Monday, September 15, 2014

Anti-terrorism is a Schtick and Democrats are worse at it

It doesn't really matter that the GOP has had a horrible record in fighting terrorism, from having the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil occur on their watch, to the disastrous foreign policies that effectively created a terrorist incubation system in Iraq, to its trashing of the U.S. judicial system (in favor of its made-up-on-the-spot military commissions system) which has hampered the ability of the U.S. to adjudicate terrorism cases for more than a decade. Despite all that the American people are under the impression that Republicans are better at dealing with the problem because they have a history talk tougher about the problem even as they are doing stuff to make things worse. So, as Weigel points out, jumping on the "ISIS is an imminent threat!!!" bandwagon doesn't help the Obama administration at all politically. In fact, it hurts them.

I'm not a fan of foreign policy by poll watching. But to the extent this new anti-ISIS campaign is driven by domestic politics (and I think it clearly is), last week's announcement was a major political mistake. I mean, Obama is pursuing a new possible foreign debacle without getting any political bounce from it. How senseless is that?