At a news conference in Sweden on Monday, President Obama was asked about his “red line” about Syria’s use of chemical weapons last week and whether his red-line comment had boxed him in. He seemed to deny it.
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“I didn’t set a red line. The world set a red line” when it outlawed chemical weapons, Obama said.
After punting to Congress, Obama went golfing. He must have come up with that “We are the world” rhetorical gambit while meditating on the golf course, or perhaps using a wedge to get out of a sand trap.
Then he said, “My credibility’s not on the line. The international community’s credibility is on the line, and America and Congress’ credibility is on the line because we give lip service to the notion that these international norms are important.”
So, after he was prepared to unleash a few cruise missiles on Syria, President Obama decided to let those pesky Tea Party Republicans take over the responsibility for America’s credibility.
We can’t believe he went all the way to Sweden to do blame shifting to some nebulous “international community” that doesn’t include Great Britain and so far just seems to amount to moral support from France and Australia. And shift blame from himself to Congress.
If President Obama is such a great speaker, why didn’t he send Vice President Joe Biden to the G-20 conference in Russia? He could stay home and go on TV and make his case to the American people. Instead of campaigning around the country to take money from those who worked hard to earn and give to someone else, he could address the country as a whole. Other presidents have done that. Why not Obama?
Monday the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 10-7 to approve a resolution supporting the president’s use of force against Syria, with amendments by Sen. John McCain that turn it from a simple response to a strategy.
Whatever happens with the Senate and House of Representatives over the next few days, one thing is for sure: President Obama’s credibility is shrinking as fast as the remaining days he has in office. He has, in the words of Simon & Garfunkel, squandered his resistance “for a pocket full of mumbles.”