Sunday, September 18, 2011

"A Dysfunctional and Acrimonious White House"

If it was ever really there to begin with, the bloom is now decidedly off the Obama rose.

In the midst of the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression, our singularly inept president is out on the hustings, repeating over and over again his mindless mantra: Pass the bill.

If you had retained even the least glimmer of hope that Obama might know how to manage the crisis, yesterday he stepped forward with a repackaged old proposal: a tax on millionaires. He called it a Buffett tax.

That will inspire his base, yes siree.

Next week we are going to learn more about how bad it is in the Obama White House. Specifically, we are going to get a glimpse into a dysfunctional organization that is being run by someone who had never had any executive experience.

If you want to know why you should not vote for someone who is unqualified for the job, Ron Suskind’s book Confidence Men, will lay it all out.

Commenting on an advance copy of the book the Washington Post says that it describes : “… a dysfunctional and acrimonious White House ….”

It also says that Barack Obama’s dysfunctional White House was decidedly unfriendly to women.  Who could have imagined that this most feminist administration in history would make women feel discarded and ignored, like pieces of meat?

Of course, the administration is denying as fast as it can, but still, none of us have seen any evidence suggesting that this administration is functional.

Take a look at the Middle East. I have never been a great fan of the Arab Spring. I do not believe violent revolution ever solves anything.

Be that as it may, I felt from the onset that a crisis needed effective and experienced management, lest it spin completely out of control. And I was persuaded that the amateurs directing American foreign policy, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, were not up to the task.

This morning the New York Times provides a sobering analysis of the crisis that is unfolding in the Middle East.

Quoting one analyst who believes that the region is becoming “unglued,” the authors explain: “ [The crisis] may also sweep aside, or at least diminish, American influence in the region. The bold vow on Friday by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to seek full membership at the United Nations amounted to a public rebuff of weeks of feverish American diplomacy. His vow came on top of a rapid and worrisome deterioration of relations between Egypt and Israel and between Israel and Turkey, the three countries that have been the strongest American allies in the region.

“Diplomacy has never been easy in the Middle East, but the recent events have so roiled the region that the United States fears being forced to take sides in diplomatic or, worse, military disputes among its friends.

“Hypothetical outcomes seem chillingly present. What would happen if Turkey, a NATO ally that the United States is bound by treaty to defend, sent warships to escort ships to Gaza in defiance of Israel’s blockade, as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to do?

“Crises like the expulsion of Israel’s ambassador in Turkey, the storming of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo and protests outside the one in Amman, Jordan, have compounded a sense of urgency and forced the Obama administration to reassess some of this country’s fundamental assumptions, and to do so on the fly.”

The Times does not quite say it, but this represents a foreign policy failure of a major order.

The situation is being so badly mismanaged, that Tom Friedman has come running to rescue the Obama administration by, would you believe, blaming it on the Jews.

Intrepid defender of an administration that is so lost that it consults with him on foreign policy matters, Friedman wrote a column this morning in which he blamed the crisis in Middle East diplomacy on Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel.

In his words: “I have great sympathy for Israel’s strategic dilemma and no illusions about its enemies. But Israel today is giving its friends — and President Obama’s one of them — nothing to defend it with. Israel can fight with everyone or it can choose not to surrender but to blunt these trends with a peace overture that fair-minded people would recognize as serious, and thereby reduce its isolation.

“Unfortunately, Israel today does not have a leader or a cabinet for such subtle diplomacy. One can only hope that the Israeli people will recognize this before this government plunges Israel into deeper global isolation and drags America along with it.”

In Friedman’s eyes, America is a bit player in a drama that is being orchestrated by Benjamin Netanyahu.

But, how did America find itself saddled with President Barack Obama? Among those who bear the most responsibility are the journalists who threw their integrity under the bus in order to manipulate Americans into voting for a man who had no qualifications for the office.

Or perhaps they did it because they knew that they could.

Rex Murphy offers a sobering assessment of the journalistic malpractice that went into creating a cult to Barack Obama. The only surprising part is that any of it seems surprising.

As much as the press worked hard to create its very own Potemkin candidate, its dereliction has been extensively chronicled by right thinking people.

In Murphy’s words: “Much of the Obama coverage was orchestrated sychophancy. They glided past his pretensions — when did a presidential candidate before ‘address the world’ from the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin? They ignored his arrogance — ‘You’re likeable enough, Hillary.’ And they averted their eyes from his every gaffe — such as the admission that he didn’t speak ‘Austrian.’

“The media walked right past the decades-long association of Obama with the weird and racist pastor Jeremiah Wright. In the midst of the brief stormlet over the issue, one CNN host — inexplicably — decided that CNN was going to be a ‘Wright-free zone.’ He could have hung out a sign: ‘No bad news about Obama here.’

“The media trashed Hillary. They burned Republicans. They ransacked Sarah Palin and her family. But Obama, the cool, the detached, the oracular Obama — he strolled to the presidency.”

Murphy concludes: “As a result, the press gave the great American republic an untried, unknown and, it is becoming more and more frighteningly clear, incompetent figure as President. Under Obama, America’s foreign policies are a mixture of confusion and costly impotence. It is increasingly bypassed or derided; the great approach to the Muslim world, symbolized by the Cairo speech, is in tatters. Its debt and deficits are a weight on the entire global economy. And the office of presidency is less and less a symbol of strength.

“To the degree the press neglected its function as watchdog and turned cupbearer to a styrofoam demigod, it is a partner in the flaws and failures of what is turning out to be one of the most miserable performances in the modern history of the American presidency.”

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