Obama's ISIS Tap Dance

Over at Town Hall, our colleague Amanda Munoz (who you should all get to know better) has an excellent look at not just the current state of affairs regarding the United States and ISIS, but how the media portrayal seems to be at odds with reality. As she explains, there was a kumbaya moment this week not only between Republicans and Democrats, but between the Executive branch and the Legislative. However, as encouraging as that may be, there’s more here – or perhaps less is a better description – than meets the eye.

All the hustle and bustle on Capitol Hill this week laid bare the confusion and political calculation behind the White House’s recent push to go after the ISIS (ISIL) terrorist group, which increases its threats against the U.S. and its allies every day. Despite overwhelming support in both the House and Senate, many members of Congress continue to push for additional details from administration officials on just exactly what the U.S. is getting into.

One major point of contention is whether or not President Obama has the legal authority to carry out the airstrikes that are currently taking place. Secretary of State John Kerry hashed this out with both the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week, saying that the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) grants the president the authority he needs to go after “Al Qaeda and associated forces.” He argued that ISIS is a direct offshoot of Al Qaeda, only recently changing its name because of an internal disagreement.

Munoz describes the need for a strong Commander-in-Chief rather than a tap dancer. That may sound harsh, but in context the recent sense of esprit de corps among the denizens of Washington could be masking and distracting us from a significantly more clear and present danger. I suggest you read the entire column.