By Quin Hillyer
SEPTEMBER 1, 2014 4:00 AM
Just resign already. Go. Be gone. Vamoose. Get out of our lives. More important: Stop endangering all of us with your self-indulgent vacations and self-absorbed dithering, along with unconstitutional domestic power plays while the whole world burns.
Barack Obama already is derelict in his duties as commander in chief. He ought to abdicate and just step off his self-made throne.
Knowledgeable people were calling for Obama to begin air strikes against the Islamic State barbarians months before Obama could rouse himself to admit that the brutes were something other than “jayvee” terrorists. Because he didn’t, thousands of innocents died, villages were razed, churches were destroyed, thousands more were left homeless, and vast swaths of territory were lost to purveyors of pure, unadulterated evil.
And now, after several years of the Islamic State rising, after half a year of its being obvious that the Islamic State is a new sort of threat, after a couple of months of vicious terror of a sort even this troubled modern world has rarely seen, and after the Islamic State beheaded an American journalist on camera, we have a man pretending to be president who tells the world that the leaders of the globe’s most powerful nation still “don’t have a strategy yet” for the situation.
Meanwhile, Russia invades the sovereign nation of Ukraine. Barack Obama can’t even bring himself to acknowledge that it’s an invasion, much less do anything effective about it. But we can’t say we weren’t warned that Obama would be so compliant with Putin: It was in March 2012, speaking on an open mic to Russian apparatchik-cum-president Dmitry Medvedev, that Obama promised, “After my election, I have more flexibility.” Little did Ukraine know that such “flexibility” would include turning a blind eye to the loss of major parts of its own territory. The West has not even provided military aid to help Ukraine defend itself.
Kiev might be in Ukraine, but the chicken is in the White House.
Even worse than his failure to help a sovereign nation stand up to a bully is Obama’s betrayal of another ally, one of our most crucial partners on the world stage — Israel. But that’s what Obama and his pompous secretary of state, John Kerry, have done with relation to Israel, on multiple counts. First Kerry had the gall to threaten Israel with boycotts if his own ill-advised “peace talks” met with failure, as they were certain to do, given how poorly conceived they were. What Kerry called “peace” amounted to Israeli abandonment of the Jordan Valley and establishment of an Arab capital in East Jerusalem, though both arrangements would be scandalously dangerous for Israel’s security. Then, while Israel was being bombarded with thousands of Hamas rockets, an Obama-Kerry spokesman had the temerity to label an Israeli response “disgraceful,” and “totally unacceptable and totally indefensible.” Perhaps Kerry and his morally bankrupt mouthpiece might themselves want to spend time in Ashkelon or Beersheba during a Hamas rocket attack — maybe in the middle of the night, when sleep makes it difficult to respond to sirens in time to seek adequate shelter.
As Israel achieves the unprecedented — and encouraging — status of a tacit alliance with Egypt, Jordan, other “moderate” Arab states, and even (to some degree) Saudi Arabia, leave it to the Obamites to demand the intercession of terrorist-supporting Turkey and Qatar. This isn’t misguided; it’s depraved.
Israel warns that Iran is processing uranium that can be used only for bombs and developing missiles specifically usable for nuclear-bomb delivery, the ayatollahs continue to repeat their assertion that the United States is the Great Satan, and Obama’s response . . . is to relax sanctions on Iran. Amazingly, the administration is even playing footsie with Iran as a possible “ally” against the Islamic State in Iraq. This is jaw-droppingly inane, if not insane.
But it’s not only the security of allies that Obama endangers. His deliberate creation of an ever-more-porous southern border is allowing criminals in by the score, or maybe by the hundreds, alongside, almost assuredly, terrorists as well.
Obama, though, keeps whining and dining and vacationing and playing golf, with his weak-looking swing, either oblivious or indifferent to the dangers to which he is subjecting Americans.
Even if one assumes that our supposedly earth-healing president has the best of intentions rather than a mere desire for power and a deep animus against anyone who disagrees with him — not necessarily a reasonable assumption at this point — his record is one of astonishing ineptness. Everything he does creates disaster. Obamacare is deeply unpopular as it forces premiums through the roof, raises multiple taxes, severely harms important industries, fails to process claims and enrollments, narrows patient choices, forces consumers from their preferred plans and doctors, and adds hundreds of billions of dollars to the national debt.
The economy continues on its path of the slowest “recovery” since World War II, Obama’s “stimulus” never having stimulated a thing (other than more debt) — largely because, as Obama admitted, in a joking tone, “shovel-ready wasn’t as shovel-ready as we expected.”
Obama promised a politics of reconciliation but has produced only more division. He promised transparency, only to run an administration of such deliberate secrecy that even a lapdog media feels compelled to lodge a formal protest. He promised racial harmony, only to join a corrupt attorney general in exacerbating racial tensions again and again. He promised to elevate political discourse but instead ran one of the most vicious reelection campaigns in memory, while repeatedly, throughout his presidency, attacking the patriotism and basic decency of his adversaries.
Food-stamp use is way up; the percentage of the work force currently employed remains at or near record lows. Energy costs, especially for gasoline, have skyrocketed since his first inauguration. Disaster relief has been bungled (or worse). And, of course, religious freedoms are constantly under assault, while political enemies are harassed and discriminated against by a corrupt IRS.
Scandals abound: Fast and Furious; the New Black Panthers, Benghazi; the NSA’s domestic spying; the IRS; mistreated inspectors general; race-based “justice.” Cover-ups aplenty; contempt of court; judicial smackdowns galore: The list goes on.
But all Obama can do, when he is not greatly exacerbating whatever problem he chooses to create, is retreat further into his princeling world, hobnobbing with the rich and famous, shifting blame to everyone else, and acting as if somehow he wafts above the ordinary world of politics that in truth he has done so much to pollute.
Rather than leading from behind — an absurdity — he should leave behind the office that seems alternately to annoy and bore him. Let Joe Biden take responsibility; at least Biden engages rather than withdraws when the going gets tough.
Somebody needs to say it to his face: Barack Obama is the worst president, by far, since at least the Civil War. For the love of God, man, go away.
— Quin Hillyer is a contributing editor for National Review. Follow him on Twitter: @QuinHillyer.