I get loads of quasi-hate mail about questioning Obama’s candidacy and governance. But I am worried, not about Obama, or the politics of governance, but about the nation itself. The media has forsaken us. But after only two weeks we are in a crisis stage of confidence, and the story is spiraling by the hour out of control. I write here not to score points, but to warn readers that this is all very serious. Obama is our President, and we must hope he does something fast to save his administration from general ridicule that will incur real dangers for all of us abroad.
Again, anyone who cares about the US, at home and overseas, must be worried, very worried, about the disastrous last two weeks. Even the fawning media–that is responsible in some way for the crisis, given that they chose to be Pravda-like in encouraging the messianic style that got a haughty Obama in his present mess–will soon start bailing in efforts to restore their last fides. If a Dick Morris figure does not come to the rescue soon, Obama’s soaring rhetoric of hope and change will become the stuff of Leno/Letterman and general laughter. Bush was unfairly demonized, but no one abroad thought he was predictably soft and would be so-so about protecting US interests, or that his words and his deeds would be so often in direct antithesis.
What happened? Count the ways, and then let us see what might be done pronto!
I. Obama claimed a new moral high ground, and the media seconded that. But nothing in his career—his failed congressional race, the divorce disclosures of his two Senate primary and general rivals, Rezko, Wright, Blago advisor, Ayers, etc.—had ever suggested he had on a single occasion challenged prevailing norms in efforts to raise the ethical bar.
Instead he was allowed to blather on about heaven on earth, while he was by needs governing from the corrupt cesspool of DC lawyers and lobbyists. So we got the worst of both worlds: the most exalted ethical rhetoric ever, and the greatest ethical lapses of any incipient administration in memory. Over 10 lobbyists now appointed. Consider further: Richardson (nuff said), Holder (helped to pardon a most wanted fugitive), Lynn (Raytheon lobbyist now at Defense), Killefer (sloppy taxes; she’s gone), Geithner (tax dodger), Daschle (would have been a tax felon had he been one of us), Rangel (blank check both to write and break our tax laws), Dodd and Frank (exemptions for ethical lapses at the eye of the financial storm).
There are still the Blago tapes and the fears that Prosecutor Fitzgerald short-circuited the investigation in recognition that once Team Obama started turning up horse-trading on tape they had to be warned to desist. The full release of those transcripts will either confirm or belie that fear—and Blago is sinisterly brilliant and eager for revenge.
II. Then there were the inflated lectures on historic foreign policy to be made by the clumsy political novice who trashed his own country and his predecessor in the most ungracious manner overseas to a censured Saudi-run press organ (e.g., Bush is dictatorial, the Saudi king is courageous; Obama can mend bridges that America broke to aggrieved Muslims [apparently Teheran hostages, Rushdie, serial attacks in the 1990s, 9/11, Madrid, London never apparently occurred, and neither did feeding Somalis, saving Kuwait, protesting Chechnya, Bosnia/Kosovo, billions to Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinians, help in two Afghan wars, and on and on]). It is always dangerous to suggest that ‘America then bad, America now good’—the former gives bad guys talking points, the latter reason to try something stupid.