Buyer's Remorse Among the Seniors

Bookworm has a very good piece up, wherein she wonders at how our president can run the gamut of emotional and intellecutal circuits, from A, as is Apathy, to umm…A, as in Anger.

Health care bill: Apathetic. (Yeah, it passed and, yeah, he made the talk show circuits, but he was a follower, not a leader on this one. The momentum came from the Democratic Congress.)

The Green Revolution in Iran:
Apathetic. (Obama had the opportunity to topple the Iranian government using the power of the Iranian people. Instead, after a prolonged silence, he damned the Iranian people with faint, frightened praise.)

The Gulf Oil Spill: Apathetic. (Notwithstanding his promise to find “some ass to kick” — a phrase that, with repetition, takes on weirdly homoerotic connotations, or is that just me? — Obama has done little. Alternatively, what little he’s done, has been obstructive or unconstitutional, without actually affecting that endless oil flow.)

The Iranian Nuclear Bomb: Apathetic. (Although that’s not quite true: when he’s not being frighteningly quiescent, he’s been working to water down sanctions against them. That goes beyond apathetic and veers into self-destructive, with America, the Middle East and Europe as the “self.”)

The cratering economy: Apathetic. (Obama is making noises about spending yet more of tax payer money to prop up his already disastrous plans, but he’s been remarkably passive about the whole thing, helped, perhaps, by a frightened Congress that is now pretending there is no budget at all.)

The Fort Hood Massacre: Apathetic. (“What Fort Hood massacre? But while we’re here, I’d like to give a shout out….”)

Read it all. You’ll feel no joy as you nod in agreement with this:

Obama will see McChrystal, not regarding how to win a war as to which Obama is commander-in-chief, but to give [General] McChrystal a dressing down because the latter hurt Obama’s witty-bitty fweeings. We don’t have a man in the White House. We have a giant ego, unattached to morals, intelligence, strategic skills or anything else useful.

As CIC, Obama has no choice but to dress-down McChrystal, but her point is still valid. As many noted yesterday:

The President had time to read a Rolling Stone article that made him “angry”, but admits he didn’t have time to read the Arizona Immigration law.

At the end of her piece, Bookworm writes,

My Mom told that that her retirement community which, judging by lapel pins back in November 2008, went 80-90% for Obama, is having buyer’s remorse. They say that they had such high hopes for him, and he’s been such a disappointment. I tell her that we in the conservative community were a large, howling pack of Cassandras, desperately trying to get the truth out there — and we were roundly, and soundly, ignored.

She also told me that the residents were so willing to give him a chance, “hoping he’d grow on the job.”

I had exactly the same conversation yesterday with my 74 year-old MIL and her friends. “Yes, you did tell us,” they all said. “It’s too late, now…he’ll have to grow into the job.”

I have always believed that the Oval Office calls forth from the people within it the strengths and gifts they perhaps do not even know they possess, that the office is its own hothouse, forcing growth. But I don’t see Obama growing, or learning from his mistakes. Bush used to get criticized for being “stubborn” and for being too slow to change gears when something was not working, but Obama was supposed to be a bazillion times better, more reasonable, more intelligent and more commanding than Bush. Yet Obama does not shift, or try new approaches, or let go of ideas he sees the nation rejecting. He just doubles down, like a community organizer who never learned how to think beyond his own agenda, and says “Yes, you will; yes, I can.”

That is not the hallmark of great leadership in a democratic republic. It is, in fact, the opposite of great leadership. And then there are the increasing ironies of recent history.

If Obama is going to grow into the office, I hope he begins, soon; he needs it, and we do, too. No one who loves the country can take any pleasure in watching him flail.

Related:
The Fed Seems Determined to Let the Gulf Die
Business Leaders say Obama’s policies stifle growth
House Democrats punt budget; a sign they cannot govern
Merkel Tells Obama to Get With the Program
A Call to End Automatic Congressional Pay Raises
Ending the Internet?
New Home Sales Plunge 33%

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • EJHill

    The problem with replacing Gen. McChrystal is that Obama has already sacked one Afghanistan commander in Gen. David McKiernan. He was the first war time general sacked since MacArthur. (When William Westmoreland was forced out of Vietnam, LBJ kicked him up, not out.)

    To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, to lose one general may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness.

  • James

    I used to think that Liberals/Progressives operated with good intentions but without the wisdom to understand the unintended consequences of their actions. Not anymore. The current administration IS trying to destroy the economy so that bull-blown Communism can take over.

  • Bill

    Military leaders know that they are not free to openly criticize civilian leadership until they retire.

  • http://jscafenette.com Jeanette

    Obama is not now, never was, and never will be a leader.

    Saying he’s another Jimmy Carter is an insult to Carter. Coming from me that’s a mouthful!

  • EJHill

    Bill – They know this BUT… i think that there are times when a Commander believes that his civilian bosses have become so tone deaf and are needlessly endangering the lives of his troops that he feels he needs to do something in a very public way. McChrystal falls on his sword and hopes the administration listens and give the next commander what he wants.

  • Sandra

    interesting since the Rolling Store article printed out to be 14 pages on my printer, and the AZ law was 8 pages.

  • Jeff

    We are now officially in the Obama Depression. The economy is stagnant (with higher taxes on the way, which will make it worse), we are rudderless in Afghanistan, and generally are feeling little hope about the future. This does remind me of the Carter era and like that, I’m sure we’ll pull out of this at some point.

  • Cromagnum

    1) If anyone thinks that McChrystal was so alone, or should be silent about voicing doubts about the WH, why is there a surge in membership at OathKeepers?

    2) Did anyone require the RS to be there with the General? Who authorized the initial meeting, and who allowed the 30 day open interview?

    3) Did the WH have any input or direction about the story in RS? If there was real meat vs. the WH, did that make the newsrag?

  • nohype1

    Reading Geoge Weigel’s Witness to Hope I found this on page 210: ” Henry Kissinger believes it to be ‘an illusion…that leaders gain in profundity while they gain experience.’ High office, because of its endless demands on the officeholder, is an occasion to spend down rather than build up intellectual capital.” In other words, people rarely grow on the job when the job is something as intense as the presidency. If he is wrong, then we should find presidents who were much more capable in their second terms than in their first. Can you think of any?

  • Bill

    “Bill – They know this BUT… i think that there are times when a Commander believes that his civilian bosses have become so tone deaf and are needlessly endangering the lives of his troops that he feels he needs to do something in a very public way. McChrystal falls on his sword and hopes the administration listens and give the next commander what he wants.”

    Read the article in “Rolling Stone” – it is available online.

  • EJHill

    nohype1 – Presidents have a had little success in second acts since the 22nd amendment passed. While it doesn’t set in immediately, their “duck” era is in full swing the morning after their last midterms. Reagan was an exception but then he brought a fully formed philosophy and two terms as an executive with him. Clinton did well because I actually think we was more comfortable with the Republican Congress than he was when the lefties on his own side pushing him. Had he been more forthcoming about the Lewinsky saga and not taken it as a personal battle, who knows what could have been.

  • http://westernchauvinist.blogspot.com Western Chauvinist

    President Obama lives with a world-view which is infantilizing. He will not grow in office. He can’t. His ideology is all wishful thinking… beginning with, “I wish for Obama the community organizer and editor of the Harvard Law Review to be a wise and competent executive who flourishes in the presidency.”

    The only thing the Left wishes to grow is government dependency. Government is the parent from which you will receive your healthcare, your education and your housing… your salary is your allowance (Rob Long on Uncommon Knowledge at NRO). We’re not supposed to mock “community organizers,” which is akin to adding unearned runs to the kiddies’ baseball score because it might hurt their self-esteem to lose by 10. As we’ve discovered too late, when your primary parental concern is the child’s self-esteem, not his character, you end up with a narcissistic monster. The prisons are full of guys with great self-esteem. Obama is our first affirmative action president, which as we’re experiencing, is a terrible misfortune for all of us, including the president himself. He is in way over his head. And he will become more capricious the more apparent it becomes.

  • Susan

    What frightens me about Obama is his vindictiveness towards anyone and everyone who does not worship the ground he walks on.

  • Sally June

    So many old folks, so little wisdom. I guess we will have to pony up and fill in for them in the decades ahead. Perhaps the coming austerity will “fast track” others along this route.

  • joseph

    The problem we have is that when Obama is finally seen as the complete liberal failure the Kool Aid drinkers will then turn to the liberal Kosovo heroine Hillary.

  • Jeff

    Captain, we have left the neutral zone and are entering the Obama Depression. Recommend warp speed out of here before we are surrounded by Klingons.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    Obama is a fool.

    Instead of taking this personally, he could have quite reasonably pointed out that McChrystal did not say anything against the Commander in Chief or the Secretary of Defense or General Petraeus, who are the only bosses that McChrystal had.

    Contrary to what is presumed by some, neither Eikenberry nor Holbrooke nor Jones is among McChrystal’s “civilian bosses.” Even Biden is not technically within his chain of command.

    Thus, Obama could have said that this is merely an intra-Administration dispute in his “team of rivals.” Obama could have said that he values McChrystal’s views and he takes seriously the complaints of the performance of Eikenberry, et al. Obama could have stood by his man.

    Instead, like the fool that he is, Obama took it personally. And by taking it personally, he has converted McChrystal’s rather tame remarks into a full-fledged vote of no-confidence by McChrystal. By asserting that McChyrstal’s remarks undermine his authority and might lead to dissension in the ranks, Obama by that very assertion accomplishes those very things. By implying that the troops might think less of him, Obama guarantees that they will.

    Obama proved once again that he is weak and petulant.

  • Diane

    Sally June, I think it is an error to think that the coming austerity will fast track the formation of wisdom. Instead, accompanied by the increasing concentration of power in government and a few favored central players, it will likely reveal how primitively selfish and foolish many became during the long period when affluence and acceptance had so little to do with either civility or wisdom. Their response won’t be to seek wisdom or learn the practice of civility, but to seek the fruits of it, and they won’t restrain themselves from knocking down doors to get the booty they’ve been assured they’re entitled to (equality as social justice and personal rights as duties of others, don’cha know?)… That is, when the government isn’t doing it for them.

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  • SKAY

    “No one who loves the country can take any pleasure in watching him flail. ”

    True — unfortunately the question is–does HE love this country.

  • Doc

    That list of items which produced apathetic responses in Obama is instructive. Like most Democrats, he reserves his righteous outrage not for those who kill Americans, but for those who can hurt him politically.

    Remember, dead Americans are acceptable collateral damage in the Democrats’ war against conservatives.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    Obama growing into the job is like an infant growing into a toddler. You still wouldn’t give your toddler the car keys. 2012 is not coming fast enough.


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