Just Being There

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama

With the continuing dismal news proliferating daily that would unsettle the most secure supporter of the President of the United States, President Obama continues to see his role as the one time assumed leader of the “free” world as that of a disinterested bystander.  The log of upsetting events propels unabated …

Fragile and timid Iraqi forces struggle to mount any kind of cohesive response to the aggressive radical forces of the ISIS terrorist network attempting to establish a caliphate.  Syria continues in armageddon spiral downward in a battle of primitive and ruthless wills of the government and those same ISIS forces with an entire country’s population at their mercy.  A catastrophic collapse of organized government in Libya is in its death throws against hordes of radical cells unleashed by America’s extraordinarily incompetent decision to overthrow Libya’s dictator with absolutely no strategic plan to inject in case of success.  Israel and Hamas are treated diplomatically as equals in a battle for survival for the middle East’s only true democracy, facing a foe that uses women and children as human shields.  Russia lops of an independent country’s sovereign land in Crimea, funds and supplies with sophisticated weaponry a group of thugs led by Russian intelligence officers to destabilize the rest  of the country, then haughtily stands by as these same thugs shoot a civilian airliner out of the sky with 300 innocents aboard.

At home, tens of thousands of illegal immigrants pour across the nation’s sovereign border destabilizing the local economies, the health care facilities, and destroying the concept of a nation’s sovereignty.  The economy groans under the weight of trillion dollar deficits.  Government agencies designed to be impartial, function as the enforcement arm of a marauding government looking to instill its socialist  political philosophy on its citizens.  Even supporters of the President stand in anxious concern as the issue after issue piles on the impassive executive, putting to risk their electoral survival in November.

Yet the passivity continues.  The golf outings.  The vacation to the Vineyard.  The fundraisers with star elites.

For the intelligent and the logical,  the trail of disasters with no reaction is no longer explainable by incompetence.  There is the desire to attempt to conceive an overarching plan or strategic concept at work, to attempt to define how an apparently intelligent man could be standing by so idly while all around him collapses.  Charles Krauthammer, the insightful Washington Post columnist has convinced himself there is a method to the madness:

The preferred explanation for the president’s detachment is psychological. He’s checked out. Given up. Let down and disappointed by the world, he is in withdrawal.

Perhaps. But I’d propose an alternate theory that gives him more credit: Obama’s passivity stems from an idea. When Obama says Putin has placed himself on the wrong side of history in Ukraine, he actually believes it. He disdains realpolitik because he believes that, in the end, such primitive 19th-century notions as conquest are self-defeating. History sees to their defeat.

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice” is one of Obama’s favorite sayings. Ultimately, injustice and aggression don’t pay. The Soviets saw their 20th-century empire dissolve. More proximally, U.S. gains in Iraq and Afghanistan were, in time, liquidated. Ozymandias lies forever buried and forgotten in desert sands.

If you believe this, then there is no need for forceful, potentially risky U.S. counteractions. Which explains everything since: Obama’s pinprick sanctions; his failure to rally a craven Europe; his refusal to supply Ukraine with the weapons it has been begging for.

The shooting down of a civilian airliner seemed to validate Obama’s passivity. “Violence and conflict inevitably lead to unforeseen consequences,” explained Obama. See. You play with fire, it will blow up in your face. Just as I warned. Now world opinion will turn against Putin.

For most in our nation’s capital, it is important to find a rational basis for actions that seem so divorced from reality.  The nation has assumed a level of elevated intelligence in the man that would be a nation’s transformer, its savior – as declared in the triumphal exuberance of the reports of Obama’s prowess when elected.  The smartest chief executive ever.  A brilliant multidimensional thinker who puts to shame the minor intellects opposing his programs.  An international savant who sees with clarity the flaws of past administrations and will lead the world to a cleaner, safer, more tolerant and civilized place.

But what did we really know of this man?  A college and law school grad upon which no records of assessment have ever been released.  A community organizer trained at the feet of some of the most radical elements of American dissonance.  A single term state senator who rarely registered a vote of conscience.  A U.S. Senator who didn’t complete a single term.

What was the preparation or training for this individual who desires to overthrow all the tenets of a carefully constructed relationship of a government with its people, a world with its stabilizers.  What was the actual level of intellect, the depth of understanding of this individual.

In 1979 Peter Sellers projected onto the cinema screen a epic character named Chauncey Gardner who projects through his simple opacity and feebleness anything a person wants to see in him.  He becomes a mirror for all who want to see great depth in his thoughts, and are embarrassed to admit they don’t see what others see in Chauncey.  Perhaps this president is simply Chauncey Gardner, who is leading this nation as a mirror of what everyone hoped they had elected,  the savior of the human race and a great nation twisted upon itself.  To Chauncey his goals are simple.  He wants to tend to his garden, and help things grow.  The caos we are living through may not be the carefully laid radical solutions of a master politician, but maybe just a nation’s gardner who sees his role as just Being There.

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