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Ed Driscoll

What Didn’t the President Know, and When Didn’t He Know It?

December 22nd, 2013 - 3:25 pm

ramierz_obama_knows_nothing_12-22-13

Or, “All the President’s Amnesia,” which could be the title for Michael Ramirez’s new cartoon at Investor’s Business Daily. It’s particularly deadly, if only because it catalogs the sheer number of examples of Mr. Obama’s favorite defensive tactic, as far back as his presidential candidate days with a supine press to keep him afloat: say anything, including feigning sheer ignorance, to survive this week’s news cycle.   And as John Hayward wrote last month at “The Conversation,” the Breitbart.com group blog, surviving each week’s news cycle is now the entire goal of the administration, where, there is no past, there is no future, there is merely now:

Political theorists will study Obama’s “one news cycle at a time” survival tactic for generations to come.  It got him re-elected despite four years of grinding unemployment and fabulous Solyndra-style corruption.  He was able to slink past scandals that would have ended anyone else – probably even Bill Clinton – because he could rely on the media’s reluctance to create damaging “narratives” around him.  He got past one scandal avalanche after the next, because everything instantly became “old news” once the Administration “won” a few games of Sunday-show parcheesi.  The board was always completely reset for Barack Obama.  He got away with portraying himself, every month for four long and onerous years, as a total outsider who just showed up in Washington yesterday, and couldn’t believe what he found.  Why, he’s just as surprised, frustrated, disappointed, and angry about [fill in the scandal] as you are!

That last line dovetails perfectly with Ramirez’s cartoon, doesn’t it? And it also ties in with John Podhoretz’s latest column at the New York Post, on “Obama’s terrible, horrible, very bad year:”

All in all, when it comes to public opinion, Barack Obama ends his fifth year in worse shape than any president since Richard Nixon. And Nixon didn’t even manage to finish his sixth year.

That fate will not befall Obama, obviously. But as the hopeful stories pour out of Washington about how he’s retooling his White House to dig himself out from under the rubble of the ObamaCare launch, and as liberals continue to assure themselves that once the website is working all will be well, the truth is that Obama’s return to his former glory in the coming year is highly unlikely.

For one thing, the president has gone from being someone in charge of events to someone who is being buffeted about by them — and once a leader loses his hold on the levers of power it’s very difficult to get them back.

Machiavelli says in “The Prince,” the greatest analysis of political power ever written, that successful leaders work to control their fortunes the way people construct dams and dikes to contain and direct powerful rivers.

“Fortune shows her power where the brave have not made preparations to resist her,” Machiavelli writes. “She turns her forces where she knows that barriers and defenses have not been raised to constrain her.”

In the eyes of his friends and admirers, who are shocked at how badly things have gone, Obama did not raise “barriers and defenses” to prepare for the exigencies of fortune and now “everything is flying before it, all are yielding to its violence, without being able in any way to withstand it.”

As numerous pundits — including those on the left who supported Obama (at least at the time) have noted, Obama is the most isolated president, the biggest loner-as-president, since Richard Nixon. And as otherwise Machiavellian as both men have been, as Podhoretz notes above that style of personal isolationism doesn’t lend itself to controlling their fortunes “the way people construct dams and dikes to contain and direct powerful rivers.” But hey, as then-Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior Deanna Archuleta promised a group of fellow leftwing eco-zealots early in Obama’s first term, “You will never see another federal dam.” Obviously she didn’t realize her blanket statement would apply metaphorically to her boss as well.

In other words, Hubris, meet Nemesis, meet Barry O., yet again. Which is why, as Glenn Reynolds writes in his newest column at USA Today, if you thought Obama’s year was bad in 2013, just wait until next year: “All told, it’s likely that 2013 won’t be Obama’s worst year ever. Or, sadly, America’s. Happy New Year!”

For both, in no small part because, as Glenn adds, “It’s true that Obamacare has been a debacle, wrapped in a catastrophe, shrouded in a disaster.” Heh, indeed. Read the whole thing.™

Let’s get a jump on the New Year’s Obamaschadenfreude early. What do you suppose the president will not know next? Let me know in the comments below.

Update: The obligatory exit quote is really a misquote in this case: “‘We Screwed the Duck’: CNN Really Misheard Obama’s Health Care Apology…”

Still though, that malaprop seems a fitting eulogy for the horrid year the president inflicted upon both himself, and the rest of us — not to mention CNN’s own terrible, horrible, very bad year. And an entirely self-inflicted bad year, to boot. For as the late Andrew Breitbart once reminded the MSM, “it’s not your business model that sucks, it’s you that sucks.”

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
I didn't know Bill Ayers, he was just some guy from the neighborhood.

I didn't know my Social Security card was issued in a state in which I never lived.

I didn't know that a lecturer was not a professor.

I didn't know "Frank" from my autobiography was Frank Marshall Davis of the CPUSA.

I didn't know the New Party was a Socialist network.

I didn't know anyone at Columbia.

I didn't know that editors of law reviews wrote scholarly articles.

I didn't know that my campaign shut off the security system for credit card contributions.

I didn't know that unions were given illegal preferences in GM bankruptcy cases.

I didn't know Solyndra's sweetheart deal came after they were already nearly bankrupt.

I didn't know there has been no global warming for the past 17 years.

I didn't know that Robert Malley went to meet secretly with Hamas.

I didn't know that Winston's bust had been returned.

I didn't know there is no income verification in Obamacare.

I didn't know there was no security system built into Obamacare.

Tell me when I reach the max on my plausible deniability card.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
What do you suppose the president will not know next?

Iran got the bomb, I didn't know they were so close.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sorry, but I don't think Obama's "one news cycle at a time" tactic is the reason he's survived. It's a lot more simple: the media wouldn't and will not be too critical of America's first black president, especially a pseudo-intellectual leftist one they pulled all the stops out to elect twice. Simple as that.

Political theorists can study these years all they want but it's almost a given this BS will NOT work again, even if another black Democrat succeeds Obama. For one thing, the novelty of the first black president will be gone. For another, EVERYBODY will be ready for it next time. But the biggest reason is that Obama will end his years having made such a freaking mess, the pain of digging out from under his "service" to the country will ensure that the next incompetent who tries it will be lucky to survive with all his or her limbs in tact.

Obama will be the country's "WTF We're We Thinking?" president for generations to come.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (18)
All Comments   (18)
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"[Fortune] turns her forces where she knows that barriers and defenses have not been raised to constrain her."

Um, did you see the last press conference? The media is his barrier and defense. They are all men and women of the Left. They cannot and will not work against their own interests.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
I didn't know people in the White House were using the IRS for political purposes.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
The next thing Obama won't know is the next thing he doesn't want to know. With a media that is like the abused spouse that will always give her abusive lover one more chance to beat on her, Obama can get away with any cockamamie lie he wants to put out. I think a lot of people are blaming Obama's disastrous policies on incompetence. That might be a small part of it, but I think the majority of his horrible policies are actually accomplishing exactly what he wants. Read a little about Rev. Wright's church and look at what Obama lets slip now and then. You know stuff like "punish our enemies" when talking to Latino voters. "You didn't build that" when talking about small business, etc., etc. A lot of the misery Obama has and is inflicting is, I believe, intentional. In other words "America's chickens are coming home to roost".
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I didn' know that ACA madates and redirections would bankrupt and shut down private heath care companes and that we'd need to bail them out".
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
I didn't know Bill Ayers, he was just some guy from the neighborhood.

I didn't know my Social Security card was issued in a state in which I never lived.

I didn't know that a lecturer was not a professor.

I didn't know "Frank" from my autobiography was Frank Marshall Davis of the CPUSA.

I didn't know the New Party was a Socialist network.

I didn't know anyone at Columbia.

I didn't know that editors of law reviews wrote scholarly articles.

I didn't know that my campaign shut off the security system for credit card contributions.

I didn't know that unions were given illegal preferences in GM bankruptcy cases.

I didn't know Solyndra's sweetheart deal came after they were already nearly bankrupt.

I didn't know there has been no global warming for the past 17 years.

I didn't know that Robert Malley went to meet secretly with Hamas.

I didn't know that Winston's bust had been returned.

I didn't know there is no income verification in Obamacare.

I didn't know there was no security system built into Obamacare.

Tell me when I reach the max on my plausible deniability card.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Richard Nixon was at least an experienced politician and negotiator. Barack Obama is neither, and whatever he doesn't know in the future is going to be very bad for us.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
What do you suppose the president will not know next?

Iran got the bomb, I didn't know they were so close.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
My fear is that the next thing he won't know about will be something that gets a lot of Americans killed. We still have three years of this administration, and that's a loooong time to stumble from disaster to SHINY! to debacle to SQUIRREL! to terrorist attack to minor social media/reality show kerfluffle to God only knows.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ignorant or deceitful?
That is the question...
I Blame the Malfeasant Media for failure to Vet.
Even a cursory examination raised a host of Red Flags.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Neither ignorant nor deceitful, EVIL !
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I didn't know the Republicans would be able to sabotage your healthcare. Sorry to hear about grandma."
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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