Why Rice was sent out to tell implausible tales to the American people, rather than take to the United Nations and demand a united response against acts of savagery against the United States, is a question that the media has not asked. Rice is supposed to represent the United States at the world body, not play public relations on behalf of an administration in trouble. But nevertheless, she is an unconvincing liar and was obviously hopelessly out of her depth and out of touch last weekend, insisting that the attacks were due to a film rather than a continuation of the war waged by jihadists against the United States for decades. Both Rice and her boss, Hillary Clinton, consistently fail to understand the war we are in and must win if our way of life is to survive.

Rice and Clinton still have their jobs.

Perhaps all of these people retain their jobs because their boss has also failed to do his, and is in no position to hold anyone to account for anything. President Barack Obama, we learned last week in the midst of a jihadist hell week, has skipped out on more than half of his presidential daily briefings. These briefings are at the core of his main responsibility, which is not partying in front of a champagne fountain with Jay-Z, but keeping the nation secure. Rather than attend the intelligence briefings, he read bullet point summaries on his iPad. In so doing, he fails to get personal interaction with the intelligence professionals who analyze and assess threats to the United States.

He made this choice out of arrogance. Barack Obama believes he is a better writer than his speechwriters, and a better political operative than his political pros, and a smarter general than his generals. He believed it was unnecessary to hear more than the USA Today-style digest of the threats to America and her interests. He also believed it was more important to go for a puffball interview on David Letterman’s show, and meet with athletes and a fake pirate in the Oval Office, than meet face to face with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while that country faces the prospect of nuclear war with Iran. On Letterman’s show, Obama could not — would not, really — even recite the size of the US national debt. For Mr. Obama’s information, it’s $16 trillion and counting, more than five trillion of that piled up under his watch alone.

Had Obama skipped the silliness earlier than today, when he finally decided to jettison the iPad and attend real briefings, and taken the time to understand the nature and origin of the threats to America, he might have noticed that a certain date was approaching. He might have taken that warning from Cairo seriously. He might have ordered his secretary of state to beef up security. But he did not, and US embassies through the Islamic world are under attack, encouraged by his government staging a photo-op arrest on the weekend to tie the attacks to a film, not the global jihad. Obama assaulted the First Amendment rather than assault the terrorist who are assaulting America and leaving his own MidEast policy in ashes.

In order to find his lieutenants incompetent and worthy of firing, President Obama would first have to be competent himself. It is clear after the last week that he is not.

Barack Obama retains his job, at least until November 6.