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Strange Bedfellows: Boehner Serves Obama While Cornel West Ponders The I-Word

September 10, 2013 by  

Strange Bedfellows: Boehner Serves Obama While Cornel West Ponders The I-Word

When you need a well-placed, influential ambassador to help sell your illegal war dreams to the puppets who can nominally make or break your scheme, where do you turn?

Why, to the leader of your party opposition — where else?

In a rundown of President Barack Obama’s oligarchy-sourced campaign to secure House votes for war against Syria, National Review on Monday revealed a curious fact about House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). In public, Boehner is trying his best to appear as though he’s putting no pressure on House Republicans so that they can vote their “conscience” on whether to go to war. But behind the scenes, he’s hawking it up:

“There’s no whip list since this is a conscience vote, and the speaker is acting accordingly,” says an aide familiar with Boehner’s strategy. “He’s going to come back this week and spend a lot of time listening to his members.”

But Boehner’s reluctance to say much publicly doesn’t mean he’s absent from the discussion. His first vote in Congress, after being elected in 1990, was to authorize the Gulf War, and he has long been a hawk. Sources close to him say he’ll try to bolster GOP support without strong-arming anyone. Case in point: His staff is advising White House chief of staff Denis McDonough about what the president needs to say on Tuesday to win Republican votes.

So the Speaker of the Republican-controlled House — a recalcitrant group that’s offered more Constitutional opposition to Obama policies than can be found in any other structural check on Presidential power — is basically writing the President’s script on how best to woo his hated political rivals into supporting his mad, bad, idiotic war.

Obama’s disastrous second term has bred an environment in which strange bedfellows have begun to set aside ideological differences on finer policy points, all for the sake of uniting over bigger causes — like keeping what’s left of our Constitution from turning to ash. Liberals and conservatives in possession of a conscience have united to condemn Obama’s defense of unConstitutional search and seizure, his discriminatory targeting of political opponents through apolitical government agencies and his cowardly evasiveness on whether it’s OK to murder U.S. citizens without due process.

Add to that list Obama’s ardor to plunge the United States into yet another baseless and deceitful war.

Americans of all political persuasions are asking “Cui bono?” (who benefits?) from a strike on Syria? Al-Qaida? The Saudis? Everyone who considers Iran our greatest Mideast threat?

As Veterans Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) pointed out in an open letter to Obama Saturday, the entire Syria narrative appears to have been spun from the beginning, with “intelligence” indicating egregious human rights violations  being draped to fit the President’s war policy like so much window dressing.

But whoever benefits, it’s clear that nearly all the American voices preaching for war (or, in Boehner’s case, quietly praying) are coming from the few who have self-interest — and not national interests — at heart. Everybody else loses.

Liberal Princeton philosophy professor Cornel West, who’s been walking back his support almost from the moment he first got out the vote for Obama in 2008, told radio host Tavis Smiley on Sunday that Obama should be impeached if he attempts to strike Syria without Congressional approval.

“It doesn’t make sense to commit more war crimes,” West said. “You would think in some ways [it would be] grounds for impeachment.”

Though many would cheer Obama’s impeachment for any reason, we must hope West’s hypothetical scenario remains grounded in the world of make-believe. War in Syria is wrong, even if Obama’s career were the chief casualty.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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