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Is There More Than Madness to Obama's Methods?
Townhall.com ^ | September 6, 2013 | Jonah Goldberg

Posted on 09/06/2013 3:46:14 AM PDT by Kaslin

"The genius of you Americans," the Arab-nationalist and one-time president of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser, once explained, "is that you never make clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them which we are missing."

I've long taken patriotic pride in such statements of befuddlement from foreigners. America is a gloriously complicated thing. We often confuse our national creeds for universal principles. We are a Jacksonian people (that's Andrew Jackson, in case you were wondering) in love with Jeffersonian ideals and legalistically committed to Madisonian mechanisms. Like a guard dog that would rather not leave the porch, we are quick to anger but not necessarily quick to fight and we are just as eager to forgive.

So from the vantage point of foreign brutes, bullies and buffoons, it's understandable that America's methods could be confused for stupidity. This is why I love the old expression, "America can choke on a gnat, but swallow a tiger whole."

So I am trying very hard to hold onto this perspective as I watch the president of the United States behave in a way you don't have to be a pan-Arab autocrat to think is incredibly stupid.

Where to begin? Perhaps with Obama's initial refusal to support the moderate rebels seeking to overthrow Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, a puppet of Iran and bagman for Hezbollah. Or we might start with Obama's refusal to support the Green Movement in Iran, which sought to overthrow the Iranian regime, which would have been a triumph for both our principles and national interests.

These were odd choices, particularly given his decision to help depose Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi, an indisputably evil man, but also a dictator who posed no threat, abided by our demands to relinquish WMDs and whose domestic death toll was a tiny fraction of Bashar Assad's.

"We cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people there will be no mercy ... where innocent men and women face brutality and death at the hands of their own government" was Obama's justification for an attack on Libya -- without congressional approval. But when Assad killed tenfold as many men, women and children, Obama refused to act for nearly two years. And when he finally decided it was imperative to attack Assad -- after the dictator crossed a chemical weapons "red line" drawn by Obama himself -- he suddenly discovered the need for congressional authorization.

Sort of.

Obama doesn't believe he needs authorization from Congress to strike Syria, he just wants it. He's like a kid desperate for a prom date, but too vain to admit it. In Libya Obama had the UN and NATO on each arm, so he didn't bother with asking the dog on Capitol Hill for a date. But now, faced with the prospect of going it alone, he's in effect telling Congress, "Hey, it's not like I need your company, but you'd be crazy not to go to war with me."

Woops. As even Nancy Pelosi's own grandkid now knows, we mustn't call it a war. "The president is not asking you to go to war," Secretary of State John Kerry told Congress. He's merely asking them to authorize a sustained cruise missile attack on military installations to "degrade" the regime's "capabilities."

But, according to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, no one has asked the military to do anything that might change the "momentum" of the Syrian civil war. This is like saying you're going to attack a runaway car barreling toward a crowd of kids, but do nothing to actually, you know, slow it down. What good does it do to trash the radio and rip out the cup holders on an out-of-control car?

Meanwhile, according to numerous accounts, Assad is moving military assets into civilian areas and civilians into military areas, even as the Obama administration insists it makes no difference militarily to wait for Congress to debate. That's not just stupid, it's an outright lie that will be fact-checked with blood.

I understand the attraction the buddy system has for a man who, as a state legislator, perfected the art of voting "present" on hard questions. But it's hard to see this as anything other than rank political cowardice.

The buck stopped with Truman. For Obama, the buck is kryptonite.

In Stockholm on Wednesday, the president said that the credibility of the world, America, Congress and the international community is on the line. Everybody is on the hook for his red line, except for the one person who actually drew it.

I'd love to see the genius in that argument, but it looks like clear-cut stupidity to me.


TOPICS: Editorial
KEYWORDS: 0bama; assadegime; bullying; internatrelations; redline

1 posted on 09/06/2013 3:46:14 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Looks like something worse to me. Can you say “Treason?”


2 posted on 09/06/2013 3:53:29 AM PDT by Little Ray (How did I end up in this hand-basket, and why is it getting so hot?)
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To: Kaslin

The time for this sort of garbage was three years ago. One cannot with any degree of honesty or love of country, give obama even one tiny scintilla of doubt as to his evil, hatred for America or his cowardice. He is the ABSOLUTE worst president this republic has ever suffered. He is arrogant, narcissistic, extremely evil, hates whites, hates Christians and embraces and promotes the very worst elements of our society and the evil that they embrace. THAT is what should be written about obama... not these half tributes that end in stupidity. He is dumber than a box of hammers but he is conniving and evil and massively destructive. He surrounds himself with people that are cut from the same mold.


3 posted on 09/06/2013 3:56:49 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS!)
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To: Kaslin

It’s still not basic stupidity, just a case of hubris run amok. Bathouse Barry is the emperor with no clothes and every morning he looks at the MSM news coverage and assumes he’s a beloved world leader. The White House staff will never say he’s wrong. The MSM follows his instructions and so Obama just lies, because he assumes most Americans will believe him. And if some Americans don’t believe him then he will exact revenge on them. That’s why Putin is driving Obomba nuts. He’s now got an enemy who can expose the fraud and he knows it.


4 posted on 09/06/2013 3:58:51 AM PDT by TexGrill (Don't mess with Texas)
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To: LibLieSlayer

Well put.


5 posted on 09/06/2013 4:02:19 AM PDT by gov_bean_ counter (Romans 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools)
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To: LibLieSlayer

You give Obama too much credit; he is a worker bee with the real power (and the money behind his elections) behind the scenes. “His” people are worse off than ever, and he has had to openly compromise his public sentiments (on war, gay marriage, taxes) because he is simply the smiley token (and can be easily replaced with another).

He is arrogant in believing nobody will question his capacity for evil, but he himself is a small fish. Nothing that has happened on his watch wouldn’t have happened with a President Hillary, and I suspect much of it would have also happened with a President McCain or Romney.


6 posted on 09/06/2013 4:08:41 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: gov_bean_ counter

Thank you!


7 posted on 09/06/2013 4:32:40 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS!)
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To: kearnyirish2

He alone holds the switch that will turn on WW III. That makes him not small.


8 posted on 09/06/2013 4:33:45 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS!)
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To: Little Ray
Treason? Its just the opposite.

The prez acting independent of Congress could be construed as treasonous. This revolves around the Unitary Executive Privilege.

For example: Reagan got in trouble for selling arms to Iran, which was strictly illegal, and he didn't inform, notify, consult with, or get permission from Congress. When Reagan invaded Grenada he didn't consult with or get permission from Congress and notified Congress only after the invasion had begun.

Does the prez have to notify or get permission from Congress for this action in Syria. Or, since foreign policy is the prerogative of the Senate, can he notify/get permission only from the Senate and ignore the House. Or, should he deal only with Senate Foreign Relations Committee because they are the best informed members of the senate when it comes to foreign policy.

And since public opinion is opposed, rather than solely dealing with that, should the prez push the decision off on Congress so as to make them share the political fallout of negative public opinion?

9 posted on 09/06/2013 4:37:10 AM PDT by Ben Ficklin
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To: LibLieSlayer
One cannot with any degree of honesty or love of country, give obama even one tiny scintilla of doubt as to his evil, hatred for America or his cowardice. He is the ABSOLUTE worst president this republic has ever suffered. He is arrogant, narcissistic, extremely evil, hates whites, hates Christians and embraces and promotes the very worst elements of our society and the evil that they embrace. THAT is what should be written about obama... not these half tributes that end in stupidity. He is dumber than a box of hammers but he is conniving and evil and massively destructive. He surrounds himself with people that are cut from the same mold.

You are being unnecessarily gentle, magnanimously lenient, and indulgingly forgiving about Obama.

He's much worse than you say.

10 posted on 09/06/2013 4:38:13 AM PDT by Lazamataz (Early 2009 to 7/21/2013 - RIP my little girl Cathy. You were the best cat ever. You will be missed.)
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To: gov_bean_ counter

Agreed. We are being “led” down a path to Hell, and we had better put a stop to it now, or millions will be dad before we know it, and we may not be able to stop the Devil’s handwork before civilization is forever destroyed...


11 posted on 09/06/2013 4:54:58 AM PDT by Shady (It is called LIBERTY...Freedom linked to Responsibility. Any questions?)
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To: Lazamataz

Hey Laz... I agree... I am just adhering to Christian principles and being gracious in my disdain. Of course you are 100% correct... I was far too nice to obama.


12 posted on 09/06/2013 4:55:37 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS!)
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To: Kaslin

Jonah Goldberg was the prime example as to why Meghan McCain should never have been allowed to communicate in public.

No one was listening.


13 posted on 09/06/2013 5:00:36 AM PDT by JerseyHighlander
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To: Kaslin
I'd love to see the genius in that argument, but it looks like clear-cut stupidity to me.

Pretty much sums it up for me.

It is striking to me to see how much Obama looks like Kim Jong Un on the world stage. A petulant man child tossing around ultimatums.

14 posted on 09/06/2013 5:02:26 AM PDT by IamConservative (The soul of my lifes journey is Liberty!)
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To: LibLieSlayer

God will bless you for your merciful treatment of this sad little man.


15 posted on 09/06/2013 5:11:09 AM PDT by Lazamataz (Early 2009 to 7/21/2013 - RIP my little girl Cathy. You were the best cat ever. You will be missed.)
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To: LibLieSlayer

Excellent definition of the one.


16 posted on 09/06/2013 5:22:56 AM PDT by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: Lazamataz

17 posted on 09/06/2013 5:50:58 AM PDT by The Sons of Liberty (Raghead killing raghead. Who am I to stop them?)
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To: Lazamataz

Thank you Laz... I need all of HIS grace that HE will give to me. Being truthful here... everyday brings me to the realization of how much I love GOD. It sustains me in this world of evil.

LLS


18 posted on 09/06/2013 6:19:44 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS!)
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To: Rummyfan

Thank you!


19 posted on 09/06/2013 6:20:38 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS!)
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To: Kaslin
"I like to watch TV."
~Chance the Gardener~
Being There
1979
by Jerzy Kosinski

20 posted on 09/06/2013 6:54:35 AM PDT by Savage Beast (The forces of decadence are the forces of evil.)
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To: Kaslin

I’m not generous enough to attribute Obama’s conduct to madness. For his sake, I wish the explanation were so benign, but I a, convinced that the truth is much worse.


21 posted on 09/06/2013 9:13:47 AM PDT by Pollster1 ("Shall not be infringed" is unambiguous.)
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To: Kaslin

Did you know Obama is our first ‘Black” President? He is historic.


22 posted on 09/06/2013 9:20:44 AM PDT by woofie
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To: woofie

I thought Billy Jeff was.


23 posted on 09/06/2013 9:32:25 AM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Little Ray
Yup

TREASON

24 posted on 09/06/2013 9:33:37 AM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin
"Where to begin? Perhaps with Obama's initial refusal to support the moderate rebels seeking to overthrow Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad,"

No, 0dumb0's mistake was to not support the Green Revolution in Iran.

25 posted on 09/06/2013 4:08:36 PM PDT by Paladin2
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