June 28 2013
And so it begins:
It is hard to imagine anything more dismissive than this:
"I'm sure it will be a made-for-TV movie down the road," Obama said dismissively about the Snowden case.
That is the president of the United States talking about perhaps biggest national security breach in U.S. history. Just for the record: Snowden is not a hacker. He is a man with high security clearance who stole vital security information that reportedly already has terrorists adjusting the way they operate. If he were thirty would the president be willing to stir himself to get interested in what Snowden has done and what needs to be done about him?
So you think the president, despite his public dismissiveness, might be furiously involved in trying to deal with this? Possibly not. President Obama further acknowledged that he hasn’t picked up the phone and spoken to Russia’s Vladimir Putin or Chinese President Xi Jinping:
He flashed some annoyance as he declared he has not called either leader because "I shouldn't have to."
Somebody should have asked a follow-up question. Why shouldn’t be have to make these calls? Didn't we hire him to make these calls? Is this lack of action on the president’s part because he naively expects that these countries will abide by international law? Or is he just above that sort of thing? Or maybe he knows that Putin regards him as a marshmallow?
But it is more than the above.
I think the president’s response indicates something very troubling besides what is obvious. I think it is a sign that the administration, unable to cope with the Snowden mess, intends to Benghazi Snowden. To Benghazi something is to pretend that a matter of profound national importance just doesn’t matter. I predict it won’t be long before somebody accuses the GOP of trying to make political hay from the Snowden debacle.
Presidents are expected to deal with these things. Our president doesn’t. He is relentless in pushing his transformation of the United States—the latest example being his new, job-killing climate regulations, issued at a time when the U.S. desperately needs jobs. But in doing what president’s traditionally do—governing—President Obama has not shown much interest.
When it comes to the more normal pursuits of a president, the U.S. may be, as Steven Hayward puts it over at Powerline, “a riderless horse:”
So this is one of those times where sports and politics meet up. Or at least I think this video below of a riderless horse, having thrown its jockey at the gate, winning a horse race a couple days ago is some kind of metaphor for Obama’s America: America is like a thoroughbred, able to win even without a rider. Or perhaps it should be the other way around: imagine how well the country could run without being ridden by Obama and his deadweight policies. Too bad America can’t throw its jockey so easily. And the announcers are like the media, aren’t they–ignoring the main story right in front of them. This is how I imagine Paul Krugman would have called the race.
It will be interesting to see if President Obama succeeds in dismissing Snowden as merely a 29-year-old hacker.
His performance so far has made me long to take his Air Force One privileges from him and ground him at the White House.