I may have underestimated the scope of Barack Obama's foreign policy meltdown the other day. It may not be just the Obama Doctrine that is jumping the shark; it may be the Obamidency itself as well, with lame duck status waiting on the other side.
Oh, yes, of course the usual caveats about his decreeing himself a third term and canceling the 2016 election still and always will apply. But with Syria and ISIS having (pun intended) blown up in his face and no longer being kickable any further down this particular road, and with both Democrat legislators and State governors inching toward the exits, you'd think that any POTUS would recognize the political untenability of his position and beat at least a tactical, even rhetorical, retreat. It wouldn't have any impact on his chosen policy, since he would be lying through his pearly whites about whatever he said to appease his bipartisan domestic critics.
But Barack Obama is not just any POTUS; he is king of narcissists, he is convinced that he's a god, and all gods are omniscient by definition. And since, therefore, a god such as himself is incapable of making mistakes, it has to be, again, by definition, his critics who are wrong. But not just wrong, but also evil, because he has the market cornered on compassion (for all the wrong people) as well.
So now he is threatening to veto a Republican House bill that would (nominally substantively, mostly symbolically) tighten up the vetting process of Syrian "refugees" that the American people overwhelmingly support, just as they overwhelmingly oppose importing more of them after last week's Paris attacks. And he's damned well expecting his congressional counterparts to follow orders and line up behind him:
The White House issued a formal veto threat of a Republican-backed bill to overhaul screening process for Syrian refugees, saying it would “introduce unnecessary and impractical requirements” to the system.
The veto threat used the strongest language the White House uses to communicate veto threats, using this phrasing as the punchline: “Given the lives at stake and the critical importance to our partners in the Middle East and Europe of American leadership in addressing the Syrian refugee crisis, if the President were presented with H.R. 4038, he would veto the bill.”…
The core of the bill would require three three top administration officials — the Secretary of Homeland Security,the Director of National Intelligence and the Director of the FBI — to personally sign off that each Syrian refugee “is not a threat to the security of the United States.”
There is an additional security step added to the process, but what H.R. 4038 mostly does is force the Obama Regime to own its reckless, insane, pro-jihadist Syria "refugee" policy with maximum public visibility. It is, in other words, a deft political move designed to exploit The One's political predicament - being on the wrong side of the American people on importing tens of thousands of passive and violent jihadists into our country - and exacerbate it by playing off of his thin-skinnedness and colossal ego. Either Obama capitulates, signs the bill, and effectively admits that he's been wrong about Syria from the beginning four years ago - a humiliation he would rather die by decapitation with a butter knife than tolerate - or he feebly attempts a moral supremacy counteroffensive by vetoing the bill on the grounds that "Islamophobic" Republicans hate Syrian widows and orphans. Or something.
I've long said that The One's conceit has always made him easily manipulable. Finally, at long last, somebody else besides Vladimir Putin and myself have recognized it.
Walter Russell Mead explains why O is likely not to have much in the way of co-partisan reinforcements on this little counteroffensive:
Obama’s own policy decisions — allowing Assad to convert peaceful demonstrations into an increasingly ugly civil war, refusing to declare safe havens and no fly zones — were instrumental in creating the Syrian refugee crisis. This crisis is in large part the direct consequence of Barack Obama’s decision to stand aside and watch Syria burn. For him to try and use a derisory and symbolic program to allow ten thousand refugees into the United States in order to posture as more caring than those evil Jacksonian rednecks out in the benighted sticks is one of the most cynical, cold-blooded, and nastily divisive moves an American President has made in a long time.
Aaaaaaand vintage Barack Obama. "Cynical, cold-blooded, and nastily divisive" is written into his DNA. "Asshole" would be a more concise way of expressing it. And most pertinently, "asshole" who (assuming he doesn't decree himself a third term) will only be around for another fourteen months before pedaling off into the sunset to become a "most cynical, cold-blooded, and nastily divisive" ex-president (Hey, Jimmy Carter is ninety-one, after all). Whereas congressional Dems, consider themselves to be permanent, lifetime residents of D.C. and therefore have a rapidly diminishing interest in remaining umbilically tied to a POTUS who is playing out the string in increasingly disastrous and politically self-destructive fashion.
This would, of course, only manifest itself with Democrats up for reelection next year in swing- or "red" States, so we're not talking a very large number of defectors. But Dems do have their "brand" to think about as well. The optics of large Democrat minorities sustaining the threatened Obama veto of a bill designed to modestly enhance U.S. security procedures in the wake of a massive jihadist attack in an allied country by an enemy that makes no secret of America being its #1 target - or even worse, filibustering it in the Senate to keep the bill from even making it to Obama's desk - are, to put it charitably, putrid going into an election year. And if there's a Paris or 9/11 magnitude attack here at home between now and Election Day as a result of it? Not just electoral disaster, but a lingering stench that could keep the Democrat party in the political wilderness for years to come. Remember how the Carter presidency cost them the next three presidential elections in a row?
I suppose it depends upon how many rank & file Donks are capable of stepping outside the Left's existential bubble and seeing how keeping Red Barry's back on this will look. I agree with Eeyore: probably not enough to override an Obama veto, but a Senate filibuster? Could be, could be.
UPDATE: They say that ignorance is bliss, but B.O. militantly abuses the privilege:
I think we can safely assume that he doesn't consider any Muslim terrorist group on the feds' official list to be "terrorist". Which means, I guess, that when he insists the the Islamic State "isn't Islamic," he's only saying it that way because he can't credibly claim that the Islamic State isn't terrorist. That also explains why he isn't fighting them and clearly has no desire or intent to do so. Why, after all, in the drafty belfry of his mind, does he need intelligence on any group, entity, or regime he doesn't consider to be an enemy? Let ISIS rape and torture and murder the infidels far and wide; as far as he's concerned, it all falls under the umbrella of "religious justice".
UPDATE II: I told you Dems weren't going to go down with the USS Obamatanic.