The Obama Watch

The Obama Watch

Leadership We Don’t Need

By 9.24.14

The one issue on which Obama is not leading the world from behind is climate change. He usually recommends that global problems be approached cautiously. The motto of his foreign policy is: “Don’t Do Stupid Stuff.” But on matters environmental, his policy is to do plenty of stupid stuff. He is bound and determined to lead from the front on climate change, which translates into damaging America’s economy while China, India, and Russia, among other powers, ignite theirs.

Top officials from these powers aren’t bothering to attend this week’s United Nations event on climate change, as they have no intention of following Obama’s lead. Strangling jobs and businesses for the sake of a trendy theory is seen by them as a Western luxury. As Obama prides himself on stunting economic growth in pursuit of a phantom solution to climate change, China sprints ahead of the American economy.

The leaders of most developing countries can see that the assertion of catastrophic climate change and the solution proposed for its elimination are both equally unconvincing. They know that they can’t control the weather but that they can control poverty within their countries.

Send to Kindle

The Obama Watch

Only Obama Thinks Wars Are Always Optional

By 9.23.14

Some pundits are saying that President Obama has been floundering in his response to the ISIS crisis because public opinion polls show most Americans don’t want another war.

In all my 84 years, I cannot recall a time when most Americans wanted war. That is something we should be proud of. But wars are not always optional.

Even World War II — which some have called “the good war” — was not something that most Americans wanted. But the Japanese took that decision out of our hands when they bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. And Hitler removed any possible doubt when he declared war on us shortly afterward, making sure that we were in the war all over the world.

No one has promoted the dangerous notion that war is optional more than Barack Obama. He declared peace in Iraq when he pulled American troops out, and he declared victory over al Qaeda because his administration had killed bin Laden (with an assist from the Navy SEALS). But all this make-believe has come back to haunt him, as make-believe often does.

Send to Kindle

The Obama Watch

Obama at the Gates of Vienna

By 9.16.14

Barack Obama is at the Gates of Vienna. But America is not at war with Islam! Got that? As a matter of fact, all those ISIS (or ISIL) people cutting off heads in those videos? They aren’t Islamic at all, according to President Obama:

Now let's make two things clear: ISIL is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL's victims have been Muslim....ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple. And it has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way.

Never mind that the beheaders have dropped the “In Syria” or “In the Levant” and simply refer to all their accumulated turf — now the size of Great Britain — as just “IS” as in “Islamic State.” Or that they may have as much as $2 billion in stolen assets.

Send to Kindle

The Obama Watch

Obama’s Spin Can’t Keep Up With America’s Economic Reality

By 9.12.14

At a Labor Day rally in Milwaukee, President Obama turned the limelight on himself, approvingly and inaccurately.

“By almost every measure,” he declared, “the American economy and the American workers are better off than when I took office.”

In contrast to Mr. Obama’s self-congratulatory assertion, the Census Bureau reports that median household income in the United States, adjusted for inflation, is down by more than $2,000 since Obama’s first inauguration in January 2009.

Additionally, as an indicator of the economic downturn, a sixth of the U.S. population is currently receiving food stamps, an increase in the participation rate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program of 61 percent since 2008.

Rep. Kevin Brady, (R-TX), chairman of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, summarized the U.S. economy’s subpar recovery several months ago, in May: “Our economy has a real GDP growth gap of $1.5 trillion in this recovery compared with the average of other post-1960 recoveries. And that has left us with a private-sector jobs gap from the end of the recession of 5.7 million jobs.”

Send to Kindle

The Obama Watch

Obama, Woodrow Wilson, and Foreign Policy Failure

By 9.11.14

Obama’s foreign policy failures have created uncanny parallels with Woodrow Wilson’s administration. Obama has been compared to many previous Democrats, but now is threatened with seeing his presidency staked on foreign policy, just as Wilson’s was. Separated by almost a century, Obama must hope his administration does not suffer the same fate as his predecessor’s.

Foreign policy did not figure prominently in Wilson’s early agenda. Elected only by virtue of Republicans’ presidential self-destruction, he focused on domestic policy. Abroad, his goal was to keep America out of foreign entanglements — particularly WWI, after 1914. He narrowly won reelection in 1916 on the slogan “He kept us out of war.”

When finally dragged into WWI, he aimed for an evenhanded outcome based on his Fourteen Points. Despite late entry, he sought a primary role in the peace. He felt ownership over the Treaty of Versailles, and staked everything — politically and personally — on its ratification. His ultimate failure cost Wilson not only his administration, but his health and nearly his life.

Send to Kindle

The Obama Watch

Obama Does Have a Strategy: Bury the Bad News

By 9.9.14

Those people who say that President Obama has no clear vision and no clear strategy for dealing with the ISIS terrorists in the Middle East may be mistaken. It seems to me that he has a very clear and very consistent strategy. And a vision behind that strategy.

First the strategy — which is to get each crisis off the front pages and off television news programs as quickly as he can, in whatever way he can, at the lowest political cost. Calling ISIS a junior varsity months ago accomplished that goal.

Saying before the 2012 elections that “bin Laden is dead” and that terrorism was defeated accomplished the goal of getting reelected.

Ineffective sanctions against Iran and Russia likewise serve a clear purpose. They serve to give the illusion that Obama is doing something that will stop Iran from getting nuclear bombs and stop Russia from invading Ukraine.

Send to Kindle

The Obama Watch

CEOs Critique Obama

By 9.5.14

Bernie Marcus co-founded Home Depot in 1978, a bad economic time of rising unemployment, accelerating inflation and Jimmy Carter’s downhearted feelings of malaise.

Home Depot prospered, but in an interview with Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) in July 2011, the third year of Obama’s presidency, Marcus said the company wouldn’t have survived if it was launched in 2011 because of the federal government’s overblown and ever-increasing regulations.

At the time of the interview, the official July 2011 unemployment rate was 9.1 percent, with 13.9 million people unemployed and a labor participation rate (the percentage of the civilian non-institutional working-age population who are in the labor force) in decline, dropping by 193,000 people in July 2011 alone.

Here are several of the interview’s highlights:

IBD: “What’s the single biggest impediment to job growth today?”

Send to Kindle

The Obama Watch

Obama’s False Comfort

By 9.3.14

Speaking at a Democratic Party fundraiser recently, President Obama downplayed the threat that eruptions of Islamic terrorism and turmoil abroad pose to America. “This is not something that is comparable to the challenges we faced during the Cold War,” he said.

Given the complacency of this view, it is no wonder that he doesn’t “have a strategy yet” on combating ISIS in Syria. As jihadists behead and kidnap Americans, as they torch consulates and seize embassy compounds, Obama is still clinging to his 2012 campaign theme of terrorists “on the run.”

Americans, if anything, are probably nostalgic for the Cold War. At least that one was cold. This one against radical Islam is decidedly hot. The fanaticism of radical Islam makes the evil empire of the Soviet Union look almost lethargic.

Send to Kindle

The Obama Watch

Democrats’ Wishful Thinking

By 8.28.14

Democrats are engaging in wishful thinking by claiming Republicans want Obama impeached. Democrats’ reality is that they are stuck with Obama. He has become their biggest political liability, which is only likely to get worse. The only thing that can save them is a Republican misstep.

Obama is down across the board — on policy, politically, and personally. Public perception of his policy has always been Obama’s greatest weakness and it has only gotten worse. On health care, the economy, immigration, and foreign policy — all today’s big issues — Obama’s job performance polls extremely poorly.

Unsurprisingly, Obama’s political performance is suffering accordingly. His job performance is at or near his presidency’s lows in most polls. The public appears to have reached a tipping point regarding his administration’s basic competency.

Even personally the president is suffering. Obama’s saving grace has been that people liked him, even as they disliked his policies. Now while they dislike his policies more than ever, they appear to like him less than ever. Obama’s “likability” appears gone.

Send to Kindle

The Obama Watch

HELP WANTED at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

By 8.25.14

Suddenly, America is sick and tired of Barack Obama. He has become an embarrassment and, worse than that, a threat to the personal security and peace of mind of American citizenry as a whole. It is all too obvious that he is not up to the task of being captain of the ship of state at a time of increasing peril.

So what to do about it?

Should he be impeached? If so, for what crime?

You can’t impeach him for the “crime” of frivolity — or the “crime” of excessive partying at fund-raising junkets with his Hollywood pals during national emergencies.

You can’t impeach him for the “crime” of poor judgment — thinking back to the decision he made in June to release five Taliban commanders in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, an alleged deserter. He celebrated that “victory” by bringing Bergdahl’s parents to the White House and acting as though their son were a hero.

Send to Kindle