It has become abundantly clear that President Obama is at the point in his time in office where he has absolutely no patience left for Republican political posturing. He’s repeatedly been left playing the role of “only adult in the room,” while his political opponents throw tantrums or take cheap shots at his expense to score points with their voters. After several days of shameless fear-mongering at the expense of desperate refugees fleeing unspeakable violence, it was obvious that Republicans had no intention of trying to help avert the humanitarian crisis. And Obama was having none of it.
After meeting with President Benigno Aquino of the Philippines, Obama took a moment to address the rampant xenophobia running unchecked through the Republican Party. His comments may well go down in history as some of the iciest burns a president has ever delivered.
It’s long been a conservative cliché to believe that if only the president was a “tough” guy like Putin, the entire world would bend to America’s will. Nearly every disaster, man-made or otherwise, has been hung on Obama’s shoulders because, Republicans claim, if only he would act tougher, nothing bad would ever happen again.
“[Republicans] have suggested that they’re so tough, that just talking to Putin or staring down ISIL or using some additional rhetoric somehow is just going to solve the problems out there. But apparently they’re scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America as part of our tradition of compassion.”
To twist the knife further, Obama specifically took a jab at Chris Christie, who earlier that day claimed that he would reject helping even 5-year-old Syrian orphans rather than run the (nonexistent) risk that he or she is a secret member of ISIS. He also couldn’t help but remind Republicans that just a few weeks ago, they were throwing a tantrum over the presidential debate questions being too hard.
“At first they were too scared of the press being too tough on them in the debates. Now they are scared of three-year-old orphans. That doesn’t seem so tough to me.”
While the coming weeks are sure to feature a great deal more fear-mongering and cowardice on the part of closed-minded individuals hell-bent on not helping the victims of terrorism, you can’t help but watch President Obama’s remarks and conclude that a line has been drawn in the sand. On the one side, the political opportunists willing to sell tens of thousands of innocent Syrian refugees to an uncertain future to score some points with conservative voters. On the other side, brave leaders who aren’t about to back down to ISIS or Republican governors by giving in to fear and hatred.
By calling out the fear-mongering, President Obama made that line clear as day. And in the light, it’s much easier to see on which side a person is standing.
Feature image via MSNBC screenshot