Leadership. “Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) today announced he will introduce legislation next week authorizing the use of military force against international terrorist groups, including the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al Qaeda and its affiliates, like al Nusra, Ansar al Sharia, al Shabaab and Boko Haram, while encouraging close coordination with NATO and regional allies on any action. Wolf said he was compelled to introduce the measure because of the rapid advances made by ISIS in Iraq and Syria, as well as territorial gains made by al Qaeda-affiliated groups in Libya, Nigeria and Somalia.”
Leading the way, the first no doubt of many GOP ads that play off “We don’t have a strategy, yet.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron showed leadership in raising the threat level in his country. Seems like a good idea in advance of 9/11: “More than 100 Americans are fighting with the extremists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Wednesday. ‘We are aware of over 100 U.S. citizens who have U.S. passports who are fighting in the Middle East with [ISIS], and there may be more,’ Hagel told CNN in an interview. Authorities have been concerned that Americans and citizens of other Western nations could potentially return and launch terror attacks in their home countries.” The utility of droning American jihadists is front and center.
A top Democrat in Senate leadership in a close race in a deep blue state? Not so much, really: “So before declaring [Sen. Dick] Durbin in trouble, we should probably wait for a high-quality poll to back these up. And given the state’s top-tier governor’s race, that should hopefully arrive soon. But even if Durbin’s single-digit edge is confirmed by other pollsters, keep one thing in mind: His opponent is Jim Oberweis. The dairy magnate is a perennial candidate if there ever was one.” Yeah, but he got elected to the state Senate in 2012.
Democratic Sen. Mark Begich’s first problem is do-nothing Senate leadership. The next is President Obama. The third is his own campaign. He has gotten pummeled for an ad he was forced to take down. “Begich said [state attorney general Dan] Sullivan approved a ‘light sentence’ to a sex offender who is now charged with ‘murdering a senior couple and sexually assaulting their two-year-old granddaughter.’ [Jerry Andrew] Active, who is awaiting trial, received a shorter sentence than he was supposed to, but the mistake that led to this sentence happened before Sullivan became attorney general. So to pin the error on Sullivan is wrong, and to suggest that he actively approved the sentence is a fabrication. The ad is not only inaccurate, it makes an inflammatory accusation. We rate this claim Pants on Fire.”
Not the rousing leadership we need. “Obama’s strategy is more limited. He seeks to contain the threat of ISIS — a group he routinely calls a ‘cancer’ in its nascent Islamic caliphate in portions of Syria and Iraq. But you don’t contain a cancerous growth; they develop into malignancy, they spread, they kill their host. A cancer must be removed. Obama’s is not a strategy, but a plan to mitigate the political damage an attack on the nation is doing to the president’s political standing.” Indeed.
On the other hand, the man who may be atop the Senate majority leadership after the midterms has it exactly right: “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday took a swipe at President Barack Obama’s remarks on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, saying this is not ‘a manageable situation.’ ‘The president should come up with a strategy, present it to Congress, address the American people and tell us how he believes we should stop them,”’the Kentucky Republican said in reference to ISIL, in an interview on Fox Business Network. ‘This is not, in my view, a manageable situation. They want to kill us.'”