After winning the Democratic presidential primary, Barack Obama told a St. Paul, Minn., audience, “I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”
The sheer arrogance of these words should have been a clear warning to the American electorate in 2008. But instead of arrogance, most saw absolute certainty in the future, borne of the supreme confidence that Obama possessed the courage to take the steps to make it all happen.
Confidence? From a community organizer who never managed so much as a lemonade stand in his life? Courage? From one who voted “present” nearly 130 times during his seven-year Illinois Senate career? Certainty? From one who spent most of his four-year tenure as a U.S. senator running for higher office? These also should have been deafening warning bells, but again, not enough people listened.
Obama assumed office as our 44th president with the deep-seated naïveté that if he was just nice to other nations, they’d be nice to him back. This became the peg upon which he hung his foreign policy hat. One problem with this policy was that he wasn’t consistent. He chose to use it on our enemies while ignoring our friends. The second problem is that being nice never works with bullies, whether on the playground or in the international arena.
As a recent case in point, when we lost a surveillance drone bursting with advanced spy technology in Iran, the president had three options. He could have destroyed the drone, stolen it back or nicely asked for its return. Because he’s so accustomed to the last option, that’s the one he chose — be nice.
Obama: “We have asked for it [the drone] back. We’ll see how the Iranians respond.” The answer wasn’t long in coming.
A senior commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard: “This is not only an intelligence victory for us, but a defeat for our enemies.”
Enemies? Talk about a slap in the face. The lightest of intellectual lightweights could’ve seen this coming, even if our president couldn’t. You can’t ask for a “do over” after getting caught invading the airspace of a bully nation like Iran and expect a favorable response. It’s obvious that Obama’s on-the-job training has been a colossal failure so far. The great “hope and change” experiment has been a flop. Or, as my friend Tony likes to say, “Hope is nothing but a wish without a plan,” and Obama didn’t have a plan.
One of the most important elections of our lives will take place in less than a year. While everyone is focused on the occasional gaffes of the Republican presidential candidates, the nation’s attention should be directed to the fact that we have a president who is still learning on the job, and is not doing a very good job of it. While we’re all considering the personal flaws, both real and imagined, of the GOP presidential hopefuls, our spotlight should be centered on the fatal flaws of the president already in office. Our country can no longer afford a trainee at the helm.
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