When you don’t make a choice, everyone affected gets upset.
A useful lesson for Obama: to govern is to choose. If you don’t make a choice people tend to get frustrated. And if you insist on playing King Solomon and actually split the baby, then people tend to get mad because no one wants to see the baby dead. Consider these three stories, two from the Wall Street Journal and the other from New York Times:
Liberals Revolt Against Obama on the Afghan War
All three stories operate to point out a single conclusion: if you are not insistent on making a choice, then no one will truly respect you. It is a delicate line to walk when it comes to balancing competing interests. I like to say that whatever decisions we make in life, they will inevitably lead to newer problems. The issue is whether we want the newer problems to be smaller or larger in size. In Obama’s war speech, he has obviously made his problems larger. It would’ve been better off for him to go all in and piss off his base, who would support no matter what, than to try and split the difference among the Right, Left and our allies. Hopefully he will work to turn this around because our success in Afghanistan depends on it.