Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dear President Obama: The Financial Times of London asks the critical question - Has your presidency already failed?

You've moved to the top of my "People I'm Glad I Ain't" list with a rocket.

In Texas Hold 'Em, so far you've drawn a 7-3 off suit, and you've gone all in.

The only problem with your complete lack of strategic or fiscal vision is that the pot you're playing with ISN'T YOUR MONEY, IT'S OURS.

So, the Financial Times of London wonders aloud: in addition to all of the other firsts you're responsible for (least experienced president; least visionary, least ready to lead, least Caucasian) will you have the shortest-lived tenure as President of the United States? Will you actually wind up as a first term, 3.5 year lame duck?

So far, I'd say that outcome is becoming increasingly likely.

You have and are continuing to appoint either criminal or fringe-left whack jobs or friends of porn to positions of high responsibility while you continue to use the politics of fear (Remember "America has been at its worst when we've been afraid?" what happened to that... and how did we get from there to where we are now?) to unnecessarily bury this country in a mountain of debt so you can pay off your political buds and union supporters, making this usually bizarre question in the first month of a president's term increasingly relevant.

Today, the new US administration can disown responsibility for its inheritance; tomorrow, it will own it. Today, it can offer solutions; tomorrow it will have become the problem. Today, it is in control of events; tomorrow, events will take control of it. Doing too little is now far riskier than doing too much. If he fails to act decisively, the president risks being overwhelmed, like his predecessor. The costs to the US and the world of another failed presidency do not bear contemplating.

These may be among the truest words written to date about what seems to be the increasingly obvious train wreck that is the Obama Administration. And your reaction so far, Mr. President, has not just been disappointing to your humble correspondent, but it also seems to have permeated the more intelligent people occupying the planet in other locales.
The banking programme seems to be yet another child of the failed interventions of the past one and a half years: optimistic and indecisive. If this “progeny of the troubled asset relief programme” fails, Mr Obama’s credibility will be ruined. Now is the time for action that seems close to certain to resolve the problem; this, however, does not seem to be it.

No, it certainly does not.

Your arrogance and confirmation that all your fine words about "Hope!" and "Change!" are but a symptom of the weakness that infests you. Unfortunately for this country, they elected a human version of the Platte River: a mile wide... but an inch deep. And no matter how else this turns out, you will have buried us in a mountain of debt that makes all past presidents combined look like rank amateurs.

Here's a clue. Mr. President: As you continue to bungle your presidency, the whole world is watching. And since many around the world do not wish us well, they're beginning to make the calculations that will, ultimately, lead to the deaths of Americans.

The more you mishandle our financial situation and engage in rank hypocrisy regarding your appointments, the more likely it is that we will be attacked.

Here. Let me simplify for you to the point where even you can understand it, Mr. President.

In the rest of the world, competency counts. In the rest of the world, there have usually been certain things the world has been able to count on.

Certain attitudes have won out through history. One of the fundamental political laws of this planet boils down to this: The United States of America must be right EVERY time. Anyone anywhere else only has to be right once.

Let us suppose that instead of just 2 planes flying into buildings, the next attack on New York might be a "suitcase nuke."

Then what?

My fear, Mr. President, and I'm sure an increasingly larger part of the calculations, is that you'll want to start an investigation. And then, we'll have commissions. Naturally, you'll blame anything bad that happens on the Bush Administration, because you're incapable of taking responsibility for anything.

Meanwhile. New York would continue to be a glowing pile, and you will want to "talk." You'll throw up your hands and exclaim that you just "don't understand" why the rest of the world hates us.

The American left will blame us for the destruction and slaughter of tens of thousands, if not millions, and you'll want to hold discussions with a reconstituted United Nations, hopefully located somewhere outside the US... like, say, Geneva.

You and the rest of the left will want to hunt down the perpetrators, try them, and, if convicted, lock them up for a life sentence, no doubt with a parole possibility in say, 12 years or so.

Meanwhile, nothing else will happen.

Now, this scenario constitutes a series of calculations. And based on what I've seen of your sorry efforts so far, each and every one of them are possible.

My problem is this: if anyone out there with a nuke is engaging in the same calculations... what do you think that outcome might be? And with your decided lack of illustrated competence so far, how much MORE likely have you made that scenario... that series of calculations... then you have reduced that likelihood?

Being "right" is a fundamental tenet of competence. To a greater or lesser degree, competence has saved this country time and again.

Yes, I will admit that up until now, luck has played a part. Other countries and entities make their calculations, and sometimes, they calculate wrong. We have been favored by geography and political miscalculations on the part of aggressors who have attacked us.

But in the modern era, the opportunity for "do-overs" like our recovery from the incompetence of Pearl Harbor, becomes less and less. Advancing technology shrinks the window of recovery geometrically every day. Our ability to come back from disaster is reduced in direct proportion to the technical abilities to inflict damage on us.

But those calculations are typically based on the addition and subtraction of small facts that build up to a much larger result.

The Iranians who took over our embassy in Tehran for example, calculated quite correctly that the United States was weakened by a leadership so possessed of inner rot that they could, actually, commit a blatant act of war, hold American citizens as hostages for 444 days, and that they could do so with impunity because we were being lead by a weak incompetent.

There is a reason the Iranians released the hostages within minutes of Ronald Reagan's Inauguration.

Doing a brief flashback, one might ask at this point: if it were you, Mr. President, being Inaugurated that fateful day... would our hostages have been released?

Why is it that I think not?

For a brief time, this Nation made it's position clear, and other countries around the world KNEW. They KNEW. But then, the left sold us out. And now the rest of the world "knows" something entirely different.

In that regard, what's been one of your first edicts?

Although we're in the midst of a war, you toss a sop to your fringe-left buddies and order a 10% cut to the military budget.

In the middle of a war.

Mr. President, what do you think that has done for the world's calculus?

Unfortunately, I believe I know. And as a result of all of this, I find the Financial Times' question both timely and pertinent.

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