Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) took a swing at President Barack Obama in the aftermath of the terrorist attack Wednesday in Paris that left 12 dead. The dig came in Grassley's trademark bizarro Twitter-speak: "President Obama sez no more war on terror Is attack on Paris newspaper just a domEstic Crime?"
It's understandable that different people are going to respond to a horrible tragedy in different ways, but watching Republican senators react to the terrorist attack in Paris yesterday did not help inspire confidence in the new GOP majority.
Remember, Chuck Grassley isn't just some random guy popping off on social media about an issue he doesn't fully understand -- the Iowa Republican is the new chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Just hours after learning of a deadly attack in Paris, the six-term senator's initial thoughts turned to whether or not President Obama prefers to use the phrase "war on terror."
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) also saw the murders in Paris as reason to consider Obama's rhetoric. "The president of the United States tiptoes around the threats we face and he is trying to diminish the religious aspect of this war," the senator said on a conservative radio show. "Why? I don't know."
Around the same time, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), himself a committee chair, also complained in a statement, "The terrorists see the U.S. retreating from the world and they see a president unwilling to be a world leader."
Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the new chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, added he's confident in U.S. intelligence agencies, but went on to say, "My only concern is that the language that [Obama} has used does not adequately convey to the American people how severe the threat is."
Yep, his "only concern" has to do with presidential word choice.
So, within hours of a brutal terrorist attack in Paris, quite a few leading Republican senators almost immediately saw this as an opportunity to take cheap shots at the U.S. president. It's as if every incident, no matter how deadly, is little more than an excuse for GOP lawmakers to remind the public of their knee-jerk contempt for Obama.
Dave Weigel noted yesterday, "The killings of 12 people in Paris, by people apparently targeting cartoonists who made light fun of Islam, is the first terror crisis of the new Congress." So far, the results speak volumes about the seriousness with which the new Republican majority takes its responsibilities.