Oh, hello, William Kristol, who never met a thing you weren’t completely wrong about. Have you finished sobbing about your laughably recent discovery that Sarah Palin probably does not have a future in politics? Terrific, because we are just dying to know your thoughts on whether we should bomb the ever-lovin’ everything out of Syria. Wait, wait, don’t tell us, let us guess. Is it … “Yes, bomb them to death and then let’s bomb all the other countries to death too for good measure and also Obama sucks”? We bet it is! Let’s see if we are right.
To whet our appetites, please open your column with something stupid. Something like this:
The statesmanlike case for voting Yes on the congressional resolution to use force against the Assad regime has been made widely and well by conservative foreign policy thinkers. At the end, the case boils down to this: As a policy matter, a Yes vote may be problematic in all kinds of ways. But a No vote would likely be disastrous for the nation in very clear ways.
Yes, that will do nicely. Because it’s definitely the “conservative foreign policy thinkers” who have made the case for war on Syria. Like limp-dicked pill-popping gasbag Rush Limbaugh, who so persuaded us with his argument that the White House probably plotted the whole chemical weapons attack thing in Syria to make it look like it was Assad, but it was really Barzini, er, Obama all along. To the mattresses!
Or maybe Kristol is talking about Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-John McCain’s ass), who made this totally-not-hyperbolic argument to win over any remaining fence-sitters:
Graham has been careful to distance himself from Obama, calling on the president to “up his game” and charging that Syria is “the most mismanaged situation I’ve ever seen since World War II when they were trying to to control the Nazis.”
Ah, nothing like casual comparisons to Nazis to sound really reasonable. What a nice slam on the president, too. Think you can do better, William?
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It’s true that Republicans on the Hill lack confidence in President Obama’s execution of the military action they are being asked to vote to authorize. So do conservative foreign and military policy experts, and so do we. But voting Yes doesn’t preclude criticizing—indeed, it makes it easier to constructively criticize—much of what President Obama has done and will do in Syria and in the Middle East.
Nice try — and we certainly appreciate the suggestion that we should bomb Syria because it will “make it easier” to say mean things about the president — but you are missing the requisite Nazi reference that is so popular among Republicans these days, so as with all things, you FAIL. This one goes to Lindsey. What else you got?
A Yes vote is in fact the easy vote. It’s actually close to risk-free. After all, it’s President Obama who is seeking the authorization to use force and who will order and preside over the use of force. It’s fundamentally his policy. Lots of Democrats voted in 2002 to authorize the Iraq war. When that war ran into trouble, it was President Bush and Republicans who paid the price.
Ah, an excellent reason to vote for war. It’s easy! And risk-free! And if it goes badly — not that such a thing would happen, because when do wars ever go badly? — we can all blame Obama. Win win! It’s like one-dimensional checkers! Besides, even if most Americans do not want their representatives to vote for war, (a) fuck those guys, and (b) Americans are stupid and have short memories and won’t even remember this a year from now:
What’s more, primary elections are more than half a year away. Republican senators and congressmen will have plenty of time to reestablish their anti-Obama credentials by fighting Obama on Obama-care, immigration, the debt ceiling, and a host of other issues.
See? It is easy and risk-free! Vote for war now, blame Obama if it goes badly, and Republicans still have plenty of time to remind voters who did not want them to vote for war that Obama sucks so vote Republican. Gosh, this plan looks better and better all the time, doesn’t it? And, better still, check out this cherry on top:
A Yes vote can also be explained as a vote to stop the Iranian nuclear program.
Ooooh. Iran. Bill Kristol has always wanted to do war on Iran. In fact, we should probably just get a list of the countries Kristol does not want to do war on. It would be so much easier that way. Please, Bill, tell us more about how to use Syria as a stepping stone:
Syria is an Iranian proxy. Assad’s ability to use chemical weapons is a proxy for Iran’s ability to move ahead unimpeded in its acquisition of nuclear weapons. To bring this point home, soon after voting to authorize the use of force against the Assad regime, Republicans might consider moving an authorization for the use of force against the Iranian nuclear weapons program.
That is brilliant! Even if Republicans are serious about pretending to be reluctant to go to war with Syria, who doesn’t want to go to war with Iran? It’s the perfect chaser, really, to get that icky Syrian taste out of their mouths. Plus, even more importantly (you know, unless maybe you’re Iranian), it will be a great team-building exercise for the Republican Party, which is sort of in its own civil war at the moment. (This evokes the question “why aren’t we bombing the Republican Party to help it out, Syrian style?” But maybe that’s next on Kristol’s list.)
An Iran debate would pretty much unite Republicans and conservatives and would help mitigate political problems arising from a Yes vote on Syria. The issue of Iran will most likely come to a head before Election Day 2014, probably even before primary elections earlier next year. An Iran resolution means the Syria vote won’t be the most important vote Republicans cast in this session of Congress—it won’t even be the most important foreign policy vote.
See above re: brilliant! Thank you, Bill Kristol, for enlightening us all. Because if we just keep voting for wars ALL THE TIME, stupid short-memory voters won’t even be able to remember the votes for the bad ones. Syria? Dude, that was SO many war votes ago. Caring about it is just SO 2013.