A certain segment of the liberal MSM seems to have turned on Obama (at least temporarily) for his Syria policy.
One would expect criticism from Niles Gardiner of Britain’s Telegraph; after all, he was once an aide to Thatcher. But even the leftist Guardian is not pleased. And Maureen Dowd, once an Obama admirer, is scathing on Obama and Syria—comparing him to Bush, perhaps the unkindest cut of all.
Here’s a bit of the flavor of Dowd’s column, featuring her characteristic snark:
Now, when it is clear Obama can’t convince Congress, the American public, his own wife, the world, Liz Cheney or even Donald “Shock and Awe” Rumsfeld to bomb Syria — just a teensy-weensy bit — Pooty-Poot (as W. called him) rides, shirtless, to the rescue, offering him a face-saving way out? If it were a movie, we’d know it was a trick. We can’t trust the soulless Putin — his Botox has given the former K.G.B. officer even more of a poker face — or the heartless Bashar al-Assad. By Tuesday, Putin the Peacemaker was already setting conditions.
Just as Obama and Kerry — with assists from Hillary and some senators — were huffing and puffing that it was their military threat that led to the breakthrough, Putin moved to neuter them, saying they’d have to drop their military threat before any deal could proceed. The administration’s saber-rattling felt more like knees rattling. Oh, for the good old days when Obama was leading from behind. Now these guys are leading by slip-of-the-tongue.
A blogger on the right could hardly have put it better.
What gives? After all of the outrageous things Obama has done, why is this the one that’s really getting the goat of his erstwhile admirers? Not very many people have been able to muster up their usual praise. Even Obama’s usual yes-man, Ezra Klein, seems lukewarm at best.
I submit that it’s for two reasons. The first is that Obama is advocating a military action (or at least he was until recently) in a manner that seems to them somewhat reminiscent of George W. Bush, their arch-nemesis. The second is that he has made himself look foolish, and transparently so. And if he looks foolish, it makes his usual admirers look foolish, for having called him such a brilliant tactician and strategist.
They can forgive many things, but not being made to look foolish.