We can apparently add former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) to the list of Republicans who don’t fully understand the military offensive President Obama has launched against ISIS targets in the Middle East. Right Wing Watch reported the other day:
Former Texas governor and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry told conservative talk radio host Dana Loesch on Wednesday that President Obama hasn’t shown any “engagement to stop ISIS,” which he attributed to the president’s “lack of being able to really connect the dots” and “lack of executive experience.” […]“I think that’s the reason ISIS has gone forward, I think that’s the reason Putin is standing there basically laughing at us as we have one lack of impact after another in the global world that we’re living in,” he said.
The Republican presidential candidate, currently under criminal indictment, added that Syria paid no price for crossing the “red line” established by the Obama administration.
I’ll admit, criticizing Obama’s “lack of executive experience” continues to be an unintentionally funny line of attack. In 2008, it was a legitimate area of interest (though Obama’s general-election rival had exactly as much executive experience as he did), but in 2015, it’s pretty silly.
After all, the first word in the phrase “President Obama” is “president.” Obama doesn’t “lack of executive experience”; he’s led the executive branch during a time of war and economic crisis. He has the kind of executive experience few can even try to relate to.
As for whether or not Vladimir Putin is “laughing at” the United States, he’s really not. Worse yet, when Perry says Syria paid no price, that’s plainly false, too.
But perhaps most striking of all is Perry’s belief that Obama hasn’t shown any “engagement to stop ISIS.” The former governor may have missed the news, but the U.S. president has launched thousands of airstrikes against ISIS targets and helped assemble an international coalition to confront the militants.
Perry’s Republican allies on Capitol Hill haven’t been willing to do any actual work on the issue – GOP lawmakers just haven’t shown any “engagement to stop ISIS” – but Obama’s been quite engaged, indeed.
Of course, if it were just Perry who made odd comments like these, it’d be easier to dismiss. It wouldn’t be the first time the far-right Texan seemed confused by current events.
But as we’ve discussed before, there’s actually an astounding number of Republican lawmakers and politicians, from state legislatures to the congressional leadership to the presidential trail, who’ve argued repeatedly in recent months that President Obama hasn’t “done anything about ISIS.”
Given the scope of the military offensive launched by the Obama administration, the rhetoric seems oddly delusional.