The civil war in Syria isn’t funny. But the civil war it’s causing within the Republican Party is really funny.
First things first: bombing Syrian is unpopular. Most people don’t even know where in the Middle East the country is located, nor do they need to. Their current president looks a little like a Muppet, and a line from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” — “Oh, no! No one can go to Syria anymore for vacation!” — pretty much sums up what were all thinking.
Military engagement in Syria is so unappealing to voters that President Obama actually felt the need to schedule an interview tour with six major networks on the same day. It was meant to guarantee that his remarks would reach every dummy within hearing range of a television screen, but so far no one’s buying it.
Every Democrat who isn’t suckling at the Reid-Pelosi teat is heading for the hills. Even congressional candidate Sean Eldridge, the husband of New Republic owner Chris Hughes (whose magazine I described as a “bastion of progressive elitism” in August), hasn’t dared come forward in support of a military strike. This is despite the fact that he likely won’t be elected to office without Obama’s New York network.
Approval ratings were waning so quickly that the administration began reaching out to Bush-era officials whose heyday has passed. The same foreign policy architects whose failed military engagements Obama ran against in the first place have become his Plan C spokesmen. Susan Rice asked for public approval from former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, which he gave in a dire warning. Disgraced former World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz also came out of the woodwork to assure Republicans that “we would be rewarded for … supporting the Syrian opposition.”
But here’s the mistake Obama’s making: we don’t care about these balding maniacs. The wacko birds are in charge now, pecking away at any and every attempt to increase the nation’s debt.
As has been the case since about 2010 when Tea Party candidates were elected to Congress en masse, the Republican Party’s libertarian roots have become more vocal about dangerous and wasteful military spending. In fact, the burgeoning spirit of peaceful international relations is validated by Wolfowitz’s own candid interview with Vanity Fair. The U.S. government’s presence in the Middle East is “a huge recruiting device for al-Qaeda,” he said before suffering inexplicable memory loss.
Republican hawks leading the warrior trail aren’t faring well in their home districts, either. The Maricopa County GOP sent out an electronic news brief lambasting Senator John McCain’s liberal tickles, and a high-ranking source within the organization said that there is “a growing concern [that he’s] out of touch, and out of step, with conservatives.” Senator Lindsey Graham, widely assumed to be McCain’s boyfriend, is also polling below 50 percent with only one year until he’s up for reelection. Other intervention advocates, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been losing influential endorsements for months now, are guaranteed to meet similar sticky circumstances. He has, however, promised to vote ‘no’ on a Syria strike.
The new Republican Party carries an olive branch with just enough thorns to convince our enemies to take us seriously.
Senator Rand Paul is quickly turning into the right’s main man for the White House in 2016, and he’s been plenty loud about not chasing after bogeymen. (Luckily he avoided the family gene that prevented his father from forming clear sentences.) Congressman Justin Amash is another boy-wonder who continually votes against the grain in order to keep the peace, accomplished in no small part due to a social media presence more energetic than most teenage girls.
And FreedomWorks, the grassroots’ favorite organization, which had never before taking an official stance on foreign policy issues, announced last week that it’s standing firmly against the Syria war resolution. The organization is even counting it as a “Key Vote NO,” a major determinant of whom its affiliated Super PAC will endorse in future elections.
The future is here, and it’s the vision of the Founders. If Republican lawmakers want to keep their cushy jobs in Washington, D.C., they’ll take heed and stick to conservative principles once and for all.