He’s kidding, right? Here George Will calls out the pure arrogance of President Obama and his naive rush to war that has finally galvanized a bipartisan majority in Congress.
It is unfortunate that a foreign policy decision has catalyzed congressional resistance to presidential aggrandizement on many fronts. But no congressional vote about Syria can damage the presidency as much as Obama has done by overreaching, and by sophistical rhetoric that refutes his appeals for unconditional trust. The shriveling of his presidency probably became irreversible when laughter greeted his sophomoric claim that not he but “the world” drew a red line regarding chemical weapons.
After incessant calls for “bipartisanship” to supplant “obstructionism,” there has emerged a broad bipartisan coalition to obstruct his Syrian policy. His policy is doomed without many Democratic senators swallowing their pride, disregarding past convictions and becoming presidential poodles. Such canine obedience will express obedience to progressivism’s unchanging essence — exaltation of executive discretion and disparagement of the separation of powers. That is, implacable impatience with Madison’s constitutional architecture.
Obama hardly has de Gaulle’s kind of mystical identification of himself with his nation, or de Gaulle’s desperate reason for such a conflation. However, Obama’s recent references to “my military” have a French antecedent in Louis XIV’s l’etat c’est moi. This president has inadvertently made the case for strengthening the presidency by pruning the office’s pretensions.