He didn’t know anything and he never knew it.
Obama didn’t know anything and he never knew it. At least not until, like smuggling weapons to druglords, bugging journalists, IRSing his political enemies and killing vets, his right hand found out about what his left hand was doing from the morning paper.
After skipping 58% of his daily intelligence briefings in Term 1 and 59% of them in Term 2, he went on 60 Minutes and blamed intelligence agencies for being caught by surprise by ISIS. The intelligence had been there all along, but Obama wasn’t just missing his 3 AM phone calls -- he was also skipping the 3 PM phone calls while golfing with the CEO of Comcast, friendly hedge fund managers and assorted lobbyists.
When the media, in the person of loyalist New Yorker editor David Remnick, tried to do its newfound duty by briefing him on the ISIS takeover of an Iraqi city, Obama snarked back by calling ISIS a jayvee team. Snark had proven to be an effective national security strategy for him before when he won a presidential debate by dismissing Mitt Romney’s concerns about national security with lines like, “The 80s called, they want their foreign policy back” and “We also have fewer horses and bayonets.”
The media cheered the spectacle of a real life version of a Saturday Night Live or a Daily Show skit while licking its lips at the thought of a President Stewart or Colbert ruling through pre-scripted quips. And the problem was solved until ISIS took over much of Iraq. The ISIS version of a snappy comeback was to call Obama “a White House slave” and a “mule” which sounds really racist and doesn’t translate well.
What the ISIS standup act lacked in comic timing, it made up for by besieging Baghdad, bringing back slavery and taking selfies with severed heads. Between his golf games and vacations, Obama finally penciled in a war, declaring, “The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force.”
And it only took him 6 years to figure that out. Talk about an intelligence failure.
Obama botched his own disastrous ObamaCare program turning it into an even more expensive mess than it already was. Once again he claimed that he only found out about the problem from the media. Just like he found out that his VA turnaround was killing more vets than Al Qaeda was from that same media.
Let’s take Obama at his word for a moment and assume that he really is a clueless dilettante who doesn’t know anything about anything until it appears in bold type on the front page of the New York Times. But then what exactly does he do besides give speeches at fundraisers, golf, vacation and blame Congress for not passing some gimmick bill that even his own party loyalists wouldn’t touch in an attempt to divert attention from the latest disaster he only found out about through the media?
He tried to force amnesty through Congress and instead caused a border crisis. After blowing a billion dollars on a contractor with a top family friend executive, the ObamaCare website went 404. His stimulus funds went into the trash. His Green Energy recipients went into bankruptcy court. He’s still claiming credit for fixing unemployment by convincing the unemployed to drop out of the economy.
And now he’s stuck being a third-rate Bush, bombing Iraq while trying to explain that the Al Qaeda he’s bombing now is not the Al Qaeda he claimed to have defeated when he was running for reelection.
There’s no doubt that he did a great deal for the left by stewarding an expansion of the regulatory bureaucracy and scoring lots of points in the culture war, but he could have managed to achieve the former by sticking to his old career of filing frivolous lawsuits and pulled off the latter by becoming one of Jon Stewart’s Comedy Central second bananas before graduating to his own spinoff show.
No one needed him in the White House. If the Democratic Party was that desperate to dodge every gaffe, scandal and criticism with cries of racism, it could have gotten some other black guy. There are twenty million of them. And any one of them would have done a better job and played a lot less golf.
And now after running for office as the “Smartest guy in the room,” the Nobel Prize winner has chosen to become a born-again idiot.
With his wartime latte salutes and his post-war announcement golf games, Obama is aiming to be seen as an amiable incompetent idiot to preserve his likability rating. But that’s only half-true. There is nothing amiable about his incompetence or his idiocy.
The roots of both can be found in his arrogance.
Obama claimed, “I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters… I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors … I’m a better political director than my political director.” It went without saying that he also understood legislating better than Congress and the Constitution better than the Supreme Court. He understood website programming better than the programmers which is why the ObamaCare website testing and redesigns happened inside the government.
He even insisted that he was a better ISIS Jihadist than the actual Jihadists, offering his advice as “an adviser to ISIS” to a coterie of big media types. And yet if ISIS ever did make him its Caliph, it would be reduced to two guys hiding in a kebab shack in Yemen before the month was out.
Obama can do everything better than everyone else, which is why he can never get anything right. He assumed that he would rule as a genius surrounded by incompetent idiots. And he was half right.
The HHS and VA secretaries were purged over failures of leadership that came from the top down. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton resigned half a year after Benghazi. The Attorney General stepped down after a U.S. District Court judge began applying serious pressure over Fast and Furious docs.
If we begin listing the top generals, defense and security officials who were forced out to cover up for Obama’s failures at all things military, we would be here all day.
Having thrown everyone else under the bus, Obama is gently climbing under it for a short nap. Then he’ll be back to change the subject from his latest failure to a proposal that is doomed to become a failure while urging Americans not to be cynical about all his past failures.
The left never understood that its policy failures come from its bad intentions. It’s incompetent because it’s malicious.
Obama is blaming the intelligence officials for not giving him the briefings on ISIS that he wouldn’t attend. But he knew all about ISIS. He chose not to listen to avoid exactly what is happening now.
As a born again idiot, Obama maintains a layer of plausible deniability over his incompetence. But it’s an ignorance of choice. He chooses not to contemplate the consequences of his actions and instead uses the media as a warning system to tell him that the latest crisis has penetrated the liberal bubble.
The left chooses not to know what it doesn’t want to know. It chose not to know what the USSR was doing. It chose not to know what ISIS was up.
It chooses not to know because then it would have to do something.
Obama didn’t want to do anything about ISIS. He didn’t want to do anything about the VA. He didn’t want to acknowledge knowing anything about the IRS targeting and he didn’t care about how well or how badly the ObamaCare website would work until he realized its impact on his approval ratings.
His incompetence and ignorance are expressions of his contempt. His policies implode because he never bothered to understand how they would impact real people.
He chooses not to know, because he chose not to care.
Don't miss Shillman Journalism Fellow Daniel Greenfield on The Glazov Gang discussing "ISIS Rising":
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