I wrote the following comments on AJC blogger and columnist’s Jay Bookman blog today, February 28, 2016 in response to the comments of other posters on that blog regarding New York Times columnist Ross Douthat’s column given in the below link:
This link is from one of the conservative columnists on “The New York Times,” and his opinion is skewed toward, unfairly, associating Obama (and thus Hillary Clinton) with Donald Trump, in terms of the direction each “side” wishes to take America – but, in fact, those visions for our nation are diametrically opposed.
Obama has NOT had an “Imperial Presidency” if you analyze deeper than surface stereotypes and intentional propaganda, and don’t simply follow the thinking lead of one-dimensional journalists.
Who do you think did NOT bomb Syria, even after he said he would, if Assad used chemical weapons? Why did Obama make that – now much criticized – decision?
Because Obama followed the lead of the English government, and let the will of the people decide that most important turn of direction of the war in Syria – and here in America that will of the people is the American Congress, which failed to give Obama support for attacking Assad, at that critical time.
Go back and read the sequence of events in newspapers (across the globe) as those events fell regarding Syria, at that time in our mutual history. The English Prime Minister was held back by the English Parliament, by wise political choice on the Prime Minister’s part.
Obama did NOT bomb Syria because he did NOT want a President of the United States to have IMPERIAL power, as a precedent for future American presidents, because Obama is a President of vision. He wanted the will of the people, themselves, to prevail in a decision of that magnitude through the decision of the U.S. Congress. The U. S. Congress, dominated by Republicans, would not support President Obama in choosing to bomb Assad’s Syria even though the President had said he would if Assad crossed the line of using chemical weapons – which Assad did. Because Obama did NOT want to set precedence for an imperial presidency he backed down because the will of the American people, through their representatives in Congress gave President Obama no support in fulfilling that pledge.
Another poster to Mary Elizabeth: “The last time an American President was held back by a British Prime Minister, Disraeli was in power. There is a reason Tony Blair was nicknamed ‘Bush’s poodle. ‘”
Mary Elizabeth’s Response:
President Obama considered more thoroughly what he would be doing by bombing Syria without Congress’ support after observing the democratic British decision to curtail their Prime Minister’s aggressive action in Syria -not ‘held back by the British.’ Furthermore, Obama was wise to keep America and the Presidency the opposite of imperial, even if he personally had to lose face in his decision. He was insuring that the future of our nation would remain democratic, just as Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln had, in their presidential decisions.
You are not looking at facts as they occurred in history and – more importantly – you fail to see/grasp what was really happening, even though, of course, Obama – also – had personal, immediate political considerations in that he did not want Republicans later to say that he should be impeached for having made an imperial choice (multi-reasons for Obama’s decision not to bomb in Syria, although he had said that he would).
I have studied Obama’s mind for 8 years and have read every major speech in full which he has ever delivered to the America people/the world (Nobel Prize, speech in Cairo University in Egypt, Racism in America, etc.) and I have a pretty good idea about how he thinks and about how he prioritizes for our nation’s future. Look deeper.