John Boehner Agrees With Obama On ISIS, But Obama Still Sucks
[su_right_ad]Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) released a statement, following President Obama’s ISIS speech, in which he mixed backhanded praise (“finally,” Obama!) with nebulous criticism (the President’s plan is not an “all-out effort to destroy” ISIS) that didn’t explain what he thought should be done differently.
Boehner held a press conference Thursday afternoon to outline the House GOP response to President Obama’s ISIS speech, and while Boehner kept referring to his statement from last night, the majority of the presser was spent agreeing with the President, and pledging support. In between, some of the criticisms took (still-nebulous) shape, and if they are actually what they appear to be, then Obama and Boehner don’t really disagree on anything at all.
The news from this press conference is as follows (full video is at the end of the post):
- The House will actually vote on something! Namely, the President’s request for Title 10 authorization to train and equip Syrian rebels.
- The House GOP will support that request. “Frankly, we ought to give the President what he’s asking for,” Boehner said.
- Boehner agrees with the White House’s assessment of the FSA. “Based on all the information that I’ve looked at, the Free Syrian Army has, by and large, been very well vetted by our intelligence officials,” he said.
These are all important, because they cut off various avenues through which Republicans can later attack the President politically, and they also serve to isolate the areas of seeming disagreement. Boehner also said that training the FSA could take years, and ISIS’ progress “must be halted and reversed immediately,” but without explaining exactly how. This could mean he wants more ground troops, or an explicit set of plans for airstrikes, or both. Boehner was asked why he doesn’t write a resolution of his own, authorizing whatever it is Boehner thinks is missing. Boehner’s response was, essentially, because that’s why:
“Typically, in my time here in Congress, that’s not how this has happened. The President would make that request, and the President would supply the language for the resolution.”
As it relates to airstrikes (and to a lesser extent, some ground forces), there’s a simple and obvious reason the President hasn’t asked for authorization to conduct airstrikes in Syria, a reason that underscores just how serious he is about conducting them. The President has consistently said he doesn’t need authorization to conduct such strikes, and in a conference call with reporters yesterday, a senior administration official explained that…READ MORE [su_csky_ad]