Kicking the commander-in-chief for sport - by Joe Scarborough
Republicans spent the past decade being shocked and stunned by Democrats who dared to question their president’s motives for going to war in Iraq.
The late liberal lion, Sen. Ted Kennedy, took an extra large heaping of abuse from the right for his constant attacks on George W. Bush’s character as commander in chief. One low point for political civility was when Kennedy said the war in Iraq was “made up in Texas” for political purposes.
The House Republican leader at the time called the remarks “hateful,” “disgusting” and attacked the Massachusetts senator for “insulting the president’s patriotism.”
Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review, characterized this and other similar Kennedy comments as “paranoid lunacy.”
I seem to remember him calling Kennedy’s words “shameful.”
And they were.
Can you imagine any United States senator stooping so low as to suggest that our commander in chief would risk the safety of American troops for political purposes?
Sadly, I can.
That’s why I wasn’t surprised to see GOP politicians lining up to question the president’s character in recent days when the topic of Iraq came up again.
GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham practically lifted Kennedy’s words line for line when he told CBS’s Bob Schieffer that “Iraq and Afghanistan are being run out of Chicago, not Washington.”
Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann piled on for the sport of it, saying the decision to end an 8-year war and occupation was decided by “General Axelrod”, the architect of President Obama’s reelection campaign.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry also channeled Teddy Kennedy by accusing the current commander in chief of “putting U.S. troops in peril by making a political statement to his base.”
Given GOP comments over the past weekend, are we to assume that Republicans now consider it acceptable to accuse a president of politicizing a war while threatening the safety of Americans for nakedly political considerations?
Did it ever occur to these Republican candidates that there are millions of conservative Americans who believe that after 8 years, 4,500 U.S. deaths and the federal government’s spending of $750 billion of taxpayers’ money, we have given enough of our blood and treasure to Iraq? That maybe it is time to stop rebuilding Iraq and start rebuilding the U.S.A.?
And that perhaps the president made the decision he did because he thought it was in America’s best interest, instead of simply his own?
I doubt it. Whenever Democrats or Republicans lash out at their political opponents, logic never seems to get in the way of a cheap shot.
At the start of the Iraq war, Ted Kennedy conveniently forgot that the idea to depose Saddam Hussein was not “made up in Texas” but rather during the Clinton administration, when regime change in Iraq became official policy. Kennedy himself supported Clinton’s Iraq policy and told fellow senators that “we have known Saddam Hussein has been seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction for some time.”
This week, it is Republicans who are making themselves look foolish by attacking Obama for following a timeline laid out not by “General Axelrod” but by George W. Bush.
The GOP would do well to live by the same standards of civility that they espoused during the Bush era and be guided by the quaint belief that politics should end at the water’s edge.
Typical "I'm rubber your glue" arguement from a true liberal