It‚Äôs official: Obamaism is dead. Hillary Clinton killed it.
It wasn‚Äôt so much a mercy killing as an expedient one, but that‚Äôs politics in the best sense. The important thing is that she broke the Democratic omert√† code by stating the obvious: The president‚Äôs policy of having America sit on the sidelines of a burning world is a disaster that threatens our national security.
The power of her argument is confirmed by a report that a testy Obama called it ‚Äúhorses‚Äďt‚ÄĚ to congressional leaders. Even guru David Axelrod blasted her, proving she scored a direct hit on the Chicago mafia‚Äôs central nervous system.
The panic is legitimate. Clinton‚Äôs comments to The Atlantic magazine give security-minded Democrats permission to break ranks with the White House. Good God, they are free at last.
Republicans John McCain, Mitt Romney, Dick Cheney, Lindsey Graham, Pete King, Ted Cruz ‚ÄĒ they all said the same thing before her, with little impact. But Clinton, well, she‚Äôs not just any Democrat.
Timing matters, too. With an al‚ÄČQaeda-like state being carved out of parts of Iraq and Syria, and with Russia, China and Iran taking advantage of our retreat, Clinton‚Äôs declaration of independence will get the attention of demoralized allies from Europe to the Middle East.
‚ÄúGreat nations need organizing principles, and ‚ÄėDon‚Äôt do stupid stuff‚Äô is not an organizing principle,‚ÄĚ she said in demolishing Obama‚Äôs excuse for doing nothing.
As secretary of state, she wanted to arm Syrian rebels to help topple Bashar al-Assad, and now she says Obama‚Äôs refusal to agree was a ‚Äúfailure‚ÄĚ that led to the creation of ISIS, the murderous Islamists building a terror state.
Yes, it‚Äôs all self-serving, but her logic is compelling and she extended it to other hot spots, even equating the fight against Islamists to the fight against communism. As she told The Atlantic‚Äôs Jeffrey Goldberg:
‚ÄúYou know, we did a good job in containing the Soviet Union but we made a lot of mistakes, we supported really nasty guys, we did some things that we are not particularly proud of, from Latin America to Southeast Asia, but we did have a kind of overarching framework about what we were trying to do that did lead to the defeat of the Soviet Union and the collapse of communism. That was our objective. We achieved it.‚ÄĚ
She also defended Israel against Hamas, saying of the civilian deaths in Gaza, ‚ÄúUltimately, the responsibility rests with Hamas.‚ÄĚ
These truths are self-evident ‚ÄĒ except to the Obama wing of the Democratic Party, the United Nations and appeasers everywhere. The president‚Äôs thinly veiled belief that America has been more of a problem than a solution is the foundation of his do-nothingism.
He rejects American exceptionalism and substitutes ‚Äúleading from behind,‚ÄĚ a concept as wise as the flat-earth theory. The fact that he had to order military strikes against ISIS in Iraq proves the idiocy of his claim that the ‚Äútide of war is receding.‚ÄĚ
Mosaic magazine features another smart autopsy of his mistakes, with Michael Doran describing Obama‚Äôs approach as a ‚Äúroundtable‚ÄĚ negotiation where good and evil reason together to create an ‚Äúequilibrium that should replace the American-led order of yesteryear.‚ÄĚ
Doran, a former security adviser for George W. Bush, calls the idea ‚Äúa chimera .‚ÄČ.‚ÄČ. that instead of ending wars .‚ÄČ.‚ÄČ. has helped prolong and multiply them.‚ÄĚ Obama will not change, he writes, because that ‚Äúwould be tantamount to renouncing his cherished legacy.‚ÄĚ
Clinton renounced it for both of them.
As for the politics, she obviously sees a break with her former boss as a plus for her 2016 race, or she wouldn‚Äôt have done it. That she sounds like a neocon might provoke a primary challenge from the left, and so she could pay a price.
But in the short term, she changes the subject from her money-grubbing scandals and tries to move beyond her lackluster tenure at State and the biggest failure on her watch, the Benghazi attack, by making a serious point.
So the politics could cut both ways, but the merits are clear. Because she‚Äôs right that Obama‚Äôs policies threaten our national security, it is immoral to stay silent.
She spoke up, and I thank her.