Steve Benen is disgusted by this, understandably:
That Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) appeared on a Sunday show to complain about President Obama was not surprising. What was jarring, however, was rhetoric like this.Yup. And here's more:
Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, sharply criticized the limited scale of President Obama's military response to ISIS on Sunday, and called on the president to be clearer about the threat the militants pose to the United States.... Graham seems to be laying down a marker: if members of the Islamic State, at some point in the future, execute some kind of terror strike on Americans, Lindsey Graham wants us to blame President Obama -- because the president didn't stick to the playbook written by hawks and neocons....
"If he does not go on the offensive against ISIS, ISIL, whatever you guys want to call it, they are coming here," Mr. Graham said on "Fox News Sunday." "This is just not about Baghdad. This is just not about Syria. And if we do get attacked, then he will have committed a blunder for the ages."
"They are coming here. It is about our homeland, and if we get attacked because he has no strategy to protect us, then he will have committed a blunder for the ages," Graham said. "I think of an American city in flames because of the terrorists' ability to operate in Syria and Iraq."Notice who all but disappears from this line of argument? Notice whom Senator Graham all but absolves from guilt if an attack happens?
At one point, Graham speaks directly to Obama, appealing to him to speak directly to his constituents. "Mr. President, you have never once spoken to the American people about the threat we face," he says. "This commander-in-chief has no strategy. He has no vision."
The people actually doing the attacking.
If you doubt me, watch the extended clip:
Whether or not it's realistic to believe that ISIS could attack America in the foreseeable future, Senator Graham, if it happens, wants you to blame President Obama before you blame ISIS -- or perhaps instead of blaming ISIS at all.
But that's no surprise. I've said this on the blog since the Bush years: Republicans despise their domestic political enemies far more than they do any international enemy. Ginning up anger against a foreign enemy used to be an indirect way of rousing the populace against allegedly evil peacenik/appeaser/fifth-columnist Democrats and liberals. But now Republicans barely take the trouble to demonize foreign foes. Those guys are just acting in accordance with their inner nature. It's Obama who has agency, so he's the bad guy who's endeavoring to get us all killed.
I seem to recall that after the last time a foreign foe launched an attack of the kind Senator Graham is envisioning, back in 2001, we were expected to close ranks and rally around the president. I guess those days are gone -- at least until the next time a Republican is in the White House.