Witch’s Will For A Mourning In September
I will remain in “mourning” so long as Obama’s unworthy ass sits in the Oval Office.
Quote of the day:
President Obama says he intends to punish Syria for using chemical weapons on their people. Deeper motives may be in play. Syria doesn’t export oil but Syria gets a lot of sun, so intervening in Syria may be part of Obama’s push for solar energy.
My Top 3:
Serious About Syria?
by Thomas Sowell
Why are we even talking about taking military action in Syria? What is that military action supposed to accomplish? And what is the probability that it will in fact accomplish whatever that unknown goal might be?
What is painfully clear from President Obama’s actions, inactions and delays is that he is more or less playing it by ear, as to what specifically he is going to do, and when. He is telling us more about what he is not going to do — that he will not put “boots on the ground,” for example — than about what he will do.
All this is happening a year after issuing an ultimatum to the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria against the use of chemical or biological weapons. When the President of the United States issues an ultimatum to another sovereign nation, he should know in advance what he is going to do if that ultimatum is rejected.
But that is not the way Barack Obama operates. Like so many people who are masters of lofty words, he does not pay nearly as much attention to mundane realities. Campaigning is his strong suit. Governing is not.
Obama Bets the House on Syria—and Is Losing
Early reaction shows the president has a long way to go to win congressional approval for a military strike.
by Josh Kraushaar
Facing the prospect of waging war against Syria unilaterally, President Obama belatedly gambled that Congress could give him some political cover for a risky decision. He’s not likely to get it, based on the initial reaction from House members from both parties.
Despite the show of support from House Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday afternoon, that’s not going to move many votes. Neither is putting any pressure on their members to vote for a military strike against Syria despite their personal support. Both are calling it a vote of conscience and aren’t urging members to join them.
That means members will be freer to take the politically safe route of opposing a war that a fresh round of polling shows a majority of Americans oppose. In a survey released Tuesday, Pew found a near-majority (48 percent) opposed conducting military airstrikes against Syria, with just 29 percent supporting. More ominous for the president, Democrats were more opposed than Republicans to any mission in Syria—by a robust 19-point margin. Likewise, a new Washington Post/ABC survey found 59 percent opposing military strikes, with independents opposing intervention by 66 percent to 30 percent. In a sign of the president’s weak public case for intervention, nearly two-thirds supported the (hypothetical) case for intervention last December.
That degree of public hesitance is being reflected in members’ reactions. The Washington Post found 105 representatives in the House opposed or leaning toward opposition, with just 16 publicly supporting.
A vote of conscience? Who knew they had one?
Obama’s inept foreign policy
One of the things we were promised back in the 2008 election campaign was that under a Democratic administration America would be better liked and more influential in the world. Forget those dumb cowboys in the Bush/Cheney administration whose brash style grated on foreign sensibilities: Smooth, Europhile Democrats would win over the world, ushering in an era of peace and good feeling.
So, as Sarah Palin might say, how’s that hopey-changey stuff workin’ out for ya?
Not so great, as it turns out. Things got off on the wrong foot right away with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s botched “reset” with Russia — even the “reset button” was improperly labeled, owing to a translation error that substituted the Russian word for “overcharge.” The whole reset attempt was, at any rate, the product of wishful thinking. And it soon became clear to most observers that Russia under Vladimir Putin viewed itself as a rival, not an ally, of the United States. Russia even announced its withdrawal from a major arms-control agreement. In fact, although Mitt Romney was mocked for calling Russia our greatest “geopolitical foe” last year, that’s looking pretty spot-on today as Putin lines up behind Syrian President Bashar Assad and frustrates the United States in numerous settings across the globe. Not much of a reset here.
KOHUT: Obama shines on world stage
Then there’s our relationship with the British. Under previous administrations going back to World War II it was a “special relationship.” Now it’s … not so special. Even back in 2009, Obama treated the British rudely, leading one British pundit to ask: “Does Obama have it in for Britain?” More recently — even as British troops were dying alongside Americans in Afghanistan — Obama snubbed the British by remaining neutral on the Falkland Islands. Well, not quite neutral: In another bout of “smart diplomacy,” Obama tried to call the Falklands by their Argentine name — Las Malvinas — but blew it, calling them instead the Maldives, an entirely different set of islands located half a world away. Can someone buy this guy a globe?
Now Obama wants to do something about Syria, and — while the Russians do their best to interfere — the British have decided that they’re not going along this time, thank you. It’s the first time a British prime minister has lost a war vote since 1782. Now Obama — having boxed himself in with his off-the-cuff “red line” remarks from last year — has changed tack and decided that he, too, will consult Congress after all.
Good For Her!
Laura Ingraham Slams Neoconservatives Supporting Syrian Intervention
Good For Them!
Most in U.S. oppose Syria strike, Post-ABC poll finds
Americans widely oppose launching missile strikes against the Syrian government for its alleged use of chemical weapons, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll that finds little appetite for military action across the country despite a growing drumbeat in Washington.
Don’t that just say it all?
3 Stooges Go To War
Obama – McCain – Graham
Worth a Read:
Latino Group Outraged Not Enough Hispanics Are Getting Their Free Obamaphones…
The horror, unused welfare benefits!
Gun-Grabbers Go Full Femme-a-Gogue in Colorado
Man Who Held Ohio Women Captive Is Found Dead
Ariel Castro, the Cleveland man sentenced last month to life in prison for holding three women captive in his home for a decade, was found hanging in his prison cell on Tuesday night after apparently committing suicide, officials said. He was later declared dead at the hospital.
May he burn in hell for all eternity!
Wow! Andrea Mitchell Accuses Obama Of ‘Bungling’ Syria
Wacko Birds vs. Angry Birds: This Time it’s War
The Syria vote marks a key gut check in the GOP’s—and America’s—conflict of visions
by Matt Welch
Last Thursday, about 30 hours before President Barack Obama abruptly changed his mind about seeking congressional approval to bomb Syria, I asked Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) about how the whole Wacko Birds vs. Angry Birds conflict within the GOP was playing out in Washington.
“We’re losing, on a good day, 70/30 among the Republicans,” Paul said. “But we win every day among the grassroots, probably 80/20, 90/10.”
This coming week, which promises to be the most important and bitterly contested conflict of governing visions on Capitol Hill since the September 2008 votes on the Troubled Assets Relief Program, will put Paul’s math—and lobbying abilities—to the test.
Like TARP, this battle features a second-term president rallying a do-something coalition of big-government conservatives, liberal interventionists, and D.C. establishmentarians against a less telegenic mix of Republican hotheads and progressive Democrats. As in 2008, Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) is playing a key role insupporting the White House and warning about the “catastrophic” consequences of inaction.
Only this time, there is a new political bloc called theLiberty Movement, comprised of GOP politicians such as Rand Paul and Rep. Justin Amash (R-Michigan) who came to office in opposition to both TARP and the imperial presidency, now leading the charge against Washington interventionism as usual.
As The New York Times put it Monday, “Republican divisions on national security have flared over the use of drones, aid to Egypt, and the surveillance practices of the National Security Agency, and the tensions have played out publicly in battles between Senator John McCain of Arizona, the former Navy pilot and Vietnam prisoner of war, and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, the libertarian-leaning freshman.”
McCain famously coined the term “Wacko Birds” in March to describe Paul, Amash, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) after Paul’s historic 13-hour filibuster in protest of the Obama administration’s drone policy. Paul since then has continuously referred to the McCainite wing of the GOP as “stale and moss-covered,” suggesting that National Greatness Conservatism is yesterday’s news in an increasingly libertarian GOP.
“Between Ted and [Utah Sen.] Mike [Lee] and I, that nucleus, I think, is becoming less the Wacko Bird conference, and more the future of the party,” Paul told me. Or as Amash Tweetedyesterday, “GWB-era foreign policy is nearly extinct among GOP grassroots. Some Rs in DC either didn’t get the memo or haven’t been home in a while.”
Since the drone filibuster, Paul has come under repeated attacks from the likes of putative 2016 GOP presidential candidatesChris Christie and Rep. Peter King (R-New York), the latter of whom has cited Paul’s views on foreign policy and civil liberties as motivationfor his potential candidacy. On Fox News Sunday this week, King, normally one of Obama’s fiercest critics, took the extraordinary step of both supporting the Democratic president and lashing out at the Republican opposition: “Hopefully, the president can make his case, that he will be able to get a majority of the House of Representatives,” King said. “Right now, it would be difficult. Also, we have an increasing isolationist wing in the party which I think is damaging to the party and to the nation.”
GOP interventionists have been open to preferring Democrats to Rand Paul. McCain in a July New Republic interview said that a Paul vs. Hillary Clinton presidential race in 2016 would be a “tough choice” for him. Last week, Washington Post “Right Turn” blogger Jennifer Rubin concluded a piece titled “Why Rand Paul should never, ever be commander in chief” with this comment: “A Capitol Hill Republican mused that perhaps Rand Paul is concerned that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) is ‘stealing his thunder’ on foreign policy isolationism. Maybe. In any event, their utterances demonstrate clearly why America would be at risk (more so than even under Obama) if either got into the Oval Office (except on a tour).”
This is all just prelude to the rhetorical pugilism likely to come out over the next seven days. But refreshingly for Washington, the dispute is anchored firmly in mutually opposing philosophy. Rand Paul and Justin Amash believe in a “constitutionally conservative” approach toward war, one that requires—instead of occasionally asking for—congressional approval before launching U.S. military action. They are far more skeptical about intervention, military or otherwise, than any other bloc in Congress. They worry constantly that the War on Terror has dangerously eroded constitutional liberties. And they think the last century of American history has featured a dangerous over-concentration of power in the executive branch. In every one of these beliefs, they stand in sharp contrast not just to John McCain and the neoconservatives, but to the dominant tendencies in Republican foreign policy since at least September 11, 2001, and arguably for decades before that.
“The president as commander-in-chief has absolute constitutional and statutory power to take military action,” King insisted on Sunday. (Note the word “absolute.”) McCain warned that with a no vote, “the credibility of this country with friends and adversaries alike would be shredded, and there would be not only implications for this president, but for future presidencies as well.” And at The Weekly Standard, Editor William Kristol wrote ablog post recommending a James Ceaser essay that begins with this remarkable passage:
Republicans should support some version of the authorization of force resolution. They should do so even if they think that the President’s policy will prove ineffective, do no good, waste money, or entail unforeseen risks; they should do so even if they think he has gotten the nation into this situation by blunders, fecklessness, arrogance, or naiveté; and they should so even if, and especially, if they have no confidence in his judgment. The simple fact is that the nation and our allies will be at further risk if the world sees a presidency that is weakened and that has no credibility to act.
This important philosophical divide, which Reason has been tracking for a long time now, has been tilting steadily these past six months in the Liberty Movement’s direction. First Rand Paul’s filibuster made national headlines and hinted at a new bipartisan coalition of civil libertarians. Then a series of leaks originating from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden repeatedly put the lie to 12 years’ worth of White House claims about the surveillance state. As a result, for the first time since pollsters have been asking the question, more Americans fear government’s encroachment on their civil liberties than they do a terrorist attack. Meanwhile Obama’s poll numbers among tech-savvy young voters has taken a double-digit tumble.
The biggest legislative moment in this shift—at least prior to this week’s Syria debate—occurred at the end of July, when Justin Amash came within just 12 votes of passing an amendment to substantially roll back the powers of the NSA. Most worryingly for interventionists of both parties, support for the Amash amendment was bipartisan: 94 Republicans and 111 Democrats voted aye. When you consider that more than 70 of those yes votes co-signed a letter to Obama last week demanding a congressional vote on Syria, the president’s sudden flip-flop toward the Constitution looks a little less surprising. When a budding bipartisan coalition is aligned with a79 percent majority of public opinion, that’s an opportune time to remember the principles that vaulted you to office (before they were dropped like a hot rock).