Obama the Shameful: 2015 Archives

THE BIG PICTURE FROM A RETIRED AMERICAN ADMIRAL: OBAMA IS PRO-ISLAM, ANTI-AMERICA

This is a video that must be seen. The message: The enemy is Islam, not radical Islam. As the president of Turkey Erdogan says, There is only Islam. No moderate Islam, no radical Islam. "Islam is Islam."

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FIGURING OUT OBAMA'S TRUE AIMS -- HINT: THEY'RE NOT AMERICA'S.

The President’s Successful Foreign Policy
Far from being a muddle, Obama’s choices are distressingly consistent.


By WILLIAM MCGURN, WALL STREET JOURNAL OPINION
Aug. 4, 2015

One year ago this month, newsman James Foley was forced to his knees somewhere in the desert hills of Syria and beheaded. Within a month, Barack Obama had vowed to “degrade and ultimately destroy” Islamic State, which had carried out and filmed the murder. Islamic State has since moved on to even more spectacular barbarities—throwing gay men to their death from tall buildings, burning prisoners alive, drowning other imprisoned men in cages—that barely get a mention.

Two Augusts earlier, President Obama had made a similar promise when he laid down a “red line” with Syria’s Bashar Assad over chemical weapons. President Obama’s threat notwithstanding, Mr. Assad would shortly turn these weapons on women and children. He remains in power still.

Meanwhile, the last American combat troops pulled out of Iraq in 2011; we started withdrawing our troops from Afghanistan at about the same time; and we are about to become partners with Iran over nuclear weapons. We are less liked in the region than when Mr. Obama took office; we have managed to unite the Saudis and the Israelis against us; and we behold a Middle East as menacing and volatile as it’s ever been.

Republicans conclude from all these developments that President Obama’s foreign policy has been a colossal flop. They are not wrong about the terrible human and strategic consequences. But they make a mistake by measuring the president’s policies by their priorities and not by his.

The truth is, Mr. Obama has largely succeeded in what he set out to do. His priority was never about winning in Afghanistan or standing up a strong government in Iraq or any of the other tough-sounding things he has thought he needed to say to make his foreign policy sound less dovish than it is. The reality is that the Obama foreign policy has been dominated by one overarching goal: getting America the heck out of Iraq and Afghanistan no matter what.

Give the president his due here. From his first foreign-policy address in 2007 in Chicago, to his repeated vows not to send in U.S. “combat troops”—a regular feature of his speeches these days—Mr. Obama has never defined his presidency by victory anywhere. To the contrary, this is a man who sees his presidency as getting America out of conflicts, not into them.

So it’s also no coincidence that when the president has issued some hawkish declaration of resolve (the red line in Syria, the promise to defeat and degrade Islamic State, etc.), it’s typically been about promising decisive action tomorrow as a way of not doing anything today.

Indeed, far from being the incomprehensible muddle his critics see, Mr. Obama’s foreign policy choices betray a disconcerting consistency. Take his 2008 campaign war promises, which could be summed up in two parts—pulling out of Iraq and winning what he called the “necessary war” in Afghanistan. Ask yourself this: of these two pieces, which was the part that animated his foreign policy?

Ditto for his December 2009 speech at West Point, where he announced a surge of American forces into Afghanistan only to set a deadline for troop withdrawal in the next breath. In retrospect, it is perfectly clear that Mr. Obama’s priority in Afghanistan was not winning but bugging out.

Certainly these priorities had political appeal when Mr. Obama first ran for president. Back in April 2007, when he delivered his maiden foreign policy address before the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed a clear majority of Americans believed the Iraq war was hopeless—and a majority also favored a deadline for American withdrawal. The irony is that at precisely the moment Mr. Obama was writing off Iraq as a failed intervention, the surge there was starting to deliver results.

Only a few months later, during a Democratic debate in Charleston, S.C., Mr. Obama was asked whether he was willing to meet, “without preconditions,” leaders from Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea. Mr. Obama said he was. In this light, can anyone claim to be surprised with the way he reached his nuclear deal with Tehran or re-established ties with Havana?

In memoirs published last year, Robert Gates, the man who served as defense secretary in both the Bush and Obama administrations, recounts a conversation in which Hillary Clinton admitted she’d opposed the Iraq surge because she was trying to outflank Mr. Obama in the Democratic primaries for president. Mr. Obama “conceded vaguely” that opposition to the surge had been “political.”

Still, it’s never been difficult to divine Mr. Obama’s foreign policy priorities. At a dinner in New York just last month, he put it this way to a group of donors: “We’ve ended two wars.”

Say what you will about elevating domestic politics over strategic vision, Mr. Obama sees himself as having made good on his big promise. And on his own squalid terms, who’s to call him a failure?

As posted in the WSJ.


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MR. PRESIDENT, STOP PUSSYFOOTING, SPEAK THE TRUTH -- RADICAL ISLAM IS WAGING WAR AGAINST US AND WE MUST DEFEAT IT.

Lots of people are upset that President Obama seems more concerned about the feelings of Muslims than the safety of our American military men and women. It is preposterous that he never utters the phrase "radical Islam" in obvious cases or terrorism.

One conservative news anchor has had enough. Tomi Lahren tells President Obama to shape up in no uncertain terms.

Click on the logo YouTube in lower right corner, then click on the picture for full screen. Hit Escape to return to small view.

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RABBI: WHY OBAMA HATES ISRAEL - AND IS NOT TOO KEEN ON AMERICA.

Mostly, those who think ill of Obama policies dance around talking about the reasons why his policies aren't what one would expect from a president who loves his country.

This rabbi is remarkably blunt in describing why Obama is and his policies are the way he and they are.


NETANYAHU NOT THE ISSUE; OBAMA HATES JEWS AND ISRAEL, PERIOD!!!
AND HE’S NOT TOO KEEN ON AMERICA, EITHER.
AMERICAN THINKER
April 16, 2015

Netanyahu Not the Cause of Obama’s Dislike of Israel
By Rabbi Aryeh Spero, AMERICAN THINKER

Much has been said about the strange behavior of Barack Obama, who can’t let a day go without maligning Israel and Mr. Netanyahu. In contrast, he displays friendship to a thug and anti-Semite like Recip Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, palled around with the deceased communist Hugo Chavez, and keeps standing up for the Iranian mullahs who want to kill us all or make us slaves to Islam. Those in the media who see politics simply as a stand-off between personalities ascribe all this to a clash of personalities: Obama doesn’t like PM Netanyahu and Netanyahu returns the dislike.

No doubt the dislike is there, but what underlies the animosity of Obama toward PM Netanyahu goes beyond schmoozability to seismic differences in outlook and policy. In fact, at Mr. Netanyahu’s very first White House meeting, before they really knew each other, Obama purposely mistreated PM Netanyahu by forcing him to enter through a side entrance and, then, abruptly left the meeting and went upstairs by himself for dinner while leaving PM Netanyahu and his staff without hospitality or even a piece of bread. This was a deliberate, unheard of disparagement, directed more at Israel, the state represented by Netanyahu, than it was at Mr. Netanyahu per se.

Just last month, Barack Obama published classified information showing the world photographs of Israel’s hidden nuclear site, and its inner workings. It was his gift to Iran, Hamas, and ISIS. This puts Israel and her citizens, not just Mr. Netanyahu, at great risk. But, Obama had his people darken out all the information on that page regarding the nuclear sites of other countries.

At a meeting at the White House in 2009, Obama stated early-on that “it’s time to put daylight between Israel and America”. This was done before Obama had even met Benjamin Netanyahu.

Last month, Obama again singled out Israel by crudely questioning Israel as a democracy, though it’s Israel that has an Arab Supreme Court Justice, provides medical for all, and has four Arab political parties that just won 14 seats. Obama is throwing out these malicious daily barbs so as to brainwash Americans into believing Israel and America do not share the same values. He wants to break the historic bonds between America and Israel, between Israelis and Americans. His intent is to permanently tarnish Israel, not just hurt its present prime minister. In that vein, Obama has denied visas to Israelis more than any other group, all the while zealously providing visas to those from Arabic/Muslim countries.

Our president has no condemnation for Arab countries where Jews and Christians are forbidden their own political parties nor allowed to sit as judges judging Muslims. Obama accepts the shariah that forbids this.

Further proof of Obama’s scheme: he had his young underlings call Israel a “racist” state, something he never says about Islamic countries which, in principle under shariah, actually do consider non-Muslims as infidels and second class, that their churches and synagogues be destroyed, where Christian and Jewish women are treated as fodder and permissible meat, and our bibles banned and thrown in the garbage. Yet, we hear no condemnation from Obama. It is reserved for Israel. When a person singles out Jews or the Jewish state for things he finds acceptable in others… that’s anti-Semitism.

Recently, he let Israel’s enemies know that he, Obama, will not support Israel, which encourages and provides a Green Light. The physical attacks will be against Israel, not just Netanyahu… and Obama knows it. To that end, he has taken Hizb’allah and Iran off our list of terror organizations. Instead, he has the State Dept. deny Israeli generals visas. His heart is darkened against Israel.

He prohibited flights to Israel for almost two days during her recent defensive war against Hamas missiles being shot from Gaza. He has not done this in other war zones. He even stopped the routine supply of needed ammunition to Israel during the war. He is deaf to Israel’s concern over ISIS, Hamas, and Iran pitched at Israel’s borders, and he insists that Israel relinquish these lands to make a Palestinian state that he knows will be a launching pad for these terrorist groups against Israel and her children.

The Netanyahu story is a cover, a convenient excuse and ruse to weaken and stigmatize Israel. Unfortunately, many are falling for it. Obama’s everyday bullying is exclusive to Israel. So, let the truth be said: Obama doesn’t like Israel. There is something in his ethnic background that teaches, as part of its outlook, the need to not only vanquish but also humiliate the Jew, the Christian. More than a clash of personalities, it centers on Obama’s dislike of a truly sovereign and independent Israel living proudly in its biblical homeland, and his intense dislike for Israeli nationalism.

Similarly, he dislikes American patriotism, demonizing those affectionate about America as people who cling to flag, religion, and guns. He dismisses those unwilling to renounce America’s Judeo-Christian underpinning, as well as those not gullible enough to buy into the foolish and false narrative of America being, as he says, the “largest Muslim country in the world, where Muslims have contributed to its development since America’s founding”.

Mr. Obama seems irritated and indifferent to non-Islamic, non-black narratives. He expects others to feel guilty and burdened by their own history, making themselves, in repentance, secondary and in service to the aspirations of groups he prefers.

Obama doesn’t like an Israel proud of itself as a Jewish state, nor does he like an America loyal to its heritage and unique values, be it free enterprise, taking responsibility for one’s fate, or the make-up of its historic middle class. He wishes to transform both countries, denude them of their historic identity. He wants to do to Israel what he has been doing to America: change its demographics by bringing in those who, when offered freebies, will vote for left-wing parties, who think little of a nation’s specific history and unique ethos. He does so here by flooding our country with illegal immigrants, and in Israel, by insisting that Israel allow into its borders millions of Arabs who will vote to make Israel’s Jewishness a thing of the past, something illegal. Mr. Netanyahu stands in his way!

What Mr. Obama wants above all else is to strip Israel of David’s city, its eternal capital, Jerusalem, and hand the ancient, historic city to Islam. Obama knows that whoever controls and manages historic Jerusalem can lay claim to the Land’s entirety. Jerusalem is the heart and pride of Israel. He wants to snatch the pride Israelis have in Jerusalem as surely as he tries to take from us our pride in American Exceptionalism, something he denies and derides. Toward this end, he is fervently trying to decouple liberal American Jews from Israel. By constantly accusing Israel of "racism, extremism, colonialism, lack of compassion and soul” -- the effective buzz phrases -- he hopes liberal Jews will be embarrassed to support Israel. He is succeeding, similar to how he is turning the Democrat Party away from Israel.

Talking heads, who make their living jawboning in conventional, boiler-plate paradigms, think of Obama as they would other presidents, instead of seeing him the way he must be seen. He is not like other presidents, nor is he simply more to the Left than previous presidents. He is an ideologue through and through, and his ideology is rooted in Marxism and certain forms of Islamism. We need to see in Obama’ actions not the political maneuverings we suspect in others, but direct, unalloyed, reflections of his dogmas and goals.

He wants the treaty with Iran not because it’s a feather in his cap. Let’s be more direct. He wants it because he wants it. He wants Iran to have the bomb. Not to use it, necessarily, but for the power and leverage it will give Iran over Israel, and the pride and strength it will furnish the Ummah. He wants a stronger Iran, not a weaker or checked Iran.

He dislikes Netanyahu because he dislikes an Israeli leader who wants to keep Israel Jewish, who stands for Jerusalem, and won’t have his people bandied about to satisfy Obama’s’ lust for Islamic hegemony. Obama is used to Jews, the Hyde Park Chicago Jews and other liberal Jews, who see Jewish needs as secondary and sacrificial to the demands of other minorities; liberal Jews who subsume Jewish aspirations and needs for whatever is considered the “civil rights” fashion of the day. To them, ironically,

Jewishness is authentic only when Jewishness becomes a vehicle for a cause outside of any specific Jewish need and identity. They have redefined Jewishness to be political universalism. Obama is uncomfortable with a Jewish-Jew like Netanyahu who does not define nor limit the existence of Jews to self-nullification in behalf of the latest leftwing Cause. He has Jews in his administration and among the liberal fraternity who are all too willing to do his destructive bidding… in the name of “Judaism”, of course.

Obama’s inner identity is tied to Islam. We all identify with the ethos of our formative years. His father and stepfather were Islamic, as is his family back in Kenya and Indonesia. His brothers are active Islamists. He was raised on the Koran in Islamic countries, and attended Islamic madrassa and grew up with its attitudes, sights and sounds, aspirations and narrative, likes and dislikes. As I grew up to favor Israel, he grew up to dislike it. Simple as that. Most of my Christian friends, Bible believers, were also raised with the biblical narrative, which admires Israel’s place in our theology and in the cosmos.

The Marxism Obama was fed, from very early on, made him viscerally dislike successful Western countries, such as America, Israel, and Britain. He was taught they were colonizers and imperialist. Yet, he finds nothing imperialistic or colonial about Islam’s takeover, throughout the centuries, of northern and central Africa, Lebanon, Babylon and Persia, the Balkans, the Mediterranean areas, Malaysia and Indonesia, and other parts of Asia, vast tracts of what was India, and countless Christian and Hindu neighborhoods and cities. Not to see colonialism and imperialism in these conquests tells us a lot about Obama’s perspective. Love is blind. We don’t see flaws in that and those we love. But, we sure see them, always, in that which we dislike. Obama’s dislike for a strong, independent, proud Jewish renaissance in the Holy Land predates Netanyahu.

As with America, the next two years will be difficult, for Obama has set his antagonistic sights on America and Israel… as well as its citizens. Obama has spent the last 50 years waiting for these next two.

Rabbi Aryeh Spero is president of Caucus for America and author of Push Back, and Why Israel Matters to You.

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OBAMA DEFYING CONSTITUTION AND CONGRESS TO LET IRAN GET NUCLEAR WEAPONS. WHY? CAN HE BE STOPPED?

Does anyone think America will be safer if Iran gets nuclear weapons? Why is Obama enabling that?

Andy McCarthy makes this chilling observation:

It is otherworldly to find an American administration conspiring against the Constitution and the Congress in cahoots with a terror-sponsoring enemy regime, with which we do not even have formal diplomatic relations, in order to pave the enemy’s way to nuclear weapons, of all things.

That is exactly what is going on.

Read the whole report from National Review.

Obama Can’t Force His Iran Deal on the Country without Congress’s Consent
by Andrew C. McCarthy March 14, 2015 4:00 AM

Having the U.N. Security Council bless a deal wouldn’t make it binding under our
Constitution.

So, as we warned earlier this week, the international-law game it is. It is no secret that Barack Obama does not have much use for the United States Constitution.

It is a governing plan for a free, self-determining people. Hence, it is littered with roadblocks against schemes to rule the people against their will. When it comes to our imperious president’s scheme to enable our enemy, Iran, to become a nuclear-weapons power — a scheme that falls somewhere between delusional and despicable, depending on your sense of Obama’s good faith — the salient barrier is that only Congress can make real law.

Most lawmakers think it would be a catastrophe to forge a clear path to the world’s most destructive weapons for the world’s worst regime — a regime that brays “Death to America” as its motto; that has killed thousands of Americans since 1979; that remains the world’s leading state sponsor of jihadist terrorism; that pledges to wipe our ally Israel off the map; and that just three weeks ago, in the midst of negotiations with Obama, conducted a drill in which its armed forces fired ballistic missiles at a replica U.S. aircraft carrier.

This week, 47 perspicuous Republican senators suspected that the subject of congressional power just might have gotten short shrift in Team Obama’s negotiations with the mullahs. So they penned a letter on the subject to the regime in Tehran.

The effort was led by Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.), who, after Harvard Law School, passed up community organizing for the life of a Bronze Star–awarded combat commander. As one might imagine, Cotton and Obama don’t see this Iran thing quite the same way.

There followed, as night does day, risible howls from top Democrats and their media that these 47 patriots were “traitors” for undermining the president’s empowerment of our enemies.

Evidently, writing the letter was not as noble as, say, Ted Kennedy’s canoodling with the Soviets, Nancy Pelosi’s dalliance with Assad, the Democratic party’s Bush-deranged jihad against the war in Iraq, or Senator Barack Obama’s own back-channel outreach to Iran during the 2008 campaign. Gone, like a deleted e-mail, were the good old days when dissent was patriotic.

Yet, as John Yoo observes, the Cotton letter was more akin to mailing Ayatollah Khamenei a copy of the Constitution. The senators explained that our Constitution requires congressional assent for international agreements to be legally binding.

Thus, any “executive agreement” on nukes that they manage to strike with the appeaser-in-chief is unenforceable and likely to be revoked when he leaves office in 22 months.

For Obama and other global-governance grandees, this is quaint thinking, elevating outmoded notions like national interest over “sustainable” international “stability” — like the way Hitler stabilized the Sudetenland.

These “international community” devotees see the Tea Party as the rogue and the mullahs as rational actors. So, you see, lasting peace — like they have, for example, in Ukraine — is achieved when the world’s sole superpower exhibits endless restraint and forfeits some sovereignty to the United Nations Security Council, where the enlightened altruists from Moscow, Beijing, and Brussels will figure out what’s best for Senator Cotton’s constituents in Arkansas.

This will set a luminous example of refinement that Iran will find irresistible when it grows up ten years from now — the time when Obama, who came to office promising the mullahs would not be permitted to acquire nuclear weapons, would have Iran stamped with the international community seal of approval as a nuclear-weapons state.

Down here on Planet Earth, though, most Americans think this is a bad idea. That, along with an injection of grit from the Arkansas freshman, emboldened the normally supine Senate GOP caucus to read Tehran in on the constitutional fact that the president is powerless to bind the United States unless the people’s representatives cement the arrangement.

Obama, naturally, reacted with his trusty weapon against opposition, demagoguery: hilariously suggesting that while the Alinskyite-in-chief had our country’s best interests at heart, the American war hero and his 46 allies were in league with Iran’s “hardliners.”

(Yes, having found Muslim Brotherhood secularists, al-Qaeda moderates, and Hezbollah moderates, rest assured that Obama is courting only the evolved ayatollahs.) When that went about as you’d expect, the administration shifted to a strategy with which it is equally comfortable, lying.

Obama’s minions claimed that, of course, the president understands that any agreement he makes with Iran would merely be his “political commitment,” not “legally binding” on the nation.

It’s just that Obama figures it would be nice to have the Security Council “endorse” the deal in a resolution because, well, that would “encourage its full implementation.” Uh-huh.

Inconveniently, the administration’s negotiating counterpart is the chattiest of academics, Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Afflicted by the Western-educated Islamist’s incorrigible need to prove he’s the smartest kid in the class — especially a class full of American politicians — Zarif let the cat out of the bag. The senators, he smarmed, “may not fully understand . . . international law.”

According to Zarif, the deal under negotiation “will not be a bilateral agreement between Iran and the U.S., but rather one that will be concluded with the participation of five other countries, including all permanent members of the Security Council, and will also be endorsed by a Security Council resolution.”

He hoped it would “enrich the knowledge” of the 47 senators to learn that “according to international law, Congress may not modify the terms of the agreement.” To do so would be “a material breach of U.S. obligations,” rendering America a global outlaw.

This, mind you, from the lead representative of a terrorist regime that is currently, and brazenly, in violation of Security Council resolutions that prohibit its enrichment of uranium.

Clearly, Obama and the mullahs figure they can run the following stunt: We do not need another treaty approved by Congress because the United States has already ratified the U.N. charter and thus agreed to honor Security Council resolutions. We do not need new statutes because the Congress, in enacting Iran-sanctions legislation, explicitly gave the president the power to waive those sanctions. All we need is to have the Security Council issue a resolution that codifies Congress’s existing sanctions laws with Obama’s waiver.

Other countries involved in the negotiations — including Germany, Russia, and China, which have increasingly lucrative trade with Iran — will then very publicly rely on the completed deal. The U.N. and its army of transnational-progressive bureaucrats and lawyers will deduce from this reliance a level of global consensus that incorporates the agreement into the hocus-pocus corpus of customary law. Maybe they’ll even get Justice Ginsburg to cite it glowingly in a Supreme Court ruling. Voila, we have a binding agreement — without any congressional input — that the United States is powerless to alter under international law.

Well, it makes for good theater . . . because that is what international law is. It is a game more of lawyers than of thrones. In essence, it is politics masquerading as a system governed by rules rather than power, as if hanging a sign that says “law” on that system makes it so.

At most, international law creates understandings between and among states. Those understandings, however, are only relevant as diplomatic debating points. When, in defiance of international law, Obama decides to overthrow the Qaddafi regime, Clinton decides to bomb Kosovo, or the ayatollahs decide to enrich uranium, the debating points end up not counting for much.

Even when international understandings are validly created by treaty (which requires approval by two-thirds of the Senate), they are not “self-executing,” as the legal lexicon puts it — meaning they are not judicially enforceable and carry no domestic weight.

Whether bilateral or multilateral, treaties do not supersede existing federal law unless implemented by new congressional statutes. And they are powerless to amend the Constitution. The Supreme Court reaffirmed these principles in its 2008 Medellin decision (a case I described here, leading to a ruling Ed Whelan outlined here). The justices held that the president cannot usurp the constitutional authority of other government components under the guise of his power to conduct foreign affairs.

Moreover, even a properly ratified treaty can be converted into domestic law only by congressional lawmaking, not by unilateral presidential action. Obama, therefore, has no power to impose an international agreement by fiat — he has to come to Congress. He can make whatever deal he wants to make with Iran, but the Constitution still gives Congress exclusive authority over foreign commerce.

Lawmakers can enact sanctions legislation that does not permit a presidential waiver. Obama would not sign it, but the next president will — especially if the Republicans raise it into a major 2016 campaign issue. Will the Security Council howl? Sure . . . but so what?

It has been said that Senator Cotton should have CC’d the Obama administration on his letter since it, too, seems unfamiliar with the Constitution’s division of authority. A less useless exercise might have been to CC the five other countries involved in the talks (the remaining Security Council members, plus Germany). Even better, as I argued earlier this week, would be a sense-of-the-Senate resolution: Any nation that relies on an executive agreement that is not approved by the United States Congress under the procedures outlined in the Constitution does so at its peril because this agreement is likely to lapse as early as January 20, 2017.

International law is a game that two can play, and there is no point in allowing Germany, Russia, and China to pretend that they relied in good faith on Obama’s word being America’s word.

It is otherworldly to find an American administration conspiring against the Constitution and the Congress in cahoots with a terror-sponsoring enemy regime, with which we do not even have formal diplomatic relations, in order to pave the enemy’s way to nuclear weapons, of all things.

Nevertheless, Republicans and all Americans who want to preserve our constitutional order, must stop telling themselves that we have hit a bottom beneath which Obama will not go. This week, 47 senators seemed ready, finally, to fight back. It’s a start.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/415401/obama-cant-force-his-iran-deal-country-without-congresss-consent-andrew-c-mccarthy

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OBAMA: THE SELFIE PRESIDENCY

Obama has earned the title Narcissist-in-Chief honestly. On his recent trip to India, in his departure speech, which should have been all about India-U.S. relations, it was all about Obama: In 33 minutes he uttered "I' or "we" 118 times. That's 3.5 Obama references per minute.

Wall Street Journal Global View Columnist Bret Stephens tracks the degradation of the office of the President, from the Clinton era to the new bottom, the Obama White House.

Global View
President BuzzFeed

'You do you’ is the ultimate slogan for the ultimate self-referential presidency.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/bret-stephens-president-buzzfeed-1424132816

Obama youdoyou.jpg

Here’s me looking at me, kid: President Obama’s BuzzFeed video.
Photo: BuzzFeed

By Bret Stephens The Wall Street Journal
Feb. 16, 2015 7:26 p.m. ET


George Washington did not shake hands as president and would grip the hilt of his sword to avoid having his flesh pressed. The founding father understood that leadership in a republic demanded a careful balance between low populism and aristocratic lordliness. Personal comportment, the choice of clothes and carriage, modes of address: these things mattered. And so we have “Mr. President” as opposed to “His Highness.” Or “George.”

With Barack Obama —you won’t mind, Señor Presidente, if we call you Barry?—it’s another story. Dignity of office? How quaint. In this most self-infatuated of presidencies, the D-word is at best an accessory and more often an impediment to everything Barry has ever wanted to be: Cool. Chill. Connected.

So it was that, hours after the U.S. confirmed the murder of Kayla Jean Mueller at the hands of Islamic State, Mr. Obama filmed a short video for BuzzFeed, striking poses in a mirror, donning aviator shades, filming himself with a selfie stick and otherwise inhabiting a role that a chaster version of Miley Cyrus might have played had Hannah Montana been stuck in the White House after a sleepover with the Obama girls.

Ostensibly, the point of the video was to alert BuzzFeed’s audience to the Feb. 15 deadline for ObamaCare enrollment. If communicating with 20-somethings as if they are 11-year-olds is a way to get them to behave like grown-ups, then maybe the White House has at last found a way to make good on its make-believe enrollment numbers.

But that’s not what the BuzzFeed clip is chiefly about. What it’s about is showing just how totally relatable and adorably authentic and marvelously self-aware is this president of ours. “Can I live?” the president says when caught shooting imaginary hoops in his study by a young visitor. “You do you,” the visitor gamely replies before walking off.

Yes, you do you, Barry: It’s what your political career has always been about, from your myth-memoir “Dreams From My Father” to your well-nurtured cult of personality to the coterie of flatterers with whom you have surrounded yourself in office to the supine and occasionally complicit news media that have seen you through six years of crisis, failure and scandal.

“You do you” is the ultimate self-referential slogan for the ultimate self-referential presidency. It’s the “be yourself” piety of our age turned into a political license by Mr. Obama to do as he pleases. It’s what drives his political choices: the immigration amnesty; arbitrary rewrites of the Affordable Care Act; the Environmental Protection Agency’s coal rules; the $128 billion in settlements the administration extorted from six banks convicted of no wrongdoing.

It is also what seems to explain the president’s insistently passive foreign policy. In its 2015 National Security Strategy, unveiled earlier this month, the administration underscored the importance of what it called “strategic patience,” a high-toned euphemism for doing as little as decently possible in response to crisis. Invade Ukraine: You do you, Vladimir Putin. Build a robust nuclear infrastructure: You do you, Ali Khamenei. Continue gassing your own people: You do you, Bashar Assad.

In other words, let 1,000 you-do-yous bloom. In the end, the president and his advisers seem to believe, events will take their course and history will provide its verdict. Kremlin adventurism will fall afoul of Russia’s economic limits, Iran will evolve from evil theocracy to responsible regional player, and Syria will continue to bleed until it sorts itself out.

As for Islamic State, the president told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that “it has no governing strategy,” that it cannot “sustain or feed people or educate people or organize a society that would work,” and therefore that it is not “an existential threat to the United States or the world order.”

You do you, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi! But if you can’t provide your people with high-quality affordable health care, world-class educational opportunities and a decent minimum wage, it will all come to naught.

***

There’s a sense in which the president’s foreign policy reminds me of Francis Fukuyama ’s “End of History” thesis, though it is typically associated with American neoconservatives. Following the publication of Mr. Fukuyama’s book in the early 1990s, the argument was attacked for ignoring all the history—the breakup of Yugoslavia, genocide in Rwanda, and so on—that continued to take place after he had declared it over.

Mr. Fukuyama’s rebuttal was that none of that really counted, at least in the dialectical, Hegelian, capital-H sense of “History.” History had ended because there was no plausible ideological competitor to liberal, democratic capitalism, and sooner or later everyone would get the point.

Maybe that’s even true. Yet in the words “sooner or later” lie the great political questions of our day, matters of life or death for the Ukrainian soldiers encircled by Russian troops, or Western hostages held by Islamic State, or everyone threatened by Iran’s slow and steady march toward regional hegemony.

President You Do You has all the time he wants to film BuzzFeed clips while surfing the arc of history. Not everyone is so fortunate.

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WE ARE THE PARTY OF LINCOLN.
WE STAND FOR FREEDOM AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL.



Contact: Diane Bronsdon 508 945 9218
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