A year into the Syrian civil war, President Obama made an off-the-cuff remark regarding chemical weapons. He said:
We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.
If “whole bunches” of things “being utilized” or maybe just “moving around” changing his “equation” counts as being “very clear,” I’d hate to see what ambiguity would have looked like. But none of that matters, because everybody knew Obama wasn’t being serious, because the very next day his aids leaked that the president might not have really meant the things he’d sort-of said. Obama wanted the appearance of seriousness, I think he thought he appeared to be serious, but there was no actual seriousness to be found anywhere in the president’s general vicinity.
A serious president, after being so very clearly unredisambiguous, would have gone to the UN. He would have gone to our allies. He would have built up support with the American people. He would have done something other than issuing a promise to maybe look into things after the first known chemical attack, months ago. Instead he waited until a second or third attack, this one big enough to kill nearly 1,500 people, a third of them children. And what did he do? Apparently, Obama called up Britain and France because, hey, that’s what American presidents do. And France’s Hollande said “oui” and Britain’s Cameron said, “I want to come over and play but mom won’t let me.”
Russia and China said ain’t nothin’ is gonna happen at the UN.
Obama says he’s going to go to Congress with this urgent issue, just as soon as they come back from recess in a week. He made this announcement on the Saturday of a holiday weekend when college football began. This followed the announcement that his own secretary of State, John Kerry, made on the Friday afternoon of a holiday weekend, signaling that the bombing would almost certainly begin within days.
An American president just indicated he was going to war, had the authority to go to war, needed to go to war right away, but that he would have to ask Congress first, and also, “Hey, guys — where’d everybody go?”
The American people yawned, if they witnessed this goat rodeo at all, then went back to beer and football. The rest of the world went wide-eyed and covered their mouths with their hands in embarrassment.
If you’ll pardon my language, I have a simple message for the president of the United States of America.
They can’t follow if you won’t lead, a**hole.
Now, I’ve said a lot of nasty things about our last three presidents. A lot of nasty things. But I don’t think I’ve ever been tempted to personally address any of them as “a**hole.” Not until today. Not until witnessing the most embarrassing and embarrassingly public performance by a world leader on the world stage. Monica Lewinsky could have been giving Bill Clinton a blowjob right there at the podium during the State of the Union address, in front of all the cameras, and it still wouldn’t have been as air-suckingly horrific as the low-rent Vaudeville act we’ve watched Obama and Kerry put on these last few days. Because in the Clinton-Lewinsky scenario I just described, at least the president is the one getting serviced, instead of dropping trou, bending over, and giving the whole world an invitation to do whatever — because, “You know, whatever. It’s only foreign policy. It’s not like it’s something important, like giving public money away to some buddies of mine who just swear they can build a magic car battery.”
During Dick Nixon’s impeachment hearings, the question was, “What did the president know, and when did he know it?” Turned out, Nixon knew plenty, and knew it all quite early enough to get him driven out of the White House. With Obama the question is, “WTF? I mean WTeffingF? Doesn’t this a**hole know anything?” And the answer is no, and yet we’re still stuck with this SCoaMF for three and a half more years.
I’m sure the republic will survive. But I’m not sure we’ll recover unless the next president is Ronald Reagan crossed with Chuck Norris crossed with George Patton crossed with Jesus.
And even then, would the birthers have a field day with that guy.