WASHINGTON, February 13, 2015 – President Obama, who admits he has no strategy and who has ignored and reviled Congress since he took office, has now come to both of those august chambers to ask permission to do something about the widespread and growing threat from the “guys” in the Middle East and now Afghanistan. He’s “got a pen and he’s got a phone,” and he has engaged in countless attacks, from 2000+ sorties of our warplanes, to special forces raids in Africa and Asia, down to the murderous attacks from US drones on US citizens, even teens. Why now is he asking for permission to do what he’s been doing for six years?
What is he up to? Understanding that Obama is first and foremost a political creature and that he hates traditional America, what can he gain from this latest pivot?
Plenty. He can have it both ways. If he asks for an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) and is denied, he can say, “Well, I tried, but those Republicans wouldn’t let me do anything.” If he gets an AUMF, he can claim it was written too narrowly, as his Democratic allies are trying to assure.
In a rare lapse into sanity, Speaker of the House John Boehner critiqued the president’s request for an AUMF. “The president’s point is that he wants to dismantle and destroy ISIS. I haven’t seen a strategy yet that I think will accomplish that.”
The president is deliberately keeping his options open in his ambiguously-worded request. If Obama were a normal president, one could argue that he is doing this because he doesn’t want to tip his hand to the enemy. Since Obama is one of a kind, the reasoning may be altogether different. Perhaps he simply has no strategy, as he admitted in August. Perhaps he wants to initiate months of debate into the process, giving ISIS more time and deflecting his responsibility onto Congress. That would be politically savvy and would also further his strategic goal of helping the enemies of America.
Perhaps the president really isn’t trying to weaken his adopted country. If that is the case, why is he employing this tactic at all? He has always been quite content with doing everything his own way all along, even after his “shellacking” in 2010 and the shift of the Senate majority in 2014. No; this is politically motivated and has nothing to do with American interests.
But his political strategy will be a winner. Whatever goes wrong, it won’t be his fault, following the tradition that this president has never taken responsibility for any of his failures, always spinning them to his political enemies’ detriment, using his adoring national media to run interference, bury the truth, and allow him to do whatever he wants.
With only one exception in six years (his bumbling of the Charlie Hebdo memorial march), President Obama has been insulated by the major press from all his follies, failures, and dastardly deeds.
“Elections,” as he famously said upon his ascendancy to power, “have consequences.” We elected him twice; it’s payback time.