It’s really true. The president hasn’t got a clue.
President Barack Obama doesn’t understand why Russian President Vladimir Putin is chewing on Ukraine, and he doesn’t understand why Hamas can’t stick to a ceasefire with Jews.
He doesn’t understand why the Senate is in gridlock, he doesn’t understand why the Ex-Im bank is unpopular, and he doesn’t understand why his immigration-boosting bill has collapsed.
Obama showed his isolation from reality, and his parochial view of the world, during a Aug 1. press conference where he tried to explain why so many of his foreign policy and domestic projects have crashed since 2012.
His rationalizations and explanations seemed sincere, as did his puzzlement and frustration.
Putin shouldn’t be attacking Ukraine because it is not in Putin’s best interest, Obama told the nation.
“Objectively speaking, they should, Putin should, want to resolve this diplomatically,” said Obama, revealing his Ivy League inability to imagine the nationalistic pull that would make an ex-KGB, ex-Soviet-era Russian secret policemen go to war with Ukraine to recover a slice of Russia that is populated by ethnic Russians.
The Israelis and the Palestinians are still fighting in Gaza, Obama complained.
“Sometimes, people don’t always act rationally, and they don’t always act based on their medium term, long-term interest,” he said about the Arabs and Jews, as if they are Illinois state legislators arguing about how to spend tax revenues.
Obama said he’s tried hard to create peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but nothing has worked. When he was asked by an older reporter if it was because of his errors, he said that they’ve been fighting for as long as the reporter has worked.
Islam emerged roughly 1,300 years ago, and its founding stories are filled with battle between Jews and the new Muslims, and the insistence that Allah is greater than Jehovah. Islam’s books even claim that a Jewish women poisoned Mohammad, the reputed founder of Islam.
Obama’s naivete prompted him to think he could counter al Qaeda’s jihadis by working with other Islamist groups, chiefly the Muslim Brotherhood.
But the brotherhoods’s affiliate in Gaza is Hamas, which was was founded to wage jihad against Israel until Israel is destroyed. So Obama showed his surprise at the news that Hamas’ jihadis broke an Aug. 1 ceasefire and killed two Israeli soldiers and kidnapped another.
“It’s not particularly relevant whether a particular leader in Hamas ordered this abduction,” Obama said.
“The point is, is that when they sign onto a cease-fire they’re claiming to speak for all the Palestinian factions… if they don’t have control of them, and just moments after a cease-fire is signed you have Israeli soldiers being killed and captured, then it’s hard for the Israelis to feel confident that a cease-fire can actually be honored,” Obama admitted.
Peace between Arabs and Israelis is difficult to achieve, Obama said, because “I think there’s a lot of anger, a lot of despair, and that’s a volatile mix.”
But he did offer some criticism of Hamas’ actions, when he suggested that Hamas’ actions hinder his effort to stop the Israeli counter-offensive.
“I want to see everything possible done to make sure that Palestinian civilians are not being killed…[and] because of the incredibly irresponsible actions on the part of Hamas to oftentimes house these rocket launchers right in the middle of civilian neighborhoods, we end up seeing people who had nothing to do with these rockets ending up being hurt,” he complained.
But Obama put the cart before-the-horse; Hamas houses the rockets in civilian areas to boost civilian casualties, because those casualties cause various politicians to pressure the Israelis into passivity.
Periodically during the press conference, Obama acknowledged the limits of his diplomacy, but only for brief moments.
“In the end, it is up to the two parties to make a decision,” he said. “We can lead them… show them a path, but they’ve got to want it,” he said.
But even if they don’t want peace, Obama insisted, “that shouldn’t deter us, we’ve just got to keep at it.”
Obama also doesn’t understand why the Senate is so gridlocked that it won’t approve his ambassadorial nominations. “Last night, for purely political reasons, Senate Republicans, for a certain period of time, blocked our new ambassador to Russia… We shouldn’t be having an argument about placing career diplomats… in countries around the world where we have a presence, “ he said.
Actually, the GOP Senators blocked the ambassador nominations because Obama’s Democratic Senate majority have blocked GOP amendments and curtailed the GOP’s use of the Senate’s rules that periodically require the majority to get some votes from the minority.
Obama said he was puzzled by conservatives’ rising opposition to the Ex-Im bank, which provides federal guarantees to the big banks who provide private-sector loans to big exporters, such as Boeing and General Electric.
“For some reason,” GOP conservatives are opposed to the bank’s continuation, he said. Without the Ex-Im bank, “we may lose that [foreign] sale. When did that become something that Republicans opposed?”
But GOP conservatives oppose the Ex-Im bank because they don’t want to see the free-market trumped by a Obama’s “crony capitalist” cooperation of big banks and big business. He’d learn that fact by talking with a few conservative legislators, but Obama rarely even meets with Democratic legislators.
If he met with conservatives — or read some polls — he’d also learn why his progressive immigration bill has been blocked by GOP legislators.
He’s been pushing the GOP to sign a bill that would provide an amnesty to at least 12 million illegal immigrants, double the annual inflow of immigrants and guest-workers to roughly 4 million per year, reduce average wages, and weaken enforcement of immigration law.
Unsurprisingly, numerous polls show that swing-voters and GOP-leaning voters don’t want their wages lowered, don’t want their kids to lose jobs to foreign workers, and don’t want to accept illegal immigrants.
But that’s all above Obama’s head.
“So we have a bipartisan bill … supported by everybody from labor to the evangelical community to law enforcement,” he said, echoing the progressives’ political claim that society’s major questions should be decided by progressive experts, after consultation with important political groups.
“So the argument isn’t between me and the House Republican, it is between the House Republicans and the Senate Republicans, and House Republicans and the business community,” he said, ignoring the deep political divide between his progressive ideology and conservatives’ preference for small government.
“We have consistently put forward proposals that in previous years and previous administrations would not have been considered radical or left wing; they would have been considered pretty sensible, mainstream approaches to solving problems,” he said.
Obama has repeatedly said he wanted to bring hope and change to the United States and the world. It’s time to give up hope that he understand the changes he’s brought.