Rep. Lamar Smith Doesn’t Pay Attention to Anything, Really, and Blames the President

Written by SK Ashby

If Representative Lamar Smith's (R-TX) recent remarks are taken at face value, they would be a sign that he regularly skips the intelligence briefings he is entitled to as a member of Congress and that he does not watch or read the news, at all.

Smith appeared on Family Research Council President Tony Perkins' hate radio show over the weekend and said he has seen no evidence that ISIS has been degraded.

SMITH: “Well, I don’t see any evidence of degrading and I don’t see certainly any evidence of destroying ISIS. Other countries are moving better than we are. And we certainly ought to get other countries engaged without any doubt, but we cannot just sit around and do nothing, all it does is embolden our enemies.”

Unless you live under the same rock as Representative Smith, you're probably aware that ISIS was recently pushed out of the city of Kobani in what may be the first major victory against the so-called Islamic State. Over 200,000 Kurds were forced out of Kobani after ISIS took control.

One also does not need access to the classified intelligence briefings that Representative Smith is entitled to to digest information made publicly available by the Department of Defense which disclosed on February 4th that over 4,800 targets have been hit by the US and other partners.

While he is clearly mistaken, why does Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) believe the president has not taken actions to degrade or destroy ISIS?

Smith and Rudy Giuliani, and perhaps Scott Walker, and a significant number of other Republican politicians and pundits, clearly see eye-to-eye on this issue.

According to Lamar Smith, the president has "decided in effect that America’s not exceptional."

SMITH: “He’s decided in effect that America’s not exceptional, that we don’t have a role to play in the world, and that he’s not going to be concerned about it."

In reality, President Obama may be the most globally cognizant president we've ever had, but that's beside the point.

The man they would have you believe is a Manchurian Candidate 6 years into his presidency is not running for a third term, but presidential term-limits clearly aren't a shut-off valve for racism and idiocy. The winks and nods offered up by Republican politicians like Lamar Smith and Rudy Giuliani, from saying he "doesn't Love America" to saying he has decided "America's not exceptional" represent genuine hate shared among conservative voters.

Given that the president defeated the Republican dogwhistle machine twice, I'm not sure why they want to turn the next campaign into another campaign against him unless they've convinced themselves of their own bullshit, concluding that his presidency has been a disaster and that his approval ratings are in the toilet.

Neither of those things are true and we're heading into an election where the president will remain very popular. The 2016 election will not be a Democratic version of the 2008 election in which no Republican candidate wanted to be seen in the same state as George W. Bush. There is no comparison.