Jackson Diehl says there’s a growing rift between “foreign policy establishment” Democrats and the President on foreign policy:
First came the introduction in the Senate, and lopsided passage by the Banking Committee, of a bill that would place new sanctions on Iran if no agreement limits its nuclear program by June. Though fiercely opposed by Obama, the measure, co-sponsored by Sen. Robert Menendez (N.J.), the senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, had won the express support of 13 other Democratic senators by the end of the week. A letter signed by Menendez plus nine of them pledged to delay a final floor vote until March 24, the deadline set by the administration for finalizing the framework of a bargain.
While that postponement avoided an immediate confrontation with Obama, the larger message of the senators was clear: They are “deeply skeptical,” said the letter, that Obama will obtain adequate concessions from Tehran — despite what has been an increasingly single-minded diplomatic push.
At week’s end came another de facto vote of no confidence: a report by eight foreign policy luminaries, due to be formally released Monday, saying the president should “immediately change” his policy of refusing to supply Ukraine with weapons to defend its besieged eastern provinces. “Washington,” it said bluntly, has “not devoted sufficient attention to the threat posed by Russia and its implications for Western security. This must change.”
Let’s leave policy aside when thinking about this rift, because the efficacy of either side’s foreign policy hopes isn’t the real news in this story. The real news is buried within the Diehl’s lede:
For more than two years, a breach has been opening between President Obama and the foreign policy establishment of the Democratic Party.
Professor Ditherton Wiggleroom has been President for just over six years now. His picks have been in charge of the State Department for just as long. His various foreign policy czars of this and that have been pursuing his agendas at his discretion. Furthermore, the President is constitutionally authorized to pursue his own foreign policy without much help or hindrance from Congress, except when it comes to paying the bills or ratifying treaties.
And of course by tradition the President is at least the titular head of his party, and it’s safe to say that this President has been more hands on politically than most.
Yet there still exists a Democratic foreign policy establishment apart from and increasingly opposed to President Obama. In six years of cutthroat politicking, Obama’s vision for the world is still not the Democratic Party’s vision.
The American public is increasingly hostile to Obama’s signature legislative achievement, ♡bamaCare!!!. And his own party is growing in its opposition to his foreign policy.
In six or ten years, no matter who wins the White House in 2016, there won’t be much left of Obama’s legacy except for the long hangover of debt and racial discord.