Daniel Doherty

The anti-war left is conspicuously silent now that a Democrat named Barack Obama is beating the war drum for military intervention in Syria. But did you ever suspect this guy would throw his “convictions” to the wind in support of a bombing campaign? I must admit I never saw this coming (via The Hill):

Former DNC chairman Howard Dean supports President Obama's call for a punitive military strike against Syria.

“Thus far I fully support the president, including his going to Congress,” Dean said in an email to The Hill.

The comments from the standard-bearer of the anti-war left during the 2004 campaign could help Obama gain more support among Democrats for votes next week in the House and Senate on his request.

In the House in particular, Obama is likely to have to count on a strong Democratic vote.

Go peruse Allahpundit’s must-read take on Dr. Dean’s spirited and well-thought-out speech defending military non-interventionism in ’03 as he was gearing up to run for president as -- you guessed it -- the anti-war candidate. Dean argued rather forcefully against war in Iraq for three principle reasons: First, Bush didn’t have a clear objective or strategy to win the war; second, Bush didn’t make a convincing case to the American people for why the war was necessary; and third, he never got explicit approval from “the world community.” Incredibly, these are all things President Obama does not have or will not do before he bombs Syria, and yet now Dr. Dean is (ahem) “fully” on board? Stunning. Funny how that only seems to happen when a Democrat is in the Oval Office.

By the way, does this remind you of anything? Anything at all? Personally, I can’t help but think of President Obama’s cynical and recurring “pivots” on gay marriage over the years -- a tactic Dean has seemingly unintentionally adopted. Remember, President Obama first supported marriage equality in 1996 before he was against it as a U.S. Senate candidate. Now, of course, he’s for it once again -- completing the full circle. But why is this relevant, you ask? Because there are growing rumors that Dean is eyeing yet another presidential run. Question: Is he going to run as the old-time, anti-war liberal that made a “mistake” if and when the bombing campaign in Syria fails to achieve its intended results? Or will he run as the pro-interventionist, Joe Lieberman-esque Democrat who genuinely had a “change of heart” during the Obama years? He can’t possibly go back to his old ways and hope to win, can he?

I say: Why not? That’s exactly what the president did vis-à-vis gay marriage shortly before the 2012 election. And look how that turned out.


Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography