Ed Driscoll

Sleepwalking Through History

P.J. O’Rourke quipped in early January of 2009, “Is it too soon to talk about the failed Obama presidency just because Obama isn’t president yet?” But at the end of the year, with plenty of benchmarks established, Hugh Hewitt declares it official:


President Obama’s year of blunders is ending with the worst failure yet by the president and his team: An Islamist terrorist penetrated the United States and came very close to perpetrating the greatest mass-casualty attack within the U.S. since 9/11.

The president’s first year in office has been marked by a string of pratfalls.

President Obama’s massive stimulus didn’t.

His hasty takeover of GM didn’t restore confidence in the brand or faith in the company’s executive team or future.

Obamacare has failed to persuade even 40 percent of the American people of its merits and depends upon the enthusiasm of such brilliant lights as Barbara Boxer, Al Franken and Bernie Sanders to pass.

The president’s rhetoric about restraining spending has been washed away in a flood of red ink far vaster than all that has gone before it. And despite this profligate hemorrhaging of money the country doesn’t have, unemployment is in the double digits and key industries like home building remain moribund.

His repeated appeals to the radical mullahs of Iran have not only failed to initiate any sort of constructive engagement, but a year into his “new diplomacy” the radical Islamists atop the power structure in Tehran are mowing down dissidents in the streets.

And now at least one foreign-born terrorist has breached American security — despite a specific warning given by the terrorist’s father to American officials six months ago — only weeks after the worst act of a domestic Islamist terror since the war began.

The president is abandoning Iraq, and his dithering on Afghanistan has started a necessary surge but attached an expiration date to it.

Perhaps the close call over the approach to Detroit will wake up the responsible members of the president’s party, and perhaps they will ask for a meeting in which they can lay out the obvious truths:

The president should spend more time and effort helping the CIA stop terrorists abroad than pursuing investigations into CIA personnel who have kept us safe in the past.

The president should stop spending so much time and effort to remove terrorists from Gitmo and to arranging their trial in New York and their imprisonment in Illinois and spend much more time arranging for more terrorists to spend more time in Gitmo’s secure confines.

The president should spend less time in Copenhagen seeking Olympic games and global warming fame and more time at home demanding more vigilance from his woeful Homeland Security staff.

And the president should spend more time encouraging and consulting with our allies like Great Britain and Israel than pleading with our enemies in Iran and North Korea for breakthroughs that will not come.

2009 is the worst year for a president since 1978, which began with Jimmy Carter standing by paralyzed as the Ayatollah Khomeini seized power in Iran and ended as Jimmy Carter stood paralyzed as the Soviets invaded Afghanistan.


I’m sure that some court stenographers journalists at Newsweek are still in agreement with Evan Thomas that President Obama is “sort of God.” But perhaps, like Neil Armstrong rediscovering the heretofore missing “a” from his moon landing speech, others at that august publication might wish to declare Obama simply “sort of a god”, and revise where their god, second coming of Caesar, Lincoln, FDR, JFK sits in the pantheon.

Update: What to expect from the left next year? As with the past two years, the race card, and plenty of it, Victor Davis Hanson writes:

Such a strange phenomenon—as Obama’s polls dive, and the voters begin to see that the centrist moderate, whom they thought in 2008 that they were voting for, is in truth an ideologue, his supporters are reduced to calling critics “racialists.” That is the blueprint for 2010.

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