Lessons Unlearned

About 200 Washington Democrats face the voters this fall, so it’s a good bet they have their finger closer to America’s pulse than the White House does. With that in mind, read this from today’s NYT:


President Obama’s handling of the Bergdahl prisoner exchange has renewed frustration among congressional Democrats about the administration’s relations with its allies on Capitol Hill, and prompted criticism that the White House failed to prepare the lawmakers for the politically explosive case.

While Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who leads the Intelligence Committee, went public with her dissatisfaction at not being notified in advance about the exchange, other lawmakers and officials said privately that Democrats felt exposed by their lack of knowledge about the circumstances surrounding Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s capture and the backgrounds of the five Taliban officials traded for his freedom.

The chain of events, coming after days of contending with a searing scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs and coupled with some Democratic unrest over new proposed rules on power plant emissions, has some Democrats questioning the effectiveness of the administration’s team and its ability to help them get on the offensive with a midterm election just months away.


Now contrast that with this Politico report:

President Barack Obama said Thursday that he will not apologize for approving the prisoner swap that brought Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl into U.S. custody and that it was the right thing to do.

“We saw an opportunity and we seized it. And I make no apologies for that,” he said at a press conference in Brussels.

Translation: I got mine.

We’ve seen a lot of that these last five years or so.


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