Idiocy AND Ideology? What Really Drives Obama?

In his unfortunate “robot” debate in New Hampshire, Marco Rubio raised the great mystery about the Obama presidency: are the many catastrophes of the past seven years the results of incompetence, or, as Rubio insisted, does the president know “exactly what he’s doing”?

Right now, there is a solid consensus that Obama is out of his depth, a consensus you can easily see in the stock market, in the big votes for “socialism” a la Bernie Sanders, from European allies (notably France), and from enemies like Iran, where the regime reenacted the capture of American sailors, quite literally a dramatic demonstration of Iran’s contempt for the United States.

So is it idiocy or, as Rubio claims, the systematic, perhaps even brilliant, implementation of a well-elaborated world view?

I don’t think we will know the answer for sure until the Obama archives become public. That is, IF they become public. Remember we still do not have his college transcript!

Still, we’ve got the speeches and we’ve got the actions or inactions. We know that Obama has a very negative view of America’s past international actions, and there can be little doubt that he determined to do two basic things: limit American power, and prevent America from meddling in the outside world. That’s ideological, isn’t it? Indeed, Obama was, and is, bound and determined to reverse America’s alliances, dumping or diminishing traditional allies and embracing longstanding enemies. The biggest examples of the former are Israel and Egypt (with a bit of rancor for the Saudis on the side); the big embraces are Cuba and Iran.

So I think Rubio is right to call Obama’s foreign policy “ideological.” Ditto for various domestic campaigns, the funding of “green” businesses, the IRS persecution of conservative foundations and donors, the demonization of police, and his abrupt about-face on gay marriage. Standard-issue leftist causes, the stock and trade of our current educational system. Ideology again.

But that does not save the president from legitimate criticisms of incompetence and even idiocy. The Iran policy is the magnum opus. If Obama was so determined to forge an alliance with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the worst way to do it was the one he chose: running after the Iranians like a lovelorn teenager, offering no end of presents, never saying no to Iranian demands, and not even insisting that the deal be formalized. To this day, neither we nor the Iranians have signed any agreement, which has the effect of maintaining pressure on Obama to keep Khamenei happy, lest the supreme leader walk away from the deal.