WHAT HAS OBAMA ACCOMPLISHED? "JACK SQUAT"
By Geoff Metcalf
October 7, 2009
“You will also learn of the price which men of integrity must all too often pay for the folly and malice of scoundrels.” --Ambassador Curtin Winsor Jr.
Despite the rabid left wing tilt, I have been a fan of Saturday Night Live since the Belushi, Akroyd, Chase and Ratner days.
Who’d’ve thunk it? SNL, the pillar of left wing Pavlovian propaganda actually parodied the do-nothing, prevaricator in chief. The same media machete that has eviscerated Presidents Bush (41 & 43), Sarah Palin, John McCain and a gaggle of stereotypical right wing characters stood up (although Fred Armisen was actually sitting down) and proclaimed “The Emperor has no clothes”. Let’s hear it for equal opportunity offenders!
There was nothing new in the delineation of culture shock reality check. Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and the horde of usual suspects have been picking at Obama’s lacks non stop. What is significant and potentially emblematic of a begrudging sea change is the collective voice of the left is now acknowledging the “mandate for change” has thus far resulted in “nada.”
Portraying the messianic one, Armisen checked off the litany of Obama failures:
Out of Middle East: No
Fix the economy: No
Iraq withdrawal: No
Improve Afghanistan: No (actually worse)
Global Warming Reform: No
Immigrantion Reform: No
Address Gays in the military: No
Limits on Executive Power: No
Torture prosecutions: No
He did brag that ‘Cash for Clunkers’ was a big success in stimulating the economy…sadly it was the economy of Japan.
At least Fred did it with a smile. The ubiquitous Barak smile of the campaign days is long lost from the Obama administration. Sure Biden grins a lot but, so does a hyena…vacuous phony smiles don’t count.
Least anyone defending the indefensible say, “hey, it can’t get any worse”, keep in mind there is a major schism in development with the pentagon brass. Robert Gates may be trying to sell the military will “come around” but don’t count on it.
According to various inside sources, Obama was/is furious at General Stanley McChrystal. Gen McChrystal reportedly shocked and angered presidential advisers with the bluntness (honesty) of a speech he gave in London about the imperative for increased troop deployments to prevent disaster in Afghanistan.
The next day the General was called to the woodshed (Air Force One) on the tarmac in Copenhagen. Epitomizing understatement, Gen. James Jones, the national security adviser suggested the meeting had been ‘awkward’. Duh!?!? Ya think?
McChrystal is getting flak from some for ‘speaking out’ but frankly it is a bum rap. There are some interesting parallels to what happened between Jimmy Carter and MG Jack Singlaub.
Gen McChrystal’s comments play on two levels. First, he is offering his honest professional estimate of the situation. THAT is a big part of his job. MG Singlaub once told President Carter, “I felt obliged to make sure all the decision makers benefited from the best military advice possible.” Generals are required to provide the civilian leadership with the best strategic and tactical advice they can articulate.
However, the second part of the equation is CYA stuff. McChrystal and his supporters want to be on record as clearly visible for having told the administration what is necessary to achieve the military objective. If or when the civilian leadership chooses a different (more politic) course of action, they also take ownership of any subsequent (inevitable) failure.
Presidents don’t like to be held accountable…especially by those subordinate to them. President Truman fired MacArthur and Jimmy Carter pulled Singlaub out of Korea because he “lost confidence in your ability to carry out my instructions”. Singlaub was hosed by an incompetent, duplicitous fool and despite being ‘fired’ was reassigned to FORSCOM at Fort Meyers, the largest of the Army’s then twelve commands. Carter may have intended to use Jack as a scapegoat, but the ‘goat rope’ offended Congress and snared the peanut farmer.
Civilian control the military is critical and the crucial imperative that sustains the republic. However, although the civilian leadership sets policy, they also assume a responsibility to listen to the experts who are untainted by politics and execute policy from the pointy end of the spear. A business that hires top legal and accounting firms and ignores their advice and counsel has the option to do so, but also assumes fuller responsibility for the negative consequences of having done so.
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So SNL may have laundry listed the many failures of the Obama administration and poked some fun at his inconsistencies and flip flopability, but such is merely the opening act. Obama still has some 1,200 days left in his term.