Obama's dilemma: How do you tell the base that Cheney was right about Iraq?
How disillusioned is the Dem base? I exchanged a few emails with some old high school friends. They voted for Obama. I would not describe them as "cultists" but they clearly drank the Kool Aid.
We started talking about Iraq and it did not take long for the conversation to turn into Bush-bashing.
I said: "Guys we're in year 6 of the Obama presidency......"
Reply: "Well, Bush broke Iraq....."
I said: "Get back to me when you want to have a serious chat about Iraq and ISIS...."
The left is down to Bush-bashing, a clear sign that there are desperate about their current situation.
My guess is that President Obama has already decided to take ISIS head on but does not know how to explain it to the Democrat base. He has to address the nation, explain the risk, tell us that ground troops will be going to Iraq and ask Congress for a resolution.
And then he will have to say that Cheney was right about Iraq without actually saying those words.
This is not the place that he thought that he'd be in late summer 2014.
He is also concerned about the "unknowns" of starting a war with ISIS, and there are lots of "unknowns" as Richard Fernandez wrote:
"Like a man in a swimming pool who belatedly realizes that he can’t swim, his first step must be to extend his foot to see if he can reach bottom. If not, then where is the nearest gutter? The problem is the floundering man in the pool had introduced himself as the next Michael Phelps. Now he has to save himself without letting on."
The other "unknown" is starting a war that could very well consume the remaining 30 months of his presidency. I'm sure that he's read about LBJ and Vietnam in 1967-68, how it divided the party and handed the presidency to Nixon.
What if you get into a war with ISIS in Iraq and end up fighting in Syria? What if ISIS turns out to be a more difficult fighting force that we anticipate?
Also, you can't "half fight" with ISIS. Instead, you have to be willing to go the distance and destroy them as much as possible.
None of that is going to be popular with a base who was told in 2012 that the wars were over.