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What Game of Chess?

And what about American power and prestige?  “U.S. to increase military spending by more than 12% next year.” Oh, wait, not: that was China. In the U.S., the Hamas-loving secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, has just unveiled a plan to cut the military to pre-World War II levels.

We’ve come a long way from those pseudo-Greek columns in Colorado, when the half-black, first-term senator with a background in anti-American radicalism (Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers) and a patina of affirmative-action, Ivy-League glibness gave guilt-ridden leftists from Chris Matthews on down a pleasurable little tingle. The epicene smugness, the brutal contempt of anything that seemed like manliness or even conventional decency (just try using the word “decency” in polite, i.e., politically correct company: go ahead, try it) — the spell Obama cast swept all before him, the little squeaks of critics all-but-drowned-out by the narcissist cataract of “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

The oddest thing about the whole Obama entertainment is the discrepancy between serious-sounding rhetoric, on the one hand, and embarrassing incompetence on the other.  Search YouTube for a clip of Obama speechifying. It doesn’t much matter what speech: so long as he has his teleprompter and a text he actually sounds like a reasonable adult (I am not talking about the substance of his speeches, only the tone, the oratorical payload).  But step back and contemplate Obama’s performance these last 5 years: just think about what he has done to this country: to its wealth, its prestige on the world stage, its sense of security, domestic as well as international.  Amazing, isn’t it?

Like many of my colleagues, I thought Obama’s appalling first term — the economy, Benghazi, Obamacare, Fast and Furious, Trayvon Martin, “Green” non-energy, etc., etc. — I thought for sure that the electorate, like Hamlet’s Denmark, would be contracted in one brow of woe and vote the mountebank out. I was wrong.  But all around us a morality play is working itself, and it is looking more and more like something from Kipling’s “Gods of the Copybook Headings.”

They promised perpetual peace.

They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.

But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,

And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.

John Bolton is right: “Our Biggest National Security Problem is Barack Obama.” What’s happening in Crimea is only one piece of a much larger puzzle. Obama doesn’t even know there’s a game being played.  He certainly has no idea of the stakes involved. Meanwhile, Putin is just about to make another move: Qh5# — that’s  checkmate, mate.