Defense Secretary Robert Gates, with the credibility of a Bush holdover, makes the startling point that the President’s victory on health care strengthens America on the world stage.
“When others see the president as a winner or as somebody who has real authority in his own house,” Gates tells Thomas Friedman, “it absolutely makes a difference.
“All you have to do is look at how many minority or weak coalition governments there are around the world who can’t deliver something big in their own country, but basically just teeter on the edge, because they can’t put together the votes to do anything consequential, because of the divided electorate.” President Obama, Gates says, has had “a divided electorate and was still able to muscle the thing through.”
From that perspective, Republican wall-to-wall opposition to every Obama initiative has not only been tearing the country apart domestically but weakening us geopolitically in the War on Terror by attempting to reduce Barack Obama to an ineffectual Hamid Karzai or Nouri al-Maliki here at home.
The GOP, in effect, has been waging a more effective jihad against America than al-Qaeda, echoing Joe Klein’s argument that “right-wing infotainment gasbags–people like Glenn Beck etc.–were nudging up close to the edge of sedition.”
No one would argue against healthy opposition on issues, but the massive effort to discredit and demean the President personally has gone far beyond that.