Mid-November and President Obama has passed a milestone that virtually all presidents reach at some point – a below 50% approval rating. The number is not overly significant other than in the sense that Obama has had so much fanfare surrounding his campaign and election that it does seem a little soon for this kind of dip, particularly for a president who was so certain that the country was hungry for "change".
In contrast, about this time in George W. Bush's first year as president, he was peaking at an 89% approval rating. To be fair, he was riding on the rallying wave of a nation hungry to strike back against an enemy that had attacked us two months earlier (and by this time President Bush had already directed the military into securing Kabul, Afghanistan). Okay, and to be fair again, President Bush didn't hit a below-50% approval for the first time until May…of 2004, just months before the country re-elected him.
This is interesting in that Bush was hammered from day one for being incompetent and stupid, if not downright evil. Compare that to the treatment of Obama, superior in every way because he's an intellectual (pause here for awed hush from crowd…). And Obama and his core supporters must be smarter than everyone else because according to the Qunnipiac poll that put him at a 48% approval rating, the American people are at odds with Obama on almost everything. Perusing through the pages of data, the only things I could find where more people agreed with Obama than not were a generic question about his foreign policy and one that asked for support for a public option, neither of which makes sense within the context of everything else polled, but this is America! And those numbers are also trending away from Obama.
Obama could be riding his own rallying wave regarding Afghanistan by merely giving the impression that he's strong, resolute, assured and decisive (pause here for awed crickets chirping in the silence…). Obama could - gulp! - learn something from his predecessor about being a Commander-in-Chief in a war that is in part a propaganda war where consistency and the right rhetoric can boost the morale of your side and demoralize and frustrate the enemy.
Even our allies and working partners in the world are perplexed by Obama's lackluster leadership on the non-existent war-on-terror. Some could argue that Bush was too much of a cowboy, too demanding of our friends to be as effective as he could have been but we seem to have swung completely the other way, leaving our NATO allies to wonder if their own commitments to the war are futile. Europe may have acted like they didn't need us over the past several years but that was because they were reassured that we were there, even if it annoyed them. Now…they are not so sure and otherwise passive governments in Europe are picking up the rhetorical slack of our detached CiC.
Bush had plenty of history to fall back on to justify his strong war footing, from Reagan to Ike to FDR to Lincoln - these leaders have shown that a willingness to stand strong and challenge the enemy is vital to success. Obama appears to be adopting the Carteresque approach of trying to 'nice' our way out of impossible situations, of abandoning democracy in the world in order to prop up more tyrannical elements.
If someone in the Bush Administration had suggested that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed should be tried in New York, everyone would be waiting for the punch line. Yet the intellectuals running the White House and the Justice Department have not only suggested that very tactic, but actually put it into play, in contradiction to the desires of most Americans and all sane Americans. And this is the evidence that the Obama Administration is too stupid to run the country.
For full disclosure purposes, I did recently state my official hatred of the Obama Administration, spurred by his reaction to the Fort Hood Massacre and his pathetic photo shoot with deceased US soldiers returning home from overseas. That being said, I try to avoid using words like "stupid" to describe the president and his inner circle but, come on. There is not one smart thing about having a civilian trial for KSM, not one benefit to the American people or to justice. This is the worst decision (on a string of bad decisions) yet whose only purpose is to placate to the far Left, which is why usually a smart body of people reject those people as dangerous fringies. But now those dangerous fringies are running the country.
Obama the Intellectual made his first official decision as president to have the Guantanamo Bay holding facility closed within one year. Shortly after that, he unexplainably put a stop to the already ongoing military trial of KSM. Now the Intellectual-in-Chief has all but ensured that KSM's charges will be dismissed.
Which brings up the burning cancer of this whole fiasco: how do we expect to successfully prosecute KSM when everything in our civilian justice system is set up to protect him in ways that run contradictory to how things are handled on the battlefield -or- how do we put him through a trial in a manner that doesn't over extend our Constitutional Rights to foreigners who have sworn to destroy the United States or weaken our own citizens legal protections and Miranda Rights if they are denied to KSM in any way?
In an effort to sell this wonder-blunder to the country, both the president and Attorney General Eric Holder have undermined their own claims that this fiasco will show the world that America is a country of justice and rule of law. The Harvard Law graduate and the head of the Department of Justice both violated the sanctity of the trial by pre-declaring KSM's certain conviction which anyone who has followed a trial or watched Boston Legal will tell you that unless you're Alan Shore or Denny Crane, you can't just do whatever you want with a case and still expect to win it. Legal experts are coming out in droves saying that Obama and Holder may have already guaranteed KSM a dismissal of charges.
But really – how do you promote a system of justice when you tell everyone that the accused is already guilty? And if he was guilty (he was - the military trial was more systemic than necessary) then why even bother to make him the star of his own circus? Why undermine the military efforts overseas, our intelligence capabilities, the safety and security, even if it's just the feeling of security, for millions of New Yorkers, still reeling enough from the 9/11 attacks to panic over another recent and stupid Obama Administration decision to sweep the city with low-flying planes as part of a photo stunt.
Other questions that arise: do Miranda Rights matter anymore? If so, then does that mean that soldiers on a battlefield must read Miranda Rights to captured enemy combatants and tell them the charges against them and promise them a lawyer prior to taking them in? Or does this mean that Miranda no longer is required and if not for someone like KSM who has been told he is no different under our law than a US citizen, then why would it apply to anyone? Courts can't discriminate and determine who gets Miranda protections and who doesn't. This alone should have the case thrown out. Waterboarding alone could have the case thrown out or secure charges against those who followed orders and engaged in the practice.
And finally, questions on confusion and inconsistency: why are some foreign prisoners being extended American Rights and others not? Is it fair to dismiss charges against KSM but not several of the other detainees who are still facing military trials? Are we now going to give terrorists sworn to America's destruction an almost unlimited platform to make a mockery of both our military and criminal systems?
A betting man would have a hard time placing his money on Obama and Holder on this one. If the trial is conducted seriously and thoroughly, there is no conceivable way for KSM to meet justice.
Judging from history, I would support a smirking chimp over a sneering intellectual for president any day of the week. This kind of garbage wouldn't have been imaginable under the previous administration.