Obama declared war on Libya (minus the declaring part) from his vacation in sunny Rio. When the US consulate in Benghazi came under fire, Obama was in Vegas. If Iran ever gets the bomb, it will probably use it while Obama is practicing his swing at Martha’s Vineyard or sunning himself on a Maui beach, careful to show his best side to the photographers.
So, on a highly symbolic date, mobs storm American diplomatic facilities and drag the corpse of a U.S. ambassador through the streets. Then the president flies to Vegas for a fundraiser. No, no, a novelist would say; that’s too pat, too neat in its symbolic contrast. Make it Cleveland, or Des Moines.
The president is surrounded by delirious fanbois and fangurls screaming “We love you,” too drunk on his celebrity to understand that this is the first photo-op in the aftermath of a national humiliation. No, no, a filmmaker would say; too crass, too blunt. Make them sober, middle-aged Midwesterners, shocked at first, but then quiet and respectful.
The president is too lazy and cocksure to have learned any prepared remarks or mastered the appropriate tone, notwithstanding that a government that spends more money than any government in the history of the planet has ever spent can surely provide him with both a speechwriting team and a quiet corner on his private wide-bodied jet to consider what might be fitting for the occasion. So instead he sloughs off the words, bloodless and unfelt: “And obviously our hearts are broken…” Yeah, it’s totally obvious
But then again why bother?
Vegas is more of a priority for Obama than Libya, just as the campaign is more of a priority for him than foreign affairs. It’s easier to pawn off blame on a movie than deal with the true scale of the problem. But for a man who lives to be in his own movie, it would make sense that all of this is only about a movie and nothing else.
Obama is a creature of the mirror, a troll of the campaign trail. All he really worries about is the unlikely possibility of the media turning on him and taking away his mirror. He bombed Libya, but he kept it real in Rio. He slept in while the war he had committed to hit home and then did the least he could on the next day.
As a politician, Obama is an entertainer, a giant distraction that keeps most of the country from noticing the damage he’s done, his rule is a sleight of hand trick, a three-card monte act where no one is supposed to notice that there’s nothing there.