“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, October 04, 2009

McChrystal got 25 Minutes with Obama.

President is AWOL as our commander
Last Updated: 4:54 AM, October 4, 2009
Posted: 3:42 AM, October 4, 2009
NY Post
Michael Goodwin

IF you still doubt Presi dent Obama is trying to do too many things and is giving short shrift to the most important ones, consider this pathetic scene at the Copenhagen airport. It was Friday, and the president went to Denmark to make his pitch for the Chicago Olympics.

Before Air Force One took off for home, Obama met with Gen. Stanley McChrystal. Our commander in Afghanistan was summoned from London and got 25 minutes of face time with the commander-in-chief.

That's it -- 25 minutes on the plane for the man Obama picked to lead 68,000 troops and rescue a war he calls one of "necessity." Compare that to the 14 hours or so Obama wasted flying and speaking about the Olympics, and you get a snapshot of a president off course.

Not incidentally, that was the same day the unemployment rate climbed to 9.8 percent, the highest since 1983, as employers shed 283,000 more jobs in September.

Barack Obama, phone home.

Yes, the president is trying to do too much. Even worse, much of what he is trying to do are things most Americans don't want.

Exhibit A is the massive health-care overhaul that has become an Obama obsession in his race with history. In the two months before he addressed Congress on Sept. 9, he held six health-care town halls and an evening news conference.

He then hit the road for more town halls and interviews, culminating in his TV blitz on Sept. 20, when he appeared on five Sunday shows, followed by an appearance on David Letterman. (No sex jokes, please.)

All Obama has to show for this reckless push is declining support, with the latest Rasmussen Reports survey finding a record low of only 41 percent backing him. Several polls show that up to 70 percent of the public doesn't believe his claims about the cost and impact on the deficit and their insurance.

As I have written, Obama is squandering the mandate and public trust he worked so hard to win. But the waste doesn't just hurt him.

His Hamlet-like second-guessing of the Afghanistan strategy he backed in March runs the risk of undermining the men and women in harm's way. In fact, the McChrystal meeting was hastily scheduled after the general conceded he had talked with the president only once in the last 70 days.

It's one thing to take your time to get the strategy right. It's quite another not to spend sufficient time on the problem.

Obama needs to align his priorities with the nation's.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the nightmarish Iranian-nuke issue, the painful recession -- these are the core challenges facing America. It's time the president gives them the attention they deserve.


  1. Who ya gonna trust?

    Mark Levin, the Joe Pesci of conservatives?

    Or the erudite observer of events international who occupies an influential post in a foreign capital and is on a first name basis with the general?

    Decisions. Decisions.

  2. Doug,
    Unless there's some other diagonal thing across his chest (from the last thread), the thing is a pistol in a hardshell holster. It's clear in the expanded photo.

  3. The problem is, Doug, those things weren't in any bills the "Republicans" brought to the floor in the last two hundred years, either.

    No, that's not the problem, Rufus, as Doug points out at Sun Oct 04, 08:40:00 PM EDT.

    Jeesh! What's in the water in Mississippi? Koolaid?

    Mackey's program is realistic, practical, and based on common sense and business experience. Where does it get with you Democrats? Nowhere. What does it generate? More bullshit.

    As far as cost controls go, you'll NEVER bring medical expenses down until you throttle the trial lawyers, and that isn't gonna happen with Democrats running things because they're just a wholly owned subsidiary of the damned lawyers to begin with.

  4. I thot it had a distinctive shape!

  5. Well, according to our resident military expert, 25 minutes may be more than enough time to waste talking to your average jerk-off general.

    Obama clearly needs to seek the counsel of the privates, I'd guess, reading Rufus's little gems of wisdom.

    I will double goddamn guarantee you that while those Marines were fighting for their lives there was, at least, a half-dozen Majors, and Lt. Cols being taxied around in V22's. Piss.

    I've got an Andy Jackson at my elbow that says you're full of shit, Rufus. Put up, or shut up.

  6. We closed our News Bureaus around the world and punditry substitutes for correspondents. The media and their partisanship is useless to those of us who want unfiltered news.

  7. The right wing is positively giddy that the United States will not be hosting the Olympics. Seriously, has it dawned on you yet how utterly despicable these people are? I was just wonderin'.

    The main goal of the GOP these days is to insure that President Obama's administration is a complete and utter failure. They want to see as many Americans as possible suffer in the next three years, thus, ensuring that they will be able to seize control of the executive branch in 2013. If the president succeeds in making life better for his countrymen and women, they fail. It's as simple as that. Mitch McConnell, to his credit, always looks quite uncomfortable when he is forced to justify policies as atrocious as those being put forward these days by that hideous party. But Cantor always has a serene, angelic smile on his face whenever he is forced to defend the morally indefensible - sort of like last week, at a Town Hall meeting when he told a woman whose mortally ill relative had been left bankrupt by her medical bills that she should rely on charity. He seemed so content with himself. Quite strange really.

    Tom Degan
    Goshen, NY

  8. LT, I've voted "Republican" in every election since I got out of the Service (that was a LONG time ago.)

    The "Republicans" are my family. Thus, I hate it when they're stupid. With "Health Care" they've been stupid. They have failed to see (or care) where the Majority of American citizens wanted to go. As a result of not putting in place reasonable policies to take us there, they every now and then get a "Bad" bill pushed down their (our) throats.