- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The “O-word”? Some Democrats have left President Obama out of their press releases this week. When the president of the United States makes a bold move that resonates with the public, the lawmakers within the president’s party normally respond with a cascade of celebratory press releases and sound bites. That was not the case for President Obama when he ordered airstrikes on Syria earlier this week. Many Democrats remained on the sidelines in the aftermath — dithering over the proper response to Mr. Obama’s sudden switch to commander-in-chief mode.

Yes, there are numbers.

“Republican U.S. senators issued press releases on the airstrikes within the first 24 hours at more than twice the rate as Democrats and at four times the rate for those who are running for re-election in 2014,” said Eric Ostermeier, a University of Minnesota political professor and founder of Smart Politics, a research group on the campus.

The team found that even 24 hours after the strikes were ordered, less than a fifth of the Senate had reacted or issued press releases.

“Overall, Republican members issued statements on the strikes in Syria at more than twice the rate as Democrats: 12 of 45 GOPers versus just six of 53 Democrats (11.3 percent). The difference between the parties was even more stark among those running for reelection in 2014,” says Mr. Ostermeier.

Just two of the 16 Democratic senators on the ballot — Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Mark Begich of Alaska — reacted to the strikes.

“Interestingly, neither Shaheen nor Begich mention Obama in their release,” the professor notes.

AND FROM THE LIBERTARIANS

Meanwhile, the aspiring third party of the United States is taking full advantage of President Obama’s newfound identity as war hawk, intent on distinguishing themselves on the political landscape.

“Whatever differences they may claim, Democratic and Republican politicians are aligned when it comes to foreign meddling,” said Nicholas Sarwark, chair of the Libertarian National Committee.

“The Libertarian Party and its candidates call for getting out and staying out of Iraq and Syria,” he added.

FOR THE LEXICON

“Semperlatte.com”

An instant activist website created by the National Republican Senatorial Committee to mark Mr. Obama’s recent non-salute to Marines heard ‘round the world. The moment of caffeine infamy has garnered several hundred press mentions since the telling moment on Sunday. The site’s new bumper sticker reads, “Put that coffee cup down!”

The committee notes, “Our Commander-in-Chief should take the time to properly salute our nation’s heroes in uniform. They do it for him. Unfortunately, his disregard is part of a larger pattern.”

REPUBLICAN DISCONTENT WITH REPUBLICANS

At least two major polls recently revealed that Republican voters are more optimistic and engaged in the midterm elections than their Democratic counterparts. But here comes a new survey showing that Republicans may be eager to vote — but they are also annoyed by their lawmakers.

“Just 28 percent of likely Republican voters believe Republicans in Congress have done a good job representing GOP values. By contrast, nearly twice as many likely Democratic Voters (53 percent) believe Democrats in Congress have done a good job representing their party’s values,” says a Rasmussen Reports survey released Wednesday.

Not a happy finding with the midterms lurking.

“Sixty-two percent of Republicans think instead that their legislators have lost touch with GOP voters from throughout the nation. Only 33 percent of Democrats think their congressional representatives have lost touch with the party’s base,” the pollster says.

TEN DECADES AGO

The battle is on among authors to recognize the 100th anniversary of the start of the first World War. Out this week: “The Yanks Are Coming!: A Military History of the United States in World War I”, by H.W. Crocker III, a historian who is intent on showing Americans that the modern world might be very different today if not for the triumphs of a “few brave Yanks” 10 decades ago. The U.S. as a nation also changed, moving from “a frontier power to the paramount superpower of the 20th century,” Mr. Crocker says.
Harry S. Truman, George C. Marshall, and George S. Patton as younger soldiers are among those who earn their own chapters in the book, published Monday by Regnery History.

“Patton especially seemed to have been made by the First World War. Mr. Crocker quotes a telling letter Patton wrote to his wife in October 1918 as he lay in a hospital bed, recovering from a bullet wound: “Peace looks possible, but I rather hope not for I would like to have a few more fights. They are awfully thrilling …”

POLL DU JOUR

71 percent of Americans support Mr. Obama’s decision to approve military air strikes against Islamic State insurgents in Iraq and Syria.

80 percent of Republicans, 72 percent of Democrats and 72 percent of independents agree.

55 percent overall say the chances of a terrorist attack against the U.S. is “likely” in the next 12 months; 72 percent of Republicans, 40 percent of Democrats and 61 percent of independents agree.

38 percent overall favor sending U.S. ground troops to those nations; 62 percent of Republicans, 28 percent of Democrats and 33 percent of independents agree.

34 percent overall support the U.S. sending weapons to moderate rebel groups in Syria; 42 percent of Republicans, 38 percent of Democrats and 31 percent of independents agree.

15 percent overall are “not sure” about the decision to strike Iraq and Syria; 7 percent of Republicans, 13 percent of Democrats and 19 percent of independents agree.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 997 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 20-22. 

Iambic pentameter and choruses to [email protected]

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