The Partisan Divide Has Never Been Wider
There are two editorials in The Washington Post today. The liberal leaning Fareed Zakaria wrote "Obama on the path to success in Syria" while conservative leaning Michael Gerson titled his piece, "Obama's missteps in Syria lead to retreat." And so it goes.
The Grand Canyon-like chasm that divides along party lines would be laughable if it weren't so pathetically sad. And before I go any further, no, both sides don't do it.
As Steve Benen notes:
"I suppose this is about the point at which some will suggest Democrats are equally guilty of playing politics with foreign policy and national security, but recent evidence points in the exact opposite direction.
For much of the Bush/Cheney era, Democrats were, often to the chagrin of their base, willing to be constructive partners with Republicans -- large numbers of Democratic lawmakers voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq in large numbers; they backed the PATRIOT Act; and they approved a revised FISA law. Democrats could have simply said they opposed Bush/Cheney, and voted accordingly, but they took the notion of a 'loyal opposition' seriously.
The Republican Party has been co-opted by more than a handful of Tea Party politicians, some of them verifiably nuts, but the party goes along to get along for fear of being primaried from the right. Their Anti-Obama Doctrine has crippled the House of Representatives, slowed the Senate to a crawl and revealed their hypocrisy for all to see.Likewise, if Democrats were reflexive partisans on questions like these, we'd also see Dem lawmakers lining up in droves to endorse President Obama's proposed intervention in Syria. Except, that's not happening, either."
The situation/crisis in Syria is a perfect example in a microcosm. It was just a few weeks ago that you couldn't find a Republican worth his spit, or anyone on Fox News for that matter, who didn't call President Obama weak in his failure to act on the situation in Syria.
Rep. Peter King (R-New York): “I just wish the president had laid this out better. I wish he'd quit backing away from his own red line," King said Sunday during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press." "And I wish he was more of a commander in chief than a community organizer."
King added he'd support a strike despite the President's lack of leadership. But that was before President Obama gave them what they were asking for. I don't know if King supports a strike now.
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma): "It's more important now than ever that President Obama step up and exhibit the leadership required of the commander in chief. It's time he clearly articulate a plan to help stem the violence, lead the international community, and demonstrate to Assad that his barbaric actions have consequences."
That was Inhofe's stance before the President concurred. Now he's against a strike because "our military has no money left." ...Like that's ever stopped us before.
I can give you further examples of the amazing contortions the GOP is taking to oppose the White House now that there is a possibility they may be seen in broad daylight actually agreeing with anything President Obama has to offer, but it would just be a time-wasting exercise.
Rep. Steve Israel (D-New York), said it best and called the GOP out:
“What has fascinated me more than anything is this,” said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.). “Does anyone truly believe that if Mitt Romney had been elected president and had asked House Republicans for exactly what President Obama is asking, that House Republicans would oppose it to the extent that they’re opposed to what President Obama wants? The level of hypocrisy is what amazes me.”
Does anyone seriously doubt Rep. Israel's question? Does anyone doubt that the Republican Party, since Mitch McConnell claimed that their top priority would be to see Obama be a one term president, has done absolutely nothing but obfuscate and obstruct?
The House just came back from a five week recess and has/had only nine working days before the deadline to pass new funding legislation by September 30th, or risk government shutdown. And what was first on their agenda? Figuring out a way to defund Obamacare - besides the fact that they've voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act FORTY times, and delaying a forty-first time by trying to toss it into the lap of the Senate - as if by some miracle it would pass, do they think the President would actually sign it?!
And I can do nothing but laugh in the face of those who actually blame President Obama for the partisan divide. To that faction of America, he may ultimately be the cause of it, but really, who is to blame? And why? I think we all know the answer to that one.
And what does it say about those same people, and those in the right wing media, who now claim they're on the side of Vladimir Putin? Seriously. But it's President Obama who is to blame for the partisan divide.