President Obama is insufferable on the subject of Syrian refugees AP

Full disclosure before we begin: I support the United States admitting Syrian refugees. I think it’s our moral duty, both as a multicultural superpower and the nation that helped engender the Islamic State in the first place. Following Paris, we should scrutinize our vetting procedures and tighten them if necessary, but ultimately allow these victims of war a chance at a better life.

The single biggest liability to my position is President Barack Obama. He, too, wants to take in Syrian refugees, but whereas I prefer to persuade others that this is a good idea, he opts to behave like a curled-lip, snot-nosed, vacant middle-schooler snarkily dismissing anyone who doesn’t see the world exactly his way with a toss of his overgrown bangs. Thus earlier this week did he say the following:

We are not well served when, in response to a terrorist attack, we descend into fear and panic. We don’t make good decisions if it’s based on hysteria or an exaggeration of risks. …

I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for Isil [Isis] than some of the rhetoric that’s been coming out of here during the course of this debate.

ISIL seeks to exploit the idea that there’s war between Islam and the west, and when you see individuals in positions of responsibility suggesting Christians are more worthy of protection than Muslims are in a war-torn land, that feeds the ISIL narrative. It’s counter-productive. And it needs to stop.

And I would add, these are the same folks who suggested they’re so tough that just “talk to Putin” or staring down ISIL [will work]…but they are scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America as part of our tradition of compassion. At first they were too scared of the press being too tough on them in the debates. Now they are scared of three-year-old orphans. That doesn’t seem so tough to me.

Yes, everyone who opposes further Syrian immigration is feeding hysteria and driving terrorist recruitment, while every refugee who wants to enter America is a shivering widow or orphan. So innocuous are these Syrians that Sergeant Straw Man emerged again yesterday to compare them to summer tourists. This as 130 people lie dead in Paris thanks to assailants who, while not refugees, shuttled back and forth between Europe and the Syrian war zone.

This is the same Obama who, as The Federalist reports, paused the processing of refugees from Iraq back in 2011 after a cell of terrorists in Kentucky was determined to have infiltrated the country via the Iraqi refugee program. It wouldn’t be resumed for another six months.

Real outlandish, these refugee concerns.

It’s true that some of the anti-Muslim rhetoric from certain Republican candidates in recent days has been outrageous. It’s also true that this country has successfully welcomed about 85,000 Iraqi refugees and continues to do so today. If we can admit those escaping the chaos in Iraq, we can do the same for Syrians. Like I said, I technically agree with the president.

But when Obama sniffs at those who oppose resettlement, he’s writing off 53 percent of the public. What about the guy in Erie, Pennsylvania or Windsor, Connecticut who just learned his governor is about to admit refugees and is nervous about public safety after Paris? Shouldn’t his concerns at least be addressed? And isn’t it possible, just this once, that the president could deign to acknowledge his opponents as something other than knuckle-dragging xenophobes?

Matt Purple About the author:
Matt Purple is the Deputy Editor for Rare Politics. Follow him on Twitter @MattPurple
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