Sunday, November 20, 2016

Was I Too Optimistic?

I found an old post of mine that wondered if liberal acquiescence to President Obama's war decisions would broaden the base of support for the war on Islamist terrorism which had dangerously narrowed as liberals protested anything that Bush 43 touched.

I forgot about this one from May 2009 (and forgive my lengthy quote of myself):

It is clear that domestic issues take priority with this president. To be fair, President Bush initially thought the same thing. But 9/11 made Bush a war president and that is how he governed. Which makes it hardly surprising that President Obama seems to barely notice we are at war. It is a distraction. So our president makes cosmetic changes trumpeted by fine speechifying to hide the insignificance of his changes that make "bad" national security policies "good," in order to get on with his aggressive domestic agenda.

In one sense, this slight of hand is bound to be frustrating for many on the right. Surely it would be more satisfying to see President Obama really smash the Bush security and defense policies so he could bear clear responsibility for failing to defend us. Then the call to replace the president in four years would be clear, based on narrow-minded partisan stupidity.

Under the current circumstances, it is also frustrating to see a tamed press corps that trumpeted all of the Bush policies as shredding our Constitution now not say a word against the newly "good" old policies.

All this is frustrating, to be sure. But given the threats we face, I'll settle for a president who is a hypocrite over our defense and security policies rather than stupid. And I'll take a press corps that will back our policies now, regardless of the hypocrisy of their mental gymnastics. Would we really be happy if our president refused to fight our war in deed as well as words? Would we really like it if our press corps elites continued to hammer our war effort?

For me, the answer is easy. No. I'd rather have a president who I didn't vote for wage war rather than have a president who in deed and word justifies my vote against him. This is America's war and not just Obama's war, no more than it was just Bush's war. I want to win. I may be distressed that large segments of the opposition did not feel that way under Bush, but acting as they did under Bush would be dishonorable. I may not expect much from them, but I expect more from my side.

Remember, much of our Obama-friendly press will die off from failing to keep readers (and not all of them can get jobs in the Obama administration); and our president will eventually leave office, in 4 to 8 years. But the Long War will remain to be fought. The Left will always oppose that fight, but both parties now have the history of being on board the fight.

Still, our president does not take the war seriously. He goes through the motions by closely following many past policies, but his heart isn't in it. And this will be communicated to those who must fight the war. Many will not risk being thrown under the bus for being too aggressive in defending us. Perhaps not enough to spell disaster, but over time how can any relaxation of effort fail to be exploited by our jihadi enemies?

I wonder what horrifying event will make President Obama a war president.

No event made President Obama a war president in the sense of seeming to take that role seriously (and no, unleashing the James Taylor doesn't count). But President Obama sure will be the first president to be at war through two full terms of office. And the "no endless war" crowd was fine with that.

I was wrong about bringing the left into the war as the result of this record, however, given that the hard Left has already announced anti-war protests for the new year.

Yeah, this attitude will end.

Bust out the giant puppets!