Mutiny: Senate Democrats urge Obama to get hawkish on the ISIS threat

posted at 12:01 pm on September 4, 2014 by Noah Rothman

A week which began with a revolt among key Senate Democrats over the White House’s strategy, or lack thereof, to address the proliferating threats to American national security overseas has only accelerated over the last several days. On Wednesday, a number of Democrats publicly urged President Barack Obama to adopt a more hawkish approach to combating the threat posed by the Islamic State.

In a direct shot across Obama’s bow, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) endorsed Vice President Joe Biden’s garment-rending apoplexy over ISIS’s beheading of Americans over Obama’s measured deliberation.

Shaheen faces a challenge this November from former Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown. That is a race that was once thought to not be competitive, but has tightened significantly according to the most recent polling.

Shaheen was joined by freshman Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) who, in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, expressed his concern over Obama’s equivocating statements regarding the ISIS threat.

“I was troubled by the President’s recent suggestion that the Administration has not yet developed a comprehensive strategy to address the growing threat of ISIL’s activities in Syria,” Franken wrote. “One American who went to high school in Minnesota has been confirmed to have been killed in Syria while fighting with ISIL, and others have traveled there to fight with ISIL as well. We must act diligently and responsibly to prevent Americans from taking up arms with ISIL, or from reentering if they do.”

Franken, too, will face his state’s voters in the fall in a race few analysts deemed especially competitive.

During a Wednesday night debate between Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) and North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis, the vulnerable Tar Heel State Democrat adopted a more forceful tone when discussing the challenge to U.S. security in the Middle East. In doing so, she took a shot at Obama’s policy towards the Syrian civil war from which the Islamic State sprang.

“I think one of the issues here is the President should have weaponized the moderate Syrian rebels sooner,” Hagan said. “Without doing that, he has allowed ISIS to grow. I believe that ISIS is the most serious threat to our national security since 9/11.”

Even a few Democrats in the Senate with nothing to lose are seeking to distance themselves from Obama’s handling of ISIS.

“We need to be working now, full-speed ahead, with other countries, to destroy ISIS,” said progressive icon Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). “That should be our number one priority.”

Moderate Democrat Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) also demanded that Obama get serious on ISIS. “I urge the administration to come to Congress with a clear strategy and political and military options for eliminating the ISIL threat,” the Virginia Democrat said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

He added that the United States “should not take any military options off the table, because stopping ISIL is in the national security and foreign policy interests of the U.S. and our European allies.”

This list of nervous Democrats going off the reservation is only likely to grow in the coming days.


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But we’ll only be creating more terrorists. Remember?

/

mankai on September 4, 2014 at 12:08 PM

I notice they’re all white. Hmmm…..

CurtZHP on September 4, 2014 at 12:10 PM

erik erikson filling in for Rush.

i turned the radio immediatly offf.

renalin on September 4, 2014 at 12:11 PM

All those cretins want is a tough-sounding soundbite.

PackerBronco on September 4, 2014 at 12:11 PM

I’m afraid the smartest man in the world is going to need a Mumbai type incident here in order to focus his thoughts.

butch on September 4, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Are they all up for re-election?

chris0christies0donut on September 4, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Moderate Democrat Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA)

ACU Rating for 2013: 4
Lifetime ACU rating: 10

Yeah, he’s a moderate.

/roll eyes

Harry Reid has a lifetime ACA of 16. I guess he’s a conservative then.

ACU rates on 100-point grading scale, the closer to 100, the more conservative. McConnell has a lifetime 90, Rand Paul 98, etc.

mankai on September 4, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Over at Althouse, a commenter Ignorance is Bliss responded to this quote:

“We need to be working now, full-speed ahead, with other countries, to destroy ISIS,” said progressive icon Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). “That should be our number one priority.”

With this:

“I assume she plans to do this via regulation. That is how she destroys everything else… ”

Brilliant

WisRich on September 4, 2014 at 12:19 PM

What a difference an election makes.

Patriot Vet on September 4, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Shaheen faces a challenge this November from former Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown. That is a race that was once thought to not be competitive, but has tightened significantly according to the most recent polling.

Shaheen just found out that James Foley and his family are from New Hampshire.

sentinelrules on September 4, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Why is Stuart Smalley sending a letter to Holder regarding ISIS? It just shows the liberal mindset that all the problems are law and order to them. The letter should have been addressed to the Pentagon, this is war.

Are we going to read Miranda rights to the ISIS fighters?

Tater Salad on September 4, 2014 at 12:22 PM

WisRich on September 4, 2014 at 12:19 PM

My answer to ISIS is stronger gun control laws and sensitivity training. It has been observed that not one vehicle in Iraq or Syria has a “Coexist” bumper sticker on it.

Coincidence? I think not.

mankai on September 4, 2014 at 12:23 PM

I think one of the issues here is the President should have weaponized the moderate Syrian rebels sooner,” Hagan said. “Without doing that, he has allowed ISIS to grow. I believe that ISIS is the most serious threat to our national security since 9/11.”

What nonsense. That seems to be a pretty consistent dem talking point, about the so-called “moderate” rebels in Syria. While I agree with the threat that ISIS poses, does anybody think this regime is capable of identifying who the “moderate” rebels are in Syria? Remember, this is the same crowd that told us the Muslim Brotherhood was moderate.

TarheelBen on September 4, 2014 at 12:23 PM

Fauxchahontas today:

‘We must DESTROY ISIS!’

Fauxchahontas…a month ago:

‘It’s a complicated situation right now in Iraq and the president has taken very targeted actions to provide humanitarian relief that the Iraqi government requested, and to protect American citizens. But like the president I believe that any solution in Iraq is going to be a negotiated solution, not a military solution. We do not want to be pulled into another war in Iraq.’

‘Cuz, like, um, ya know, we can negotiate with members of misogynistic, racist, homophobic, bigoted, child-abusing, xenophobic, tribalistic, antisemitic, Christophobic, maniacal, thin-skinned, nihilistic, homicidal, suicidal, totalitarian, 7th century death cult that beheads children for fun!

For a ‘negotiated solution’ to ever work, the parties to it must have compassion, empathy, and basic human understanding. ISIS lacks all of these, which is why its members can behead someone that they have held hostage for months. For even most harden criminals, it becomes more and more difficult to execute a hostage the longer that they have the hostage in custody because they tend bond with them and see them, even negligibly, as a human being.

These fanatics are missing that capability, which just further explains why #hashtag diplomacy, negotiations, economic sanctions, ‘naming and shaming’ will NEVER WORK. These people are immune to all of that and only understand one thing: The sword.

And, Fauxchahontas is quite late to that realisation.

Maybe, Fauxchahontas’ ‘Road to Damascus’ transition is really the result of the reality of this:

Poll: While Obama’s Dithers, Americans Want War With ISIS By 4-To-1 Margin…

As he waffles on U.S. policy toward terrorists in Syria dubbed ISIS, President Obama is being handed rare American support for a military attack against the terrorists, according to a new poll.

In its latest survey, YouGov.com finds that the nation has done a 180 in just a year, and now supports military action by nearly four to one.

Some 63 percent of Americans back a Pentagon strike against the terrorists to 16 percent who don’t. A year ago, those numbers were reversed when Americans were asked about striking Syrian troops commanded by President Bashar Assad, with 60 percent opposing military action and 20 percent supporting it.

Keep reading…

In a good way, I think that this poll shows that the American people are actually smarter than those in DC. It wasn’t so much a ‘war weary nation’ that opposed striking Syria last year. It was the asininity of toppling another dictator, who at least kept the barbarians somewhat at bay, while giving a huge assist to Islamists like AQ, al-Nusra Front, ISIS, and the Free Syrian Army, which is now working openly with ISIS, that Americans opposed.

The neo-cons like McCain and Graham failed to grasp this as well when they were demanding that we arm our mortal enemies. They could determine the ‘moderate’ Islamists…even though those same people are our enemies if they cross into Iraq. Essentially, the difference between a ‘terrorist’ and a ‘freedom fighter’ was to be dependent on geography. If you are in Iraq, you are our foe. If you are in Syria, you are our friend.

And, they wonder why the American people have no confidence in them!!!

Resist We Much on September 4, 2014 at 12:24 PM

A week which began with a revolt among key Senate Democrats over the White House’s strategy, or lack thereof, to address the proliferating threats to American national security …

Revolt my a**. This is a bunch of Leftards who are whole-heartedly for converting the majority of the defense budget into EBT/SNAP/WIC/Extended Unemployment payouts to Obamabot voters. But right now they need to broaden their vote reach into RINO territory, hence the saber-rattling.

M240H on September 4, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Well, honey, Obama can’t bring a knife to a sword-fight.

faraway on September 4, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Good picture. My miscreant Senator Mark Warner sends me emails trying to describe himself a such a reasonable moderate. He drank the Washington koolaid and liked it too much.

I think they’re all up for re-election.

22044 on September 4, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Obama – But I’ll lose my Ramadan friends. And I can’t have that.

Oil Can on September 4, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Come on.. Valerie The Iranian Jarrett is never going to authorize anything that might hurt or damage Obama’s brethren.

/Fools

Key West Reader on September 4, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Will Obama have to give up his Nobel PEACE Prize if he starts a war?

Tater Salad on September 4, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Breaking: Al Qaeda declares Caliphate in Nigeria

Gates of Hell indeed

faraway on September 4, 2014 at 12:28 PM

the likely voter polls should be coming out soon. they’ve seen the internals. it must be really bad….

t8stlikchkn on September 4, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Reminder: All the Democrats in the Senate are Obamas.

22044 on September 4, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Repeal Obamacare, then we can talk about ISIS.

Oil Can on September 4, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Breaking: SEC declares that four of its teams have qualified for the College Football Playoffs

corona79 on September 4, 2014 at 12:33 PM

the likely voter polls should be coming out soon. they’ve seen the internals. it must be really bad….

t8stlikchkn on September 4, 2014 at 12:28 PM

“Negotiate, talk to them, promise peace………..”

“THE POLLS SAY WHAT????????”

“KILL EM ALL AND LEAVE A BURNING HOLE IT THEIR PLACE!!!!”

dimbocraps.

VegasRick on September 4, 2014 at 12:34 PM

This guy bombed the crap out of Libya and was going to do the same to Assad. But now there is an actual threat, he’s not doing a thing. This is so dysfunctional it’s mind blowing.

Naked Emperor on September 4, 2014 at 12:36 PM

At this rate I expect Rachel Maddow to be sounding like a WWE wrestler pumping the next big pay-per-view match by next week on MSNBC, when she’s parroting the Senate Democrats’ talking points on ISIS.

jon1979 on September 4, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Yeah, the Democrats lined up and voted to invade Iraq before they voted against that too. A Democrat vote is fungible.

rhombus on September 4, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Yeah, the Democrats lined up and voted to invade Iraq before they voted against that too. A Democrat vote is fungible.

rhombus on September 4, 2014 at 12:42 PM

They’ll base the change on “bad intel” from the Bush administration.

mankai on September 4, 2014 at 12:46 PM

franken must be getting nervous….wake up Minnesota unless you want this jackass around for more time.

crosshugger on September 4, 2014 at 12:47 PM

They must really expect an attack and with the lax border security because of them… they need some soundbites to cover their backsides.

Ukiah on September 4, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Elections coming up!

albill on September 4, 2014 at 1:04 PM

Shaheen faces a challenge this November from former Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown.
Here I thought the NH primary was Tuesday Sept.9. Hot Gas way out in front in this race. Someone call the other 9 people running for the Republican nomination for United States Senator from NH that it’s over and the “FAT Lady” is singing.

RickinNH on September 4, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Troops React To Biden’s “Gates Of Hell” Comment: “How The F*ck Are We Going To Do That When We Can’t Leave The Front Gate Of Our Base!?”…

America’s GI “boots on the ground” in Iraq are so frustrated with the White House message about their mission against the Islamic State — which Vice President Biden vowed Wednesday to chase “to the gates of Hell” — that they’re wondering how they’ll accomplish the goal “when we can’t even leave the front gate of our base.”

Biden on Wednesday delivered what was probably the toughest statement to date from the administration, declaring, after another U.S. journalist was beheaded by the Islamic State, “we will follow them to the gates of Hell until they are brought to justice.”

But his tough talk was at odds with a message delivered earlier in the day by President Obama, who said that while his administration’s goal is to “destroy” ISIS — it also is to “shrink” it to a “manageable problem.”

Amid the mixed messages, a source in contact with special operators in Iraq told Fox News that “frustration and confusion reign” among Americans on the ground there.

The source relayed the complaint of an unnamed special operator: “Chase them to the Gates of Hell? How the [f---] are we going to do that when we can’t even leave the front gate of our base!?”

Resist We Much on September 4, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Democrats up for re-election will say anything to get elected, but once in office they revert to the democrat party line.

Joseph OHenry on September 4, 2014 at 3:34 PM

The source relayed the complaint of an unnamed special operator: “Chase them to the Gates of Hell? How the [f---] are we going to do that when we can’t even leave the front gate of our base!?”
Resist We Much on September 4, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Democrats up for re-election will say anything to get elected, but once in office they revert to the democrat party line.
Joseph OHenry on September 4, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Nice juxtaposition.
Couldn’t have said it better myself.

avagreen on September 4, 2014 at 4:41 PM

Waiting to see how Putin responds. Pretty sure it will be different than what the Useless One in the W.H. has done.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/isis-tell-vladimir-putin-we-are-coming-russia-free-chechnya-1463874

avagreen on September 4, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Sounding like Bush, the lot of them.

Good.

thebrokenrattle on September 4, 2014 at 8:33 PM

While I hate to bring up ‘that old thing’, Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution says:

Clause 1: The Congress shall have power…

Clause 11: To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water

Has anyone mentioned this to our esteemed representatives (of either party)?

PersonFromPorlock on September 5, 2014 at 10:12 AM