I don't think so. Whitmarsh has been there the whole time, he's always known how incredibly fast Lewis was. I think what he did was mainly choosing to put all his money on the horse he himself recruited. I don't think Martin is a selfish person in any way, but I do think he feared to be labelled incompetent, or not up to filling Ron's shoes. So he needed to make sure everyone recognized what he did, rather than what he inherited. And that meant emphasizing how the new, open and "fair" (supposedly) McLaren was no longer Ron's "Lewis centered" McLaren.
Yet, taking Lewis' established engineer and assigning him to Button, only to prove a point, is something I've never seen done anywhere else. McLaren didn't do the same to Button when Perez or Magnussen arrived, and I don't think either Red Bull or Ferrari did that this year. Neither Fernando or Michael would have accepted that IMO, and I wish Lewis hadn't either. But he wasn't completely his own man yet, and I'm glad he left and developed as a man and as a driver.
People keep forgetting despite many reminders, that it was Ron who hired JB whilst MW was on holiday, and it was Ron who caused Lewis to leave.