message.

    • Mumbles says:

      I was about to mouth off that Mattis wrote a memoir last year and made no mention of Trump, so he’s a day late and a dollar short….but I had never considered this point, and thank you for making it. He has an audience that he’s talking to. I hope he’s effective. When dictators lose the support of the military, that’s usually the end for them.

    • Maida says:

      Excellent point, Isabel. Thank you for your service, and I hope Mattis’ statement enables members of the military to stand up against Trump’s illegal orders with more confidence.

    • NightOwl says:

      Wow this is illuminating. Very interesting. Thank you Isabel!

  5. Lucy2 says:

    I’m kind of split. I don’t really care what he has to say, because as you said he chose to work there, but at the same time, I will take any and all anti-Trump voice as we can get. If it swings a few votes away from Trump, great.

  6. Cassandra says:

    ~tin foil hat on~
    This is a public signal that the military is not with Trump. Maybe.
    ~hat off~

    • AMM says:

      It’s not even tinfoil at this point, and it’s exactly why he made the statement. The former joint chief of staff, Milner, sent out a memo to the military as well (after resigning from the board and making a statement against Trump). These are possibly shitty politicians that do still care about the military. The military was their audience; they want them to know that they need to stand down if given an unlawful order. As a civilian I understand neither of them should have worked for Trump and both of them should have spoken up sooner. As a Veteran, I realize that they are speaking up now because they are genuinely worried that young soldiers/sailers/airmen/marines will be ordered to break the constitution and they are telling them to not obey. I follow quite a few military pages on FB (mostly for the memes) and the message has been noted. Mattis is a damn near religious icon to some marines, so what he says carries so much weight.

  7. local russian hill says:

    it’s important that everyone speak up and out against the current president. it’s important because mattis may speak to certain people in society that wouldn’t be as likely to hear the message from another source. and what mattis said was good and true.

    “I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled,” Mattis writes. “The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation.” He goes on, “We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”

    “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis writes. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.”

  8. monstercat99 says:

    I get we all knew this and I get this is late from him and I know this isn’t our ideal but – sort of a lazier take without much thought when it comes to someone in the seat of secretary of defence. There no excuse for racism or injustice anywhere, ever at all. You have to consider though, that a current secretary of defence coming out an denouncing the president is a concerning and early sig/current sign of a failed state – a secretary criticising a president has huge implications for the fabric of democracy (however ailing it is). I can see why an individual who was in this role might give considerate thought to the consequence: of his statements. I appreciate his clear at involving the military in the affairs of Americans. I understand that he thinks it’s a violation of the military’s oath. I also understand why it has been historically dangerous to have leaders of militaries walk away from lockstep with governments in ailing democracies. Mattis is evidence of a failing state – he takes his job seriously. Think on this.

    • Christin says:

      I get what you are saying. It may be a sign we are further down the path than we may have fully realized.

  9. Sean says:

    If he get even a small number of Trump supporters, good. We need all of the help we can get.

  10. Veronica S. says:

    Mattis has a lot of respect among people with military background, that’s why. He’s speaking a warning to active servicemen who will be looking at some hard choices potentially in the next few months about what side of history they want to be on.

    With Mattis, I don’t think he went into the Trump administration not realizing who he was but thinking he could be a competent and sensible voice where the military was concerned. I think he underestimated just how much his country had slid into fascism – easy to miss when part of the imperial arm that extends *outward* from America.

    • Original Jenns says:

      Yup, this is exactly what I thought about Mattis. He knew about Trump, but knew that he was needed to do the job. He just didn’t realize how the administration would actively work toward derailing everything he believes in the military and our country. I think this speech turned a lot of right heads.

      • Lua says:

        I think so too. Change and control from within. And then the Kurds situation happened and he did exactly what he needed to do to signal to everyone that the administration went rogue.

    • Maida says:

      I agree. I remember that Cabinet meeting that Trump recorded, which featured all his appointees groveling about how wonderful he was and what a pleasure it was to work for him. Mattis just said he was honored to represent the people serving their country in the military. I felt pretty sure at that point that he was never going to last with Trump.

      • Veronica S. says:

        Better that he would never had done it, to be brutally honest – in a lot of ways I think deciding to take the position, even out of a misplaced sense of duty, lent credence to an administration in a way it didn’t deserve. I would wonder if it eats at his conscience now because, frankly, it should. A lot of innocent people are paying the price for this administration.

      • AMM says:

        I don’t know. I think taking the position and then resigning and seeing Trump bash him was more effective than never taking the position. Trump going after Mattis and discrediting him (therefore angering a lot of vets and active duty) probably has caused more damage to the Trump image than any goodwill Mattis initially gave Trump by joining him.

      • Holly hobby says:

        If I recall correctly mattis Kelly and someone else made a pact to run interference with that bozo. I imagine a lot of stuff they stopped on their watch. The saner people left and were left with Barbie and ken and the other enablers. That’s why it’s worse now. The truly horrible stayed and ruined us

  11. IDidn'tDoIt says:

    The lies from Trump are amazing. Mattis resigned. Trump did not give him the nickname Mad Dog. Such a liar. I talked to a Marine last night. Why this matters is that Mattis has the respect of the military. Yes, maybe he should not have taken the job but maybe he wanted the chance to influence the idiot and try to temper his fingers on the launch codes.

    Edit: veronica
    Was writing while you posted. I so agree.

  12. Indeed says:

    Speaking as former military, this was HUGE. And also that John Allen and Mike Mullen spoke up (former General and Admiral). And I agree that this message was not for you, so understand why you didn’t receive it. Because I was in the military so long and because I currently work in an industry with lots of former military, I can say with great assuredness, that this was an enormous statement against Trump (as you can see by the Orange Cheeto’s response).

    I have spent hours with General Mattis. He was definitely one of the “adults in the room” and I was very sorry and nervous when he resigned. I do believe that he took the SECDEF job out of a sense of responsibility to protect the country, the services, and our citizens and I appreciate him for that.

    • Branvoyage says:

      You’ve met him? Awesome! I agree that surely he took the job to try to protect the direction the military would be headed under someone like Trump. And I do get why he hasn’t said anything until now. Criticizing the commander in chief just isn’t something that’s done unless it’s an absolute emergency. Using the military against American citizens, that’s his emergency.
      I believe Mattis is an extremely honorable man.

  13. Kateeee says:

    I thought it was a beautifully crafted statement in the age of bigly idiocy. I am glad to have any voice against Trump, especially one that is well respected in conservative circles. I hope it inspires others who supported Trump against their better judgment to speak out. But I dont expect it, and I don’t suddenly think James Mattis is anything less than a warmonger.

  14. Emmitt says:

    Trump, his administration and members of the Republican Party want to use the US Military and/or military adjacent mercenary groups to suppress American citizens, namely non-white American citizens (and their white allies) who oppose his policies. This is why he namd “Antifa” a terrorist organization but not any of the Tiki Torch, Identity Europa, Bugaloo Boys, KKK type groups because he and Barr want to charge the people opposing them as being members of Antifa, and thus needing to get long prison sentences for protesting against them.

    Mattis is telling the US military community NOT to follow Trump’s orders, even if he is the CIC, because Trump’s orders are illegal and against the US Constitution.

    The reason why Trump is occupying Washington DC but not anywhere else is because DC is federally controlled and sending troops to other states without their consent or request is probably against the Posse Comitatus Act and therefore illegal.

  15. nicegirl says:

    All voices against Trump and his murderous regime are necessary.

  16. vertes says:

    Mattis is & was a very beneficial supporter of the US military. He’s experienced, reasonable, sane, and probably took the job in order to put some boundaries around the inexperienced & ignorant loose cannon calling random shots from the White House. When it became clear that the pres would pay no attention to anyone except his equally ignorant relatives & business cronies, Mattis resigned. I felt safer before Mattis left.

  17. Becks1 says:

    Just want to say thanks for the perspective from all the former and active duty military here – its helpful to hear specifics about why this statement was so impactful and powerful.

  18. Bunny says:

    Seeing these dyed-in-the-wool, entrenched Republicans turn on Trump is important. It needs to happen in a high-profile way. Mattis turning is a big deal in Republican political circles.

    Further, exposing Tom Cotton in the paper of record, in a high-profile way, for the war mongering idiot he is, is useful.

    When people tell you who they are, believe them. Let Tom Cotton tell the world exactly who and what he is.

  19. Tina Minor says:

    After WW2 and the demise of Hitler- everyone sat back and said ‘how did that happen’ and ‘why didn’t anyone stop him’. I feel like history is starting to repeat itself and everyone is standing on the sidelines being too quiet. Nobody is doing enough to stop this. I will take any voice against this monster at this point, and it doesn’t matter if it is an ‘old white dude’ because they might be atrocious to you, but they might hold the key to stopping the next genocide and I’d listen to anyone to prevent the hell that others experienced in the 1940’s.

  20. Christina says:

    Mattis isn’t the issue. He is heroic for coming out like this AND for stepping up to work with a vile administration in an attempt to protect the men and women already serving in the military, many of them young Black and brown people. I think that he knew how bad it was, that a carnival barking racist had been chosen by the electoral college for president. He came in after the fact and is speaking to the military, not the people like us who knew about Trump’s deep racism and illegality based on his years as a landlord and bankrupt, slimy developer.

    A lot of people voted to put Republicans in place to gerrymander the crap out of areas that allowed conservatives to take over areas of the country that allowed for Trump to take the electoral college. I blame those voters, not Mattis, and I don’t even blame that moron Donald Trump! Trump was himself, petty-angry at Obama, and he was the open door for the Heritage Foundation. Trump didn’t it expect to win, but the people who were afraid that Barack Obama was diluting their power didn’t care who the president would be as long as it was a Republican, and what a gift in Trump they got! Someone who would just let McConnell and Company take over while he played with Twitter on his phone and who happily distracted the part of the base that they hated anyway, the poor white people in the Appalachians and the rust belt who desperately want to be better than SOMEBODY, and who hate Obama for his Blackness and education.

    This stuff is not as simple as we want it to be. Yes, right and wrong are morally clear to many of us on this website, but racism rules the day in a LOT of corners in this country, and those people have moved to authoritarianism. AND too many liberals in this country didn’t care enough to come out and vote, to stay informed to care and cherish our democracy, BUT BLACK WOMEN SHOWED UP AT THE POLLS. People in other countries know more about how our democracy works than most Americans! The George Floyd protests and COVID-19 are forcing conversations and declarations from a lot of people that would NEVER have otherwise happened.

  21. AppleTartin says:

    It would have held a lot more weight if they had done it while he was in the role. Quitting and then taking shots feels hollow. But it’s better than nothing I guess.

    I was also moved by this video (below) from Republican Voters Against Trump. I just pray this momentum keeps going through November 3.

    https://youtu.be/OPC43SK3eR0

  22. ChillyWilly says:

    Too little too late, General. Also, eff The NYT! I hope they lose tons of subscribers because of this bs.

  23. Joy says:

    He’s clearing the way for other people who are in government circles to speak up. There are people in both parties who are scared, but this speech, however late it is, opens the door very wide. It’s easy to sit behind a keyboard and say we should all be brave. But when you’re a government worker whose paycheck depends on not pissing off lots of people, it’s not that easy. The whole everyone should speak all the time is a position of those who are privileged enough to not have to worry about it.

    • Also Ali says:

      +1

      I’m baffled at the too little, too late scorn. The President of the United States used the military to tear gas peaceful American citizens in the year 2020 and said he’d invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 to deploy active U.S. military on American soil to quell urban protests.

      Denouncing a powerful action by a voice for the military on the use of the military for the good of humanity because there were earlier opportunities to speak up not taken?

      Millions of lives hang in the balance and depend on how all of our leaders act from here on out and I will be thankful for each and everyone willing to stand up against Trump and his supporters and all of the racists and fascists emboldened by his actions regardless of how long it took them to do so.

  24. Juxtapoze says:

    I’m thrilled when anyone high up in the government that worked/works directly with Trump speaks out about what a POS he is. It’s so rare because most are more concerned about their jobs or losing Republican favor (than they are about the truth and the welfare of our citizens & republic).

  25. J.Mo says:

    Thank you for your service. Thank you for helping me see the impact of his words.

  26. mew says:

    Maybe he chose to work with Trump hoping he could CHANGE things, even a little bit, talk some sense to him? I guess none of that is an option.

    • swedish chef says:

      I agree with you on this. I think there were some people in this administration that chose to be there because at the very least they felt honored to serve their country. At the worst and more likely they didn’t trust Trump’s abilities and wanted to do their part and keep their country from imploding. Was is ever proven who wrote that anonymous letter to the NYT about being part of the silent resistance? Betcha is was Mattis.

  27. Karen says:

    He spoke period. For a military man to speak against the Commander in Chief is unbelievable. It might be late, but it is amazing that he was able to do it at all.

  28. Leigh says:

    Did he seriously take credit for naming him Mad Dog Mattis?! Or am I misreading? I think this will be able to sway some supporters and that’s what we need for this upcoming election. Get the military thinking about their oath to protect against enemies, foreign or domestic.

  29. Mina_Esq says:

    Too little, too late.

    • Ange says:

      Not too late. The election isn’t until November. So the more his former supporters denounce him between now and then the better.

      • tcbc says:

        We hope. If Trump’s election has shown us anything, it’s that Republicans may screech about their “core beliefs” but when it comes down to it, all they really care about is lower taxes for the wealthy and white supremacy. And that includes Mattis, who was more than willing to hitch his wagon to Trump when the money was good.

  30. Ange says:

    I think the anti-Trumpers, who have never let up during his time in office, should take some credit for keeping the pressure on. As a result a lot of the people who were supporting him and who would’ve voted for him again will abandon him for the sake of social harmony.

  31. Holly hobby says:

    Mattis speaking out encourages others to do the same. It needs to be said and I’m glad he broke rank. At least he’s not selling a book.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Mattis may have taken the job with Trump thinking he could change Trump’s decision-making. I’m glad he spoke up now; it takes courage to speak up when you think a leader has acted inappropriately.

  33. Rose says:

    I don’t think we have to “respect his judgment” to appreciate the affect his statement is having among republicans.

  34. tcbc says:

    Better late than never but history will judge him harshly for working for Trump in the first place and then waiting so long to speak up.

  35. mara says:

    I am a military widow. Mattis is highly respected by military members for his rank & service as a retired four-star Marine Corps general , and I hope that he keeps right on spilling the tea. Sing like a canary, sir. We need you to help us awaken from this nightmare. Enough is enough.

  36. JennEricaMS says:

    My father was in the military and in Iraq before he retired. I understand why Mattis’ words might not mean as much to you but I can also say that today, for the first time ever, my dad has woken up and has started to look critically at Trump. I have tried to talk to him for years and it was like hitting a brick wall. My father has always admired and respected General Mattis and it’s almost like his words have broken some spell within him. I know of at least two other hard-core Trump supporters, both military with one retired and one still active who are seeing Trump in a new light. I can only hope and pray that it continues and I’ll make them read Mattis’ article every damn day if that’s what it takes. It might be too little, too late but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t having an effect on those who need to listen.

    • Christin says:

      One at a time. Thanks to you, @Mara and other posters for pointing out how much sway his words may have with military voters.

  37. Thirtynine says:

    The space given to Cotton was too much for me. I did cancel my subscription.

  38. Amber says:

    Kaiser, I very strongly disagree with your interpretation of events. This is unprecedented for a general to speak out against the commander in chief. That simply does not happen. The military doesn’t work like that; it’s an organization founded on hierarchy and deference to authority. Secondly, Mattis is highly regarded in military circles and among conservatives. It’s an inconvenient truth that people are more likely to listen to people who are similar to them. Which is why I know as a white woman, I bear responsibility to talk to my white friends and family about racial injustice, because they might actually listen to me. So I think his statement, on the balance of things, is useful and important. Because some conservatives will listen to Gen Mattis who might not listen to other people. And we need all the help we can get.

  39. A says:

    There’s some interesting background to James Mattis that I’ve sort of been finding out recently, and it has to do with the larger tensions between the military, the military brass, and the govt officials in the USA. I’ve been reading a book to get a better understanding of how badly the whole Iraq War was handled between 2003 and 2006, and from what I can understand, it seems that the military commanders disagreed with pretty much every aspect of the war from the very beginning, including the decision to go to war with Iraq in the first place. They had already been dealing with the shitty planning from the Pentagon when they previously invaded Afghanistan in 2002, and they were not happy or impressed with the people in charge of either invasion.

    Mattis was the major general of the 1st Marine Division at the time. I’m pretty sure he was well aware of the tensions between the military and the Pentagon in the run up to all of this. My point with bringing this up is that he’s largely used to dealing with an incompetent administration that doesn’t know or care about things like facts, telling the truth, being honest and doing the right thing. This isn’t the first and it won’t be the last time that the military and the govt administration have disagreed regarding the proper course of action, which is precisely how things should be in a democracy.

    You can say a lot of things about the American military. But the fact that they disagree with the President regarding this situation is a good thing. I can guarantee that there are plenty of others in the military ranks who disagree just as much as Mattis does, but Mattis is the one who has chosen (or been chosen) to openly state his dissent in this way. But I would not be surprised if he doesn’t just speak on behalf of himself, but also all of the other military commanders who have been stewing quietly all this time. Tom Cotton is an idiot but he’s not the first idiot these people have dealt with and quietly had to thwart in their own way.

    That being said, f-ck James Mattis. You can’t claim to be morally superior while still willfully accepting a position with Trump’s govt, just because he wound up firing you. Mattis knew who he was when he took that job, and the fact that he did it anyway says absolutely nothing good about him. He willingly became a pawn in Trump’s PR efforts to make it seem like his administration is full of straight talking tough guys who don’t suffer fools, got fired for all of his work, and now wants to come out smelling like roses. FOH, sir.

  40. Isadora says:

    I feel he should’ve spoken up more. I want to point out that in the past many high ranking officers ( other public servants as well) served several presidents regardless of their party affiliation. Mattis isn’t stupid but he clearly underestimated working with someone who has an IQ of a pea and recklessly puts everyone in danger. But everything to look good I guess.

    I hope that Mattis speaking out does force people who voted for Twitler to think if they want to stay stuck with a manbaby for another 4 years. Clearly insulting goldstar families, families of dead soldiers and other ranking military officers who also spoke out in the past against Orange man baby didn’t do a thing. Hoping this will.

  41. Archie’s Book says:

    If he endorses Biden it will be huge and a total game changer.

  42. Pj3 says:

    Why should we care? Because General Mattis is one of our highest respected military leaders. He is respected for his intelligent and level headed leadership as well as his foreign policy expertise. His departure from the WH staff was a huge loss of maturity and knowledge.

    His criticism will carry a lot of weight. I agree with the person above. If he endorses Biden – game changer.

    • Hoot says:

      I agree with others, above, who have stated that Gen. Mattis will carry weight with older, former military personnel who voted Republican in 2016 (especially one of my relatives who I don’t speak with). I am praying his opinion will persuade these people to abandon their support of Trump.