GOP is ever on the attack

Conservatives must love Barack Obama. Every time the President flirts with disaster they come to his rescue. Because of their militancy on foreign policy they are genetically, it would seem, usable to exploit Obama’s weaknesses. Instead of focusing on pertinent issues, they go the inflammatory route.

No better example is the release of “Bo” Bergdahl. Held hostage for five years, Obama obtained his release by releasing five used-up Taliban commanders. On their mouthpiece, FOX, conservatives have tried, convicted and executed Bergdahl without a shred of hard evidence. It is Benghazi all over again, with circumstantial asides and inferences, with faint suggestions of impeachment. Unfocused and scattered, they appear repetitive and wedded to the same tired approach they have employed since Barack Obama became a force in the Democratic party.

What they could do is examine Obama’s foreign policy. Instead of questioning why the United States intervened in Libya, the neo-conservatives are transfixed with an incident that would have never happened if Muammar al-Gaddafi had not been overthrown in 2011. But Republicans, given their reflex to send troops, thanks to the likes of John McCain and Lindsay Graham, can only concern themselves with particulars. Same with Afghanistan, where Obama has dragged his feet on total withdrawal – it boils down to Bergdahl in Republican perspective. Once more they appear small-minded and petty.

With the sole exception of Rand Paul, whose discussion of foreign policy has been clear and intelligent, GOP activists are wedded to the unpleasant legacy of George W. Bush.

Partially because Obama has continued his predecessor,s approach to the world, the Republicans are intellectually flummoxed. Despite their ubiquitous charge that Obama is weak, the fact remains that the current president is every bit as active as George W. Bush. If Richard Cheney had been as bombastic as John Kerry, you would have had vigils and candles by liberals urging “give peace a chance.” Instead they pick at trifles and human interest stories, forgetting what is important.

This is why Obama will probably fair better in the midterm elections than pundits have predicted. Most conservatives appear as obsessed with getting rid of Obama as they were Bill Clinton. Ted Cruz has described gaining the Senate as important because you can impeach Obama and maybe, if lucky, remove him from office. Returning to the choleric fringe only plays into Democratic hands. With the economy improving, Obama does not look quite as vulnerable. Indeed he faces more challenges from the left than the right.

The Republicans fail to understand the unifying principles among Democrats is to defend the president against conservative abuse. No better way to unite the left around Obama than to go back to juvenile asides and “smear and sear.”