It’s a bad day in a bad week of a bad year for Barack Obama. Worn thin-skinned by 17 months of one political disaster after another at home and abroad and entering the home stretch of game-changing mid-term elections, Obama took a get tough attitude. Now he’s at war with … well, everyone.
Obama has made no progress in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan while clashing with his commanders, no headway with North Korean or Iranian aggression, angered gay-rights and union factions, alienated the Israelis and kowtowed to Middle Eastern and Chinese leaders who hold him in contempt. The White House is in a state of disarray and confusion.
He’s shown a distinct lack of leadership ability handling the Gulf oil disaster, the economy, unemployment and immigration. His influence over the Senate and the House of Representatives has waned. Frustrated by slipping public support on all fronts, he lashed out against Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl over border security. Obama calling Kyl a liar through a spokesman is a surefire method of getting those popularity polls up.
Gen. Stanely McChrystal is on his way home from Afghanistan for a public sacking in Washington, D.C. The general’s ill-considered comments in a Rolling Stone interview constitute legitimate criticism of the administration’s war-fighting management. The comments are clearly insubordination. McChrystal becomes the latest casualty of a war he was ordered to fight and restrained from fighting to win. Obama’s choice is to fire the general, or be seen as a weak commander in chief. The lesson here is fight to win or get out of the battle.
The president’s authority is challenged at every turn. Americans reject his social policies, a federal judge over-ruled his oil drilling moratorium and Gulf States are ignoring federal laws and challenging the government’s authority to deal with the spill. Arizona and a growing number of states and municipalities are a thorn in comprehensive amnesty for illegal immigration.
It’s a bad time for Barack Obama, but it’s good for Americans who gave up on hope and now see change coming.