Attention is being paid to a quote in The New York Times from Republican congressman Jack Kingston of Georgia, who portrays his party-mates as shamelessly cynical about working with the president on a response to ISIS:
"A lot of people would like to stay on the sideline and say, 'Just bomb the place and tell us about it later,'" said Representative Jack Kingston, Republican of Georgia, who supports having an authorization vote. "It's an election year. A lot of Democrats don't know how it would play in their party, and Republicans don't want to change anything. We like the path we're on now. We can denounce it if it goes bad, and praise it if it goes well and ask what took him so long."Wait, what? It's going to hurt Republicans electorally to authorize military force? When has that ever been true?
Oh, sorry, I misunderstood: It's going to hurt Republicans electorally if they're seen agreeing with President Obama on anything ever. It risks damaging the Republican brand.
I think this quote is being interpreted, in part, as "We Republicans don't want to be saddled with any of the blame if the military action runs into problems." But why would that happen? When there are foreign policy problems, presidents get blamed. The president is the commander in chief of the armed forces. Many Democrats signed on to the Iraq War and denounced it later. The Bush administration got the lion's share of the blame.
No, I think this is about Republicans wanting to run as the We Hate Obama With The Fury Of A Thousand Suns And Would Denounce Him If He Cured Cancer And Simultaneously Saved A Thousand Newborns From A Burning Building Party. This is about not even wanting to hint at the possibility that Obama has any appropriate policies or redeeming features whatsoever -- certainly not with an election coming up!
And that says something about the depraved notion of patriotism that's been bred in the curdled souls of Republican voters. They hate all Democrats so much that they refuse to join with Democrats to fight a group you'd think they'd regard as an unimaginably awful enemy. But to them, Democrats are a far worse enemy.