Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion in full melt­down

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

While Pres­i­dent Obama hit the beaches and golf cour­ses of sunny Oahu for a three-week va­ca­tion in De­cem­ber, palace in­trigue was afoot in the White House and be­yond.

First, The New York Times be­gan the lengthy re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion process of Hil­lary Clin­ton, the high­est Cab­i­net mem­ber to de­part so far. As the pres­i­dent has plunged in ap­proval rat­ings, hit­ting a new low of just 39 per­cent, Hil­lary has hit a life­time high of 66 per­cent (goes to show you what dis­ap­pear­ing from the pub­lic eye can do for your pop­u­lar­ity).

The pa­per pub­lished a 7,500-word ac­count of the Sept. 11, 2012, at­tack that all but ig­nored the for­mer sec­re­tary of state’s role in the ter­ror­ist at­tack on a U.S. diplo­matic com­pound in Libya, which left four Amer­i­cans dead. More, The Times quoted a “ter­ror­ist” as say­ing a sup­pos­edly anti-Is­lam video in­sult­ing the Prophet Muham­mad “might well have jus­ti­fied” the at­tack.

The story was widely crit­i­cized by Repub­li­cans, who saw the new nar­ra­tive as an at­tempt to white­wash Hil­lary’s role. More, the new ver­sion of events dove­tails with the lies the sec­re­tary of state told dur­ing her fi­nal days on the Cab­i­net, giv­ing her am­ple cover. In fact, she did not ap­pear any­where in the long-winded piece.

But Democrats know that Beng­hazi is one of the most dam­ag­ing events for the woman set­ting up a 2016 run for the White House. No doubt her Repub­li­can op­po­nent will re­peat­edly re­play the fiery re­tort Hil­lary spat out when grilled by law­mak­ers — “With all due re­spect, the fact is we had four dead Amer­i­cans. Was it be­cause of a protest or was it be­cause of guys out for a walk one night who de­cided they’d go kill some Amer­i­cans? What dif­fer­ence at this point does it make?”

Mean­while, as a top House law­mak­ers hints he may seek to pros­e­cute Health and Hu­man Ser­vices Sec­re­tary Kath­leen Se­be­lius over “false and mis­lead­ing” tes­ti­mony about Oba­macare, ex-Sec­re­tary of De­fense Robert Gates has blasted the pres­i­dent, along with Hil­lary and Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den.

The new tell-all book set off a frenzy at the White House, which on Wed­nes­day sud­denly sched­uled five joint events with the pres­i­dent and his veep (See? He re­ally is an im­por­tant cog in our Great Ma­chine!).

The book, “Duty: Mem­oirs of a Sec­re­tary of War,” is chock full of juicy back­bit­ing, frank ad­mis­sions — and at least one fas­ci­nat­ing nugget that leads to all kinds of con­spir­acy the­o­ries.

In one rev­e­la­tion, Mr. Gates sug­gests that the pres­i­dent grew dis­sat­is­fied with his own troop surge strat­egy in Afghanistan, los­ing con­fi­dence in Gen. David Pe­traeus. It’s worth re­mem­ber­ing that the gen­eral had a very pub­lic sex scan­dal that made him dis­ap­pear in min­utes.

Mr. Gates says he was “deeply un­easy with the Obama White House’s lack of ap­pre­ci­a­tion — from the top down — of the un­cer­tain­ties and un­pre­dictabil­ity of war. ... I came closer to re­sign­ing that day than at any other time in my ten­ure, though no one knew it.”

More damn­ing, the book says both Hil­lary and the pres­i­dent op­posed the 2007 surge in Iraq for “po­lit­i­cal” rea­sons.

Mr. Gates writes: “Hil­lary told the pres­i­dent that her op­po­si­tion to the surge in Iraq had been po­lit­i­cal be­cause she was fac­ing him in the Iowa pri­mary. ... The pres­i­dent con­ceded vaguely that op­po­si­tion to the Iraq surge had been po­lit­i­cal. To hear the two of them mak­ing th­ese ad­mis­sions, and in front of me, was as sur­pris­ing as it was dis­may­ing.”

While this may come as a sur­prise to the main­stream me­dia, it’s a fact most con­ser­va­tive vot­ers rec­og­nized im­me­di­ately.

The for­mer De­fSec saved his sharpest knife for Mr. Bi­den (who fa­mously once ad­vo­cated that Iraq be “par­ti­tioned” — bro­ken into three sep­a­rate coun­tries, giv­ing three ethno-re­li­gious groups their own ter­ri­tory).

“I think he has been wrong on nearly ev­ery ma­jor for­eign pol­icy and na­tional se­cu­rity is­sue over the past four decades,” Mr. Gates wrote about the vice pres­i­dent.

This is the win­ter of Mr. Obama’s dis­con­tent. With his pop­u­lar­ity at a record low, the econ­omy still in the dol­drums, his poli­cies in­creas­ingly un­masked as dis­as­trous and his ad­min­is­tra­tion about to en­ter Year 6, staffers high and low will soon be bail­ing. And talk­ing, we hope.

Joseph Curl cov­ered the White House and pol­i­tics for a decade for The Wash­ing­ton Times and is now ed­i­tor of the Drudge Re­port. He can be reached at josephcurl@gmail.com and on Twit­ter @josephcurl.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.