Syria And The Conservative Anti-Obama Reflex

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from Media Matters,

Over at Salon, Joan Walsh despairs at the possibility that an honest, productive debate over the need to intervene militarily in Syria will fall victim to the “familiar dysfunctional ditch of Republicans abandoning their historic values to sabotage Obama, and Democrats putting the need to support their beleaguered president ahead of their need to craft a new national security policy.” She’s talking primarily about the debate in Congress, now that President Obama is seeking legislative approval for the use of force, but there’s also a great, big, gas-baggy media conversation to be had. And judging by the initial reaction to Obama’s push to secure Congressional authorization, the conservative reflex to abandon principle and oppose Obama is already taking hold.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal this morning, Kimberley Strassel whacks Obama for putting the Syria question before Congress, calling his “crude calculus” overtly political and asking: “When did a U.S. commander in chief last so cynically play politics with American credibility?” Per Strassel’s reckoning, if Obama is going to intervene, he should own it.

Now let’s jump all the way back to March 2011, shortly after President Obama ordered military intervention in Libya. At the time, Strassel was incensed that Obama would order the use of force without consulting Congress, calling it bad policy and bad politics.

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