Sunday, September 15, 2013

Last Call For Verbal Fisticuffs

I do believe President Obama has had quite enough of the Village.

In an interview that aired Sunday on ABC's "This Week," Obama downplayed the controversy over Vladimir Putin's opinion piece in The New York Times last week, saying "this is not a Cold War" and that he welcomes the Russian president's involvement in the issue.

As for the public perception of his own management of the U.S. response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime, Obama said, "Folks here in Washington like to grade on style."

"And so had we rolled out something that was very smooth and disciplined and linear - they would have graded it well, even if it was a disastrous policy," he continued. "We know that, 'cause that's exactly how they graded the Iraq War - until it ended up… blowing up in our face."

That's not a jab, that's a roundhouse followed by a super combo.  The Villagers who pushed the Iraq War and who still inexplicably have jobs as reliable pundits will make the President pay for that, if it takes them the rest of history trying.

More from Jason Easley at PoliticusUSA:

The president confirmed again that he discussed this with Putin a year ago. He talked to Putin about this at the G20. The notion that Putin saved Obama is political spin by his critics who are trying to tarnish his diplomatic victory in any way that they can. It is a display of how deeply Republicans hate this president that they are so willing to label Putin a hero, not even a year after their presidential nominee called Russia our biggest rival.

Republicans are out to score cheap political points, and they can’t fathom that they were again routed by a president who has spent his presidency ten steps ahead of them. This Putin saved Obama story line is fiction that created to further the Republican agenda of making the president look weak at every turn.

And please take note of the liberals who are going along with that agenda.  Ask yourself why that is.

Is Larry Summers Done For? UPDATE: Yep, He's Gone

Sure is looking like Larry Summers may not even make it past the Senate Banking committee, much less get 60 votes in the Senate for Fed Chairman.

Lawrence H. Summers’s prospects of becoming chairman of the Federal Reserve have become murkier since three key Democratic senators signaled in recent days that they would oppose his nomination.

Senator Jon Tester, Democrat of Montana and a member of the Banking Committee, said on Friday that he would vote against sending Mr. Summers’s nomination to the full Senate for a confirmation vote. Two of Mr. Tester’s fellow Democrats on the committee, Senators Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, have also signaled through their aides that they would vote no.

Such resistance complicates matters for Mr. Summers because without the votes of those three Democrats, he would need Republican support on the Banking Committee, where Democrats have a three-vote majority. The panel holds the first vote on any nominee to lead the Fed.

It is not clear how the rest of the committee might vote. Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, is believed to be reluctant to support Mr. Summers but has not said publicly how she would vote.

I can't imagine that Warren would be a yes either under any circumstances.  That means Summers may be sunk before he even gets a vote in the full Senate.  If that's true, the message to President Obama is "don't bother to nominate him at all."

That's a message I happen to agree with.

[UPDATEWSJ is now reporting that Summers has withdrawn his name from consideration.

Story here.

No, President Obama Does Not Want War

As BooMan points out, the notion of "President Obama, Warmonger-in-Chief" is simply just not true.  His actions in Syria speak otherwise, with force always the last resort.

As the civil war grew worse, Obama refused to send weapons. But, in August 2012, he grew worried enough about the potential use of chemical weapons that he issued his now-famous "red line" warning against their use. By February 2013, we were sending medical kits and MRE's, but still no weapons, and Obama refused to create a no-fly zone despite considerable pressure to do so.

Then, in June, our intelligence community concluded that the regime had probably used some chemical weapons in a few scattered attacks. Again, he was pressured to create a no-fly zone, but he settled on the lesser alternative of finally acceding to sending lethal aid to the rebels. But none of it was sent.

The lesson on the eve of the 8/21 attacks was clear. Despite inheriting a policy that saw the Middle East as a battle between Sunnis and Shiites, the president was using every stalling tactic he could think of to avoid joining the fight on the Sunni's side. First, he tried diplomacy. Then he tried sanctions. Then he issued a warning. Then he allowed non-lethal aid. Then he offered lethal aid. At every point, he did less than what he was being asked to by the neo-cons, the Israelis, and the Sunni powers. In many cases, he was doing less than his own cabinet advised.

Then, when the 8/21 attacks occurred, he threatened to use a limited amount of force and sandbagged even that effort by giving up his right to act unilaterally and throwing the rotting mess to Congress. Finally, he struck an agreement with Russia that will take the pressure off to use military strikes so long as Syria is complying with the terms of disarmament.

His policy has been to reject the view that American interests are tied up in a regional sectarian war in which we want to see the Sunnis prevail. His policy has been to resist constant and powerful forces that keep insisting that we accept the paradigm the neo-cons set in motion back in 2006-7. His policy has been to keep us out of Syria, no matter the political cost to himself, his reelection efforts, or his posterity

Once again, Obama is not Bush.  At every turn in Syria, President Obama has looked for another path besides the actual use of force.  Yes, this has included the threat of use of force, but not force itself.  There's a difference between the two, and in the real world I would expect people to know there's a difference.

BooMan is absolutely right here.  Bush, McCain, Romney would have plunged into a shooting match with Syria months ago as a prelude to Iran.  Obama is choosing not to go that route, and he's getting ripped in the press for it, as "weak" or "lucky" or somehow denigrating the fact that we're not in another shooting war.

He's doing what the vast majority of Americans have told him he must do -- continue to avoid a war with Syria -- and yet it's just not good enough.

Ask yourself why that is.
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