The Daily Show examines president Obama’s ISIS speech on Wednesday and concludes that he has thrown away his reluctance to get involved in yet another front on the never-ending war and has gone all in with the warmongers.
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Meanwhile Dan Froomkin takes a close look at Obama’s speech and thinks that it may not be all that it was cracked up to be and that carefully parsing his words one sees that he is promising to do much less than it looks at first glance, and that in fact he was asking people to calm down.
I do not know that I agree with Froomkin’s analysis but even if he is right, it will not matter. In politics, appearance quickly overtakes reality. If the public has the impression that Obama has promised all-out war on ISIS (and it was even bellicose-sounding enough for Rush Limbaugh), then it does not matter if he later points to his words as an explanation for why he did much less. No one will listen. If Obama was trying to do that, his Clintonian parsing is being too clever by half.