Rick ran a sort of interesting column from Robert Reich, who is apparently taking time off from mourning the passing of the Soviet Union to lament how much of a distraction Syria has been to the national agenda.
His column dovetails quite nicely with a growing sense of historians of the extent to which the Obama Regime has allowed itself to be hijacked by poor judgment calls in terms of battle selection. In other words, Obama may have had a real shot at addressing issues of rising cost of higher education, immigration reform and job creation, if he hadn’t expended every dollar of his political capital in pointless gun control battles, the Syria fight and the refusal to discuss reasonable changes to the Obamatax. In each instance, there has been an apparent stubborn streak, compounded by the interesting question of who is calling the shots in the White House. One can’t shake the sense that this whole Syrian adventure has been a joint effort of bad foreign policy advisers with personal agendas, compounded with Obama’s foot in mouth disease regarding red lines. Equally, Obama seems to have over estimated the public interest in gun control, and poured endless energy into a cause which, if otherwise spent, may have provided a basis for immigration reform. Equally, when his own Regime has identified problems with Obamatax, the steadfast refusal to discuss “tweaks” has been baffling. A few weeks ago, the Congressional Record had an article submitted by Congressional Republicans noting that Social Security has been subject to more than 21,000 (yes, thousand) tweaks in the past fifty years, and that Johnson’s Great Society programs have been “tweaked” no fewer than 980 times to fix apparent “train wrecks.” Obama has signed 7 “tweaks,” and even Senate Democrats admit that more are needed. But by digging in his heels, Obama sets up wars with Congress that don’t gain him any ground.
It’s so easy for the president to blame Congress. But the truth is that Obama has been remarkably ineffective, even compared to Bush and Clinton, in getting the people to support his agenda. If Syria is a distraction, its because Obama needed Congressional Republicans to support this military adventure, which was apparently going to cost him a lot. But those distractions are the property of the Regime. The buck stops at Obama’s desk–that’s the object with his foot on it.