I added the “sucka” part, of course, not him. But he should have said it. What’s the use of base-pleasing call-out bravado at Obama’s expense in a primary if you’re not willing to go the whole nine yards?

If he’d thrown in “sucka,” he’d be ahead in Iowa tomorrow.

“He talked about how he was belittling the Republican field as scared. Well let me suggest something: Mr. President, if you want to insult me, you can do it overseas, you can do it in Turkey, you can do it in foreign countries. But I would encourage you Mr. President, come back and insult me to my face,” Cruz said…

“Let’s have a debate on Syrian refugees right now,” Cruz said, directing his remarks to Obama. “We can do it anywhere you want. I prefer it in the United States and not overseas where you’re making the insults.”

Why not? If Democrats are so sure that Cruz is a Goldwater in the making, they should be doing everything they can right now to promote him. An hourlong debate with Obama where he gets to attack The One directly would all but seal the nomination. O’s not going to debate anyone on his refugee policy, though, let alone Cruz, because there are too many obvious points for which he has no rejoinder. For instance, how is it that there are so many valuable targets still left for the French to hit in Raqqa when we’ve supposedly been “weakening” ISIS from the air for a year? It takes some balls for Obama to feign worry that Republicans are doing propaganda for ISIS by opposing refugees when there was, is, and will be no better propaganda for jihadis than weathering a weak, ineffective yearlong attack by the United States with its caliphate still intact. If you’re a 20-year-old Muslim watching from afar as Obama takes potshots at ISIS from the air and achieves nothing more than “containment” — which is itself probably a lie created to disguise the lack of progress — you’d be fully convinced by now that the mujahedeen are 10 feet tall and invincible. Thanks, Obama!

Beyond that, how did we arrive at a point where this guy, who left a power vacuum in Iraq by withdrawing American troops too soon and then hemmed and hawed for four years about Syria as ISIS conquered territory, is pointing fingers at other people for enabling ISIS? Actually, I think that question answers himself. In the long term, his Iran deal will be seen as the worst foreign policy disaster of his presidency but in the short term it’s a no-brainer that Syria is. He decided he was going to relitigate the Iraq war by staying out to whatever extent he could, hoping that the outcome would vindicate the idea that American nonintervention is obviously the right play in the Middle East. Hasn’t worked. So now he’s going to do what he can to spread the blame, however feebly and unpersuasively. Obama stood by while ISIS built an empire in the heart of Mesopotamia? Well, Ted Cruz is helping ISIS by being mean to Syrian refugees. So there. As Jay Cost noted earlier today, Obama’s never as eager to scrap with Republicans as when people besides his usual critics in conservative media start noticing that he’s made a hash of something. A lot of people are noticing with Syria and ISIS.

No worries, though. The White House just rolled out a new hashtag campaign on Twitter to encourage more of the impotent moral posturing that it specializes in, so don’t accuse them of doing nothing. Exit question: If the threat of terrorism by refugees or people posing as refugees is a figment of the overactive conservative imagination, how do we explain this ABC story from 2013?