Five days after the Christmas Day bomber tried to blow up NWA Flight 253 over Detroit, President Obama is still on vacation in Hawaii. He has delivered two hasty, tie-less statements on homeland security from a makeshift podium in Honolulu whose underwhelming sum impact has been the equivalent of voting “present” (Obama’s career m.o.) By his own admission and in direct contradiction to his hapless DHS Secretary, the president acknowledged yesterday that “systemic failure” led to the breach.
Obama is not scheduled to return to Washington until Sunday. That’s four more full days of reinforcing his image as detached, aloof, and too damned tired to tackle the jihadi epidemic with the once-hyped energy and passion of a 48-year-old Super-Agent of Hope and Change.
Team Obama’s stage managers and image gurus are all about symbolism. Wouldn’t the president send a more credible message to jihadi plotters around the world (and to Americans) by cutting his holiday break short and getting back to work in the White House, rather than by phoning it in for the next four days?
We’ve gone from “Blood, toil, sweat, and tears” to “Beach, golf, (gym) sweat, and (self-pitying) tears.”
Rough men stand ready to keep and defend our safety. As for President Obama, it’s still Me Time.
This Politico piece tries to make hay of the supposedly unfair double standard in how Bush was treated during the shoe bomber attack during Christmas 2001 versus the “heat” that Obama is taking now for remaining on holiday.
A few inconvenient differences and facts that the article glosses over: Bush had been working non-stop since September 11 on homeland security issues and had the public’s trust. The attacks consumed him. By contrast, the current Democratic majority and White House have been working non-stop to lower our defenses and speed the jihadi revolving door.
In December 2001, Bush had not yet amassed his lousy record on Katrina, Harriet Miers, Dubai Ports, shamnesty, and the massive bailouts (all of which have been lambasted extensively on this website and in my columns over the last four years). In December 2009, Obama has already amassed enough Culture of Corruption material to fill an encyclopedia set.
And unlike the low-key Bush, President Obama has been a shameless, consummate TV hog from Day One — willing to turn anything and everything, including a race-baiting tiff between his good friend Professor Henry Louis Gates and Cambridge MA police — into a global “teachable moment” of “unprecedented” proportions. When he doesn’t rush to address Americans after a matter of real import strikes, “heat” — no matter how hypocritical his supporters may paint it – is entirely appropriate.