It's too soon to say with confidence whether the diplomatic solution for Syrian crisis will stick, but if it does, we can probably guess the story the White House will be eager to tell. President Obama took the lead in responding to Syria's suspected chemical-weapons attack and threatened to use military force. At the same time, Obama and his team pointed the way to a political resolution that forced an end to Syria's entire program of chemical weapons, and it was the White House's threats that made diplomacy possible.
That's obviously the most favorable possible spin -- it's also assuming the proposal solution will work, and it may not -- but it's rooted in plausible claims. A longtime Republican strategist told the Huffington Post, "It looks like Obama drew an inside straight here."
And for the right, the notion that Syria could become a political plus for Obama just won't do. So what's the alternative for U.S. conservatives? Quick, praise Putin!
From the claws of defeat and humiliation, Obama is claiming victory.... The way this was handled was a complete embarrassment and near-disaster, saved only by Vladimir Putin. [...]Putin comes across as the world leader.
We talked yesterday about the right's affections for Russian President Vladimir Putin, well documented by Eric Boehlert and others. Yesterday, though, as Samantha Wyatt explained, the crush seemed to intensify.
The list is fairly long and well worth checking out. On Fox, for example, Martha MacCallum cheered Putin for "coming to the diplomatic rescue," while Tucker Carlson similarly heralded Putin for "riding to President Obama's rescue" while Russia "humiliates the United States." Charles Krauthammer added that it's Putin's government that's "playing chess here with a set of rank amateurs."
Coming on the heels of other conservatives celebrating Putin, the whole dynamic just seems to be increasingly creepy. When was the last time U.S. Republicans were so vocal about their affections for a former KGB official with an authoritarian streak?