When President Obama said that all of his policies were on the ballot this year, every Democratic candidate – except, perhaps, Nancy Pelosi – must have cringed.
But the President was right: every Democratic candidate should be held accountable for the President’s actions because none of them, incumbent or challenger, would do anything different.
With the election less than three weeks away, it’s time that the Republican candidates for Senate and House seats take it to the Democrats on Obama’s abject failures on foreign policy and defense. They should be asking these questions at every debate and make every press appearance an opportunity to challenge the Dems on these questions:
- With the Islamic State (formerly ISIS) within rifle shot of Baghdad and Kobani about to fall to an ISIS massacre, it’s obvious the president’s strategy to degrade and defeat ISIS is failing. What would you do differently?
- We are fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Almost the entire Middle East is aflame. Green Berets are chasing terrorists in Uganda, Russia is moving forward in its slow conquest of Ukraine, China is trying to take over the East and South China Seas, and Russian bombers were recently intercepted off Alaska. But on Monday, Defense Secretary Hagel announced the Obama administration’s “2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap.” It imposes “climate change” concerns on everything the Defense Department does, from building maintenance to battlefield planning. Do you agree with Obama that – at this critical time – “climate change” is so great a threat to national security that we need to inject it into everything our military has to do?
- Hagel’s “Roadmap” compels defense planners to consider things like the effects of defense operations on “natural landscape” conditions. Do you believe the Marines should have to forsake safer landing grounds and take more casualties because their operations may cause beach erosion?
- We now have a second case of Ebola confirmed in Texas. Health experts say there will be 10,000 new cases of Ebola every week by December, yet the President has refused to order a travel ban from the nations in the Ebola “hot zone.” People from those nations can still enter the US whenever they would like, and nothing is being done to stop them. Would you vote for a travel ban to prevent people from those nations coming to the US?
- The President is planning to close the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and violate the law by bringing its inmates to the United States by executive action. What, exactly, would you do as a member of Congress to help stop him from moving Gitmo inmates to America?
- The President continues to concede to Iran’s demands in the negotiation of a deal that is supposed to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Iran’s leaders have ordered mass-production of ballistic missiles. Will you vote for a measure declaring that these negotiations should be stopped and that no concessions should be made that would permit Iran to obtain nuclear weapons?
- The US has just joined with other nations to pledge over $5 billion to rebuild the Gaza Strip without attaching any conditions that would compel Hamas terrorists to disarm. Hamas’s charter says its principal purpose is to destroy Israel. They will undoubtedly use much of those funds to rearm and rebuild the terror tunnels into Israel. Do you agree with Obama’s policy which is going to fund the terrorist government of the Gaza Strip?
- Would you vote to restore defense funding that has been cut – by Obama and the Obama-engineered sequestration – by $1 trillion dollars over the next decade?
And they might want to ask their opponents if they voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012. They can’t deny they did.
It’s the job of Republican candidates to put their opponents on the spot. None of the Democrats will agree to stop the Iran negotiations, prevent funding the Hamas terrorists in Gaza, demand that the “climate change” nonsense be expunged from defense planning, or any of the other points these questions raise.
But that’s the point. There is no excuse for Republicans to let them off the hook that Obama has dangled in front of our voters.
Jed Babbin served as a deputy undersecretary of defense in the George H.W. Bush administration. He is a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.