Final proof at last: Obama *is* Carter II

April 27, 2011

Leading from behind??”

The reliably liberal New Yorker magazine isn’t usually in the habit of presenting gifts to the Republican Party, but it has just published three little words that may prove central to the GOP effort to defeat President Obama next year. Those words are “leading from behind,” and they appear at the end of a Ryan Lizza article on Obama’s foreign policy.

Lizza didn’t coin the phrase. “Leading from behind” is a direct quote from of “one of [Obama's] advisers,” who is describing his boss’ policy on Libya. That same adviser goes on to say that the effort to lead from behind is “so at odds with the John Wayne expectation for what America is in the world. But it’s necessary for shepherding us through this phase.”

And there you have it: the 2012 campaign against Obama’s foreign policy in a nutshell. By the time Election Day rolls around, if the GOP knows what’s good for it, the phrase “leading from behind” will be the “yes, we can” of 2012.

The reason the phrase is so devastating is that “leading from behind” wasn’t intended as criticism but rather as a sympathetic, even proud, defense of the administration’s approach and goals.

Lizza describes it thus: “It’s a different definition of leadership than America is known for, and it comes from two unspoken beliefs: that the relative power of the US is declining, as rivals like China rise, and that the US is reviled in many parts of the world.

Wow. EU-style “soft power” in all its spineless glory. It’s the perfect implementation of a worldview that sees American power as the problem and seeks its deliberate weakening. Only you don’t let on that that’s your plan; rather, you couch it in terms of “inevitable decline” versus the latest threat(1) and the need to make ourselves more liked in the international community (all bow).

Oh, heck, This isn’t just Carter. It’s Carter’s “malaise” speech wrapped up in Dukakis’s tank ride with a bow made from Kerry’s “global test.”

The article is right: if Republicans don’t use this like a club to whack Obama at every opportunity in the coming campaign, they don’t deserve to win.

LINKS: A British view — Obama looks “weak and confused.”

TANGENTS:

(1)Now it’s China. Remember the 1980s when Japan was going to eat our lunch?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The enigma of Barack Obama: how family shapes character

April 25, 2011

One of the great frustrations of the 2008 presidential campaign was the total failure of the establishment media to do anything resembling real journalism regarding the background and history of Barack Obama, the man who would become the Democratic nominee and eventually President. His college records were sealed, his activities while a student in New York and in Chicago as a community organizer were only glanced at, and the people he closely associated with there –Socialist academics, organizers, and former communist terrorists– were dismissed as “people he just knew, nothing special.”

And as for his family background? Well, that became wrapped up and almost impossible to look at dispassionately because of the Birther nonsense that the Obama campaign brilliantly exploited to silence legitimate critics. Whether afraid of being labeled a crank or fearful of having the race card played against them, most critics then and now stay away from looking into those personal, formative experiences that would shape the character and beliefs of a president, preferring to attack him only on policy.

Yet, how can one effectively criticize policy without knowing the man’s character and beliefs, which would tell us not only what he wants to accomplish now, but in the future? To do so is to pick at details while refusing see the grand context that gives them shape and direction.

So, since the major media won’t investigate the President’s background, the fearless Bill Whittle will. This video is part one of a multi-part series looking into the influences on the character and beliefs of President Barack Obama, starting with his parents and grandparents:

And that’s how investigative reporting should be done, neither avoiding sensitive topics nor wallowing in crank conspiracy theories.

I’m looking forward to part two.

RELATED: Some journalists did do extensive work on Obama’s history. Before the election David Freddoso wrote “The Case Against Barack Obama,” which analyzed his rise through the political machines of Cook County, Chicago, and Springfield, seemingly untouched by the mud of Illinois politics. Unfortunately, it came out too late to influence the election. Just last year, journalist Stanley Kurtz published “Radical in Chief,” which is both a political biography of Obama and a history of American Socialism since the 1970s. I reviewed the book a while back and I think it’s crucial to understanding Barack Obama as we go into another election campaign. (And, fair disclosure, I do get a few pennies when the book links are clicked.)

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Barack the Magic Suit: a political fairy tale

April 8, 2011

Okay, kids! Let’s all gather round — it’s Story Time with Andrew Klavan!

Actually, that might be too scary for young kids…

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


President Obama channels Marie Antoinette

April 7, 2011

Jeez, is this guy tone-deaf, or what? President Obama was at a town-hall meeting in Bucks County, PA, to tout his plans for energy independence* when a citizen peasant complained to him about high gas prices:

“Gas prices? They’re going to still fluctuate until we can start making these broader changes, and that’s going to take a couple of years to have serious effect,” Obama said.

Obama needled one questioner who asked about gas prices, now averaging close to $3.70 a gallon nationwide, and suggested that the gentleman consider getting rid of his gas-guzzling vehicle.

“If you’re complaining about the price of gas and you’re only getting 8 miles a gallon, you know,” Obama said laughingly. “You might want to think about a trade-in.”

Because, Lord knows, we can all just run out and buy a new or new-used car whenever we want in this great economy, especially with fuel prices surging** and the Cash for Clunkers program having artificially jacked-up the prices on used cars. And it’s not as if this uppity peon might need to spend the money on something else, such as a mortgage, kids’ expenses, food (with prices going up on that, too), etc.

And what’s with this “8 miles a gallon” nonsense? As Ed Morrissey points out, passenger cars haven’t had that kind of mileage since the 1970s.

We’ve gone from Bill Clinton, a president who famously said he feels our pain, to Barack Obama, who mocks an American’s sincerely felt worries. Way to go, sir. That’s really going to help your reelection chances in Pennsylvania, a state you desperately need.

Schmuck.

*No, really. Stop laughing.

**Over $4 per gallon around Public Secrets Global HQ.

via Instapundit

UPDATE: Apparently the Associated Press has a policy of covering for the president’s gaffes by excising them from their articles — after the fact.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Does our President need a spanking?

March 31, 2011

There are several way to explain President Obama’s often-odd, against self-interests behavior in office: he’s passive; he doesn’t like detail; or he lacks executive experience. I’ve often resorted to “He’s a Socialist ideologue and what he does makes perfect sense if one interprets it in light of Alinskyite incremental stealth Socialism and Black Liberation Theology,” though admittedly that’s a mouthful to say over the dinner table.

But, in all honesty, when I read something like this, I have to admit I can’t explain the sheer bloody-minded stupidity of it all:

President Obama finally and quietly accepted his “transparency” award from the open government community this week — in a closed, undisclosed meeting at the White House on Monday.

The secret presentation happened almost two weeks after the White House inexplicably postponed the ceremony, which was expected to be open to the press pool.

This time, Obama met quietly in the Oval Office with Gary Bass of OMB Watch, Tom Blanton of the National Security Archive, Danielle Brian of the Project on Government Oversight, Lucy Dalglish of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and Patrice McDermott of OpenTheGovernment.org, without disclosing the meeting on his public schedule or letting photographers or print reporters into the room.

(Emphases added.)

I mean, didn’t someone on the staff point out the self-defeating and embarrassing irony of this? Accepting an award for transparency in conditions of secrecy that would make Nixon proud?

Seriously, what is going through his head?

Okay, call me nuts, but I have a theory: We all know of the President’s ego. He thinks the world of himself, he was raised in relative ease, and was never really, truly challenged in a knock-down, drag out, gut check kind of way. He’s pretty much glided from promotion to promotion, a living example of the Peter Principle. When he became president, he expected things would go as smoothly as they had in the past, and that glib words from him would be enough to get by.

But it didn’t work out that way. The presidency is unlike any other job, and you don’t succeed at it with just some nice speeches and TV interviews.

And Obama, for the first time in his life, found himself being held responsible — and he didn’t like it!

So now he’s acting petulantly: the press doesn’t fawn (as much) over him anymore? Fine. He’ll bar them from his transparency award ceremony and to heck with how it looks! I mean, did you listen to his tone in parts of his speech on Libya? It was as if he was scolding or chiding the American people for daring to question him.

I still think he’s a Socialist, but now I’m convinced he’s an immature passive-aggressive Socialist and what we’re seeing is him “acting out.”

It’s come to this, my friends: Our president needs a time out.

via Moe Lane

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Gates: No vital US interests at stake in Libya

March 27, 2011

I’m not averse to the use of force in foreign affairs, in cases where it’s the best available option and clearly seen American interests are at stake.  I also am not against going “John Wayne” on a maniac dictator and helping his people be free of him when, again, demonstrable American interests align with the desire to give said maniac what he deserves. I argued, and still do, that Iraq presented such a case in 2002-2003.

Otherwise, in the absence of vital American interests, there seems little reason to commit American blood and treasure.

So what am I to think when, on national television, the Secretary of Defense says he can’t think of any vital American interests in Libya, where we’ve just gone to war?

As the war in Libya moves into its second week, tag-team Sunday talk show appearances by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State suggest the Obama administration remains divided over the fundamental question of whether the war is in the United States’ national interest.

On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Gates was asked, “Is Libya in our vital interest as a country?”  He answered, “No, I don’t think it’s a vital interest for the U.S., but we clearly have interests there, and it’s a part of the region which is a vital interest for the U.S.”  Gates’ statement wasn’t an entirely convincing rationale for a major military commitment, and moderator David Gregory responded by saying, “I think a lot of people would hear that and say well, that’s quite striking — not in our vital interests and yet we’re committing military resources.”

Emphasis added.

In that case, Mr. Secretary, let me ask a question: In a time of national fiscal distress when we’re borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend and when we already have major commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, the latter involving frequent combat, why in Heaven’s name are we attacking Libya? If you and your boss can’t articulate a coherent reason for starting a war, what possessed you (and him) to think this would be a good idea?

And, no, “I dunno” doesn’t cut it.

Oh, but then acting-President and Secretary of State Clinton jumped in to offer a reason:

At that point, Clinton suggested that the U.S. went to war to repay NATO allies for support in Afghanistan.  “We asked our NATO allies to go into Afghanistan with us ten years ago,” she said.  “They have been there, and a lot of them have been there despite the fact that they were not attacked.  The attack came on us…They stuck with us.  When it comes to Libya, we started hearing from the UK, France, Italy, other of our NATO allies…This was in their vital national interest…

Emphasis added.

So, our European allies asked us to attack Libya because they went to war when we were attacked, so we agreed to bomb Libya because they were… Wait. Did I miss a Libyan raid on Naples or something??

Hey, I can see a vital interest for some European countries in Libya — they get quite a bit of oil from there, much more than we do. But that’s their vital interest, not ours. And al Qaeda’s attack on the US triggered the Article V mutual defense clause of the NATO treaty, which is in play in Libya… how, exactly?

Clinton’s “explanation” reminds me of this corker from her boss:

And that’s why building this international coalition has been so important because it means that the United States is not bearing all the cost.  It means that we have confidence that we are not going in alone, and it is our military that is being volunteered by others to carry out missions that are important not only to us, but are important internationally.  And we will accomplish that in a relatively short period of time.

And again, emphasis added.

What, did this all start because of a phone call from Europe? “Congratulations! We’ve just volunteered your military for a little war in Libya! And, hey, Barry, you owe us.”

I’m all for allies sticking together, but, if intervening in Libya is a vital European interest, maybe the European states should start spending the money to create the forces they would need to defend those vital interests and not “volunteer” us.

Meanwhile, someone needs to give the administration lessons in not sounding like clueless idiots.

LINKS: More at Hot Air

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Uncommon Knowledge: Stanley Kurtz

March 27, 2011

A while back I reviewed Stanley Kurtz’s latest book, Radical in Chief, a political biography of Barack Obama and a history of the evolution of American Socialism since the 1970s. It’s an important book, crucial to any real understanding both of the President, himself, and, indirectly, of how derelict the media was in their coverage of Obama’s background†.

Kurtz was recently interviewed by Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institution for their web program, Uncommon Knowledge. Here’s what they have to say about the subject:

Recent guest  Stanley Kurtz decided to do what the press failed to do – take an honest look at Obama’s politics.   His investigation resulted in Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism. In this episode, Kurtz discusses the many socialist influences in Obama’s life, from his college years to his time as a community organizer, with men such as Bill Ayers, Frank Marshal Davis, and Jeremiah Wright.

In examining Obama’s main mentors, Kurtz begins to see a clear ideology that motivates the President’s disdain for the middle class, take-no-prisoners approach to passing socialized healthcare, reluctance to discuss political theory and desire for, ultimately, a socialist revolution.

The interview is a little over 30 minutes long. Get a cup of tea or coffee, sit back, and relax. I think you’ll find it worthwhile:

†Yeah, I know. They had much more important, world-shaking issues to deal with. Like Sarah Palin’s tanning bed.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


A liberal explains the difference between Libya and Iraq

March 25, 2011

It’s simple! Obama is awesome!!

Makes perfect sense.

via Jonah Goldberg

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


How The One screwed up in Libya: let VDH count the ways

March 24, 2011

Like most people outside the moonbat Left and isolationist Right, I supported the idea of intervening in Libya’s civil war, even though that support was qualified. And now that we’re in battle, my opinion is that we don’t stop until Qaddafi is gone; he’s too dangerous to leave behind, angry and vengeful.

But, well, Obama and his underlings have gone about this in about the most feckless, dunderheaded, and incompetent way possible. From dithering over getting involved until it was almost (and may still be) too late to stating goals that not only change, but are mutually exclusive, to coming up with the lame-brained idea of placing US forces under the command of an international committee of bureaucrats, this administration has done about everything one can think of to make sure it loses support for this kinetic military action war.

At National Review, Victor Davis Hanson enumerates the ways Obama is screwing this up. As with anything from VDH, read the whole thing, but here’s one in particular that stuck with me:

7) Leadership: This is a Potemkin coalition, far smaller than the one that fought in either Afghanistan or Iraq, notwithstanding loud proclamations to the contrary. We are not even done with the first week of bombing, and yet no one seems in charge: What body/country/alliance determines targets, issues communiques, or coordinates diplomacy? The U.K. goes after Qaddafi, and we plead “They did it, not us”? Again, fairly or not, the impression is that Obama dressed up preponderant American intervention under a multicultural fig leaf, earning the downsides of both. A loud multilateral effort could be wise diplomacy, but not if it translates into a desire to subordinate American options and profile to European and international players that are not commensurately shouldering the burden — and not if all this is cynically used to advance a welcomed new unexceptional American profile.

When we talk of “European leadership,” we mean the U.K. and France, not Germany, Italy, or most of the EU. When we talk of the “Arab League,” we mean essentially zero military assets. And when we talk of the “U.N.,” we mean zero blue-helmeted troops. So, like it or not, there is a level of understandable cynicism that suspects Obama’s new paradigm of multilateral, international action is simply the same-old, same-old, albeit without the advantages that accrue when America is unapologetic about its leadership role, weathers the criticism, and insists on the options and prerogatives that a superpower must demand in war by virtue of its power and sacrifice.

And on this theme of leadership and American exceptionalism, let me point you to this article by Tony Katz at Pajamas Media. It goes to the heart of Obama’s Socialist “education” in New York and Chicago: that America is no better than any other nation, that the exercise of overwhelming American power is a problem — that, in the end, America herself is the problem:

[The report on human rights in the US to the UNHRC --pf.] was the “tell.” Obama does not believe in American exceptionalism. America is no better, and no worse, than any other nation. So, in his estimation, why shouldn’t America be subject to the same “ruler on the knuckles” punishment as every other nation that abuses its people … like Libya?

These are the values that Obama holds dear, and they guide his decisions on every front.  While pundits and politicos were cackling about his trip to Brazil and South America, Obama kept along with seeing the sights, dancing in Rio, and staying away from press conferences.

For what reason would the president not go on his scheduled vacation trip?  The job of the president of the United States, as he sees it, is to be a willing, bowing cog in the world machine. To be morally unambiguous would be a slight to the ruling world order, the one that only multiculturalism brings.

Obama does not see the presidency, and himself in it, as the leader of the free world. Based upon the historical perspective, it is an impediment to a better world where all are equal. The president believes that America is the impediment to a safer, better world, just as he believes that “settlements” are the impediment to a safer, better Israel.

Emphases added. We can take this as part of the foundation on which all the errors VDH* lists are based.

*It truly is an unjust world, wherein an idiot like Barbara Boxer, and not Dr. Hanson, represents California in the Senate.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Poor Obama. Presidents of China have it so easy by comparison…

March 11, 2011

One reason Chinese presidents have it so easy.

Jeez, what a whiner. I seem to recall he wanted the job, real bad. In fact, he wanted it so much that he started running for it after only two years as a United States senator.

But now he finds it too tough and envies the Chinese President:

How Mr. Obama manages to do that while also balancing American interests is a question that officials acknowledge will plague this historic president for months to come. Mr. Obama has told people that it would be so much easier to be the president of China. As one official put it, “No one is scrutinizing Hu Jintao’s words in Tahrir Square.”

(Emphasis added)

Gee, I wonder why that is? Could it be because the Chinese government has an almost unbroken history of tyranny against its own people? That Hu’s predecessors are responsible for the deaths of tens of millions? That it doesn’t give a damn about individual liberty and, indeed, as the photo shows above, sends tanks against unarmed protesters demanding their unalienable rights? That is conducting a slow-motion ethnic cleansing in Tibet? Could it be because Hu isn’t accountable to his people, nor even to the legislature, but just to an elite oligarchy of Communist Party hierarchs?

No wonder he has such an easy time of it, and no wonder no one seeking his or her liberty cares a rat’s hind end what Hu Jin Tao has to say.

Okay, Mr. President. It’s time for a basic lesson in why people in Tahrir Square (or Tiananmen Square) might care about what you have to say. Not you as Barack Obama from Hawaii by way of Chicago, but you, Barack Obama, as President of the United States.

You are the Chief of State of a nation that, over the course of the last 235 years, has:

  • Fought for its own freedom
  • Fought a civil war to end slavery
  • Sent an army to Europe to defeat the German Empire in World War 1
  • Sent armies and navies around the globe to defeat Germany (again) when Europe was nearly crushed and at the same time to crush Japan in World War 2, saving the lives and liberties of hundreds of millions
  • Fought North Korea and China to preserve South Korea as a free country (Turned out pretty good)
  • Fought to preserve South Vietnam (Okay, that one didn’t turn out so good)
  • Fought to save Bosnians and Kosovars and give Iraqis and Afghans a chance at a better life

And on and on…

But if the military angle doesn’t get though to you, how about the moral? The nation that gives you such a hard time as president also gave the world the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, the radical concept that sovereignty derives from the people and not their rulers, and that Mankind’s liberty is best preserved when his government is limited. (That last one bugs you a lot, doesn’t it?)

And we didn’t just keep it to ourselves; we proclaimed it the right of all humans everywhere and acted as a shield for those wanting those rights and as a loud voice for those whose voices were silenced by the guns of the dictators. Not perfectly, not always consistently, sometimes screwing up badly, but often enough and strongly enough that oppressed people around the world look to the American president for words of encouragement and aid, not the Chinese president. It wasn’t some jumped-up autocrat from Beijing who stood in front of one of the bleakest symbols of tyranny the world has seen, the Berlin Wall, and demanded that the barbarians who built it tear it down.

No, it was an American president, one you like to compare yourself to.

And that’s why people in the Tahrir Squares of the world care what you say.

Instead of whining that dictators have it easier than you, maybe you should stop and think about the role your predecessors have played and why the world would look to them for leadership in the cause of liberty. Maybe you’ll learn something.

Maybe you’ll even grow up a bit.

via Ed Morrissey

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Obama on Libya: pathetic and dangerously incompetent

February 26, 2011

When I vented my disgust at the administration renting a ferry to get Americans out of Libya, instead of sending in the Marines, I had missed part of the story, the instructions given to Americans desperate to get out:

In a notice sent to U.S. citizens in Libya, the department said Americans wishing to leave Libya should report to the As-shahab port in the capital of Tripoli with their passports starting at 9 a.m. local time on Wednesday. The ferry will depart for the Mediterranean island of Malta no later than 3 p.m. local time.

It said boarding the vessel would be on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to those with medical emergencies or severe medical conditions. Travelers will be allowed one suitcase and one small carry-on item, the notice said, adding that pets would be allowed on the ferry but that they must meet European Union requirements.

Those who want be evacuated should be prepared to wait several hours and bring food, water and other necessities to the pier, which is on the sea road across from the Radisson Blu Mahari Hotel in Tripoli.

Those who take the ferry will be expected to reimburse the government for the cost, estimated to be equivalent to the one-way commercial ferry crossing of the distance from Tripoli to the Maltese capital of Valletta, it said. Any onward travel from Malta must be paid for by the passengers, the notice said.

Immediate family members of U.S. citizens who are not themselves citizens will be able to board provided they have travel documents valid for their final destination.

So, American citizens would have to pay to get out of country torn by civil war, and the non-American wife and in-laws would be extra? Gee, why not make them sign over their life savings, too?

Oh, but the best part of this extravaganza of incompetence is highlighted above: evacuees were told to wait on a pier, in the open, water on three sides, like sitting ducks with no protection in case Qaddafi’s goons showed up for a bit of hostage-taking… or other revenge. My God, we are lucky there wasn’t a massacre.

But the British could send in the SAS to get their people out.

Pardon me, I need to go find a wall to beat my head against.

h/t Pundit and Pundette via Truth and Commonsense

UPDATE: Welcome Hot Air readers, and thanks, Ed!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Extended quote of the day: Hitchens on Libya, Obama

February 25, 2011

Really, I wish Christopher Hitchens would stop being so shy about his feelings:

Evidently a little sensitive to the related charges of being a) taken yet again completely by surprise, b) apparently without a policy of its own, and c) morally neuter, the Obama administration contrived to come up with an argument that maximized every form of feebleness. Were we to have taken a more robust or discernible position, it was argued, our diplomatic staff in Libya might have been endangered. In other words, we decided to behave as if they were already hostages! The governments of much less powerful nations, many with large expatriate populations as well as embassies in Libya, had already condemned Qaddafi’s criminal behavior, and the European Union had considered sanctions, but the United States (which didn’t even charter a boat for the removal of staff until Tuesday. [See also. --PF]) felt obliged to act as if it were the colonel’s unwilling prisoner. I can’t immediately think of any precedent for this pathetic “doctrine,” but I can easily see what a useful precedent it sets for any future rogue regime attempting to buy time. Leave us alone—don’t even raise your voice against us—or we cannot guarantee the security of your embassy. (It wouldn’t be too soon, even now, for the NATO alliance to make it plain to Qaddafi that if he even tried such a thing, he would lose his throne, and his ramshackle armed forces, and perhaps his worthless life, all in the course of one afternoon.)

Unless the administration seriously envisages a future that includes the continued private ownership of Libya and its people by Qaddafi and his terrible offspring, it’s a sheer matter of prudence and realpolitik, to say nothing of principle, to adopt a policy that makes the opposite assumption. Libya is—in point of population and geography—mainly a coastline. The United States, with or without allies, has unchallengeable power in the air and on the adjacent waters. It can produce great air lifts and sea lifts of humanitarian and medical aid, which will soon be needed anyway along the Egyptian and Tunisian borders, and which would purchase undreamed-of goodwill. It has the chance to make up for its pointless, discredited tardiness with respect to events in Cairo and Tunis. It also has a president who has shown at least the capacity to deliver great speeches on grand themes. Instead, and in the crucial and formative days in which revolutions are decided, we have had to endure the futile squawkings of a cuckoo clock.

Ouch!


Libya: Just how pathetic is Barack Obama?

February 24, 2011

The British have dispatched the Royal Navy and their SAS –their elite Special Air Service– to evacuate their citizens from Libya:

The SAS was ordered into Libya on Thursday to oversee the evacuation of hundreds of British nationals after the Government’s response to the crisis came in for widespread criticism.

Nearly 500 Britons were successfully repatriated throughout the day after three RAF Hercules transport aircraft and a Royal Navy frigate were pressed into action.

The Daily Telegraph has learnt that special forces were on the ground in Tripoli to ensure the evacuation of all British nationals went smoothly.

SAS officers offered support and advice to private security firms drafted in to rescue more than 170 oil workers stranded in remote desert compounds.

Last night the frigate HMS Cumberland set sail from Benghazi with 200 passengers on board, many of them British.

Rescue efforts were still under way last night but the Government insisted that it was close to getting everybody out.

That is how the government of a world power is supposed to take care of its people!

So, what did President of the United States Barack Hussein Obama, Commander in Chief of the mightiest military the world has ever seen, do? Dispatch a carrier battle group with Marines to rescue our people? Drop in Special Forces to secure an evacuation zone? Declare a no-fly zone and crack a few sonic booms over Tripoli as a warning to Qaddafi?

Nope. The 45th President of the United States, successor in office to Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, TR, FDR, Reagan, and all the rest… rented a ferry:

Right now, in Libya, there are hundreds of Americans waiting for evacuation … by ferry.

Seriously.  The State Department has chartered a ferry to take the hundreds of waiting Americans to Malta.  But rough seas have delayed the ferry’s departure until Friday.

A ferry. We have the biggest navy in the world and all that wimp can do is rent a ferry, as if this were some excursion in the bay instead of an evacuation in the middle of a civil war.

Others offered earlier the reasonable argument that Obama wasn’t doing more because he didn’t want to do something that might set Qaddafi off to take revenge on Americans. But that obviously isn’t a concern if the Brits feel they can send in the SAS…

Yet we rent a ferry.

Unbelievable.

Mr. President… Barry… Stop it. Just stop. You’re embarrassing us.

UPDATE: After three days, the ferry has finally left the dock in Tripoli and the Americans are out. Maybe next time we should ask London to do it for us.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Bill Whittle: “Obama’s friends and enemies”

February 20, 2011

I’ve said many times over the past couple of years that the guiding principle of the Obama administration’s foreign policy can be summed up by “Hug your enemies, pimp-slap your allies.” The studied insults toward and downright betrayals of allies such as Poland, Israel, and Great Britain, and the almost fawning treatment given toward those who despise us speaks to the truth of that.

Bill Whittle has noticed the same pattern and, in this latest video looks at events both great and minor over Obama’s term so far and concludes that this is not incompetence, but deliberate, ideologically-driven policy.

Fair warning, the video contains some horrific images in one segment:

I’ll disagree with Bill on one point: while I’m certain Obama’s foreign policy is driven by the same Socialist ideology that informs his domestic policies, it is also incompetent. Just look at its execution. The latest example in Egypt is a case study in blundering. “Ideology” and “incompetence” are not mutually exclusive, and in Barack Obama they’ve come together in a particularly dangerous mix.

Dangerous for us, that is.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


And you mocked Smart Power?

January 20, 2011

I'm so happy I get to stay!

So, Hu Jintao was feted last night at a state dinner, where the world was treated to a big announcement from President Obama of an important agreement between our landlords China and the poor house United States. What do you think it was? A way to euthanize the North Korean regime peacefully?  A deal to bring China’s undervalued currency up to realistic levels? An agreement by China to release the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner from house arrest?

Don’t be so pedestrian, folks! I’m talking something really big: we get to keep the pandas!

Let’s also never forget that throughout our history our people have worked together for mutual progress. We’ve traded together for more than 200 years. We stood together in the Second World War. Chinese immigrants and Chinese Americans have helped to build America, including many who join us here tonight.

The Chinese and American people work together and create new opportunities together every single day. Mr. President, today we’ve shown that our governments can work together as well, for our mutual benefit. And that includes this bit of news -— under a new agreement, our National Zoo will continue to dazzle children and visitors with the beloved giant pandas.

There you have it, my friends, straight from the lip of the most powerful man in the world*. These are the fruits of the Smart Power we were promised in 2008.

Via Allahpundit, who collects some of the best snark on this.

*No, not Hu Jintao. The other guy!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Obama spin zone: local edition

January 4, 2011

I received an email from my employer (an organization of devout statists)  this morning about the new, reduced Social Security tax withholding rate. The part that struck me read:

On December 17, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Tax Relief Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010.

As if everyone was all smiles, bluebirds sang in the trees, and unicorns pranced outside the West Wing. The President was just so happy to cut taxes for his overtaxed people!

Yeah, right. This really should have read…

“…signed into law as bile rose in his throat and over the screams of progressive Democrats in Congress and his Socialist base in a deal with Republicans (who had kicked his and his allies’ butts in the most recent election) to avoid the largest tax increase in US history and thown the economy into a second recession, all because his party’s congressional leadership were too stupid to do this when they had the chance.”

But, I guess they forgot that part. How odd.


Obama and Biden’s 2010 Year-end review!

December 21, 2010

And they sing it, too! See how many references to events over the past year you can spot:

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Obama: “Stupid Republicans have cooties.”

December 13, 2010

Don Surber imagines a presidential fireside chat in the wake of last week’s bizarre kinda-sorta resignation:

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


President Cipher

December 11, 2010

During the day yesterday, I’d read online of the bizarre impromptu joint press conference held by President Obama and former President Clinton after a meeting they’d had about how to save Obama’s bacon best sell the tax compromise. Apparently, a few minutes into the event, the President of the United States walked out to go to a party, leaving his Democratic predecessor in charge. Commenters online were generally aghast, but I figured it couldn’t be as bad as it sounded.

I was wrong. Watch this.

What the…??

Yo, Chief! You’re the President of the United States. The man in charge. You wanted the job!

And you just walk out of a press conference and let your stand-in handle it so you could go to a  party? I doubt you could make yourself look any more feckless if you tried. At least Nixon had the decency to issue a formal resignation.

After watching that video, I had to check to see if Clinton had named his Cabinet, yet.

And speaking of former (and current?) President Clinton, I offer a few observations, based on the video clip:

  • Self-serving to the last, he says he didn’t like the securitization and reselling of sub-prime mortgages by Fannie and Freddie. Bill, it was your administration that fed the beast!
  • He also thinks the financial regulation bill is a good idea. Ummm… Sir? Who signed the deregulation legislation? Oh,yeah
  • Ten years out, and he’s still more on top of policy than Obama. You can just tell he misses the job*.
  • Obama must be thanking his lucky stars for the 22nd Amendment. I really do think, if he could run again, Bill would beat Obama in the 2012 primaries.

But, back to the man who is supposedly our president… Will anyone, foreign or domestic, take him seriously after this last week?

*And the interns. Especially the interns.

LINKS: Bryan Preston calls this a cry for Bubba-Wan, while Ed Driscoll thinks something weird is going on. Fausta calls it amateur hour. Obi’s Sister suspects Clinton used the Force on Obama: “This isn’t the President you’re looking for!”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Sunday Book Review: Radical in Chief

November 28, 2010

One of the salient features of the 2008 presidential campaign was the obscured background of the Democratic candidate, Senator Barack Obama. While the basic facts were known (Born in Hawaii, lived in Indonesia, graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, community organizer and state senator in Illinois), certain areas were kept hidden from the public: his school records at Columbia and Harvard, and his state senatorial papers, for example. Thanks to a compliant press more interested in Sarah Palin’s tanning bed than the character and beliefs of a man who might (and did) become president, by Election Day in 2008 we knew little about what Barack Obama believed and what experiences shaped him. While a few researchers raised troubling questions, we instead were left with the image his campaign and media allies projected and protected: a post-partisan liberal pragmatist.

According to journalist Stanley Kurtz in his new book, Radical in Chief: Barack Obama and the untold story of American Socialism, it was all a deception, a lie to conceal the truth: that President Obama is and has always been a committed Socialist.

To tell this story, Kurtz also has to take us through recent history of the American Socialist movement itself, from the crack-up of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in the late 1960s through the ideological struggles between the radical Weathermen and NAM factions, on the one hand, and the Democratic-Socialist groups that sought incremental change. The former advocated direct action and confrontations leading to revolution based on an alliance of radicalized Blacks supported by Socialist activists and an “awakened” middle class. The latter felt the United States was not in a pre-revolutionary state (the failure of the government to collapse after Nixon’s resignation stunned many SDSers), and that the best way to advance Socialism was to work through organized community groups (sound familiar?) and sympathetic politicians to pressure corporations from below and above. Changes would be gradual and would involve both creating entitlements that would be hard to take away, and “non-reforming reforms,” that would purport to fix a problem while actually making it worse and, eventually, precipitating a crisis that would make the American people open to Socialist solutions. The infamous Cloward-Piven strategy is one example.

It is this latter faction that became dominant and in which, according to Kurtz, Barack Obama found a home.

Kurtz traces two threads that converge in Chicago: the rise of Socialist-dominated community organizations and Barack Obama’s intellectual awakening as a community organizer that lead him from New York to Chicago. The former covers community organizing’s origins as a largely Socialist profession and takes us through both well-known groups, such as ACORN, and more obscure (outside of the Socialist community) ones, such as the Midwest Academy and UNO of Chicago. We encounter Socialist activists who are nearly household words these days -Bill Ayers, for example- and others who are influential behind the scenes, such as Greg Galluzzo, Harry Boyte, and Heather Booth. All of these and more became part of Obama’s network as a community organizer and a rising politician. He benefited from their connections, and they later benefited from the money and influence he could funnel their way as a board member on several foundations and as a state senator.

The other thread traces Obama’s intellectual development. Kurtz touches on his teenage association with Communist Party member Frank Davis in Hawaii and his open Marxism-Leninism at Occidental College, but focuses on his introduction to the combination of Socialism and community organizing at the two or three Socialist Scholars Conferences he attended while a student at Columbia University, and on his exposure tothe Black Liberation Theology developed by James Cone, which lead him to… Chicago and Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

As Kurtz shows us this complicated and tightly-woven tapestry, he wants us to bear two things in mind: first, that the strategy of the modern incrementalist Socialists has been to disguise their Socialism (except among themselves), knowing that most Americans would reject doctrinaire Socialism if offered openly. Instead, it is clothed in terms of pragmatism and community and American values to make the program palatable to more people, only revealing the Socialist goals behind the community organization’s plans to a dedicated few. Second, that Barack Obama himself adopted this deceptive strategy to disguise his own Socialist leanings as he presented himself to the targets of his organizing efforts and then the voters.

Along the way, Kurtz examines the controversies that arose during Obama’s campaign -the associations with Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright, his service on the boards of the Woods Fund and the Chicago Annenberg Project, and his membership in the ACORN-controlled New Party- to see what the truth was. In each case, Kurtz concludes, either by direct documentation or strong deduction, that Barack Obama and his allies have at best been misleading or have flatly lied about these and other issues. He also shows that, had the mainstream media even done a modicum of genuine investigative work, much of this could have been uncovered, likely derailing Obama’s presidential aspirations.

In the end, Kurtz seeks to answer two questions: Is President Barack Obama a Socialist, and, now that he is in office, does his past matter? He answers both in the affirmative. Kurtz argues, and I agree, that the weight of the evidence shows that Barack Obama was not only a committed Democratic-Socialist in his early life, but that there is no evidence he ever changed his beliefs, either as a state senator or as president. Indeed, Kurtz uses the example of the supposed craziness of pushing ObamaCare in the face of terrific opposition and at great cost to the Democratic Party to show Obama following the strategies of an Alinskyite community organizer, willing to take a short-term setback to get a long-term, irreversible change. Instead of crazy, Kurtz says, Obama may be crazy like a fox.

Regarding his second question, Obama’s past matters now because, as the President and his allies have gone to such lengths to hide these Socialist values, it is only through studying his days in New York and Chicago that we form a clear idea of the path on which he wants to take America as its president. Should he run for reelection, they will again try to present him as a pragmatic problem-solver seeking to bring people together for common solutions. (This time, one expects, they’ll be greeted with guffaws.) It is up to us, since the major media will hardly help, to bear in mind the truth of Obama’s past to see through the moderate-liberal haze and focus clearly on the Democratic-Socialist reality.

Radical in Chief: Barack Obama and the untold story of American Socialism is an excellent book that should be on the short list for all those interested in modern American politics and the direction of the nation. Stanley Kurtz takes the complex stories of man and movement and, through extensive research and with meticulous footnoting, presents them in a clear, compelling fashion that makes a strong case.

Highly recommended.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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