Rehearsal's over: Time for Obama to be a president
By Andrew Malcolm
Posted 09:04 AM ET
As fresh word arrives of Islamic militants continuing their full-speed assault on Baghdad and executing thousands along the way, President Obama rushed back to Washington Monday to convene national security advisers on a path forward.
Well, actually, that's not true. The commander-in-chief did not rush back at all from his long weekend getaway in southern California.
He arrived in Palm Springs' sunshine Friday. Saturday he spoke at the University of California-Irvine graduation. He, of course, did a Democrat fundraiser, a feature of almost every trip nowadays.
And then the president played golf, lots of golf. On Sunday he also phoned Spain's king with congratulations on a long reign. He returned to the White House Monday night.
Today, Obama's off to Pennsylvania for another speech. And then tonight he'll do two fundraisers in New York City, including a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Gala.
Obama's daily intelligence briefing can detail for him what Germany's Angela Merkel told her husband in a cellphone chat. But on the IRS intimidation of political opponents, the ObamaCare debacle, the VA scandal and Bowe Bergdahl's suspicious disappearance from guard duty, among other things, by golly, the Chicago Dem professes to be out of the loop.
Perhaps Obama's trying to be Chauncey Gardner, get people thinking he can't possibly be as clueless as he seems. So, he must possess some kind of hidden wisdom.
Obama does like to see himself as a cool guy, calm, observant, thoughtful.
But there's cool. And then there's blase. And Americans, watching in shock as the awful sacrifices of lives, limbs and American treasure flood down the drain of futility in Iraq, would much rather have a national leader who at least acts like he cares about this crisis.
OK, Obama was always against the Iraq war. He was always against the Iraq troop surge, even though it worked to his benefit. He and Jolting Joe Biden so royally screwed up the U.S. exit from Iraq by ensuring the failure of the Status of Forces Agreement talks. They claimed credit for the war's end. Biden called it one of Barack's "great achievements."
But neither man is anywhere to be found now that their inattention lead to a renewed mess. After sending 275 more guards to the Baghdad embassy, Obama's off to Pittsburgh today. And Biden, well, he's touring South America and will take in some World Cup events.
Has anyone in the White House told Obama what's happening yet? Fanatic ISIL troops crucifying Iraqis, beheading them, loading trucks with hundreds of bound men driven into the countryside for mass machine-gunnings. If Obama dithers long enough, maybe it'll all be over and Bush's fault.
Remember America's Nobel Peace Prize winner went to war against Libya because its dictator threatened to kill some Benghazi civilians?
Or Syria with its 165,000 actual dead while Obama mutters to himself about maybe possibly donating weapons to the least-worst bad guys.
Or Ukraine, the bankrupt, would-be bulwark of democracy on Russia's flank? No weapons either. Just visits by Biden and Kerry and lame sanctions on a few Putin pals. Now, Obama's mulling pleas for Iran to help in Iraq. What will that cost?
Obama's 4,000-word grad speech Saturday contained not one word about the bloody crisis unfolding among Iraqis, who've paid a far greater price than Americans. Obama's speech was all about the need for young grads to combat climate change. Obama mentioned that 19 times. Uh-huh. And himself 58 times.
This morning the Washington Post trumpets news that Obama will unveil today his intention to declare an immense swath of the central Pacific as the world's largest marine sanctuary off-limits to fishing and energy exploration. Not joking, folks. Talk about relevant presidential action.
By now, most everyone recognizes Obama's attempted diversions, his policy pivots to steer public discussion away from bountiful bad news. It's like a teenager who just totaled the family car pointing out that he did, in fact, finish his history homework.
There comes a point, still with 947 days of him left, where Obama pivoting looks more like a sad, stumbling Obama stricken with dizziness.
Speaking for many, one Iraq veteran put it plainly on Twitter: