We’ve been very critical of George W Bush in the past (mostly because we thought he was too liberal) but we have to give him kudos for predicting the mess we’re in now. In a speech from July 12, 2007, the President was defending his proposal for a surge in Iraq and discussing what could happen if we pulled out completely like many were requesting at the time.
The vast majority of the time, we are critical of President Barack Obama. That isn’t because we don’t like him or want to see him fail. We simply disagree with his agenda and politics as well as his motivations. However, when he’s right, we have no problem admitting it.
Today, the President declared that he is authorizing limited air strikes and has already begun delivering humanitarian aid to those om refuge in the mountainf o Erbil, Iraq’s fourth-largest city. As many as 30,000 Iraqis are at risk if the Islamic State, better known as ISIS, attacks as they have claimed they intend to do. The Iraqi government has asked for assistance. The lives of people are at stake, including Americans. Troops will not be sent in. This appears to be a righteous action from the President.
Here is his statement:
It’s time to hedge his bets on his legacy.
Depending on which side you’re listening to at any given time, you will either hear that the Affordable Care Act is off to a slow start due in part to mishandled technology or that the program is doomed to fail because it was brought about through lies and poor predictions. Both sides are right to some extent, but that’s not the point.
Regardless of whether you believe that Obamacare was a good idea or not, President Obama must find answers in order to solidify his legacy. He has been a popular president through his personality and he has some wins under his belt, but his legacy has not been solidified. At this point, history will see him as the president who tore down the race barrier, who was in office when Osama bin Laden was killed, and who allowed the NSA to continue its privacy-breaching ways. It has not been a successful watch, but he has time to change that.
While immigration reform, gun reform, and Middle East peace are all still possibilities, the Affordable Care Act is likely going to define him the most. If successful, it will be heralded for decades. If it fails, it will be a huge blunder that puts him at the mediocre level of Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.
The best way to make sure that it works well enough to either help his legacy or not hurt it is to move on to other issues. This may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s not very different from the concept of “a watched pot never boils.” There is very little that he can do at this point to sway the outcome. The technology will either work or it won’t. The people will either buy into it or they won’t. He has done his part to make it successful and now it’s time to get something else up and running that will draw attention away from the flaws of Obamacare and point them towards positive things that he can make happen in other arenas.
The current failures of the Affordable Care Act are already old news to most. Yes, there are fewer enrollments than expected. Yes, people are losing their coverage and he’s sorry about that. While the Republicans will continue to bring it up, the President needs something entirely different and more important to come up while he still has time to make it happen on his watch. With just over three years left and a Republican Congress that is unlikely to shift his way before his term ends, he needs to make some big moves.
Amnesty would be something that could play in his favor and be big enough to pin as his legacy. It won’t be popular at the polls, though. As a result, it’s unlikely that he will make a strong move on it until after the 2014 elections.
Gun control is important to Americans but it’s hardly something unique enough to be considered a big win in the eyes of history. He won’t push that any time soon and may not address it at all during his term.
This leaves the Middle East. Sentiment is shifting in Washington DC, across the country, and around the world. Everyone seems to be painting Israel as the bad guys. It’s hard to believe that they get attacked online so heavily through social media and news sites, but antisemitism is on the rise in the form of a combination of pro-Muslim sentiment combined with sympathy for Lebanon. It’s equatable to propaganda in its most powerful form: word of mouth amplified by social media.
People would rather see sanctions lifted on Iran and a perceived reduction in their nuclear weapons ambitions. This is unfortunate because there is absolutely no way that Iran will stop on their path towards becoming a nuclear-armed country. Nothing will stop them. If they can work out a deal that makes it look like they’re ceasing nuclear activities, they will take it. That’s Israel’s greatest fear. Unfortunately, it’s also President Obama’s only hope for a legacy if Obamacare continues to fail.
He missed the boat on the Arab Spring and therefore could not participate in molding it appropriately. It’s not his to claim and it hasn’t really worked out as many intended. He must make a deal with Iran work during his watch. He must then hope that the Israelis do not strike as a result. If they do not, then he must pick a side in Syria and make that side win. Standing on the sidelines on this one will result in the same effect on his legacy that Egypt and Libya had – nil.
As the president hopes that the Affordable Care Act works, he’ll need to do something else and fixing the Middle East may be his only option. This is not a president that wants to face in the history books with the only real mentions being about race and his fun personality. He wants to be remembered as one of the greatest presidents of all time. Unfortunately for him, his grand healthcare plan is not looking good.
What’s the point of writing all this? It’s to get to one statement:
The failure of Obamacare will mean desperate actions will need to happen in the Middle East. Those actions will be risky, putting a lot of faith in both Iran and Israel to not send the the region and the world into turmoil. With his legacy backed into a corner, President Obama will force the issue in the Middle East. The end result may be catastrophic.
As is always the case with political scandals, we have two conflicting reports. On one hand, you have an anonymous National Security Agency official saying that US President Barack Obama was briefed on the spying efforts against 35 world leaders and allowed it to continue. The response from the NSA is that he was told a short time ago and had the operations ceased. Neither option is good for the President or the United States.
According to Fox News:
The Economic Times writes the “high-ranking” NSA official spoke to Bild am Sonntag on the condition of anonymity, saying the president, “not only did not stop the operation, but he also ordered it to continue.”
According to the Wall Street Journal:
The account suggests President Barack Obama went nearly five years without knowing his own spies were bugging the phones of world leaders. Officials said the NSA has so many eavesdropping operations under way that it wouldn’t have been practical to brief him on all of them.
If one were to apply logic, it could be assumed that operations that included illegal tapping the communications of important world leaders, including allies, would not be “lost in the mix” and avoid the President’s attention, in which case he has known about it for a while and allowed it to continue. There is, of course, the possibility that logic was defied once again in Washington DC, in which case he did not know that his spy agency was listening in on conversations (some of which could have been with him) and that he really has completely lost control of the people charged with keeping the country safe.
It’s a tough call as to which is worse. Is he devious or impotent? If he knew about it, he’s not the transparent president that his voters thought they were getting. If he didn’t know about it, he’s not the competent president that his voters thought they were getting. Either way, either his actions or his ignorance have truly cost the country a big chunk of the waning credibility that we have with the international community.
I have to admit that I’m not one of those who gets outraged over things such as national parks or monuments being shut down. Don’t get me wrong – I understand their importance – but it’s not high on my list of “essential government functions” that should be immune to a shutdown.
When AMBERAlert.gov is on the list of websites that the Obama administration wants to use to leverage for political purposes, they’ve gone too far.
There are those who would blame Congress for the shutdown and they might be right. However, the ultimate decision on what gets shut down and what stays open is ultimately the choice of the executive branch. Case in point – they decided to keep Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” website up instead of the AMBER Alert website.
AMBER (America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) Alert is a child abduction alert system that, despite the acronym, was named after Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old who was abducted and murdered.
The secondary .com site is still active, but if people use Google to search for “Amber Alert”, it’s the shut down .gov site that appears at the top. This is the most common method that people would use to get to the website if they are looking for information about abducted children.
To date, President Barack Obama’s greatest foreign relations claims to fame are the killing of Osama bin Laden and winning the Nobel Peace Prize. The former was a great accomplishment, albeit a combined effort over the years by the intelligence communities of his and the former administration. The latter was earned before any action was actually taken by the president.
Since then, it has gone down hill. Gitmo is still around. Afghanistan is in worse shape than it was. Iraq is in worse shape than it was. Iran, North Korea, China, and Russia have relationships with the United States that are more strained than they’ve been in decades.
Syria was an opportunity for the President to leave a mark. It came at a time when the United States and the rest of the world is war-fatigued, making decisive action a challenge for the president who had drawn a red line. When that line was crossed, he was unable to react appropriately. The “appropriate” reaction is up for debate, but one thing is clear – his actions so far have been hesitant, have changed mercurially, and have yielded no results.
If he does attack, how will the world react? What will be the results in Syria? What will be the responses from Russia, Iran, and Syria itself?
If he does not attack, he will go down in history as drawing a line that a foreign country crossed, them backtracking on this line and failing to act decisively.
This is not a good situation for the president’s legacy, something that has been shown to be extremely important to him. His actions are those of a man that is trying to be more than just the first minority president. He wants to be remembered for being a great president. At the end of the, bin Laden and Obamacare may be his only claims to fame in a time when the administration has simply not been able to accomplish much at all.
With Obamacare on a trajectory course towards disaster, is it too early to say that this will be the worst two-term president in history? That’s always hard to say considering that we may have just had the worst one in the last administration, but Obama’s making a very convincing case.
The IRS targeting of conservative groups falls under the category of, “duh.” The Justice Departments seizure of journalists’ communication records created a dangerous precedent that is already making sources dry up. The way the Obama administration handled the Benghazi terrorist attack on 9/11 was arguably the most masterful spin job in US political history. With all that is starting to come to light about this corrupt and destructive administration, the response so far from the left has been to stick their heads in the sand and hope the scenery is still cheery when the smoke clears.
That’s the takeaway from a recent Gallup poll that suggests the people just aren’t that interested in these types of news items. Republicans are more willing to follow them with 2/3rds claiming they are watching the IRS situation and the Benghazi investigation very or somewhat closely. Only 40% and 45% respectively of Democrats are doing the same.
Benghazi is the truly damaging one because of the implications it had. The administration knew that they would have a hard time winning the election if they were caught sleeping through a terrorist attack on the anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks, particularly from a group that they have conveniently and quietly tried to remove from public consciousness. They spun it to appear as if it was a spontaneous action in response to a video.
They lied. They know it. They wanted to win the election at all costs, even if it meant desecrating the memories of the public servants that died as a result of the administrations ineffectiveness and unwillingness to protect them thoroughly. Now that it’s coming to light, the left seems unwilling to hear the truth. After all, it would mean that their chosen savior for the nation might actually be doing the wrong things for the country, that he’s more corrupt than even the Bush administration, and that he and his team intentionally misled the American people in order to keep hold of their power.
This is all disgusting on many levels, but the worst part is that many Democrats are gleefully willing to play the role of sheep. Conservatives were among the most vocal when Bush made poor choices. Why are liberals not willing to do the same when their guy turns out to be a manipulative scoundrel?
Everyone makes mistakes during interviews. The Bush administration and President Bush in particular was loaded with more flubs than the current administration could ever hope to duplicate. We’ve never wanted to be a site that focuses on these sorts of mistakes regardless of who says them unless there’s something to it. In this case, we think there is.
In an interview with CBS News, the First Lady referred to herself as a “busy single mother” before quickly correcting herself. It was a mild mistake, but one that has two potential deeper meanings. You see, reference to self is something that people do not mistake casually, particularly in interview situations. It goes against human nature to make a mistake when labeling oneself which is why this holds a hint of significance. Either she sees herself sometimes as being like a busy single mother because her husband happens to be the most powerful person on earth, or she has had the rhetoric of their political stance hammered so deeply into her psyche that it came out inadvertently at the wrong time.
It wasn’t just a simple mistake. Again, psychologically speaking, flubs do not occur when referring to oneself. There’s something deeper at play here. Either way, it’s not important at all. It’s just an interesting note to put in the back of your mind. Here’s the interview.
Guantanamo Bay isn’t going to be closed down any time soon. The 2008 campaign promise that played a major role in helping the President win his first election is officially going to remain unfulfilled as the office created to close the military detention center has itself been shut down. The administration reassigned Daniel Fried, the special envoy for closing the prison. He will not be replaced.
All of the points are legitimate. All of the statements are factual. With the American economy on the brink of collapse and the President doing everything he can to point fingers without performing the appropriate actions to fulfill the promise of good faith negotiations, this is one letter that absolutely deserves a prompt and public response.