Revelations from Bob Woodward's new book, "Obama's Wars," represent a new attack on the integrity of the Obama administration, timed just right to do the most damage.
In late November, as the president made the decision to escalate the U.S. commitment to the (Afghanistan) war, (adviser) Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute warned him that the approach was unlikely to succeed.
"Mr. President, you don't have to do this," Woodward quotes Lute as saying.
But the president did feel he had to double down in Afghanistan, even as his top military advisers argued it was a bad idea. And, at the same time, he felt he had to undermine his own troop buildup by promising to begin a drawdown next summer.
According to published reports, "Obama's Wars" says that the president decided to set a timetable for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan because, he said, "I can't lose the whole Democratic Party."
Politics, rather than the best interests of the U.S. war effort, were guiding the president, the quotes from the book seem to suggest. But that's not the worst of it.
"We can absorb a terrorist attack," Obama told Woodward, according to an authorized excerpt published by The Washington Post. "We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever ... we absorbed it and we are stronger."
Rep. Pete King of Long Island, top Republican on the Homeland Security Committee, said Obama sounded like a battle statistician coolly discussing acceptable casualties rather than a leader proud of his country's resilience.
"There is an emotional disconnect between the President and the American people," King said.
Someone should remind the president that absorbing September 11th included the loss of 3,000 lives.