A striking feature of the McChrystal debacle is that conservatives, by and large, stood with the president’s decision to relieve the chattering general of his command. Can you imagine the media firestorm if George Bush had removed a critical general?

National Review’s Rich Lowry hailed the firing as “Obama’s Home Run:”

 I’m not sure how Obama could have handled this any better. He was genuinely graceful about McChrystal and his explanation of why he had to go made perfect sense. He called for unity within his adminstration in pursuing the war and sounded quite stalwart about both the war and about the strategy. More importantly, his choice of Petraeus as a replacement for McChrystal is a brilliant move: He gets a heavy-weight, an unassailable expert in this kind of warfare, and someone who presumably can step in pretty seamlessly

 Lowry is just one of the many who have leapt into print to support the firing of McChrystal (Eliot Cohen, for example, argued yesterday in the Wall Street Journal that McChryystal is a great general-but he had to go), and I think this is because conservatives truly believe in The Rules. Conservatives, for example, regard the U.S. Constitution as a living constitution, but in a very different way from the “living Constitution” folks on the other side of the aisle: For genuine conservatives, the Constitution lives immutable as a founding document; it isn’t alive in the sense that it can be bent to say just about anything the latest political fad dictates. As Antonin Scalia famously observed, in that sense, it’s dead.

So: Three cheers for Obama and three cheers for conservatives for supporting a president who doesn’t represent their views in exercising his constitutional authority.