After news broke that Kadafi/Kadaffi/Qadafi/Qaddaffi/Gaddafi/whatever had been captured and killed by Libyan rebels Friday afternoon, if was only natural for everyone to wonder just how the GOP Presidential Candidates would spin yet another foreign policy coup for President Obama. These were, after all, some of his harshest critics. Michele Bachmann said that getting us involved in yet another military conflict was “stretching our forces too thin”… an accusation she repeated during last weeks’ GOP debate DESPITE the fact we did NOT commit one single American troop to the effort. During her follow-up on Fox ‘news’ Sunday following the death of Kadafi, Bachmann went as far as to suggest that had she of been president, Kadafi might still be in power. Why? Bachmann gave the same reason just about every other GOP critic was making in wake of the news: that taking Kadafi out leaves “a power vacuum” in that country. “We don’t know WHO might replace him!”, they dare argue. And I’m thinking to myself, “Gawd that sounds AWFULLY FAMILIAR! Wasn’t that what opponents of the IRAQ War were telling the Bushies when they were pounding the drumbeat of war in 2002-2003?” Now these SAME people have the audacity to LECTURE us on the potential fallout from deposing Kadafi?
Before any Right-wing critics start haranguing Democrats with charges of “hypocrisy”, I only need point out: unlike Iraq, the U.S. DIDN’T START THIS WAR. “Holding off” on deposing Kadafi until a more “convenient” time wasn’t an option. We committed NO ground troops (and soon after, no troops in the skies either), costing us a FRACTION of the Iraq War with NO American troop deaths. And to those Republicans that congratulate the British & French while suggesting America (and by extension, President Obama) played little or no role in the death of Kadafi, I point out that it was an AMERICAN drone that tracked and took out Kadafi’s convoy, which sent him scrambling for cover in that drainpipe where the rebels captured and killed him.
And Obama didn’t befriend Kadafi, take Libya off the list of “nations that sponsor terrorism”, or send envoys over to shake his hand (in a scene eerily reminiscent of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam.) That was YOUR guy.
The icing on the cake came the very next day with President Obama’s announcement that the war in Iraq was now “officially over” and that ALL our troops (sans about 150 trainers) would be “home in time for the holidays”. Again, this was “bad news” according to the GOP. Their spin was to call this “a defeat”. Herman Cain warned of “a big vacuum” that Iran will fill (despite being separated by more than TWO THOUSAND MILES… unlike Iraq, which actually BORDERS on Iran). Mitt Romney called it a “failure” to pull our troops out of Iraq “before an orderly transition” could be established. How much more orderly could it get? Iraq has an established government, they are taking charge and have asked us to leave. Romney would have us occupy a foreign sovereign nation that WE helped create, keeping our troops there for Gawd-only-knows how many more years. Rick Perry suggested the withdrawal (ibid) was likely against the advice of his commanders on the ground (it appears someone needs to remind Rick that all of our combat troops were withdrawn from Iraq more than a year ago.) Lindsey Graham said leaving Iraq without getting the Iraqi’s to agree to let us stay was “a failure” (so then, it’s only a “victory” if we never leave???). That’s what Michele Bachmann seems to think. Bachmann… like Graham… declared on Fox ‘news’ Sunday that she would have kept our troops there against the will of the Iraqi government, even going down the McCain “100 years” route, citing how “we leave troops behind after EVERY war” (ibid). Rick “don’t Google my name” Santorum declared that Obama “lost the war” because “now”, Iran is the dominant power in the region. Uh, Rick… that’s not Obama’s fault. Bush did that by ousting Saddam Hussein… the only check we had on Iran in the region… from power with no plan for the aftermath.
I decided to see what Republicans said after the capture of Saddam in December of 2003. Nothing but praise from a steady stream of top GOP officials and Fox ‘news’ pundits. Number of times they expressed concern for the “power vacuum left behind”, “the balance of power in the region”, or “the wisdom of getting involved in the first place”: ZERO.
A bit more Googling found the odd report of ALL SIX Democratic Presidential candidates PRAISING President Bush following the capture of Saddam despite many of them opposing the war in the first place. Contrast this with the way the Republican presidential candidates reacted to these latest developments of Kadafi and Iraq. These people REALLY ARE a bunch of children.
This all brought up another point: Look at what this president can achieve when he doesn’t have an obstructionist Republican Party blocking his every decision. They blocked President Obama’s comprehensive jobs bill… the “American Jobs Act”, despite getting 50 votes… enough to pass with Biden casting the tie-breaking vote, but not enough to overcome a GOP filibuster, so now EVERY significant bill requires an UNCONSTITUTIONAL 60 votes to pass.
So when THAT failed, Democrats decided to break the bill up into its individual parts and force the GOP to vote on them separately. The result (natch) was to vote down the first portion of the distributed Jobs Act. And there’s no question in my mind they’ll do the same thing over & over again with every individual bill. And that’s the idea. President Obama is finally playing their game by making them vote REPEATEDLY against his Jobs Bill for the next 12 months, and then being forced to explain to voters why they keep voting against creating jobs when unemployment is stuck above 9 percent. These people really would rather destroy the country than see President Obama be elected to a second term (because he’s been “so bad at creating jobs”.) And they accuse DEMOCRATS of “treason”. Pure insanity.
And that’s kinda the point, isn’t it?
Sign my petition for GREEN JOBS TOMORROW fast & cheap. Use those $4 Billion in oil subsidies to put Solar Panels on the roofs of 40,000 government buildings, or order 100,000 hybrid mail-trucks. Not only would this INSTANTLY CREATE JOBS, it would spark ENTIRE INDUSTRIES with a future, reduce our dependency on oil, reduce greenhouse emissions, and quickly pay for itself (and cut future expenses) with the energy savings. We need 5,000 signatures by December 20th.
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