Every time some kind of international incident happens, Republicans are quick to find some kind of camera to stand in front of to declare their belief that President Obama has completely botched the entire situation. It’s actually quite comical how predictable it’s become.
Our most recent example of this was Syria.
As most people know, when Syria used chemical weapons on its own people it changed everything. It was around that time that more people in the United States began to pay attention to what was going on in the country. It also wasn’t long after that until President Obama threatened to use military force against Syria for their use of chemical weapons.
And wow – Republicans went nuts.
The moment he announced the fact that he had opened up to the idea of using our military, Republicans began the push to paint Obama as this dictator who would send troops off to war without getting congressional approval. Which was ironic because many Republicans, prior to Obama announcing his willingness to use military force, had been saying that we needed to get more physically involved.
But, like with most things Republican, the moment President Obama supported military action their support for it quickly eroded. That’s when they shifted to the “Obama will bypass Congress to wage an illegal war” nonsense.
Except, he called their bluff. He said he supported military action, but would only do so with congressional approval.
Of course, this put it on the Republican party. What were they to do then? The moment Obama said he supported using our military in Syria, Republicans had done everything they could to paint him as a president who would go to war with or without their approval – except that’s not what he did.
President Obama brilliantly put the choice on whether or not to go to war squarely in the hands of the Republican party.
But there was just one thing, I don’t really believe President Obama had any intention of sending our military into Syria. However, his threat to use force then prompted the Russian government to work with Syrian officials on an agreement where Syria agreed to turnover their stockpiles of chemical weapons.
So, let’s see. President Obama took a strong stance against Syria’s use of chemical weapons; got Republicans to freak out about how he planned to wage some kind illegal war – which he never did; put the choice to go to war squarely in the hands of the Republican party – which wasn’t what they expected; forced the Russian government to convince Syria to turn over their chemical weapons; and he did all of this without firing a single weapon.
To summarize: President Obama managed to remove the chemical weapons from Syria, embarrass the Republican party and did so without using our military.
Yet here we are, a few months later with Republicans once again attacking Obama’s handling of the Russian government since he’s been president.
Somehow Obama trying to improve relations between the two countries is a horrific tragedy according to Republicans.
Was he wrong by trying to improve relations between the United States and Russia? I don’t think so. Does he need to back off of those efforts going forward and take a more hard-lined approach? I think so. At least for now.
I’m never against doing what you can to work with, not against, people.
President Obama tried, it hasn’t worked, and now it’s time for harsher measures against the Russian government.
And I’m completely confident that going forward he’ll handle this situation. Whether he takes a strong stand at the G-8 summit, imposes some kind of trade sanctions or even decides to reverse course on his planned reduction of a missile shield in Eastern Europe – I believe President Obama is a step ahead of Putin and miles ahead of the Republican party.
But if the situation with Syria and its chemical weapons was any kind of example, we can expect that Republicans will go on bashing the president for days (or weeks) on end while Obama sits back, carefully lays out his plan, then in the end makes Putin do exactly what he wants and Republicans look like absolute fools.