Saturday, May 16, 2009

Obama’s Competence Gap

This is becoming painfully obvious:

Pajamas Media » Obama’s Competence Gap
We’ve heard the cliché: there is a difference between campaigning and governing. But in the last few weeks the contrast between the two could not have been more stark. And the gap between President Obama’s effectiveness at the former and shakiness at the latter is coming into focus.

Guantanamo is the most vivid example. As a candidate, Obama pushed the notion that George W. Bush was a constitutional Neanderthal and destroyer of American values. Now he’s discovered that it is really hard to figure out what to do with these really bad people. And he’s even discovered the virtue of the Bush-created military tribunals.

Republicans have kept up the drumbeat, forcing Democrats to include limits on funding and demands to “show them the plans” before funding a Guantanamo shut-down. And it may be that there is no plan, no viable one to allow Guantanamo to be closed. As Kimberley Strassel put it:

If so, Guantanamo will join the growing list of security tools that President Obama once criticized as out of keeping with American values but has since discovered are very in keeping with protecting the nation. Wiretapping, renditions, military tribunals, Gitmo — it turns out the Bush people weren’t a bunch of yahoos but often thoughtful defenders against terrorism. This is all progress, though America might wonder if it could have been spared the intervening drama.

Then we had the detainee abuse photo controversy. Before he took office, Obama seemed agreeable to the Left’s narrative that there was a massive policy of detainee abuse and the American people should see what it looked like. After the firestorm which followed his initial decision to release the photos, he adopted conservatives’ view that we should not let a few bad apples destroy America’s image and endanger our servicemen.


Civis Ordinarius said...

The Obama administration knows this. Hence their rush to get as much past the American people as they can as fast as they can.

In the near future the whiplash, exhibited as buyers remorse will set in. But as the Obama administration is primarily driven by polls they will dial back before being thrown out and certainly in time to position for re-election in 2012.

Its all about politics and political power. It has nothing to do with protecting the whole of the American people.

Ron Ballew said...

Sad to say I think your probably right.