Usually a major presidential address on an issue is for the benefit and illumination of the entire population. President Obama’s December 1st Afghanistan speech is not one of those. It is a redress, a kind of ‘fix’ or remedy for the problems he faces with that country. However, this redress is not primarily for solving the Afghan dilemma. Obama’s speech is for one group and one group only. This redress is to the Democrats alone. Any fallout or support that comes from other Americans is collateral. The president is in a political pickle and he hopes he can fix the fissures that are growing within his party.
Last year after the political bloodbath that was a Republican disaster, the lame-brained media ran with a common narrative. The Democratic Party was the future, in their opinion, of the country. Republicans were so beaten down and battered they were irrelevant and could be effectively ignored. All power lay within the far left wing of the Democratic Party and a realignment of the nation’s polity was eminent. The establishment of the GOP ruefully predicted the Reagan wing of the party permanently marginalized and disorganized. If the Republicans hoped to remain a part of the political discourse, they’d have to become collectivists. It was the final nail in the coffin of the conservative movement.
What a difference a year, a bunch of lies, a furious public, a jobless recession ‘recovery’, and a dissatisfied left fringe has made. Instead of easily riding to legislative victory after legislative victory, there has been a political quagmire bogging down the left’s agenda to the surprise of the pundits. The best and the brightest were not only wrong, they were spectacularly obtuse. The American population has voiced, demonstrated, called, and raged against the collectivist machine. The sand and mud they’ve been throwing have seized the cogs in the driving engine of political socialization.
Obama had campaigned on making Afghanistan the centerpiece of his war on man-made disasters. He thought this was the winning strategy politically and he was right. However, this was not a good move on a foreign affairs level. Afghanistan, instead of being an easy, win-win situation, has become a serious problem for him. His far left allies are not happy and his more moderate lap dogs are growling. He’s watered down the idea of success to be extraction from and not winning the fight in that country.
His uber-liberal wingnuts believed that Iraq and Afghanistan are conservative diversions. They don’t believe the wars are either necessary or important. Foreign affairs is silly little exercise in peeing contests and not an important forum for keeping us safe. With much of the Western World racing toward socialization and amalgamation, they believe these wars prevent us for ‘joining together in a New World Order’ where peace and prosperity come to us as easily as a ham sandwich on the holodeck. The president’s refusal to simply begin pulling out the troops and downsizing the conflicts appear as catering to the right. In fact, Obama agrees but has a problem, if he does and we are attacked, he’s political chipped beef on a shingle.
The Daily Kosmonauts and their friends at the HuffingPuffington Post are incensed with him. It would be so easy, they reason. If we stop bombing them, they’ll be our friends. So goes their myopic view of external threats.
The moderates, really liberals who are not socialists, are frightened. They look at the Tea Parties, the Town Halls, the letter, cards, emails, and phone calls with sincere dread. Their political capital is drying up quicker than an ice cube in the Mojave. The polls are falling so fast their collective heads are spinning. Obama must shore up these people. So, he tells them fairy tales. He says that the money and political support will be there next year. He tells them he’ll get them some nice pork sandwiches to serve with their rhetorical Koolaid. They will have union thugs and untold numbers in the bank, if they only support his initiatives.
Afghanistan is particularly troubling since his own choice for general punked him out writing an actual plan for winning the war. He wanted a nice exit strategy where success was a planned withdrawal and not an actual defeat of the Taliban. McChrystal went and made a responsible effort which boxed him in.
And so, he speechifies on Tuesday. He will try and calm the red-faced far left and wink at the near left and talk about his resolve. He will speak in code of success, but his success is not necessarily the country’s success. He wants out. He wants his Nobel Prize to be earned with that cave in. He wants his party faithful to shut up and let him do his job, socializing the nation’s economy and political process.
That is his redress. Silence his critics and coddle his supporters. Then we can all have the change left in our pockets and our hopes dashed.