Once again, Modo reduces war to a girls locker room spat
Leave it to Maureen Dowd to make me want to toss my Emo-Prog medals at the White House steps and join Obama's army:
In his head, is Barry at war with the commander in chief?
How is it possible that they pay her an ample six figure salary to write the same vacuous, irrelevant column over and over again, year after year? Why would anyone think this is even remotely interesting at this point?
When it came time to act as commander in chief, he choked and reverted to Senator Barry — even though many lawmakers in both parties privately wish the president had just gone ahead and hurled a few missiles, Zeus like, and not put them on the spot.
Now the president who saw no benefit in wooing Democrats on the Hill is desperate for their love. Nancy Pelosi, the San Francisco peacenik, will have to win Barry the right to bomb.
Those around him say that, after the British poodle slipped its leash, Obama faced a gut check on his decision to have a strike. He had to dig deep and decide “This is who I am,” and be true to himself. To be Barry, editor of the Harvard Law Review.
In some ways, his reaction reflects his tendency toward mixing high principles with low motives. He believes it is proper to get Congressional approval and let the people chime in. But he also wanted to make life difficult for Congressional Republicans who like to “snipe,” using his word, from the sidelines with no accountability. He wanted to call their blustery bluff.
But who is going to get bluffed?
From all reports, Obama has been reluctant to get into Syria from the beginning. He obviously bet that by declaring a Red Line he could intimidate the players in Syria not to cross it and risk the US getting involved. He lost that bet and now he's faced with following though on a threat to do something he really doesn't want to do. That happens.
In the wake of the British refusing to sign on, he sent the decision to congress to get legitimacy for that decision, which is the right thing to do. (It's always the right thing to do.)We don't know right now if he will get it, but if he doesn't I think it's highly unlikely that he will go ahead. After all, the vote in the House will be bipartisan and it's going to be very hard for them to "carp" as Dowd says if he doesn't ignore their wishes.
None of this is a sign of bad character, psychological disorder or some sort of dual personality. And it's daft to think he's doing this to make Republicans uncomfortable. All of that is puerile nonsense that has no place in this debate. As someone who isn't the biggest fan of this administration in a dozen different ways, I don't see this one as being an awful example of poor leadership. It's clear to me that he is not eager to get into this war but circumstances (and the decades long US position as Imperial Police) have led him to this place. I wish he had been more creative in dealing with it and had withstood the pressure to fall back on sending messages through bombing, but it doesn't seem to me to be an example of either warmongering or eagerness to get the US involved in another quagmire.
This certainly does not strike me as being in the same category as the drone war, the kill list or NSA surveillance, which the president has been quite eager to do and enthusiastic about defending. It's clear to me that he wanted to change the nation's national security posture from the traditional role of bombing raids and invasion to one of high tech, global clandestine military operations. I happen to think that's not a huge improvement and may actually make our nation more loathed as despised over the long haul, but it is different from the overt warmongering of the Bush administration.
Not that simplistic wags like Dowd care about such nuances. She's more interested in doing armchair psychology lifted from the pages of Oprah's magazine. What a waste of journalistic real estate her column is. There are so many other interesting and insightful ways to look at the world than the high school cheerleaders cafeteria table.