Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Audacity of Leadership

The president's appearance on ESPN to discuss his NCAA basketball picks was embarrassing on two levels; one, because of his cheesy mention of the epic Japanese disaster in the midst of pretending to be a sports analyst, and two, his analysis--in depth enough to suggest he's been watching a lot of TV sports as the world crumbles around us. Then again, one of his sweet sixteen has already lost as of this writing, so he's got that going for him.

Clearly he's not the first president to take a deep interest in sports or golf, but that's not the point. The point is one of optics--it looks bad for the president to be horsing around while hugely important events occur that demand attention. In times of calm, no problem. In times of calamity, even outside the country, people want a leader.

It's no coincidence Hillary is apparently making noises about all of this only a few weeks after Bill did. She knows what damage this is doing to her legacy (and future). If a bombshell breaks in the birther category sometime soon everyone will know the score (no, Trump is not a bombshell).


Calm down, I know everyone was saying the same thing. But my sitemeter did have a strange entry from whitehouse.comgov (oops) the other day. Or maybe it was just the fishy patrol spying on me. Or NASA.

Anyway, the One has spaketh--it's on like Donkey Kong. In days, not weeks. After he gets back from Rio. Hey--if it becomes a dumb war he can blame it on Rio! Or not.. Er sorry, it's about jobs. Jobs, jobs. Laser focus.

MORE 3/18/11

The above is more or less gallows humor, there's no intention here of diminishing a very dangerous situation. The danger, along with the precedent set by taking actions against Quedaffy, are probably the reasons Obama has done so much dithering on the matter (no doubt after hoping and praying the rebels would somehow kill him and render moot his 'get out, damned one' command). That's understandable coming from a person who over-deliberates but it still wasn't an acceptable alternative due to the negative consequences of how a win for Moammar would destroy the image of the United States abroad, which has been my main beef.

But going into Libya militarily, even through the air, could be incredibly entangled and dangerous. This isn't Bosnia or Kosovo, this is a guy who harbored Abu Nidal and other terrorists and ordered the shoot-down of American and French jumbo jets. He's devious, conniving, ruthless and evil, and once had a WMD program.

The precedent might be more important. Bahrain is undergoing turmoil. Further south in Yemen the government is shooting people in the streets. If we go after Gadaffi what do we do when Syria, Jordan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia undergo their revolutions? Betcha Obama never thought this president stuff would be so hard.

MORE 3/19/11

Reports are coming in that French warplanes are attacking Libyan military targets to protect Benghazi; Huffpo has a headline picture of a jet crashing in a ball of flames.

Although it's mildly shocking to read about the French leading anything militarily, this development should not be overly unexpected considering that Sarkozy was the first to recognize the rebel forces and even set up an embassy in Benghazi. So politically speaking, he had more to lose than did our Indecision Guy.

Let's hope for the best and pray we don't lose any brave pilots. Gaddafi has a history of crumbling early and trying to regroup for sinister revenge actions later, so we'll see if a stray missile finds its way near his HQ at some point (amidst all the mayhem).

MORE 3/19/11

The flaming aircraft was actually a rebel plane shot down by friendly fire, obviously a hazard with a militia army. And McClatchy reports that Gaddafi forces are inside Benghazi, forcing press and civilians to flee towards Egypt. If Gaddafi takes the city he will immediately declare a cease-fire and vow to follow all the stipulations of the UN resolution. Then what?


Anonymous said...

If I understand your thesis correctly, the president shouldn’t be horsing around as the world collapses around his shoulders. Don’t you think that’s a bold assertion on your part? I mean, even if you ignore the fact that there is nothing in the Constitution requiring that any president give attention to the global implications of horsing around, isn’t the development of sophomoric NBA picks politically expedient given the upcoming election cycle?

I feel certain NASA’s keeping an eye on you …

A.C. McCloud said...

I'm not so certain NASA is the one keeping the eye on me.. but if they are it soon won't matter since their primary mission statement is becoming Islamic outreach. But OK, point taken..

Debbie said...

My hubby is convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Hillary Clinton WILL run for president in 2012. I thought she would for a while, but she has been so emphatic lately that she does not want any political office. Hubby says, don't buy it, she's running.

Should be interesting, especially IF WE HAD a decent candidate on our side.

Right Truth

LASunsett said...

Never have had anyone from the WH on PYY but I have had the Senate, the House, lots of private urls from DC, and many many hits from Google.

The one that concerns me the most is Google.