Via NRO’s Andrew Johnson comes this clip of House Armed Service Committee chairman Rep. Buck McKeon telling Lawrence Kudlow the President is less than enthusiastic about having to defend his own Syria policy:
The glimpse McKeon gives is of the real Obama, i.e. the one who exists apart from an army of White House spin doctors. He sounds like a mid-level marketing manager who expects his sales force to put up big numbers so he can look good at the annual Christmas party. Get out there and sell! And as I pointed out the other day, they’ve been remarkably successful given what a shambles this has become.
Meanwhile, Obama is hiding behind his staff, the Congress, France and whatever fig leaf he can find to shield him from owning the consequences for his own actions. The other day he claimed he didn’t create the red line, the world did. In other words, I didn’t build that.
The situation is so bad for the President that one would be tempted to feel sorry him if not for the recent memory of him taking precisely the other side of the same argument. In 2007 Obama claimed it was unconstitutional to attack Iran without congressional approval and even introduced a congressional resolution to highlight this fact for posterity.
Then, as now, there was much at stake. The death toll in Iraq was climbing steadily and there was evidence Iran was building and exporting the deadliest weapons on the Iraq battlefield, the EFPs used as roadside bombs. When President Bush proposed the surge, Obama demanded we cut and run and said there was no way to win in the midst of a civil war.
Given this history no one should feel obligated to bail him out of his current mess. If he wants to attack Syria, make him do so alone. Let him try to justify it while a dozen mini-Obama’s on the left and right tear him down for making that call. If on the other hand he wants to climb down and reconsider, let him convince the rogue nations of the world we mean business, just like George Bush had to do when Obama (and Hillary) repeatedly kneecapped him in public on Iran.
Obama not only built this mess he’s in, he is literally the person who profited most in the entire world from opposing a President’s foreign policy choices. From junior Senator to President in four years, largely on the kind of Rand Paul anti-interventionism he has now abandoned. The President has some real chutzpah complaining about anyone who doesn’t back him up now. No wonder he wants anyone else to be making this argument but himself.