As we waited for President Obama’s announcement tonight that he has authorized limited airstrikes on ISIS in Iraq, The Kelly File called on Fox’s digital politics editor, Chris Stirewalt, to chat about the difficult choices facing President Obama. But Stirewalt deflected and used his airtime to take swipes at Obama over Russia, Gaza, Libya, Syria, his approval ratings, his rhetorical habits and more. Substitute host Shannon Bream never objected.
“What does he do with this one?” Bream asked, referring to the dilemmas facing Obama in Iraq.
Instead of answering the question, Stirewalt used it as a springboard to malign Obama over issues that have nothing to do with Iraq:
Well, there’s a substantial political overlay here, Shannon, because we have seen the president’s approval ratings with the American people plummet on foreign policy as these crises – not just with ISIS but in Eastern Europe with Vladimir Putin, with the ongoing conflict in Gaza, consequences of the Arab spring and on and on. And especially the U.S. border crisis. So the president and Democrats are at a low ebb right now in the public confidence and their ability to handle international crises.
Obviously, Stirewalt intends to do his best to keep that public confidence at a low ebb.
Bream asked whether Obama’s actions will be “enough to satisfy” those “who are so worried” about the trapped Iraqis and how Obama will “thread that needle” with his anti-war base.
Again, Stirewalt ducked the question in favor of taking potshots at Obama:
Well, there’s enough and then there’s enough. The question here for the president is, you call attention to it, you say we have to do something to help these people. You call attention to the people you formerly called “the J.V .team dressed up in Kobe Bryant jersey.” You call attention to the problem, you say that a potential threat to the United States exists. You talk about it and then it goes on.
We watched this president let the civil war in Syria, a genocidal civil war, go on and on and on and continue to this day. We have watched that happen. We have watched Libya – where we instituted regime change, we were part of a coalition that instituted regime change – fall to utter pieces. Absolutely collapse. And the American public, which certainly wanted out of Iraq, and certainly wants out of Afghanistan, and is sick and tired of being sick and tired of watching Americans die at war, are also watching in horror as the world situation and world security unravels while Vladimir Putin laughs from the other side of the Crimean Peninsula.
Finally, Bream asked what Sitrewalt would advise Obama to say in his address.
Sure enough, that was yet another occasion for some more badmouthing:
You’ve gotta be clear. You’ve gotta be strong, you’ve gotta say what you’re gonna do. You don’t want to equivocate. You don’t want to mumblemouth. You don’t want to talk in broad platitudes. This president has a tendency to build straw men and then burn ‘em down. And that’s OK when you’re giving a political speech but when you’re talking about military action or you’re talking about the possibility for military action, you have to say, “This is the problem. This is the solution we propose.” It needs to be clean. It needs to be clear so that you don’t lose the thread.
The other thing he has to worry about is infuriating his political base. Democrats are already not activated for the senate elections this fall to help him keep the Senate. He doesn’t want to scare them and make ‘em think he’s going on a bombing raid in Iraq.
What? No Benghazi?
Watch what passes for impartial analysis on Fox below
Y’know, the sidewalk in front of my place is cracked in a few places from tree roots. When is Obama gonna fix that? Bad Obama!