Hoping to exploit Middle East unrest for partisan gain, Republican policymakers hit the Sunday shows yesterday to blame President Obama for last week’s developments. Unfortunately for the right, their talking points are very hard to take seriously.
On “Face the Nation,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), making his 17th Sunday show appearance of the year, said violent protests broke out in the region last week because the U.S. has a policy of “disengagement.” And why does McCain think that? Because “we’re leaving Iraq. We’re leaving Afghanistan.”
No serious person could believe this. For one thing, as ongoing drone strikes help demonstrate, the Obama administration is heavily engaged in the region. For another, by McCain’s rationale, the only way for the U.S. to remain truly engaged is to deploy tens of thousands of U.S. troops into perpetual wars, which is both wrong and dangerous. And how this explains last week’s riots is anybody’s guess.
But House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.) went even further.