Obama Disclaims Red Line; Crosses Red, White and Blue One

So, let me get this straight:

1) Obama is not asking the country to “go to war”

2) And he “did not set a red line” on Syria and chemical weapons, despite saying last year, “[chemical weapons] would change my calculus, or equation”. Note the first person, singular.

(Apparently that line was “unscripted”. So it didn’t count!)

3) Despite the admissions of Chris Matthews and Eleanor Holmes Norton who both say Democrats may vote for this thing for no other reason than to close ranks and save the president’s credibility, Obama says his credibility is not on the line.

I like Ed Morrissey’s question: If Obama strikes Syria without even bothering to ask the UN for support, then how can he rely on the UN’s “red line” as justification?

4) Congress’ credibility is on the line; the rest of the world’s is. The whole nation’s credibility is shaky, now. But not Obama’s, no sir! Because the presidency exists in some sort of vacuum.

(Sorry, Mr. President, but even the New York Times says your credibility is on the line.)

5) Apparently we’re going to go to war (not a “real” war in the “classic sense”; not “war war” although “boots on the ground” is a contingency) in order to save that credibility, which is not at risk.

6) Today, the American President gave a presser on foreign soil in which he essentially tried to throw the American Congress under the bus, along with all allies of goodwill (such as remain) who are not rushing to validate the red line that he “didn’t draw.”

Because nothing is ever his doing or his responsibility, except the win.

Undertand, I am fully cognizant of the fact that I have repeatedly (hell, vociferously) said there is not a person in the current leadership — within either party — that I admire or respect.

But there really is a line. It’s not a red one, either.

At the risk of being corny, it’s a red-white-and-blue line, and it’s the line at which a president, or a congresswoman, or a senator crosses the border into another country and then publicly points a finger of blame or correction at the other branch of government. Whether the diss is done verbally or by action — whether it’s done for political expediency or the coverage of one’s own posterior — that is simply a step too far.

A politician who does that is not worthy of his or her office.

The president likes to pretend the Congress won’t work with him because they’re feckless (possibly) or obliged to Rush Limbaugh (some, perhaps) or racist (meh, overplayed already). Occam’s Razor might suggest that the simplest reason Congress doesn’t like the president is because he demonstrably does not like or respect them, and hasn’t from the start. This is the “uniter” president who turned to the Republican members on first meeting and opened with, “I won,” and then shut them out of contributing to any part of the stimulus bill. The “accessible” president who has treated Congressional members of his own Democrat party with disinterest and not even the pretense of engagement or regard.

Israeli sources say “this is not how a superpower acts!”. We know, we know…it’s not how a President is supposed to act, either.

You know what? I miss George W. Bush. I miss Bill Clinton. For all their imperfections they understood that the first job of any American President is to look out for America’s interests, even before his own.

But I don’t entirely blame Barack Obama for his refusal to ever take responsibility for anything. The sycophantic press has told him, these 6 years or so, that he needn’t. They’ll always be there for him, to spin away the heat and keep him comfy.

I blame the press for a great deal that is wrong with this presidency, because — for whatever reason — they refuse to jawbone or challenge this president as they have every other in my memory.

Susan Rice: Congress will approve. Yes, they will. They really don’t have a choice.

Pope Francis: renews his appeal for peace:

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • David

    Should we find this surprising? No. It’ll be everyone else’s fault if things go badly. And, if the broader Middle East blows up, it’s not his fault. Hanging everyone out to dry is his modus operandi.

  • AnneG

    My congressman will vote against the resolution and John McCain now says he will vote against it. This is looking like a combination of the Lebanese civil war and the beginning of the First World War. I hope I’m wrong and am praying for our brothers and sister in Syria and Egypt.

  • Adam Frey

    Chiming in with some trivia here–you can be the judge of how useful this is–but the legal status of “war” under the U.S. Constitution is one of those funny things that’s as clear as mud. When you say “not a ‘real’ war in the ‘classic sense’; not ‘war war’,” I assume that you’re expressing common frustration over the fact that the U.S. has had very few “declared” wars in its 200+ years.
    Want to know how many times Congress has formally said “We’re at war”? Five. World War II was the last. Everything after–and many instances before–have been considered an “operation” or “military action” or something else, but not a “war.” That includes Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm. Oh, Congress was involved in those actions, but it wasn’t “war” in the strictly legal sense. IIRC, our signing on to the UN Charter was probably one of the big legal impediments to formal “war”–UN members aren’t supposed to go to war unless they’re doing so for self-defense or if the UN Security Council has authorized it.
    “War” is one of those things that can end up with tricky legal consequences. For example, the crime of “desertion” in the U.S. military is pretty bad, but an accused becomes eligible for the death penalty during “a time of war.” I’m no international law expert, but I imagine that all kids of treaties get triggered when a formal state of war exists. (If we’re in a formal “war” with Syria, are our NATO allies obligated to get involved as well under that treaty? I hope not–I’m pretty sure that World War I was triggered by a bunch of mutual defense treaties going into effect like dominoes.)
    So, yes, if we go into Syria, this is probably going to be an “operation” just like the 2003 Iraq conflict was and like the current Afghanistan conflict still is.
    Now, given the nature of this blog, I imagine the larger issue is over the fact that guns and bombs will be pointed at people, and that people are almost certainly going to die, and if it looks like a war and smells like a war, it’s a war. I won’t argue with that. I’m simply making the point that “war” is a term of art which has a specific legal definition, so when Sec. Kerry says we’re “not going to war,” that’s probably correct in the international and constitutional sense.

  • Ron Turner

    Where is Whoopi Goldberg when the nation needs her? We really have to learn the difference between “war” and “war war”.

  • Gordis85

    “there is not a person in the current leadership — within either party — that I admire or respect.”

    A sad reality but one which I fully understand as I am of the same opinion. All are without credibility except in the fact that they seek to cover their tracks, line their pockets and groom their crown of so-call power and fame…those are their only credible traits.

    I will continue to pray for our dear nation while I soberly remember that we get what we vote. (I did not vote for Obama but well, like the rest of us, suffering as a result)

    Looking forward to Saturday, Sept. 7th as I will be adding the United States to the list as we all gather to plead before almighty God for peace the world over.

    God bless Papa Francis!

  • Skay

    Everyone else is always to blame and besides he did not say what we have him on video saying. It was probably the camera’s fault because it was a Republican Congressman’s camera. In fact it was probably a Republican Congressman that really said it so blame him not Obama. Yeah–that’s the ticket!

    This is getting tiresome and it really is not funny. . This morning’s Obama statement sounds like a David Axelrod idea.

  • Jane the Actuary

    This is all sad, just sad. I can’t say anything that hasn’t been said, but it deeply saddens me to watch Obama’s actions unfold and the uncertainty of his coming decisions (and the risk that they’ll be bad decisions) worry me greatly.

  • AnneG

    Actually, according to James Carville, it’s George Bush’s fault. Lord, have mercy!

  • Keith

    Don’t just blame the press. It is the fault of the American people for supporting and electing this incompetent empty suit and so many like him.

  • Scott Hebert

    It is the fault of the American people for not being astute enough to realize that the press was feeding them utter crap during the 2008 and 2012 elections.

    However, do not forget that the press are complicit in that as well.

    Yes, the American people have failed. However, there is still a question of primacy, and you can resolve it either way.

  • Scott Hebert

    This tells me that the legal definition of war is at fault, not the classical definition of war.

    Ironically, I think the loss of the concept of ‘offensive war’ (war proactively started to change a status quo) that occurred after WWI is one of the main reasons that wars have become as awful as they are. Before that point, wars were at least called wars, and people realized that they were at war.

    And then came WWI, and everyone cringed away from war (as well they should). However, pendulum swung too far, and now we have a situation where we are at war (in the traditional sense), but because it’s ‘not a war’, people don’t pay attention, don’t care, and are not involved in the process. For a nation run by a respresentative government, this should be alarming.

  • ve6

    I’m pretty sure I’m mistaken, but did Obama win a Nobel Peace Prize?