Free Markets, Free People
Funny stuff. Paul Krugman, representing much of the left, has apparently finally noticed what an empty suit Obama is:
What have they done with President Obama? What happened to the inspirational figure his supporters thought they elected? Who is this bland, timid guy who doesn’t seem to stand for anything in particular?
I realize that with hostile Republicans controlling the House, there’s not much Mr. Obama can get done in the way of concrete policy. Arguably, all he has left is the bully pulpit. But he isn’t even using that — or, rather, he’s using it to reinforce his enemies’ narrative.
Of course Krugman is pretty much focused on economic issues and so seemingly hasn’t been watching Obama through most of his presidency, as many of us have. He’s finally noticed the “timid guy” who doesn’t seem to stand for anything but does enjoy a good round of golf.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised it has taken this long – the blinkers had to be firmly in place to elect him in the first place. You had, to quote Hillary Clinton as she addressed Gen. Petraeus about the situation in Iraq some years ago, “willingly suspend disbelief” in order to vote for the guy in the first place. What you had to suspend was the belief that experience and leadership count for something, especially when you’re talking about the highest office in the land.
This timid guy Krugman is talking about has shown the rest of us over and over he’s really unsuited for the job. And now, even the Krugman’s of the world are beginning to take some notice.
I have to admit to laughing out loud at Krugman’s example – apparently the one that finally clued him into the problem:
His remarks after last week’s budget deal were a case in point.
Maybe that terrible deal, in which Republicans ended up getting more than their opening bid, was the best he could achieve — although it looks from here as if the president’s idea of how to bargain is to start by negotiating with himself, making pre-emptive concessions, then pursue a second round of negotiation with the G.O.P., leading to further concessions.
And bear in mind that this was just the first of several chances for Republicans to hold the budget hostage and threaten a government shutdown; by caving in so completely on the first round, Mr. Obama set a baseline for even bigger concessions over the next few months.
Of course Krugman, as typified by his one-trick pony policy of more and more government spending to cure all ills is bound to be upset by any spending concessions a Democrat might make. However, I loved his characterization of Obama’s bargaining style. It is true and not only does it point to someone totally out of his depth, but someone with no real principles upon which to make a stand.
Krugman turns his attention, after wondering what happened to Obama, to trying to trash everything the GOP has put forward or will put forward. But so captured is he by his discovery of what Obama isn’t that he has to return to that subject:
You might have expected the president’s team not just to reject this proposal, but to see it as a big fat political target. But while the G.O.P. proposal has drawn fire from a number of Democrats — including a harsh condemnation from Senator Max Baucus, a centrist who has often worked with Republicans — the White House response was a statement from the press secretary expressing mild disapproval.
What’s going on here? Despite the ferocious opposition he has faced since the day he took office, Mr. Obama is clearly still clinging to his vision of himself as a figure who can transcend America’s partisan differences. And his political strategists seem to believe that he can win re-election by positioning himself as being conciliatory and reasonable, by always being willing to compromise.
But if you ask me, I’d say that the nation wants — and more important, the nation needs — a president who believes in something, and is willing to take a stand. And that’s not what we’re seeing.
Baloney. Krugman has to have lived in a cave if he believes the rhetoric has even come close to matching the reality of the Obama presidency. He is not a transcendent figure by any stretch. He is, instead, a true exception to the Peter Principle and has indeed risen to a level above his incompetence.
But to Krugman’s last point – Obama believes in one thing – Obama. And any objective appraisal of his performance in office these past 2+ years cannot give him very high marks on “principle” or a willingness to take a stand. There’s a reason for that. Obama traded principle for the achievement of his ambition years ago. He’s intelligent enough to talk the talk, but he seems absolutely incapable of walking the walk or even attempting to do so.
As Dale said on the podcast last night, you sometimes get the feeling that when he says something he truly believes it becomes reality. In this world you actually have to take action and lead to have things happen. Obama has no idea how to do that.
It was only a matter of time for the real reason behind the “right to protect” (R2P) principle the UN has adopted to become apparent.
The Arab League (AL) said on Sunday it would ask the United Nations to consider imposing a no-fly zone over the Gaza Strip to protect the civilians against Israeli air strikes.
In a statement issued after an emergency meeting of the pan- Arab organization at the permanent delegates’ level in its Cairo headquarter, the AL said it would ask the United Nation Security Council to convene an emergency meeting to discuss the Israeli aggression over Gaza to lift the siege and impose a no-fly zone against the Israeli military to protect civilians.
The statement rejected the double standard policies towards the Palestinian case, urging the UN Security Council and the Quartet committee to bear all responsibilities for halting the subsequent massacres and provide an international protection for the unarmed citizens.
Now, this shouldn’t have a chance since it takes a vote of the Security Council to pass something like this and the US, with a permanent seat, has the right to veto any resolution calling for such a measure.
And a few years ago I’d have had no worries about there even being a ghost of a chance of such a measure being agreed too by the US. I have no such assurance now with this administration. And don’t forget, they got the cooperation of the Security Council recently for the imposition of the Libyan NFZ, so they’ll be asked for cooperation on this – it’s the trap that may have been set from the outset.
Of course, unaddressed by the AL is the provocation for the latest round of air attacks from Israel by the terrorist group Hamas:
Violence in Gaza started when Hamas, which holds sway there, fired a rocket at an Israeli school bus, critically wounding a 16- year-old student. Hamas later said it did not know the bus was carrying students.
Hamas more than “holds sway there” – Hamas “governs” there. What it continues to do is execute acts of war against Israel and then whines when Israel reacts. What the AL is doing is attempting to get the US to level the playing field and create better opportunities for Hamas to continue firing rockets into Israel. And, of course, brave Hamas always ensures it does its provocations from areas with high densities of civilians. And Hamas could give a rip whether there were students on the bus. Read the description again – it was a freakin’ school bus. What else did they expect to be on it?
Note too that the AL uses precisely the argument that I and others who wrote about the application of R2P said would happen. The citing of a “double-standard” (you’ll do Libya but not Gaza?). It’s nonsense on a stick, of course, because supposedly R2P is there to protect civilians from their own government, not another government retaliating against deadly attacks by their own government.
This again illustrates the danger of such “principles” as the UN’s R2P. It is now being considered a tool by the weak but tyrannical in an effort to downgrade the defensive abilities of Israel to protect itself.
I say give them the go-ahead and let the AL enforce the NFZ. It will be good for fighter jet sales as the IAF will scatter pieces and parts of the various AL air forces over the Gaza strip as a result.