Fallout from “The Speech”

Republicans aren’t impressed by President Obama’s ISIS speech, primarily because it lacks a clear strategy and relies on short-term tactics, telegraphs to the terrorists what we will and won’t do, and may lead to ultimate failure since we will be relying on the weak Iraqi government and a ragtag assemblage of rebels in Syria who have terrorist elements in their ranks also.

Democrats, meanwhile, are almost at a loss as to how to respond to their leader’s course of action. Most of them have an inherent abhorrence of using military power for anything and a good number are nearly petrified that this will so alienate the Democrat base that they will lose badly in the November congressional elections. Well, that last part is probably going to happen anyway, but this only makes it worse for them.

Perhaps the only happy segment of society in the wake of Obama’s speech is the political cartoonists. With Barack Obama in office, they never lack for material. Take, for instance, the report that the president practically had to be dragged to the microphone by advisers to make any kind of tough statement on ISIS. One cartoonist captured the essence of Obama’s reluctance:

Confronting ISIS

When he did grace us with his presence for this important speech, he then startled a good part of the viewing audience by declaring that the ISIS Islamic terrorists weren’t really Islamic. Really.

Aren't Islamic

Frankly, that wasn’t a very good lead-in for the rest of his speech. Unfortunately, the remainder of the speech, while including some high-sounding phrases and well-worn platitudes, also didn’t measure up:

Made More Sense

The part about turning the actual fighting over to those who already live on the ground in the Middle East, while sounding wise, ignores the reality of the situation there. One cartoonist likened it to . . . well, see for yourself:

Here's a Scalpel

Then there’s the rather well-established fact that poll numbers drove the decision to rethink his Middle East strategy so that he actually had one. The latest polls are devastating in every area of policy, and the one that shows Americans feel less safe now than at any time since 9/11 had to factor into the urge to make the speech. After all, nearly everything this president does is predicated on political considerations:

Inside Obama's Brain

He’s not an engima; there’s no mystery here. He is what he is, and hasn’t wavered in his perspective through his entire presidency. Consistency is normally a good thing, but only if what you are consistent in is worthy in the first place.