President Pouty-Face

July 14, 2011

Great Seal of the Pouter in Chief

By now I’m sure you’ve all heard about how President Barack Obama –Chief of State, Chief Executive, and Commander in Chief of the United States of America– got upset in a meeting with House Majority Leader Cantor and stormed out in a huff, because he wasn’t getting his way. But do take note of the highlighted portion:

The Majority Leader recounted that toward the end of the discussions President Obama instructed negotiators to “get in the mode” because a final decision would have to be made by Friday. Cantor said he told the president that the two sides remain so far apart at this point that he doubted they could get to $2.5 trillion in cuts (to match the debt increase requested by the administration, enough to get through the 2012 election) given the time available. President Obama has said he will not sign any increase to the debt ceiling less than that amount, and Cantor had previously insisted that the House would vote no more than one time to increase the debt limit. Cantor said he was willing to abandon his position in order to allow some kind of short-term measure to increase the debt limit and reassure credit markets while negotiations continue, and asked the president if he would be willing to consider this option.

At this point, Cantor explained, the president became “very agitated” and said he had “sat here long enough,” that “Ronald Reagan wouldn’t sit here like this” and “something’s got to give.” Obama then told Republicans they either needed to compromise on their insistence on a dollar for dollar ratio of spending cuts to debt increase or agree to a “grand bargain” including massive tax increases. Before walking out of the room, Cantor said, the president told him: “Eric, don’t call my bluff. I’m going to the American people with this.” He then “shoved back” and said “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Don’t call my bluff?” Isn’t that telling Cantor that, y’know, you’re bluffing?

Mr. President, buddy, if you ever hold a poker game… invite me! 

More seriously, this says something about the character of the man in the Oval Office. Remember how, way back in 2007-08, we were told of his world class temperament, how he was “No-Drama Obama?” Or, more recently, how he’s claimed to be the “adult in the room?”

Sounds like someone doesn’t want to eat his peas.

In an update to the article, Andrew Stiles presents the Democrats side of the story, claiming that the Republicans were just “spinning.” But I wonder…

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Obama get huffy and petulant when challenged. Remember this interview in Texas? Or the archetypal “Why can’t I just eat my waffle” moment? Or this moment of glory for Captain Cool from the Copenhagen climate change conference in 2009:

According to rumors in the Bella Center, US President Barack Obama at about 11 PM, had impatiently asked to speak with Wen Jiabao in order to advance the discussion. But Obama had to wait. Wen, who, it was rumored, had rarely left his hotel room, could not be found. Finally, the US delegation located him in a room set aside for negotiations. A visibly furious Obama, according to reports, stormed into the room. “Are you now ready to talk with me, Premier Wen?” he was reported to have shouted. “Are you now ready? Premier Wen, are you now ready to talk with me?” What a scene for a US president.

Far from having a world-class temperament, it appears he has a world-class temper and has trouble controlling it.

It’s hard to avoid concluding that, in the most basic sense of the word, Obama is “immature.” That is, untested, undeveloped, and lacking in experiences that would give him the emotional and character tools needed to handle the challenges of his job.

Remember, prior to becoming president, he had never held an executive job or other post with command responsibility in his life. Even as a state legislator, he mostly voted “present,” thus not taking responsibility. In the board positions he filled, his job was to hand out other people’s money, but he was never held to account for the results of that spending and he never had to make tough choices about spending priorities.

This is a man who, in my estimation, skated by until now on his charm, good looks, and the need of White leftists and liberals to assuage their guilt. For the first time in his life and in a time of crisis, Barack Obama is being held responsible for his poor decisions; for the first time in his life, he isn’t being allowed to vote “present;” and, for the first time in his life, he is being told “no.” He doesn’t like it, not a bit.

And so he throws a tantrum.

For all his faults, George W. Bush as president took responsibility for his duties and his actions. He really was the “adult in the room.”

Now, with Barack Obama, we instead have a sulking man-child.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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Did the Obama administration deliberately wreck an Israeli intel operation?

June 8, 2011

Israeli journalist Caroline Glick thinks they did:

Since last week’s announcement by the State Department that it was sanctioning the Israeli firm Ofer Brothers’ Shipping for reportedly violating US law by trading with Iran, there has been a deluge of news reports alleging that the Ofer Brother’s ships were used by the Mossad and perhaps the IDF to infiltrate and exfiltrate agents into and out of Iran.

There are number of troubling aspects to the story. First, it strikes me as odd that the announcement about the sanctions was made by the State Department. If I am not mistaken, these decisions and announcements are usually made by the Treasury Department. Why would the State Department have taken the unusual step of announcing the sanctions and take the step against an Israeli shipping company?

Second, it strikes me as odd that former Mossad chief Meir Dagan felt compelled to issue an impassioned defense of the Ofer Brothers Shipping company. Dagan is in the midst of an unprecedented, arguably illegal and certainly unseemly campaign to delegitimize Prime Minister Binyamin Netayahu. It seems strange that, in the midst of this offensive, Dagan would divert his attention to the Ofer Brothers Shipping woes. He must have been deeply shocked by the US move to do so.

(…)

The third reason this is so shocking is that the timing of the announcement cannot be viewed as coincidental. The rare State Department announcement came just after Netanyahu wiped the floor with Obama in the Congress and as the Republicans are wisely using Obama’s hatred of Israel and his love for anti-American political forces in the region as a campaign issue for 2012.  It is hard not to reach the conclusion that the announcement was deliberately released at this juncture to weaken US public support for Israel.

In other words, in a fit of pique because Netanyahu dared to stand up for his country’s interests (1), Obama (2) burned an important Israeli intelligence asset, one valuable to our security, too, given our interests in foiling the mullah’s plans to develop and deploy nuclear weapons.

If Glick is right, this is an absolutely appalling exercise in self-defeating pettiness on the part of the Obama administration. There is no greater nor more urgent issue facing American national security than keeping a bunch of religious fanatics who want to bring about the Shiite apocalypse from getting their hands on nukes. This matter is so serious that, in my opinion, Tehran’s imminent possession of nuclear weapons justifies war.

But, instead, we pimp-slap our closest allies in the region, the people who probably planted the Stuxnet virus that slowed down Iran’s program and who likely have assets in place we would need in a showdown. As Glick asks, how on Earth are the Israelis supposed to trust us after something like this?

All because Obama made a fool of himself and Netanyahu wouldn’t back down.

I really hope Glick is wrong about this, because it otherwise says some dark and scary things about the maturity and seriousness of the people running our foreign policy in a very dangerous world.

And I sure hope 2013 sees the adults back in charge.

(1) Evidently an alien concept to certain presidents.

(2) Because you know he either originated this or approved the idea. This wouldn’t happen without him.

(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)


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)