Posted by Andrew Roman on November 28, 2009
Aside from those who may enjoy a hint of sadomasochism in their private lives, getting spanked from two directions is probably not something most people aspire to – not even the President of the United States (unless he is from Arkansas or Massachusetts).
Any president, obviously, expects to weather his share of open handed political slaps from the other team. It’s what politics are all about. But when a president’s own side starts promising a smack back in response to a policy decision, and it is in addition to the searing heat already coming from the opposition on the same issue, things are definitely getting hairy.
With President Obama already establishing brand new standards for lackadaisical wartime leadership, he is apparently ready to tell the world how the United States will proceed in Afghanistan. The scuttlebutt is he will announce that he is sending as many as 35,000 troops there early next year – less than the 40,000 General Stanley McChrystal requested.
And while Obama’s many months of glittering indecision has disgusted and angered conservatives (and others), the idea that he will send anyone else to Afghanistan is angering some liberals.
Stephen Clark of Fox News writes:
President Obama is days away from announcing a new Afghan strategy, but his immediate battle could come from liberals within his own party who are vowing to “spank” the president for committing tens of thousands of more troops to the eight-year conflict.
“I think there will be some disillusionment within his base,” said Paul Kawika Martin, political director for Peace Action, a grassroots organization, who added that thousands of activists are planning to protest following the president’s announcement.
“We’re going to spank him for sending more troops,” he told FoxNews.com, adding that they may also “thank him” if he announces a quick exit strategy.
The White House has said that the U.S. won’t be in Afghanistan for another eight or nine years. But that won’t satisfy liberals, Martin said.
Indeed, conservatives have criticized the President for his world-class dithering on this issue. They have hit Obama hard on his disinclination to use the word “victory.” They have excoriated him for failing to give the impression to his own troops – and the world at large – that he is determined to do what it takes to win. He has helped build an image of a weakened America throughout the world.
However, there can be little doubt that if the President asks for Republican support for this 35,000 troop surge, he will wind up getting it. They may question – with good reason – why Obama feels he has the expertise to second guess his own generals by sending in less troops than requested, but Republicans will have to support the move.
Couple those Republicans with the Dems who actually would be willing to support the measure, and the President will be left having to contend with the anti-war left who are promising to “spank” him for his decision.
I’d love someone to define that for me. (No illustrations needed).
Even though Obama’s announcement is sure to reawaken the anti-war movement, Martin said, the protests won’t be as intense as they were in the Bush era because the movement has been weakened by the economic recession — some organizations have shed up to 40 percent of staff in the past year, he said — and is distracted by the national health care debate. He also said many members of the movement voted for Obama and trust him more than the Bush administration.
“So you don’t have that same type of anger,” he said.
But without the support of congressional Democrats, Obama will find himself in the awkward position of relying on the support of Republicans who largely oppose his domestic agenda. And he may have to explain how he supports a troop surge in Afghanistan when he opposed one in Iraq two years ago.
The word “irony” comes to mind.
Remember, this is the “necessary war,” according to President Obama. It is so “necessary,” in fact, that Obama has decided to go McChrystal-light.
Bammy knows best.