After pausing for a day to placate another bleating billionaire, President Obama stepped to the first microphone Thursday to announce that Leon Panetta would soon sit where Bob Gates now sits, and that David Patraeus would sit in Panetta’s old chair, and that John Allen would grab King David’s throne, and so on and so forth until someone pulled the needle off the record. At which point we were told that the president had re-tooled his national security team for the challenges that lie ahead.

But if that sounds less like re-tooling and more like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, well, that’s because it should.