Well, this is refreshing. Although I agree with Taylor Marsh that being prepared for the inevitable Cheney assault behooves this White House, the strikeback today was not without its gems.
To put it simply: this President is not interested in bellicose rhetoric, he is focused on action. Seven years of bellicose rhetoric failed to reduce the threat from al Qaeda and succeeded in dividing this country. And it seems strangely off-key now, at a time when our country is under attack, for the architect of those policies to be attacking the President.
And with regard to Cheney’s explosive charge that President Obama is "trying to pretend we’re not at war" there’s this:
At West Point, the President told the nation why it was “in our vital national interest” to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to fight the war in Afghanistan, adding that as Commander in Chief, “I see firsthand the terrible wages of war.” And at Oslo, in accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, the President said, “We are at war, and I am responsible for the deployment of thousands of young Americans to battle in a distant land.”
There are numerous other such public statements that explicitly state we are at war. The difference is this: President Obama doesn’t need to beat his chest to prove it, and – unlike the last Administration – we are not at war with a tactic (“terrorism”), we at war with something that is tangible: al Qaeda and its violent extremist allies. And we will prosecute that war as long as the American people are endangered.
To Taylor Marsh’s point, though, the Obama White House needs to be better prepared off the starting blocks for attacks like Cheney’s. If they don’t come from him or his daughter, there will always be yapping idiots like Pete Hoekstra or Peter King to take up the slack:
Democrats know by now Republicans will always jump on any national security opening to Jimmy Carter a new president. Trying to camouflage a near catastrophe is a fool’s errand, which sets your adversaries up for a freebie.
I still believe Barack Obama has the potential to be an extraordinary president. But it’s going to take a lot more than getting two people with differing opinions in the room and cutting the difference between them to find your own. Or reacting to a serious national security incident forgetting that the American people are still a Jack Bauer loving, gun toting, hero worshiping, kick your ass culture. I know liberals don’t like that reality, but it’s the one we live in so there’s no excuse for not being prepared.
Myself, I still remember the perfectly calibrated Obama campaign rapid response effort. And I wonder: what’s changed? How did all the incompetence and leaks become a part of this careful, no-drama crowd? When did "getting the Win" become more important than crafting the policy or protecting the President?
What is so ill-prepared about this White House and how did it get that way?