It turns out the Republicans do in fact remember things that happened before January 20, 2009. Too bad they only remember all the wrong things.
Yesterday morning, the talking monkeys on Fox & Friends suggested that President Obama seek advice from George W. Bush on how best to handle the situation in Iraq. I'm reasonably certain they weren't joking.
ANNA KOOIMAN: Just talking to President Bush though, how much would that help being that he fought two wars, one of them in Iraq on the very same soil, and pretty much everything that President Bush has said about not leaving a strong enough residual force, and, and, the warnings about what could happen come true.
BRIAN KILMEADE: Well listen to this, Nixon was used by every president after he was left office. Think about how often -- I remember JFK said he went out of his way -- he didn't tell me this, but if you read the biographies, he went out of his way to call Eisenhower on almost every major international decision out of respect and out of interest to see what a 40-something-year-old would ask a, a general who was president for years. It's a tradition which seems to have stopped here.
STEVE DOOCY: Well, you, you listen to some people and they say, uh, this president doesn't need anybody else's opinion because he believes that he is correct. On all matters. [...] He should call all of the ex-presidents.
Where to begin?
First of all, Bush never said we should leave a residual force in Iraq. In fact, as some of us already know, President Bush signed the Status of Forces Agreement that required all troops to leave Iraq. Duh. It's difficult to remember probably because during the press conference announcing it, an overzealous thug hurled his shoes at Bush's head, and that became the story.
Second, how do we know Obama hasn't talked with Bush about Iraq? Of course he shouldn't under any circumstances get advice from the president who totally up-ended the Middle East, but do we know for a fact that he hasn't? No, we don't.
And finally, as far as Doocy's ridiculousness, it's common knowledge that the president absolutely consults a long roster of advisers, both civilian and military, with regards to foreign policy decisions. Doocy should remember the existence of some of the advisers since his network demonized Obama's hiring of "czars," a nickname for advisers created by the press decades ago which Fox News tried to blame on Obama.
Now, you might be thinking it's easy to pick on Fox & Friends. It's a triptych of dumbstupids, after all, and so we should just ignore them and they'll go away. People have been telling me this for years and sadly, nope, they haven't gone away. And besides, it's not just the Fox & Friends zoo crew who are actively trying to amplify the Bush administration influence on Iraq.
While Doocy, Kooiman and Kilmeade barely resisted the urge to produce fart noises with their armpits, the House Republicans met with Dick Cheney on Capitol Hill to discuss Iraq. Because nothing says "winning strategy" like the man who was wrong about literally everything having to do with Iraq. Of all people, the House GOP consulted with Cheney, whose name has become a neologism meaning "wrong about Iraq" -- as in, "Ground troops and no exit strategy? Seriously, you're so Cheney." Yet there he was, likely escorted by his personal varlet Mr. Smithers, injecting horrible ideas about the Middle East into the squishy heads of the congressional Republicans.
"[M]ost of us think we did the right thing in Iraq." --Rep. Pete King (R-NY)
"No one challenged the vice president. I think that his analysis and the information he shared was accepted as pretty accurate." --Rep. Dave Reicher (R-WA)
"It's important to be strong, and that's what he talked about." --Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee
"It was a great message, something we needed to hear, and hopefully it sticks with a lot of my colleagues who've kind of had this creep towards isolationalism in the Congress lately. Hopefully this is an awakening that we have to be very strong and very serious." --Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)
"This is a complex issue. I don't want to relitigate the past -- why we went in in the first place, the president's decision in 2011 to withdraw every last troop. At this point, I think we have to look forward not backward." --Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA)
Regarding Dent's statement, to repeat: it was Bush who signed the 2008 agreement mandating the complete withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq. Not Obama, and not in 2011. Maybe Dent ought to look backward long enough to take note of actual historic events rather than making shit up. Meanwhile, if we're only looking forward, why resurrect Cheney for advice? Is there anyone from the majority party in Congress who isn't a contradictory idiot?
So, yes, we can anticipate that most of the congressional GOP reactions to the president's televised ISIS remarks tonight will be at least partly informed by Tuesday's group genuflection before Cheney's mobile cryo-chamber. Not only will there be a demand for ground troops and the like, but in the wake of endless complaining about how Obama hasn't revealed his ISIS strategy, we're absolutely going to hear that Obama "tipped his hand" to ISIS. In other words: Why won't you tell us your strategy?! Hey -- why did you just tell us your strategy?!
And you can forget about the Bush-era idea of not criticizing the commander-in-chief during military action. That one died on January 20, 2009 -- the same day when any GOP deference to the foreign policy of the Bush administration should have died as well.