We now come to the close of what feels like a hundred years of Obamas in Washington, but it’s really less than 12 full months. There are many year end assessments of Obama’s annus horrendus in Big Media this week so we thought we would add our assessment.
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Barack Obama was not, and is not qualified to be President of the United States. Put aside Obama’s flim-flam history, the thugs he surrounds himself with, his treacheries, his total lack of accomplishments other than self-advancement, his risible résumé, his stinky body odor, the secretiveness of his past, the lack of documentation about earlier periods of his life, drug use, the self-admitted inability to keep a paper in front of him for 2 seconds before losing it, the lies about lost documents from his Chicago legislative office, the grabbing of credit for work others have done, the race-baiting, the woman-hating, the profitable alliances with criminals which even got him a house, the lack of interest in his constituents, the obvious lies when he denies positions he has even affixed his signature to on questionnaires, his lies about being a reformer when he swims in the swamps of Chicago corruption, the ugly church mentor of 20 plus years, his smearing of opponents with sexual or racial slurs, the gay-bashing, the secret deals, the incompetence, the long list of corruptions and boobery… – put all this history we have documented aside. Barack Obama is not qualified to be President because he does not have a world-view which is congruent with reality.
Winston Churchill was in the political wilderness for many years. Churchill’s world view was not viewed positively and few wanted to have much to do with the cigar chomping Winny. Churchill thought that Germany, at the heart of Europe and with many resources and people was a threat to Great Britain, and the peace of Europe. Many labeled Churchill a warmonger and shunned him. Churchill however stood firm. His knowledge of history and geography informed him that Germany was indeed a threat and he held fast to that understanding even though many ostracized him for it. The appeasement of other British leaders and the military actions of Germany eventually forced the world to acknowledge that Winston Churchill’s world view was the one most consistent with reality. Churchill became Prime Minister, then led the Western democracies and Christian civilization itself, from the abyss of despair into victory.
To be an American president means having a world view. Hillary Clinton has a world-view. Hillary Clinton mocked Obama in her insightful “celestial choirs” speech. Hillary Clinton mocked Obama about his foolish “no preconditions, in the first year, anywhere, anytime” meetings with America’s enemies. Hillary Clinton mocked Obama as “naive”. Hillary Clinton was saying that Obama did not know or understand how the world works. Hillary Clinton was saying that Obama’s world view was not congruent with reality. Hillary Clinton has been proved right.
Today, Leslie Gelb begins a very polite and gentle narrative, saying pretty much that Obama better get a reality based world-view, quickly or we all face continued disaster with a boob in charge. Writes Gelb, “If the president wants to be more than a one-term wonder, he needs to have a vision.”
Don’t be fooled by the year-end reprieve of President Obama because the economy looks a bit brighter and the Senate passed a health bill. He’s been pummeled hard all along the political spectrum. He’s in trouble. If he doesn’t overhaul himself and his administration quickly, right-wing bizarros will control Congress in 2011 and he’ll be looking for another job in 2013. He’ll end up a one-termer like Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush. Obama can’t afford to wait to make a mid-course correction a year from now. He’s got to make a quarter-course correction in the next months. He needs to prioritize and focus his energies on the economy, teach his opponents to fear him, and change some top personnel. Above all, he’s got to modify his own ways. He puts far too much store on being the smartest guy in the room and not enough on experience. He’d do well to remember that Jimmy Carter also rang all the IQ bells.
Gelb singles out H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter as examples of single term presidents. Both had a problem understanding the world. George H.W. Bush squirmed when he discussed “the vision thing”. H.W. knew that for all the items on his résumé he lacked the clarity of vision, or world-view, of his predecessor Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan’s world-view was that Soviet Russia was “the evil Empire” and all his actions flowed easily from that perception. A world view is not a set of positions, it is a deep understanding which is in the bones of atavistic history. H.W. Bush made a mess in Iraq but was saved when Margaret Thatcher insisted Iraq be pushed out of Kuwait. H.W. also had a lifetime of experience in job after job which allowed him to accept there was much he did not know and that accepting advice from strong leaders like Thatcher were a help not a hindrance.
Jimmy Carter was a man conflicted. He wanted to be Pope but settled for president. He reacted to events because he did not have a world-view from the outset which comported with reality. Wanting to be an honest man and a peacemaking leader he instead was forced to react to evil in the world and bumbled and stumbled badly. Iran is a great part of his sad legacy.
Both Carter and H.W. had problems with “the vision thing”. Obama too is out of his element (that being the corrupt waters of second city Chicago) and that leads to disaster for us all.
Mind you, I want Barack Obama to succeed. The simple truth, increasingly ignored by Americans and non-Americans alike, is that if he fails, we all fail: Corrosive nastiness and stalemates grow at home, and the world drowns without effective American leadership. I’m talking here about Obama’s success specifically because too many Democrats border on incompetent and Republicans excel mainly at destruction. Obama shouldn’t console himself by believing that as jobs slowly return, his reelection will be saved. His problems, our problems, run much deeper than jobs.
Bill Clinton understood that American military and world power was based on economic power. Bill Clinton knew “it’s the economy, stupid”. American economic strength was deployed by Bill Clinton to solve intractable problems around the world. Northern Ireland and it’s age-old “troubles” is one example of Bill Clinton’s wielding power effectively. Bill Clinton also understood the Teddy Roosevelt and John Kennedy world-view “speak softly, but carry a big stick”. Bill Clinton kept America strong at home and abroad by keeping America economically strong.
More Gelb on boob Obama:
First and foremost, the president must have an overriding theme to discipline himself and focus Americans and the world. He’s been acting as if there are dozens of major issues, when there is only one—the economy, the economy, and the economy. Every other “major” issue has to be judged by how it affects the economy. Our economy is at the heart of our military and diplomatic power, and of our democracy, as Obama said at West Point—but he doesn’t say enough or nor do enough on a day-to-day basis.
Gelb does not understand that Obama knows pretty words and the crafted imagery of his speechwriters via the TelePrompter. But Obama does not understand the meaning of those words. It’s like having a young child star sing, with great feeling and great vocal power, songs about the heartbreak of love and life – the words are there but the understanding is not.
Gelb also fails to let go of the Hopium when he suggests the problems are with legislators and not with Obama when it comes to corruption and “thieving politicians”. As we wrote above, Gelb is being very polite and generous.
When things go wrong at basic levels, there’s only one solution: Go back to basics. Basics means infrastructure—human and physical. We’re falling apart. [snip] But our infrastructure won’t improve if decisions are left in the hands of thieving politicians in state legislatures, or if union workers just stand around so that jobs that used to take one year now take 10. The White House will have to fight to ensure the money gets to the people and the work gets done. That’s far more useful and necessary than Obama flying off on marginal journeys to Copenhagen and the Far East.
Dear Gelb, please understand, those “marginal journeys” Obama makes are his very air. Obama loves the attention and puffing himself up. These trips do not help America at all, but that is not Obama’s interest. Obama only cares about himself. One day Gelb will have the courage, or desire, to finally write this obvious truth.
Gelb wants Obama to go against his very nature, to “modify his own ways”. That’s like asking a coward to be courageous, a follower to lead, a crook to be honest, a Chicago politician to keep his hands in his own pockets.
“Veto that pork” exclaims Gelb. But Obama is a Chicago politician to whom pork projects and waste are the purpose of public life. Gelb pleads, “Same on the need to veto all those damned bridges to nowhere, the pork that candidate Obama promised to get rid of and that President Obama ignores.”
Gelb explains what a world-view is and the practical effects of acting on a world-view:
Elevating the economy to the sole priority doesn’t mean forsaking other major concerns. It means putting those concerns in economic perspective. Obama can fight global warming by funding new forms of energy, which also will reduce the production of offending carbons and stimulate the economy. To deal with health care, focus the final round of congressional bargaining on cost controls to get the deadly deficits under better control. Perhaps the main killer of our economy is that health costs will soon approach 20 percent of our economy. [snip]
Looking down the road, we can do more to protect ourselves through cheaper policies of devastating air strikes and commando raids, containment with allies who share our interests, tried and true divide-and-conquer tactics against our enemies, and good old reliable deterrence, than by embroiling ourselves in endlessly draining civil wars and insurgencies. It will be less expensive and more effective to let our friends know from the outset that their security is primarily their responsibility, that we will help a lot if they’ll fight, but that most of the fighting must be up to them.
Gelb wants Obama to do what Obama is unable to do. Gelb wants Obama to gain a lifetime of experience through sheer will not hard work. But Obama simply does not have the experience needed to be president. All Obama has to show is self-advancement. Obama is the apex of the age of fake: a celebrity who is known for being famous.
Obama is the problem. Obama is not qualified to be president. It’s like asking a chicken to soar with the eagle. It’s like asking Obama to be Hillary Clinton with her lifetime of experience. It’s like asking Obama to be Hillary Clinton with her lifetime fighting to make the world a better place even if she makes enemies while making things better.
Getting policy priorities established and White House power in gear requires that Obama fix up both himself and his team. He can’t keep pronouncing and speechifying on everything. Every time he does, he’s got to say something new, otherwise nothing gets reported. So, he says something new, and it’s different from what he said last time, everyone gets confused about his goals and policies. He also has to impose message discipline. One top economic counselor, Larry Summers, said that the economy and jobs are rebounding. Another top economic counselor, Christina Romer, said that they aren’t. His Vice President Joe Biden says that U.S. troops will start leaving Afghanistan on July 2011, and his senior military advisers say that it “depends.” Jimmy Carter drowned his power in such inconsistencies.
Obama must have White House staff and senior Cabinet officers who will share his policy focus and accept discipline. Above all, that requires that he be clear and consistent in his own mind about what he’s doing. One Obama word out of place and his advisers will simply run off in their own different directions. The president needs managers and strategists, experienced hands in getting things done.
Obama is the problem. Rahm Emanuel was successful in the Clinton White House because Hillary demoted him when he needed to be demoted, disciplined him when he needed to be disciplined, smacked him on the head when he needed to be smacked. All the Clinton era appointees in the world will not help Obama because the problem is Obama. Obama is not qualified to be president. Obama can’t be trusted by friend nor foe. Obama can’t be trusted.
Obama knew it all along. His supporters are beginning to realize it now. We knew it all along. Obama is not qualified to be president. Obama, is not qualified to be president.