Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe on ISIS: "I'm relieved that 70 percent of people believe our homeland is threatened."

“I’m Relieved That 70 Percent of People Believe Our Homeland Is Threatened”

“I’m Relieved That 70 Percent of People Believe Our Homeland Is Threatened”

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 16 2014 5:44 PM

“I’m Relieved That 70 Percent of People Believe Our Homeland Is Threatened”

Oh, what a relief it is.

Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

A perfect political compromise has broken out over ISIS. Maybe "broken out" is hyperbole—for a whole month, the preferred position of most members of Congress about Iraq intervention has been that Obama can do what he wants, and Congress can be consulted if that makes things easier. Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston described the position of "a lot of Republicans" as "we can denounce it if it goes bad, and praise it if it goes well and ask what took him so long."

That wasn't his position. He wanted a vote. But the retiring congressman, who lost a close Senate primary this summer, is not exactly throwing up blockades in order to get that vote. Nobody is. As usual, Roll Call's team of reporters talked to the right people and discovered that few Republican members—20, maybe—planned to vote against the continuing resolution that was delayed for a week to include money for training Syrian rebels. By and large, the members I talked to jumped at a chance to criticize the president, but did not commit to "no" votes. Jonathan Strong talked to Democrats, who criticized the strategy in a different way ("I don't understand the end game"), but were hardly as ready to commit to "no" than they were a year ago, asked to support airstrikes in Syria.


The Republican political position is fundamentally more sound—even if it's sort of easy and nonsensical. Any Republican running for office now can tell woeful tales of a world that Barack Obama set on fire. He can be confident that voters are worried about terrorism in a way they have not been for years. 

"I'm relieved that the two polls came out, the first one being three days ago, that 70 percent of the people believe that our homeland is threatened," Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe said today. "Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal poll came out and said the the same thing. I think that perhaps politicians are misreading the people at home, and running a little bit scared, and not willing to do the right thing. People are smarter than the politicians think they are, for them to understand what the threat is out there."

David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post.