The debate over Syria is on, and it looks like libertarian-leaning Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Justin Amash are leading a strong Republican charge against President Obama’s plan for airstrikes in Syria. Much to the consternation of neocon spear points John McCain and Lindsey Graham, the watered-down version of Obama’s proposal passed in the Senate (10 to 7) yesterday is headed for a big fight in the House, thanks in part to Amash and other Republicans who have expressed principled skepticism about the continued use of the U.S military as a global police force.
But we could not let this moment go by without noting (with great irony and perhaps a tiny shiver) that this Republican anti-interventionist movement has been enjoined if not infused with great enthusiasm and support by rightwing elements who could give two Tomahawks about the Constitution or Syrian civilians or the follies of U.S empire. They are the NoBamas — rightwing pols and mouthpieces who reject anything Obama does even if what he is doing is no different from his illustrious predecessor George W. Bush.
Shrillest and most grating among them are the mommas — Sarah Palin and Liz Cheney — both who were unnervingly candid about their bloodlust during and after Bush’s Global War on Terror. One need only to revisit (if you dare) Palin’s 2008 speech at the GOP presidential convention or her creepy sermon at old Glenn Beck Lincoln-side revival in 2010 to realize that war is her religion. Suddenly, with the prospect of a Democrat thumping his chest and reigning down bombs on Muslims, she says, “let Allah sort it out.” Indeed.
Meanwhile, Cheney, who on Tuesday compared herself to Winston Churchill facing down Adolf Hitler, told an audience of captive Wyoming voters that she wouldn’t support Obama because his plan is amateurish. Maybe so, but is this not the same woman who called for the 2010 CPAC audience to heap “thanks and praise” for the CIA torturers, who chided the president — to standing ovation — for not defending his country enough, for in essence, being a sissy?
Excuse me NoBama mommas, but your slips are showing, and your claws.
No matter, they are in great company with Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham, both of whom were zealous champions for war in Iraq and used their extraordinary access to the mass media to promote war for a decade. They now say it is not in our national interest to pursue it under Obama. Indeed. Maybe Ingraham hopes we forget her gushing 2006 embed diary in Iraq, where she shamelessly played military apparatchik, parroting the Bush democracy-building line and cooed things like, “(Gen. George Casey) talked of incremental steps toward victory — a slow, tough road but one that is vital to our security back home. The time frame is still so short, he said, from dictatorship to free elections. We’re making progress.”
Ingraham now joins (reformed?) 101st Flying Keyboard Brigade Commander Jonah Goldberg in whining over the use of the term “isolationist,” hurled lately by their own kind at other conservatives who oppose military action. Welcome to the party people, but please, don’t insult our intelligence by implying you never used that invective or at least condoned it when Ron Paul was running for president in ’08 and ’12. We have memories too.
And we cannot forget the Jabba the Hutt of radio hosts, Rush Limbaugh, who has also found his inner anti-interventionist and (we guess Paul and Amash should thank him here) is whipping up minions of NoBamas against strikes on Syria as we speak.
“I get into arguments with people about this who still do not understand that no matter what the issue, no matter what day of the week, the either No. 1 or No. 2 objective in the world of Barack Obama is the elimination of any opposition,” Limbaugh said. “You cannot take the 2014 midterm elections out of this equation. You cannot remove from this equation just how desperate the Democrats are to win the House in 2014, anything that can be done to blame the Republicans.”
Come On, Rush, you know as well as we do that your biggest radio paydays are when Dems win elections, so what are you up to? Never mind, he’s joined by a fleet of eager B-team jocks like Dana Loesch, who actually said Syria “will be Obama’s Iraq.” Hey now, we thought you and your friends loved Iraq, in fact, every chance you get you all wheel out your savior David Petraeus and say what a “victory” he led for us. What’s changed?
The sad truth is, even if what they are doing is right, we know they are doing it for the wrong reasons and it’s greasy. If their new-found sentiments had been applied to Iraq in 2003, and the Afghan “Surge” in 2009, tens of thousands of lives could have been saved. If they had applied their new aversion to the surveillance state to Bush in 2006 when it mattered, Obama wouldn’t have been able to blow it out in 2008. They are hypocrites and their hypocrisy has consequences. It can’t hurt to keep that in mind when the mommas roar.