Obama’s Memorial Day washout

Obama in Illinois: Facing a gathering storm? (Reuters)

Normally, on this Memorial Day weekend, I would have packed up the saddlebags and tour pack of my Harley and headed to Washington for the annual Rolling Thunder ride to the wall.

But my mother’s deteriorating health eliminates overnight trips for the near term so I rode over to Bedford Monday to visit the National D-Day Memorial and then to three area cemeteries to remember childhood friends who died in Vietnam.

In Illinois, President Barack Obama scurried offstage after a thunderstorm moved in on his photo op at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery. Already under fire for choosing to vacation in Chicago and skip the traditional wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown at Arlington National Cemetery, Obama tried to salvage another public relations disaster by speaking to a hastily-arranged gathering of service men and women at Andrews Air Force Base after he jetted back to the Nation’s Capital.

But the drenching downpour in Illinois did not extinquish the fire from Obama’s decision to miss the event in Arlington where Vice President Joe Biden substituted.

Critics pounced on Obama’s decision to snub the Arlington ceremony and his decision seems strange for a President who already has a strained relationship with a military that wonders how a former neighborhood activist who never served his country in uniform wound up as Commander in Chief.

Obama is not the first non-vet to become President in recent times. Bill Clinton, perhaps the most famous draft-dodger in history, holds that honor. George W. Bush avoided service in Vietnam by using his father’s political connections to land a coveted spot in the Texas Air National Guard and then skipped most of his required duties. Ironically, Bush would become the President who sent more reserve and national guard soldiers to war for more deployments than any leader in American history.

Obama partisans, as expected, defend the President’s actions by pointing out that Ronald Reagan missed three Memorial Days in Arlington, George H.W. Bush never went to a single wreath-laying during his four years in office and his son, George W., missed one while attending D-Day anniversary events in Europe.

But Obama chose to skip Arlington as the nation remains embroiled in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He dialed back the war effort in Iraq, as promised in his campaign for President, but upped the ante in Afghanistan with increased resources and an upturn in casualties. Afghanistan may become Obama’s Vietnam.

The thunderstorm that cut short the planned photo op in Illinois did more than wash out a substitute Presidential event. It added to the ever-growing list of disasters that have become the hallmark of Obama’s struggling administration — another glaring example of bad timing and poor political judgment.

As Maureen Dowd notes in The New York Times:

President Spock’s behavior is illogical.

Once more, he has willfully and inexplicably resisted fulfilling a signal part of his job: being a prism in moments of fear and pride, reflecting what Americans feel so they know he gets it.

“This president needs to tell BP, ’I’m your daddy,’ “ scolded James Carville, a New Orleans resident, as he called Barack Obama’s response to Louisiana’s new watery heartbreak “lackadaisical.”

The massive oil spill in the Gulf came on the heels of Obama’s decision to open up off-shore drilling. The economy remains stagnant despite White House claims of a rebound. More Americans remain out of work for longer periods of time than at any time in history, including the Great Depression.

The well-oiled machine that swept aside all challengers in the 2008 Presidential race has become the gang that can’t shoot straight, a gaggle of amateurs who appear unfit to govern and unable to cope.

Obama appears to be in over his head and struggling to handle the pressures of the job — something that Democratic primary opponent Hillary Clinton predicted would happen.

Dowd also notes:

He’s spending the holiday weekend in Chicago when he should be commemorating Memorial Day here with the families of troops killed in battle and with veterans at Arlington Cemetery.

Republican senators who had a contentious lunch with the president last week described him as whiny, thin-skinned and in over his head, and there was extreme Democratic angst at the White House’s dilatory and deferential attitude on the spill.

Writes Geoffrey P. Hunt on American Thinker:

Would someone remind us again why the nation elected this man to be president? A man with no resume, a man with no experience in running anything other than a political campaign, a man who is ignorant of history, economics, and technology? A man who is shallow and lazy? A man who shares neither character nor temperament with the American people in this vast republic? How did this happen?

Voters were smitten by the ideological handmaidens of identity politics and the promise of big government. The identity politics substituted a cosmetic profile for character and experience. The promise was that big government has the benevolent power and enlightened expertise to remake America from the top down into a more capable, more caring, kinder, gentler, and more respected place.

What we’ve received instead was on display at the president’s long-awaited press conference in the last week of May. Only a partisan or a fool could deny the irredeemable failure of these ideological handmaidens, the genius of Obama’s shrinking presidency. No amount of posturing, buffing up, or Q&A briefing book drills could hide the reality that this man is on a raft at sea accompanied by an equally bewildered boatload of companions who have no idea how they arrived in such deep water, hundreds of miles from land, and with no clue that they are in trouble, let alone what to do about it.

When both the left (Dowd) and right (Hunt) agree that Obama is out of his depth, the handwriting is on the wall.

The thunderstorm that sent Obama scurrying for cover on Memorial Day may be a metaphor for a failing Presidency — a washout for an administration that’s washed up.

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14 Responses to "Obama’s Memorial Day washout"

  1. Carl Nemo  June 1, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Thanks Doug for your succinct summation of our washed out, washed up, silver-tongued prevaricator we have for a President. : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  2. Thomas Bonsell  June 1, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    I’m getting a little tired of seeing people claim Obama to be a failed president and a disaster when he has been merely a disappointment, and it’s much too early to claim failure.

    Lets see what has been the gripes. He has used Washington insiders in his administration. Well Jimmy Carter went to Washington as the ultimate outsider and brought his George Mafia with him to teach everyone how things ought to be. He was undermined more by his own party than by the opposition. Obama knows that. The Clintons wrote a healthcare-reform platform themselves and sent it to Congress for consideration. They too were undid more by their own party than by the opposition. Obama knows that also, so he tried to avoid those missteps and gets pounced on anyway.

    Let’s look a failure. Carter produced 10 million new jobs in his four-year term. Reagan-Bush the Daddy produced 18 million in 12 years, but Carter is the failure. Carter lowered poverty in the US to ll.4 % of the population (lowest in history at the time), Reagan raised it to 15,1%, but Carter is the failure, Reagan the success. Carter had the lowest ratio of debt to GDP since WWII, Reagan doubled that rate, but Carter is the failure. Carter saw the need to get off oil dependency, so got tax breaks to search for alternative energy. Reagan killed them all. Look how well that has turned out.

    George Bush the Unfit left Obama a $1.3-trillion deficit on top of eight years of deficits, but Obama is the failure because he couldn’t wave a magic wand and set right in one year what the right had made wrong over three decades.

    It took Clinton four years to solve the $290-billion deficit left by Bush the Daddy, so why does anyone thing Obama can undo a $1.3-trillion deficit overnight?

    Let’s look at inherited situations. The present gusher in the gulf was approved in Bush the Unfit’s administration but Obama gets the blame because drilling started weeks after his inauguration. Clinton gets the blame for NAFTA disaster even though it was conceived, negotiated and drawn up under Bush the Daddy. Clinton merely signed it. Clinton gets blamed for weakening the armed forces even though he inherited plans to downsize the military drawn up by Colin Powell and Dick Cheney in Bush the Daddy’s administration. Clinton got blamed for the Waco and Ruby Ridge disasters even though plans for those assaults were drawn up in Bush the Daddy’s administration.

    Lyndon Johnson left a stalemate in Vietnam to Nixon who lost the war, but the loss is pinned on LBJ.

    Kennedy inherited the plans for the Bay of Pigs failure and is blamed or that fiasco even though the plans for the assault came from the Eisenhower administration.

    So let’s not let George Bush the Unfit and Deluded off the hook for the damage he did to this once-grand nation and be in such a hurry to blame all Bush incompetence on Obama.

    • Carl Nemo  June 1, 2010 at 8:39 pm

      Thanks Thomas Bonsell for your comments. Your comparative history has some merit to a point, but it deals in “pasts” and not the promised “change we can believe in” administration of the present. This president shouted to the heavens that “we best get it right” in this election. We that foolishly voted for him thought so, obviously we didn’t get it right…AGAIN !

      I suggest you read Griff’s post to a current article concerning the White House using Bill Clinton to influence Sestak in pulling out of the senatorial race against Arlen Specter. It’s a superb laundry list of Obama’s hollow promises.

      http://www.capitolhillblue.com/node/27252

      This President promised a lot on the campaign trail, but has done little to nothing other than operating in a business as usual fashion or with enhancements; ie., value-added to our collective detriment mode. To me, he’s simply a “synthetic” president groomed by the shadowy power brokers that control and own this nation lock, stock and barrel. If he gets a second term fine, but if not they have more plans for us and they ‘ain’t good’ for sure. : |

      Carl Nemo **==

      • griff  June 2, 2010 at 12:25 am

        I detect a theme here. So the Democrats fail to undo or block Republican policies, as we saw with the “mandate” of 2006 and again with Obama, but the Democrats are just hapless victims in this scheme.

        Ha. What a joke. Apologism at it’s finest.

        It’s the system, stupid!

      • Thomas Bonsell  June 2, 2010 at 2:17 pm

        Carl:

        The disappointment i find in Obama is that he looked at the problems of the past two Democratic Presidents and tried to avoid them with tepid responses and working within the “system.” He should have never tried for bipartisanship an anything. The proper action to get bipartisanship is the show the Republican Party he could crush them on any action. Only then would they come to join in solving problems they created. He didn’t do that.

        The problem with the Democratic Party is that it is comprised of moderates and progressives who insist on an intellectual debate on all things, while the GOP walks in lockstep with one voice telling them how to think. That is perceived as “failure” by Demos. The Dems should learn to imitate that GOP tactic because intellectual discourse in America seems to be futile.

      • Thomas Bonsell  June 2, 2010 at 5:06 pm

        Carl:

        I have read that article and don’t see a whole laundry list of broken promises.

        I see a timid president who tries to avoid the pitfalls of the past and tries to get along by getting along. Everyone should understand that if he went wholesale into major changes the rabid right would conjure up scandal after scandal, just at it did against Clinton, when in the end there was only one “scandal”; that is taking advantage of a horny intern who wanted to “do” the President. All the other “scandals” were only bulltikki.

        I remember well that just weeks after inauguration, as the stock market continued to plunge and thousands lost their jobs in the continuing trickle-down depression, the right, the media and many at this site continued to scream that “it’s Obama’s economy now” and he was called an economic failure.

        But by late spring, the slide had ended, the stock market began a recovery and another depression averted, but Obama was still labeled an economic failure because millions of jobs hadn’t been created. If anyone would ever research economic issues they would find that jobs will start to come back a year or so after a sever recession has ended. Well, jobs started a meager comeback in the past month or so, right on target, but that doesn’t prevent the “failure” crap coming from the right.

        I wish Obama were more like FDR who said he welcomed his enemies’ hatred. Obama only tries to facilitate his haters, and that isn’t failure even though many like to claim it to be so.

        We see the right at work with Darth Cheney and his evil spawn, Liz, trying to label Obama failure on “homeland security” even though the US has has been free of terrorist attacks eight months longer under Obama than it was under Bush the Unfit and Cheney’s watch.

        Let’s not be in such a hurry to claim “failure” so soon; real success takes much longer to achieve than does destruction.

        • Carl Nemo  June 2, 2010 at 6:59 pm

          Thomas Bonsell:

          I didn’t refer to your article as a list of broken promises, but the list of empty campaign trail rhetoric provided by Griff’s post through my supplied link. To me your post was simply a comparative history of Republican vs. Democratic presidencies since JFK to present. I found it interesting, but it doesn’t soften the sting that I and millions of other voters feel relative to the public production that Obama & Co. pulled off to achieve his election to the Presidency.

          “It’s a superb laundry list of Obama’s hollow promises.” … extract from my post referencing Griff’s link material

          My greatest disappointment with this President are the appointees with whom he’s surrounded himself as V.P., advisers, czars etc.;i.e., Joe Biden, Bob Rubin, Larry Summers, Rahm Emanuel, Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, Madelaine Albright, Richard Holbrooke, Dennis Ross, Martin Indyk, Anthony Lake, Lee Hamilton, Susan Rice, et al. You can read about them in the “Red Ice Creations” link I provided within the blog post. The link is still hot and can be copied and pasted to fetch the site. Timothy Geithner is a fresh face, but it turns out he’s another with ties to the Goldman Sachs and Federal Reserve monoliths that are linked ever so deeply to both national and international financial travails facing this nation and the world at large including Greece’s financial meltdown.

          Here’s the link to my inauguration day blog post concerning this President.

          http://www.capitolhillblue.com/node/13830

          This President has provided us with nothing unique to claim his presidency, but seemingly as I’ve stated as before in other articles I’ve written is simply a “holding president”; simply appointing many of the same people that have gotten us into our current fix as a nation whether it’s banking related, defense, foreign policy, domestic management issues, re: current Gulf debacle etc. As the days go by he seems ever more casual, ever more ellusive and secretive relative to the press. It seems he was “synthesized” to provide a holding presidency while the shadowy power brokers that have controlled this country transgenerationally can regroup and come back to power to operate their ongoing “Casa Nostra” enterprise; ie., the flagship party of the corporatist elite Republicans. The Democrats are nothing but the holding party between republican tenure, offering the people false hope while continuing to facilitate nation-destroying policies foisted upon us by the Republicans. That’s what happens when a two party system has degenerated into a duopoly both controlled by the same corporate interests. Our entire process has become “smoke and mirrors” and as Griff said…”it’s the system stupid!”.

          I’m not calling you stupid. It’s simply an expression concerning our national plight when it comes to playing this continual two-party game that continually gives us the same results or worse. : |

          Carl Nemo **==

          • Almandine  June 2, 2010 at 9:31 pm

            The “system” has long been controlled by the “empire builders” and will continue to be so as long as the national dialogue sets Dems against Repubs as a democratic way to “iron out our problems”. That tendency toward dualist arguments is the biggest fallacy of modern politics with its co-dependent MSM, web sites and blogs. Them against us… left v right, liberals fighting conservatives and vice versa… divide and conquer… parlor games raised to a mesmerizing art form. The goal: take advantage of peoples’ beliefs, publicize them, create factions for or against the issue of the day, set decades-long processes in motion (right to choose, civil rights, etc) to keep folks focused away from the most meaningful issues related to the fate of humanity.

            Can the BS be stopped, averted, changed ? The US public will have to continue their awakening and demand a return to constitutional govt to have a chance at all. Time is running out.

            http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=161377

        • griff  June 3, 2010 at 12:33 am

          The Democrats relying on intellectual debates? That’s a laugh. Name one.

          Wishing Obama was more like FDR says it all.

  3. Thomas Bonsell  June 1, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    correction:

    That should be “Georgia mafia” but the typing error got through when the site wouldn’t display a preview.

  4. woody188  June 2, 2010 at 12:37 am

    I think Maureen has Spock mixed up with Tuvok. Leonard Nimoy has been awesome as the William Bell character on Fringe. Don’t mess with Trekkie’s.

    • Carl Nemo  June 2, 2010 at 11:15 am

      Obama and his associates are looking and acting more like “Ferengi” as time goes on… / : |

      Carl Nemo **==

  5. Senegoid  June 3, 2010 at 10:21 am

    The man who strives to be everything to everyone usually ends up being nothing to nobody, or so a very pissed leprachaun told me one night as we zig zagged home from the pub.

    Change you can believe in, mmmmm sounds about right to me; the punters get the change and the big guys get the f*cking rest.

    Oh well democracy was good while it lasted, I wonder what fascism will be like?

    I suppose by the time they come to take us away we’ll all be flat broke anyway, hey, free digs in a detention centre sounds great to me; I hope I’ll get a room to meself.

    Anyway I’m off back to the pub, may as well sing a song as I wend my way….

    “Look out for the cheater, look for out for the two hearted clown, look out for the cheetah cause he’ll built you up just to let you down….”

    Hic, f*ck, there’s that bloody leprachaun again; cheap bastard, never shouts, but he gives good advice – sometimes.

    Top of the mornin…

  6. AustinRanter - AKA Gregg  June 4, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    History seems to disappear every presidential election.

    How many presidents have been elected since George Washington?

    Every presidential candidate since good ole George has made empty promise after empty promise.

    My question is: Is there a single electorate in America (past or present) that HAS NOT complained about campaigning politicians lying and making upkept promises after every single election ever held?

    WHY IN THE HELL do people still get pissed about being lied to by politicians? Apparently, we have aways been a nation of idiots who continue to believe campaign lies and then get pissed when their not kept.

    When are we (the electorates) going to learn from the past?

    There’s not a single president after George Washington that hasn’t become a victim of the wreckage of the past from previous presidents….and in some cases, many previous presidents.

    All of the bitching and moaning about these issues are way too old and are nothing more than the public making excuses about a system of government and polilitics gone bad rather than accepting responsibility for their ignorance and lack of participation in the system.

    People need to pull their heads out of their asses and wake up about political lies and unkept promises. How about people engaging in some self-honesty about his and her denial about the real problem with our political and government systems.

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