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Monday, September 30, 2013
Obama is childish in his attempts to handle challenges By Michael
Goodwin NY Post
Anybody wanting to lampoon the Obama presidency is out of luck — there is no way to top the real thing. From being outmaneuvered by Russia to erasing red lines in Syria and getting snubbed by Iran, September was the cruelest month.
That’s only half the bad news. For as small as the president looked abroad, he looked downright childish at home.
He is following his failure to negotiate successfully on the world stage with a refusal to negotiate at all at home. His message to Republicans on both the debt ceiling and ObamaCare is the same: nyet, nyet.
Call him confused about who the enemy is.
The dynamic is startling. The more the world pushes Barack Obama around, the more he pushes back at home. It reminds me of a Mort Sahl joke from the Cold War: Every time the Soviets lock up an American, we retaliate by locking up an American.
And so Vladimir Putin and his evil spawn in Syria and Iran can mess with Obama all day long, but House Speaker John Boehner can’t get the time of day from him.
Our president is Caesar here and Chamberlain there. That is the real Obama Doctrine.
It’s no way to run a superpower, but then that is the point. It is inconceivable that Obama is as incompetent as he looks.
It has to be intentional.
Seen that way, the method to his madness is frighteningly clear. His abdication of global leadership is a direct corollary to his continuing expansion of the domestic state apparatus. No matter the world crisis, it takes a back seat, if it’s even allowed on the bus.
The stirring rhetoric about Assad being the new Hitler after he used chemical weapons came and went as though it was just a misunderstanding. In a flash, we became his partner in pretending that he’s going to surrender those weapons. Maybe the Butcher of Damascus will put a puppy under every Christmas tree, too.
Iran’s mad mullahs must get a hoot out of toying with our president. They kill our soldiers, export terrorism and threaten to nuke Israel, and our response is to grovel for talks. Obama plays the Washington Generals to their Harlem Globetrotters.
Back at home, each day brings more debt, more regulations on industry and more crackdowns on American institutions and individuals that buck the administration. Last week alone, coal-fired plants and JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon both learned that Obama is their boss, and don’t forget it.
The ObamaCare mess is especially telling. Most Americans still don’t want it and although there are obvious problems with key elements, Obama refuses to consider legislative changes.
He pushes executive power beyond the envelope to delay provisions and grant waivers, implementing the law at his leisure. But the bipartisan group of 75 senators who want to eliminate the medical-device tax because it’s a job and innovation killer can’t get a hearing.
Too slowly but surely, the public is growing wise. Polls show Obama underwater on every major issue, including the economy, the debt and foreign policy. Gallup finds his approval stands at 44 percent, against 49 percent disapproval.
Here’s a finding that must drive him nuts. A Reason-Rupe poll asked people to compare Obama’s handling of foreign policy to George W. Bush’s. The results: 32 percent preferred Obama, 32 percent preferred Bush and 32 percent said they were the same.
Those numbers say Dear Leader is on a path to early lame-duckhood, which explains his choice to finish the week. The “have TelePrompTer, will travel” president hit the road to be with his base — a college crowd.
The rainbow props of cheering adolescents laughed as he made fun of Republicans and nodded approval as he stretched truth past the breaking point. He accused the GOP of trying to “blackmail” him and basked in the students’ adoration.
Meanwhile, Russia, Iran and Syria safely plot their next moves against America.
Old leftist de Blah, Blah, Blah
For a supposed fresh face, Bill de Blasio sure spins old yarn. After a week of news dominated by his affinity for dictators in Cuba, Africa and Nicaragua, the Democrat’s campaign is hiding behind partisan talking points.
“Tea Party extremists” are “planning to spend whatever it takes to stop this campaign for progressive change,” a de Blasio e-mail says. “The right-wing extremists have literally sued so they can take bigger checks from ultra-conservative billionaires like the Koch brothers to launch attack ads against our progressive values.”
Blah, blah, blah. The use of liberal buzz words is so promiscuous that they crash into each other — “extremists” (twice), “right-wing” . . . “ultra-conservative billionaires” . . . “the Koch brothers” . . . “progressive” (twice).
It is a focus-group-tested code designed to get hard-core libs to open their wallets and “show these Tea Partiers you mean it.”
Mean what? That you, like de Blasio, don’t want to talk about the crushing tax burden on New York’s middle class? That you, like de Blasio, are afraid to talk about the disproportionate involvement of nonwhites in violent crime?
His big poll lead obscures the fact that de Blasio got just 40 percent of the 20 percent of registered Democrats who voted. Thus, he pulled 8 percent of registered Dems.
He did it with a message that was clear as fog. His vow to fight “inequality” and “social injustice” is the local version of Hope & Change. And rather than put meat on the bones now, he is trying to run out the clock, with few public appearances.
He might get away with it — but only if New Yorkers let him.
Why TLC’s in need of a tune-up
When a crazed cabby crashed in Midtown and severed the foot of a British tourist in August, I asked why the cabby was behind the wheel when the nine points on his license should have meant automatic suspension.
Now we get the answer: a computer glitch. At least that’s the excuse from the Taxi and Limousine Commission, which claims a snafu caused officials to miss suspending as many as 4,500 other cabbies with similar records, going back to 2010.
So the computers didn’t update for three years — and nobody at the TLC noticed? That’s a human glitch.
Of course, admitting that would require admitting the agency’s role in turning streets into a demolition derby. Better to just blame the computers.
Oppressed by the press
Cementing his reputation as the world’s crankiest billionaire, Mayor Bloomberg threatened to stop having press conferences because he doesn’t like reporters’ questions. He called them irrelevant, illegitimate and dumb.
As the owner of a media organization, Bloomberg should have known there are no dumb questions, only dumb answers.
As he proved.
When political $$ fools rush in
The news that Eliot Spitzer and John Catsimatidis spent $10 million each while losing their party primaries illustrates one of Mother’s warnings: “A fool and his money are soon parted.”