It’s official: Obamaism is dead. Hillary Clinton killed it.
It wasn’t so much a mercy killing as an expedient one, but that’s politics in the best sense. The important thing is that she broke the Democratic omertà code by stating the obvious: The president’s 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 “horses–t” to congressional leaders. Even guru David Axelrod blasted her, proving she scored a direct hit on the Chicago mafia’s central nervous system.
The panic is legitimate. Clinton’s 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 — they all said the same thing before her, with little impact. But Clinton, well, she’s not just any Democrat.
Timing matters, too. With an al Qaeda-like state being carved out of parts of Iraq and Syria, and with Russia, China and Iran taking advantage of our retreat, Clinton’s declaration of independence will get the attention of demoralized allies from Europe to the Middle East.
“Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle,” she said in demolishing Obama’s 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’s refusal to agree was a “failure” that led to the creation of ISIS, the murderous Islamists building a terror state.
Yes, it’s 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’s Jeffrey Goldberg:
“You 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.”
She also defended Israel against Hamas, saying of the civilian deaths in Gaza, “Ultimately, the responsibility rests with Hamas.”
These truths are self-evident — except to the Obama wing of the Democratic Party, the United Nations and appeasers everywhere. The president’s 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 “leading from behind,” 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 “tide of war is receding.”
Mosaic magazine features another smart autopsy of his mistakes, with Michael Doran describing Obama’s approach as a “roundtable” negotiation where good and evil reason together to create an “equilibrium that should replace the American-led order of yesteryear.”
Doran, a former security adviser for George W. Bush, calls the idea “a chimera . . . that instead of ending wars . . . has helped prolong and multiply them.” Obama will not change, he writes, because that “would be tantamount to renouncing his cherished legacy.”
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’t 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’s right that Obama’s policies threaten our national security, it is immoral to stay silent.
She spoke up, and I thank her.