This is an astonishing result, and the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll and extended indictment of a feckless, hapless president whose address tonight cannot possibly begin to make up for the damage he has done unless he (1) is completely transparent as to the source of the danger the country faces –his decision to bolt Iraq in 2011, and (2) reverses his course in Afghanistan which is presently headed in exactly the direction he took in Iraq.
Republicans will be right to support any action, however limited, the president takes against the growing threat of IS, but should also try to force Harry Reid’s Senate to provide the president with authority even greater than that provided both President Bush and President Obama under 2001’s AUMF. The threat from radical Islamists will continue long after this disaster of a president has headed into his golfing retirement, and today’s Congress should provide the next president with a restatement of his or her authority to do what this president has simply refused to do again and again: Take the actions necessary to pre-empt attacks on the United States and its allies.
Republicans ought also to immediately move a supplemental Department of Defense appropriation to assure that the already battered Pentagon and its unfiormed services do not end up even less provisioned than they are today. If the threat is growing –and it is as both the poll reflects and the president’s address will admit– the response must be real in terms of resources directed to the Pentagon.
Thirteen years after the attack on America, nearly half of the country feels less safe than when that attack occurred. Astonishing. And the damning proof that whatever else President Obama is, he is a failure at the most important part of his job: Providing for the common defense.