White House Competence

It looks as though the White House wants to pick a fight for the sake of picking a fight:

On the Democratic side there is no reason at all other than pressure from the White House to support Hagel. In fact political opponents, especially in 2014 Senate races in swing and red states, will be happy to use any support for Hagel as fodder. Democrats’ other agenda items (e.g., gun control) and their fight to prevent entitlement reform will get sidetracked, at least for some time, to engage in a high-visibility fight none of them want.

On the other hand, Hagel’s nomination is energizing pro-Israel conservatives (which are an overwhelming percentage of conservatives).

…it is clear that there is no voice of restraint or common sense in the White House that could restrain the president from an inexplicably dumb political misstep. As the rest of the grown-ups depart the stage (Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner), the president will be surrounded by fewer people willing to give him honest advice and more enablers with extreme political views and rotten judgment. In other words, Hagel is a symptom of the unchecked arrogance of the president as he enters his second term.

Mickey Kaus can’t figure it out, either:

Can’t Obama find a “anti-Israel”Likud-skeptical figure who didn’t flamboyantly and self-righteously get wrong the most important military decision since the original 2003 Iraq invasion (which Hagel, by the way, voted to authorize)? Sure, Hillary and Kerry opposed the surge too. But not everyone did–not even everyone who opposed the war. Gen. Anthony Zinni, for example, isn’t someone likely to please Bill Kristol and AIPAC–but after opposing Bush’s invasion he had the balls to say that a surge was worth trying.

Have Hagel – or John Kerry – shown that kind of ability to transcend their own media images and biases? The journalist Elizabeth Drew asked for a phrase to describe the troika of Hagel, Kerry and Biden, a phrase better than “the three amigos.” How about “Three guys who voted for the Iraq War when that was the safe thing to do, flipped when everyone around them flipped and then were wrong about the surge”?

If you thought there was buyers’ remorse last year, wait until the next four.

9 thoughts on “White House Competence”

  1. I’ve learned that when this crowd in the White House seems to be picking an unnecessary fight…it’s to distract us from something else they are doing that they REALLY don’t want us to notice.

  2. It’s easy to figure out actually. It comes from a story that I was told about what is going on in the Oakland City Council right now.

    The city of Oakland is broke, and it just laid of 1 out of every five officers and it still deeply in the red. When I was at a party there on New Years I heard automatic weapons fire at midnight. In all my years in Alabama I never heard such a thing.

    The last three Oakland city council meetings have been dominated, not by discussions about what to do with the budget, rather it has been about whether or not to commission the fifth dog park in the city. It got so ridiculous that some of the locals, who are about as liberal as they come, came up with an idea to illustrate the absurdity of the situation.

    They came into the last city council meeting and threw it into an uproar by proclaiming that the city had enough dog parks and that it was time for the city to commission a cat park! This group is now organized, has put together a plan for the park and has its own facebook group (igato Oakland).

    The end result is that for the next several city council meetings the agenda will not be taken up with the serious business of the budget, debt, and how to build a sustainable city government but on whether or not a dog or a cat park is what is needed in the city.

    The moral of this story is that this same type of deflection is being used in our federal government these days to continue to jam up the works and to show that our government, and our constitution is unequal to the task of modern governance. The more stupid crap like Hagel they can come up with (the whole gun control thing is of the same strategy), the less time will be available to deal with our debt and budget and the more people will be divided and stirred up.

    Learn a lesson from Oakland republicans and do not allow yourselves to be distracted.

  3. In politics and the realm of thought control, this White House is BRILLIANT and it has almost complete control and support of the media and academia.

    Our problem outside this administration is that we assume that their agenda is our agenda in so much as we want the growth and success of the nation.

    The truth is that other than the self-aggrandizement of Obama, which sadly I fear is Obama’s main concern, and some lightweight concept of “social justice” through government, we really DON’T know the commands he is receiving from those who created him.

    1. In politics and the realm of thought control, this White House is BRILLIANT and it has almost complete control and support of the media and academia.

      I disagree. They are not even close to “brilliant”, we hear of mistakes every day but the mass media ignores them. The second point is true – this creates a situation where your first point appears to be true.

  4. It gives Obama the opportunity to demonzie Republicans for not supporting one of their own. Let’s see if the media falls in line and stops reporting that Democrats wont vote for him either.

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