A moment of clarity, not from Obama’s speech, but in understanding that the US is presently run by fools who are crippling the nation.
You better believe that he is trying desperately spin this as an ”Obama moment in international diplomacy and statesman-craft”. In reality, it’s a moment of clarity for the Iranians and Israelis, Obama is a bumbling fool who will allow others to run circles around himself and his ‘top team’ of advisors and analysts. For Israel it means that if they intend to keep Iran from becoming a de facto nuclear power, they are on their own.
Syria Tells You Everything You Need to Know About Barack Obama
This security crisis put the president’s best and worst attributes on display for the whole world to judge.
By Ron Fournier
September 10, 2013 | 9:20 p.m.
President Barack Obama addresses the nation in a live televised speech from the East Room of the White House, Sept. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)
Naive about the levers of power: Where to start? Obama reversed course on congressional authorization at the last minute, after a private chat with his chief of staff, and to the surprise of his national security team – all in violation of presidential best practices. He then left the country on a quixotic trip to Russia, allowing misgivings to grow in Congress and the public before he could build a case for striking Syria. Boxed in, Obama seized upon a Russian proposal to put Syria’s weapons in the hands of the international community. It’s an impractical solution, a fig leaf. Either Obama trusts Russian President Vladimir Putin (a mistake) or he is a partner in deceit (an outrage). A Democratic strategist who works closely with the White House, and who requested anonymity to avoid political retribution, told me, “This has been one of the most humiliating episodes in presidential history.”
Too cute by half: Obama and his allies are masters of “spin,” packaging partial truths and outright distortions to a malleable public. With Syria, their dark arts are on full display. There is no other way to explain the White House disowning Secretary of State John Kerry’s call for Syria to turn over its stockpiles until the savvy Putin seized on the off-the-cuff remark as a way to protect ally Bashar al-Assad. Suddenly, the White House is touting the Putin plan as their brainchild, an outcome Obama had in mind when he travelled to Russia. Don’t buy it. A broader problem is the Obama White House’s inability to break through the clutter of 21st century media to educate and persuade Americans on policy, a communications conundrum that dates to the 2009 health-care debate.
No friends: No student of the presidency would claim that Obama’s problems with Congress could be solved simply by schmoozing them. There are structural and political problems that no amount of alcohol can solve. But as a matter of history and common sense, Obama could do better for himself and his causes if he got to know Congress better – if he listened and engaged in a way that pushes leaders toward solutions that help both sides. Instead, Obama has what one former top adviser called a “check-the-box” approach to Washington relations. He’ll spend enough time to maintain appearances, nothing more, and lectures people who demand to be heard. And so, as he faced an international and constitutional crisis, Obama and his team were in a familiar state: isolated, insular, and alone.
Whenever his leadership is questioned, Obama and his allies accuse the critics of overstating the powers of the presidency and understating the intransigence of the opposition. Their argument has some merit. At home, the presidency has ceded power to Congress in recent years and the Republican Party is unusually obstinate. Abroad, Putin, Assad, and other nefarious world leaders cannot be swayed by reason alone. But Obama bears more responsibility than he is willing to admit, and polls show a growing number of voters are questioning his leadership.