When the nation is in immediate danger, you back the president.
Sort out the flubs later. There will be plenty of them. There always are.
After all, we're still analyzing the mistakes made prior to Pearl Harbor.
But also be willing to give credit where credit is due.
The initial assessments are notoriously inaccurate. Early reports are early reports, not final words, and decisions are made with incomplete information because you don't have time to spare. Events don't wait for you.
And while all of this is going on, the press reports will omit key items and perspectives.
Every press report I've seen on a subject I have known very well has caused me to shudder.
There are also organizational challenges. The real world isn't like action movies where complicated plans unfold with the precision of a Swiss watch.
Organizations are inherently wasteful and sloppy. Things get overlooked. Departments bounce into one another. Information isn't shared. People get tired. People act when they should talk and they talk when they should act. Too many people want to carry the ball. Some - can you believe it? - even have ulterior motives.
I have dealt with a lot of organizations in my career. Even the best can blunder but they have a habit of blundering into success.
So let's set aside some time later to moan and groan and analyze.
But not now. The midst of a crisis is not a great time for divisiveness.
To borrow a line from Lincoln, one war at a time.
Let's all pull together and beat this thing.
[Photo by Max Sulik at Unsplash]