Phrases like this stand out:
No matter how you look at it, President Obama played an important part in creating the mess he is in. Through a series of missteps and delays, he has put the prestige of the nation and the presidency at risk. It didn’t have to happen.---Unless President Obama is being deceptively clever – and that is hard to imagine at this point – ---President Obama allowed himself to be cornered by his own words that established a “red line” marker. He can say what he wants now about who first used that image, but for quite some time he has been associated with it. The world is holding him – and his credibility – to it.---This is a point blank failure of leadership. Our best hope is a solution that will allow us to muddle through without too much more harm.In fact, I have only one real bone to pick with the entire editorial, and it comes in this paragraph:
On the other hand, a congressional failure [to approve an attack] will damage the power of the presidency for years to come. It will signal to the world that President Obama is weak and Americans are frightened. It will create even more of a gridlocked Congress than we have now.Two things wrong here.
1. A congressional refusal to follow President Obama down this disastrous path will not damage the power of the presidency. Quite the contrary, it will reassert the Constitutional limitations on the office that have been sadly lacking for decades. The War Powers Act is a Cold-War abomination that needs to (at worst) be completely rewritten, and (at best) completely disappear. The US Senate is the institution with the power to declare war, and we need to get over this idea that the "authorization to use military force" is anything but a blind for moral cowardice on the part of our leaders.
2. The American people are hardly frightened. Quite the contrary, they are angry--angry about more than a decade of continuing imperial wars under presidents and congresses both Republican and Democratic. Angry that nation-building inside the United States has been abandoned to the carcinogenic spread of "defense" contracting and the lobbyist-pedaled notion that cutting even one over-priced toilet seat out of the DOD budget will result in the storming of American beaches by Islamist fanatics. Angry that they are still taking off their shoes in airports, having their emails hacked, and being tracked as terrorists for peaceful political dissent.
Other than that, color me amazed that the News Journal actually admitted what we are all figuring out: it is not racists or Republicans who will cause the lame duck term of this administration to be recorded as an abject failure.
Mr. Obama has done it to himself.