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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Inexplicable President

Does everyone remember when everyone said that Barack Obama was eloquent on a scale rarely seen? He certainly can be eloquent. When he's talking about "hope", "change", and other platitudes, he's very eloquent. Yet, when he has to explain his policies, the president has shown to be totally inexplicable.

I first actually noticed it following his decision to reverse the Bush administration's policy on embryonic stem cell research. Here's what he said then.

In recent years, when it comes to stem cell research, rather than furthering discovery, our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values, In this case, I believe the two are not inconsistent. As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering. I believe we have been given the capacity and will to pursue this research – and the humanity and conscience to do so responsibly.

and he also said this.

Many thoughtful and decent people are conflicted about, or strongly oppose, this research,” the president said. “I understand their concerns, and we must respect their point of view.

Now, try and put all this together. On the one hand, the president was saying that opponents to embryonic stem cell research were presenting a "false choice." At the same time, they were "thoughtful" in their opposition. Huh. He pandered to opponents of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research and then said they presented a "false choice". At the same time, he never explained why those that view and embryonic stem cell as life, and thus such research as murder, should be all right with this decision. At the time, he was still in his honeymoon period, however this explanation was not only inexplicable, but absurd and frankly laughable.

What's followed is a series of such inexplicable explanations. Within two weeks of each other, the president said that we "shouldn't meddle in the Iranian elections" and then took sides with the wannabe dictator Jose Zelaya in Honduras. Huh? Are we meddling or aren't we?

In March, he announced a new strategy in Afghanistan and now he says he needs to take time to formulate a new strategy in Afghanistan. He wants to fight Al Qaeda, reach out to "moderate Taliban", but not nation build. He wants an exit strategy but not necessarily victory. Can anyone explain what exactly any of this means?

The president was equally inexplicable on cap and trade. Can anyone explain how that law will work? Nothing has been more inxeplicable than health care refom. Can anyone explain what exactly the president wants with health care?

So, we're at the latest in the president's inexplicable policies, trying KSM et al in New York. Here's how Eric Holder put it today.

This was a tough call, and reasonable people can disagree with my conclusion that these individuals should be tried in federal court rather than a military commission.

The 9/11 attacks were both an act of war and a violation of our federal criminal law, and they could have been prosecuted in either federal courts or military commissions. Courts and commissions are both essential tools in our fight against terrorism.

Therefore, at the outset of my review of these cases, I had no preconceived views as to the merits of either venue, and in fact on the same day that I sent these five defendants to federal court, I referred five others to be tried in military commissions. I am a prosecutor, and as a prosecutor my top priority was simply to select the venue where the government will have the greatest opportunity to present the strongest case in the best forum.

I studied this issue extensively. I consulted the Secretary of Defense. I heard from prosecutors from my Department and from the Defense Department's Office of Military Commissions. I spoke to victims on both sides of the question. I asked a lot of questions and weighed every alternative. And at the end of the day, it was clear to me that the venue in which we are most likely to obtain justice for the American people is in federal court.


Holder goes on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on some more. He goes on for a long time. He talks about how difficult the decision was. He talks about how much he struggled with it. He talks about how this was a controversial decision and a lot of people will disagree. What he never explains is why if we are at war, these enemies in war are being tried in civilian court. That's a simple contradiction and in that very, very, very, very long statement that's the only thing Eric Holder never actually explains. It's again totally inexplicable.

We should all be very troubled that someone that's supposed to be as eloquent as President Obama simply can't explain any of his policies.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can't? Or won't?

Many people believe that the health care bill is simply an usurpation of federal power over the private sector. Cap and Trade appears to them an even more blatant attempt at same. Even the KSM trial can be seen as the executive branch giving the judicial branch an opportunity to prosecute the previous administration's policies in the guise of a trial for terrorists.

Do you think this administration is incompetant, or sinister? Is President Obama's lack of eloquence in his policy explanations deliberate obfuscation, or unintelligent drivel?

mike volpe said...

You're asking me to get inside Obama's head. I can't and it's irelevant. Only he knows why and he may not know.

I stand by my thesis. If they can't explain their policy that, in and of itself, is a massive poblem and the reason they can't isn't nearly as important as the fact that they can't.