At his speech last night to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, President Obama repeated a line he’s used quite often lately. “But if we’re being honest, we know the real problem isn’t the members of Congress in this room. It’s the members of Congress who put party before country because they believe the only way to resolve our differences is to wait 14 months till the next election.”

This is supposed to be a sophisticated way of accusing your opponents of being unpatriotic.

That is, I think, a very unwise thing to do, unless the weight of the evidence for an explosive charge like this is conclusive (which is clearly not the case in this instance). And Obama needs to be careful. I say that because in recent months he has ordered a massive drawdown of troops from Afghanistan and Iraq that are so drastic and irresponsible, they were not even options presented to the president by the military chain of command. General Obama came up with his own plan.

The actions in Afghanistan in particular are impossible to make sense of from the perspective of a military strategy (withdrawing 33,000 troops in September 2012, right in the middle of the fighting season). But they are very easy to make sense of from the perspective of a re-election strategy.

Here it’s worth recalling it was Obama who, in accepting his party’s nomination, said, “What I will not do is suggest that the senator takes his positions for political purposes, because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other’s character and each other’s patriotism. The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party.”

Despite Obama’s record, I’m not prepared to accuse him (as he accuses others) of putting himself and his re-election before country. But I am prepared to say he is a shameless hypocrite.


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