It seems more than bit odd when you look at the GOP and other assorted right wingers as they heap their criticisms onto President Obama for his alleged lack of adequate action in the war against ISIS. Because when their golden boy George W. Bush was in the White House and progressives criticized the way he prosecuted the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the jerkweeds on the right claimed it was unpatriotic to do so.
I seem to recall that one of the favorite talking points from Republicans and their Fox News lapdogs during the Bush Administration was that it was wrong and even treasonous to criticize the Commander-in-Chief when we had troops in the field.
Here are 10 separate occasions when the right wing tried to claim executive privilege during war:
1) “You don’t criticize the Commander-in-Chief in the middle of a firefight. That could be construed as putting U.S. forces in jeopardy and undermining morale.” Bill O’Reilly, 4/2004
2) “I’ve held this in long enough. I really suspect that these liberal tactics are damaging, maybe even killing the morale of our troops.” Rush Limbaugh, 6/14/07
3) “The only ideas that they espouse are ways to undermine the troops in harm’s way and undermine their Commander-in-Chief while they’re at war.” Sean Hannity, 10/18/06
4) “He’s the Commander-in-Chief. And what I find frankly repugnant about you and some of your fellow Democrats – you have undermined our president…” Sean Hannity, 03/19/06
5) “I have had it with members of your party undermining our troops, undermining a Commander-in-Chief while we are at war…” Sean Hannity, 11/05
6) “Can we do it without distorting their legacies and pandering to anti-American elites worldwide and using their deaths to embarrass and undermine our commander-in-chief?” Michelle Malkin, 11/23/05
7) “On the other hand, if Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat Congress are successful in undermining the Commander-in-Chief (thereby emboldening the terrorists to kill more Americans in Iraq)…” Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, 04/11/07
8) “And furthermore, one of the fundamental principles we have in America is that the president is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces and attempts to undermine the Commander-in-Chief during time of war amounts to treason.” Pat Robertson, 12/07/05
9) “While young Americans are dying in the sands of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan, our nation is being torn apart and made weaker because of the Democrats’ manic obsession to bring down our Commander-in-Chief.” Zell Miller, Republican National Convention, 9/01/04
10) “Through their relentless, vicious attacks on Bush, they systematically undermined the public’s confidence in the war and our ability to optimally wage it.” Conservative Columnist David Limbaugh
Let’s see: We have accusations of treason, eroding the morale of the troops, and losing the war. Interesting. So for the folks on the right, it’s back to, “Do as I say, not as I do.” That’s certainly convenient, don’t you think?
Any President should be open to criticism of their military policy, no matter if there is war on or not. But you cannot have it both ways. It’s not OK to rail against criticism when the President is from your party and then engage in that same carping when the other party is in power. If you do, that’s called hypocrisy, and it’s something the Republicans excel in.