Joe Scarborough continued to take on the most hawkish factions of his party on Monday morning.
No stranger to occasional acts of ideological apostasy, the MSNBC host and former Republican congressman has recently broken with the GOP on foreign policy issues. Late last month, Scarborough expressed sharp criticism of Israel for its “indiscriminate” killing in Gaza.
He kept it up on Monday, unloading on Republicans who have continued to “bitch and moan” even after President Obama authorized military action in Iraq.
Scarborough challenged Dan Senor, the neoconservative who served as a spokesperson for the Coalition Provisional Authority at the outset of 2003 Iraq War, to “salute the President.”
Obviously this President responding to a war-weary country that has said, time and time again, we don’t want to be involved in Iraq. We don’t want to be involved in Afghanistan. Let’s face it, Dan: They have been a lot closer to my position on these matters than yours. We’ve had these debates long and hard. But at this point I can even say we need to be involved. Will you do what a lot of Republicans didn’t do this weekend and salute the President for being involved? I’m so sick and tired of the same people bitching and moaning about this President not doing things [and] when this President does things, instead of supporting him, when we’re at a critical moment, a critical moment in this nation’s history, what do they do? They’ve got to go on the Sunday shows and bitch and moan about a President doing what we all know — what realists, what neocon alike —understand we have to do, we have to confront ISIS. Will you salute the President for taking these steps?
Senor conceded that Obama did indeed deserve credit, but said the President will still have to make a “strategic case for the long haul” in Iraq.
That’s more praise than what was offered Sunday by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who argued the United States never should have withdrawn from Iraq in the first place.
But at least one conservative was charitable to Obama on the Sunday shows. Laura Ingraham gave the President the benefit of the doubt, and even suggested that “Iraq is worse than before we went in to Iraq.”
After authorizing airstrikes in Iraq to target Islamic insurgents who have made gains in the country, Obama said on Saturday that America’s involvement there could be long-term.
“I don’t think we’re going to solve this problem in weeks,” Obama said. “I think this is going to take some time.”