In light of Team Obama's muddled response to the Christmas Day terrorist attempt, I've seen a couple of these critical columns lately. I was critical of Obama's response in a post earlier in the week, which of course, brought out his defenders. I'm sure they'll love Stirewalt's column.
As with other events in 2009 - the crackdown in Iran, the banker bonuses, the massacre at Fort Hood — Obama was late to put voice to the outrage felt by his fellow Americans. In each case, he found the words, but the delay invited questions about his sincerity and convictions, not to mention his Ivory Tower leadership style.
Obama’s remarks at Fort Hood may have been the finest speech of a career best known for oratory. But just hours after the attack, Obama was out in public talking to American Indian leaders about tribal subsidies, with a closing aside about a madman who had just wiped out a dozen soldiers on their way to a war Obama was escalating.
Obama nattering on about his commitment to American Indians while the nation was in shock at the carnage of Fort Hood was the strongest evidence yet that Obama’s famously quick political instincts were in fact a creation of his marketing team.This will drive the Obami to distraction; as Steve Benen wrote last weekend, Obama is simply projecting cool. He's trying not to alarm people and use the politics of fear to capitalize on a situation. That was the last administration who did that.
More from Stirewalt:
The Obama administration has developed an attachment to the status quo in part because the job is obviously harder than the team from Chicago ever imagined it would be. The conceit on the Left that George W. Bush was stupid caused Obama to grossly underestimate the difficulty of the office.
But another reason the Obama team has gone from extolling the transformative virtues of crises to the overall message that the system “worked” may be that muscular leadership takes Obama out of his comfort zone.
Since the president believes himself to be the embodiment of American history, he apparently doesn’t feel the need to write any new chapters.That ought to get the Obami fired up. Stirewalt isn't alone in this assessment. As I said, I've seen other columns to the effect in the past few days. Here is Jennifer Rubin today:
They remember, but they don’t learn. This gang makes the Clintons look high-minded and magnanimous by comparison. Part of this attitude stems from their lack of other, more appropriate governing skills. They don’t know how to craft an effective, bipartisan health-care bill, or make a swift decision on Afghanistan (or announce it without the need for days of “it really isn’t a timeline” statements), or put together an alternative to “engagement” on Iran that doesn’t smack of more of the same wishful thinking. But they do know how to win elections, feed the media machine, and attack their political foes.
She's referring to the administrations "Pavlovian" attack on Dick Cheney and his critical remarks yesterday.
As Obama continues his Hawaiian romp and his golf games during this frightening time, Daniel Foster at NROs The Corner points out that "the difference between Bush and Obama is that after Bush left the golf course he oversaw an unprecedented global war on terror that put serious dents in jihadist causes from Buffalo to the Philippines, and forestalled attacks on American soil for eight years."
I'm going to differ with Steve Benen and suggest that Obama isn't projecting cool and calm, but projecting lackadaisical indifference. No, I don't believe he WANTS the terrorists to succeed, but he's projecting the message that things will just work out somehow if he delegates enough to the right underlings. He's projecting incompetence.