Parallel GOP Universes: Hyperbolic and Counter-Intuitive Myths, Claims and Canards, September 10-11, 2013

1. Republicans are calling the possible diplomatic solution to the Syrian chemical weapons issues a “gaffe” at best and a hoodwinking by Putin and Assad at worst. In other words, they, as usual, are scripting an event as the opposite of what it really is. In this case, a peaceful solution is said to fatally weaken us and will only lead to our eventual destruction. Rather than acknowledging Kerry’s and Obama’s brilliant diplomatic move, they see it as the final disaster, and you have to wonder how long it will be until they start calling for a military incursion into Syria.

They even go all the way to Crazytown by claiming that Obama’s “gaffes” somehow justify the foreign policy positions of Bush and Romney:

But I’d bet that Bush and Romney aren’t actually laughing. That’s because they’re both serious men who understand international politics and who care for the future of the country. They no doubt understand that, as fun as it is to watch a political opponent twist in the wind due to his own ineptitude, the price will ultimately be paid not by Obama, but by the people of America.

Our diplomacy is a joke, our president is a laughing stock, our enemies are emboldened, and we’ve still got over three years of this to go. Nothing funny there at all, alas.

Glenn Reynolds, “Obama Is a Laughing Stock”, USA Today

2. Even though the Syria situation seems to be shifting every hour as a US military strike looks increasingly unlikely, the Tea Party wing of the GOP maintains their narrative that Obama is the worst US President ever and has completely bungled foreign affairs. Conrad Black pushes the “failed administration” meme further by comparing its disastrous effects to the fall of the Soviet Union. (Warning: hyperbole bomb about to be detonated):

Not since the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, and prior to that the fall of France in 1940, has there been so swift an erosion of the world influence of a Great Power as we are witnessing with the United States.

Collapse of American Influence Recalls Disintegration of Soviet Union, Fall of France

3. Over at Breitbart, Obama’s quest for a deal with Putin and Assad on weapons inspections is now being called “Obama’s Munich,” even though just last week the Obama administration was being savaged for pursuing a military rather than a diplomatic solution:

A mere five days ago, the Obama administration suggested that any UN investigation into the Syrian chemical attack was irrelevant. “The UN investigation will not affirm who used these chemical weapons,” Kerry said. “By the definition of their own mandate, the UN can’t tell us anything that we haven’t shared with you this afternoon or that we don’t already know.”

Now, however, Assad is reasonable, the UN is hunky dory, and Harry Reid has cancelled a planned Senate vote on action in Syria. The Obama administration’s diplomatic genius has somehow emerged victorious. All America left behind was its credibility and any semblance of coherent foreign policy.

Thanks to President Obama’s statements in August 2012 regarding a Syrian “red line” on chemical weapons use in Syria, the United States was faced with three choices in Syria: depose Assad; do nothing in order to prevent al Qaeda from taking over the country (likely the best option); or, as Kerry advocated, push for an “unbelievably small” action in order to reinforce America’s credibility. The third option was the worst. But in a truly awe-inspiring display of his foreign policy genius, President Obama has found a fourth option: appeasement, complete with international weapons inspections it rejected just a week ago. Welcome to Barack Obama’s Munich.

“Peace In Our Time: Obama Caves In to Putin, Assad, Iran”

4. You can’t make this stuff up: Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) now suggests that our former consulate in Benghazi is somehow linked to arming Syrian rebels:

A top congressional appropriator suggested on Monday evening that the State Department and CIA might have been stockpiling weapons for Syrian opposition fighters when they came under attack by jihadists in Benghazi, Libya.

“I firmly believe that whatever the State Department and CIA were doing in Benghazi had a direct connection to U.S. policy in Syria—a policy that to date has not been fully revealed to the American people or Congress,” Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.) said on Monday evening during a discussion focusing on “unanswered questions” surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, attack that killed four Americans.

“Were these rebels being armed with weapons collected in Benghazi?” Wolf asked, according to a copy of his prepared remarks. “Again, there is reason to believe this may be the case and a clear explanation is warranted.”

5. And if you’re going to play the Benghazi card, why not the race card as well? First, Rush Limbaugh called Obama’s Syrian policy “Operation Shuck and Jive”, and then Anne Coulter went on Fox News to call Obama “Putin’s monkey”.

6. Just after the Wall Street Journal called Obama a “junior camel trader” based on his speech on Syria, John Podhoretz, in the New York Post, went a wee bit over the top in villifying the speech:

“Thanks to Pres. Obama’s strength,” tweeted House Democratic honcho Nancy Pelosi, “we have a Russian proposal.” The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein tweeted, “Kind of amazed I’m saying this, but the White House may really be about to win on Syria.”

Ah, yes, winning. Which is to say, being humiliated, acting weak, behaving in vacillatory fashion, making a mockery of your office, destroying your country’s credibility, making your own words look desperately foolish, and ceding foreign policy to the Machiavellian machinations of a gangster regime in Moscow.

That’s what you call “winning” when what you mean by “winning” is “losing.”

Jimmy Carter can rest easy now. There’s another Democratic president worse at foreign policy than he ever was.

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