Howard is a grade A douche full of his own self-importance.
He did a decent enough job in the first film (though I never really found his extremely soft voice and mannerisms believable enough for a commanding authority army figure), but he wasn't so good that he couldn't be replaced. Which is exactly what happened. But I'm not surprised at all that he's now playing the sympathy card and blaming Iron Man for killing his career. He wasn't complaining when the film was released to great praise from almost everyone and his profile shot up. Any problems he has now, he caused himself by getting too greedy.
For a fine example of his douchebaggery, read the 'baby wipes' interview.