Via Mediaite, some evening entertainment to get you excited about tomorrow night. File it under “Questions to be Asked in the Sixth Year of a Floundering Presidency.” Garrett’s not just trolling, either. If airstrikes are already happening, ground troops are out of the question, and O’s already publicly resolved to “dismantle” ISIS, what’s left to say? I guess he could delve into the shift from a humanitarian mission to a mission of reconquest, but something tells me he doesn’t want to highlight mission creep in a speech designed to build public support. Although, I’m not sure the point of this speech is to build public support. The public already overwhelmingly supports bombing ISIS. And O’s obviously not trying to put pressure on Congress to pass an AUMF by lobbying their constituents. Despite what people like Mitch McConnell think, the king insists on maintaining his royal prerogatives:
— Michael Wilner (@mawilner) September 9, 2014
The newsy part of this, I guess, will be him specifying which countries are handling which parts of the broader mission to roll ISIS back, although we already know the basics of that too. The U.S. is providing air support; Britain, Canada, and other allies are providing military advisors; Jordan and the Saudis are providing intelligence; and the Kurds and Iraqis (and Iranians, shhhh) are providing the infantry. Beyond that, the only point of this speech, I take it, is that it’s just something Americans feel the president should do when he’s about to commit the country to a war that could last years and draw reprisals domestically. In different times, an address like this would be meaningful as a way for the commander-in-chief to seek the consent of the governed through their representatives. But since that no longer matters in matters of war, it’s really just a grandiose FYI. It’s a pantomime of democracy.
By the way, if you can believe it, he’ll be making these remarks one year to the very day that he gave a primetime speech proposing that we bomb the sworn enemy of the people he’ll be proposing we bomb tomorrow night. No foolin’.