Michelle Kosinski of CNN Tuesday illuminated a piece of the effort by President Obama and the White House to create straw men and distract from Obama’s failure to stem ISIS terrorism.
Not saying this was necessarily her intent. But it was the result of her sharp questioning.
In this case, she asks White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest about why Obama, in his remarks earlier Tuesday after a meeting with his national security team, felt he needed to focus on Republican criticism that he won’t use the term “Islamist extremism.”
The president, of course, would rather attack his GOP opponents than outline any new solutions for the growing threat from, yes, Islamist extremists.
Kosinski wanted to know:
Was that really necessary, though, to make this speech political? What did the President think it was adding to make something that is about fighting the kind of act that we just saw [instead] about fighting Republican rhetoric? What did he think that was going to add?
What it adds is a distraction. By attacking Republicans instead of trying to unite the country and tell us what he’s going to do about this problem that has developed under his watch, Obama passes the buck. He can’t pass the buck to George W. Bush as much, because all that was almost eight years ago now. But he can at least pass it to congressional Republicans.
And it lets this most peevish of presidents vent his considerable personal pique.
In a portion of their exchange, actually just before the above question, Earnest says:
And for people who say that the only reason we haven’t defeated ISIL is the President hasn’t used the magic words that they have chosen, that’s cynical politics there, and it doesn’t do anything to protect the country. And, in fact, as was on display tragically on Saturday night, it potentially makes the nation more vulnerable.
Now, who exactly, says “the only reason we haven’t defeated ISIL” is that the president doesn’t call it Islamist extremism? Nobody. Talk about straw men. And what does Earnest mean by “it potentially makes the nation more vulnerable”? Is he blaming Republicans for the Orlando attack? Who is more to blame than the person supposedly in charge of fighting terrorism?