NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

June 14, 2014

Obama's between a rock and a hard place

Big Freddy was folding his morning newspaper when I joined him for coffee and whatever, and I asked what was up.

“Wherever?” he asked.

“With you,” I said

“I’m fine, our president’s not, and neither is the House Speaker,” Freddy said.

“The prisoner swap business,” I said.

“Hot potatoes for Obama — but we don’t know what we don’t know about all of that yet — whether it was a head case that led to Bergdahl’s walk off from his fellow Marines, or desertion.

“If it’s desertion that’s going to put Obama on the spot,” I said.

“Not for springing Bergdahl, but for freeing the terrorists from Guantanamo as a trade-off to get him home,” Freddy said.

“Republicans are all over Obama for that,” I said.

“They’re not alone — especially with what’s been going on this week,” Freddy said.

“Obama ran on finishing off al-Qaeda, and getting us out of Iraq as soon as possible.

“It cost us more than somewhat in lives and money before we left, and we thought he had done it.

“But now a lot of Iraqis we trained are shedding their uniforms and running for cover, and Obama’s trying to figure out what to do about that without sending troops back in.”

“Damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t,” I said.

“Well, he earned some of that from those on his side of the aisle who are struggling in their home districts for re-election,” Freddy said.

“They have an insiders’ case, but they don’t have much to work with.

“Even the Democrat Senate intelligence committee chairman doesn’t get the word about rescuing Bergdahl until it’s a done deal.”

“Republicans must love this,” I said.

“But they have their own headaches — especially in the House where John Boehner thought he had the Tea Party on the down slope at last, because he was able to work with Eric Cantor,” Freddy said.

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