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  • Just Unbelievable

    Posted by David Foster on December 2nd, 2011 (All posts by )

    Barack Obama, a couple of days ago:

    I try not to pat myself too much on the back, but this administration has done more in terms of the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration.

    Barack Obama, quoted in a 2008 article:

    I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.

    Tries not to pat himself on the back too much? The man is in serious danger of breaking his arm from patting himself on the back so much.

    The second comment is absolutely bizarre, even taken by itself–anyone who thinks that way is seriously dangerous in any management or leadership position, and should probably not even be allowed to operate power machinery. Put the two comments together and you have an individual whose mind functions in very strange ways indeed.

    The assertion about Obama’s support of the security of Israel is of course so at variance to reality that it’s hard to imagine anyone taking it seriously except members of the hard core of Obamian true believers. Of whom there are unfortunately still quite a few.

     

    27 Responses to “Just Unbelievable”

    1. Jonathan Says:

      it’s hard to imagine anyone taking it seriously

      Unhappily, many American Jews still take it seriously.

    2. David Foster Says:

      “Unhappily, many American Jews still take it (Obama’s self-announced great concern for Israel’s security) seriously”

      Flipping through a history book in a used book store, I saw an item about a remote village in Russia where the local Jews, in 1941, eagerly awaited the arrival of the German troops. Apparently the village had been occupied during the previous war, and the Jewish residents had found the behavior of the occupiers to be far better than that of the normal anti-Semitic and generally thuggish officials who normally ran the place.

      It is very dangerous to believe that one’s friends and enemies automatically remain constant over time. Even if it were true that the Democratic Party was more pro-Jewish than the Republicans in the 1930s through 1950s, it sure isn’t true today. Abstract words don’t have reliably constant meaning. “Germany” ins 1941 was something different from “Germany” in 1917, and “Democratic Party” in 2011 is something different from “Democratic Party” during, say, the Truman Administration.

    3. Shannon Love Says:

      I think a lot of American Jews haven’t updated their cultural intuition from 50 years ago. That is probably a result of living predominately in the Northeast where cultural perceptions froze solid in the late 1960s e.g. a lot of people in the Northeast still seem to honestly believe that the Klan is still a major factor in the south. Back in the 60s, it was Democrats who supported Israel and who fought anti-semitism and the Republicans who were Israel skeptics and didn’t let Jews into country clubs.

      I am still surprised at the number of Jewish-Americans who believe that evangelical equals anti-semitic. In fact, most evangelical denominations have shifted theologically and now view Jews as a special case who will be redeemed at the second coming. Even if not, they believe that the god watches over Israel because the Biblical books of prophecy say he does. Combine all that with evangelicals believing that virtually any religious person is more trusty worthy than any atheist and you have a major positive shift in perception towards Jews.

    4. Jonathan Says:

      Both parties have changed. The Republican Party of 2011 may be as different from the Republicans of 1968 as the 2011 Democrats are from the Democrats of 1968.

    5. S O Says:

      There’s also the possibility that Obama judges the Israeli foreign policy to not be in the best interest of Israel itself (and not the same as the Israeli opposition would do). Such a judgement may actually be correct, using the cool head available only thousands of miles away from a perma-siege.

      Or in other words; it may well be that foreign governments who attempted to prevent OIF did much more for the national security of the U.S. than most people would assume. After all, OIF led to over 4,000 dead and ten thousands of mutilated Americans, lost treasure beyond a trillion USD and motivated thousands of (wannabe) jihadists to fight against the USA – for no positive net national security gain for the USA.

      Sometimes being against a government is the same as helping the country. This works potentially with all poor governments, not just with dictatorships.

    6. Jonathan Says:

      There’s also the possibility that Obama judges the Israeli foreign policy to not be in the best interest of Israel itself

      This strikes me as the least likely of the possible explanations for Obama’s behavior.

    7. David Foster Says:

      “There’s also the possibility that Obama judges the Israeli foreign policy to not be in the best interest of Israel itself”….maybe from the standpoint of creating a full set of theoretically-possible explanations for Obama’s attitude this is correct, but given his long-time affiliation with the Reverend Wright—and given the general attitudes toward Israel on the part of the “progressive” Left—it seems most unlikely that Obama has much in the way of positive feelings toward Israel.

    8. David Foster Says:

      Shannon–evangelicals, Israel, and Jews

      Theological factors are surely part of the reason for positive evangelical attitudes toward Israel, but I think cultural factors are at least equally important. The hostility toward Israel emanates very largely from the “progressive” Left—these attitudes are largely incubated in academia and are amplified and transmitted by institutions such as NPR, PBR, etc. Evangelicals are usually members of social groups which are outside of this force field and are hence relatively insulated from its malign effects.

    9. Lexington Green Says:

      I am more struck by the second quoted comment. I simply find it amazing that a mature person would say obviously out of whack things like that out loud. Of course the President does not have as much expertise as his policy advisors on most issues most of the time. It would be impossible for that to be true. There is too much information out there for any one person to have it all. I don’t know what is worse, whether he believes it, or thinks we are stupid enough to believe it. As to his speech writers, that may be true. Reagan was better than his own speech writers, and he had good ones. But that was RR’s area of unique competence, translating policy into words that informed and moved ordinary Americans. Clinton was a true wonk. There were areas where he really did have a deep policy understanding. Gingrich is like that too, actually. I see zero sign of it from Obama.

    10. Frankenstein Government Says:

      Those are the statements of a true narcissist. That is exactly how they express themselves…far superior to the hoi polloi they are forced to work with.

      That level of unconsciousness speaks volumes about the inability of Obama to honestly self appraise. I cannot wait to return him to Illinois. Truly.

    11. David Foster Says:

      Here’s a guy who runs a venture company, writing a post about his deficiencies as a professional CEO. I don’t know whether or not he’ll make it with this company, but his odds are surely better than they would be absent this kind of introspection about his own strengths and weaknesses.

      Suppose there was a pilot who said “I’m a better test pilot than Chuck Yeager. If I’m flying fighters, I’ll get more kills than Gabby Gabreski. I can fly a whole range of airplanes better than Ernest Gann, and I’m more innovative than the Wright Brothers.” Would you want to fly with this guy?

      Especially if his flying experience was limited to a desktop simulator for simple airplane types only?

    12. Bill Brandt Says:

      While I think most politicians have to have a bit of narcissism (after all who coined the term “Politics are for people too ugly to get into show business?”) – but we have had nothing like Obama as President in our history.

      I read a piece on him awhile hack that seemed to hit it on the head – that he has always been given a pass – from Harvard – to now – and he believes his – what should I call it – “Godliness”?
      Omnipotence?

      BTW this book – The Forgotten Man – highly recommended. The author is talking about Roosevelt’s policies – asking why the Depression – which started out as a huge stock market correction – lasted more than a decade – and her premise is that it was the interventionist policies of Roosevelt – which made it worse and prolonged it – policies which Obama embraces.

    13. Tatyana Says:

      No wonder there are guys in his base taking literally the mantra “be everything you wanna be”. All you have to do is to say you are all those things! Genius.

    14. Bill Brandt Says:

      Suppose there was a pilot who said “I’m a better test pilot than Chuck Yeager. If I’m flying fighters, I’ll get more kills than Gabby Gabreski. I can fly a whole range of airplanes better than Ernest Gann, and I’m more innovative than the Wright Brothers.” Would you want to fly with this guy?

      David – never will forget a wonderful tour I got at Beale AFB – late home of the SR-71 “Blackbird” and still the U2 – getting a tour of the U2 pilot’s inner sanctum – their bar – and mentioning to one of them “You have to be pretty good to get into this program”

      (it is considered – despite it’s relatively slow speed – one of the toughest planes to fly in the military – hard to land – it is a jet powered glider – and at altitude – the “coffin corner” is a couple of knots different between stalling and cruise speed)

      ..Anyway the pilot replied, “If you have to tell people how good you are, you aren’t very good….

    15. Michael Kennedy Says:

      SO, I think there are two sides, at least, to the question of whether invading Iraq was a good idea. First, what was the alternative ? Should we have announced victory and withdrawn ? I don’t think anyone would have accepted that, least of all Saddam. We had been there enforcing no fly zones and dodging SAMs for ten years.

      Should we have invaded and left after we flattened Baghdad ? There is much to say in favor of this although it would have left Saddam in place. I think this was the choice of Tommy Franks and maybe even Rumsfeld.

      The occupation was where all the casualties and expense came from.

      I think we should have turned the place over to the exiles and I think we are the victims of State Department maneuvering. They were the nation builders. The “Pottery Barn Rule” was a fiction devised by the nation builders. I live near Laguna Beach where the Pottery Barn is. I know the Pottery Barn. Bremer’s rule of Iraq was no Pottery Barn.

    16. Ken Hoop Says:

      Obama refused to condemn Israel for the Gaza barbarism and betrayed Abbas three times according to the Fatah leader.
      Hamas has no use for him, the Arab street assumes he is a Zionist lackey and most Democrats assured Netanyahu they were still in his corner if it came to a Bennie-Obama showdown.

      Obama tries his best to protect Israel by pushing the Iraqs as long as possible to keep substantial US troops. The Iraqi on the street btw understands who controls US Mideast policy.

      So does Michael Scheuer and he’s said the Lobby will bring down America if allowed to.

    17. Bill Brandt Says:

      Michael – a good friend of mine – very libertarian – I believe had the best idea for interventionism (if we have to go in)

      Go in – destroy the place – and leave.

      Period.

      As it is – since Vietnam – we go in – then drain our treasury “rebuilding” the infrastructure.

      Even in WW2 we let the Europeans rebuild their own countries – with a little help from the Marshall Plan.

    18. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Interestingly enough, Vietnam where we did no rebuilding after the US left, has a population that I understand is very friendly to Americans who visit and a government that is eager to do business with us. A lesson to be learned here ?

    19. sol Says:

      some people believe what they see,
      Others can only see what they believe.

      No man is so blind as he who will not see.

      Its a common problem among leaders who have visions

    20. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Obama refused to condemn Israel for the Gaza barbarism

      I’m sorry. Which barbarism are you referring to ? The destruction of the greenhouses and other infrastructure left behind by Israeli settlers when they evacuated Gaza ? What an amazing statement !

    21. Bill Brandt Says:

      Michael – I was amazed that (a) the Israelis turned Gaza back and (b) what the Palestinians did with it over just a few short months – destroying over a billion dollars in infrastructure all over their hatred of the Jews.

      As someone wrote in an op-ed – they could have developed the area to a world class tourist area – so much beach on the Med – but they are blinded by hatred.

    22. Jonathan Says:

      It’s only barbarism when the Jews defend themselves. Arabs shooting rockets at Jewish nursery schools is just weather.

    23. Michael Kennedy Says:

      I’m afraid the Palestinians fit the description of barbarians better than any present day society, with the possible exception of the Iranian ruling class.

    24. Mitch Says:

      @ Ken Hoop:

      You, along with your pet barbarians, only make it more obvious that God favors the Jews. After all, look who is against them?

    25. Westie Says:

      No one actually has addressed why the obvious mentally ill and extremely dysfunctional Obama is allowed to stay in office. Is this country suicidal?

    26. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Is this country suicidal?

      I spent some time considering this and haven’t decided.

    27. Cousin Dave Says:

      Michael, the current generation of young people grew up being told of the wonders of socialism and the evils of capitalism. I think it’s done them a lot of good to experience socialism first hand. It’s unfortunate (to say the least) that this had to be the way to do that, but it does make for one hell of a life lesson. Assuming that we can pull this situation out of the fire (which starts with getting someone else in the White House in 2012, but certainly doesn’t end there), I think America will be better off for having gone through the experience.