It's official - President Barack Obama is in full blown re-election mode. Today he delivered a speech justifying his hasty and incorrect decisions made to appease either side of the political aisle - he was for the release of photos before he was against it - with the bonus of incorrectly identifying his Secretary of Defense as he proclaimed the safety of the American people is first priority with him.
President Obama decided to make his defensive speech into a personal story, as frequently happens. He is a narcissistic human and everything, it turns out, is all about him. "I stand here today as someone whose own life was made possible by these documents. My father came to our shores in search of the promise that they offered. My mother made me rise before dawn to learn of their truth when I lived as a child in a foreign land. My own American journey was paved by generations of citizens who gave meaning to those simple words - "to form a more perfect union." I have studied the Constitution as a student; I have taught it as a teacher; I have been bound by it as a lawyer and legislator. I took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution as Commander-in-Chief, as a citizen, I know that we must never - ever - turn our back on its enduring principles for expedience sake."
Me, me, me. What American doesn't have a story of family immigration? We are a nation of immigrants. Why not carry it full circle and state that the rising before dawn in a foreign land was in Indonesia to say Muslim prayers with his Muslim step-father? Isn't this is personal story, too? His mother who left her children in Hawaii to be raised by the grandparents as she trekked around Indonesia and Africa for her work in Marxist theory?
Mr. Obama, heralded as oh so much smarter than that dunce George W. Bush, acknowledged the presence of the Secretary of Defense as "William Gates." For those playing along at home, the correct name is "Robert Gates", or if you're up for it, "Bob" Gates.
There was much irony in the speech delivered by President Obama. At the beginning he referenced "hasty" decisions made by the previous administration as they scrambled to keep our country safe after the attacks of 9/11/01. "Unfortunately, faced with an uncertain threat, our government made a series of hasty decisions." Ironic in light of the fact that this whole speech is to bolster his decision to close GITMO while the Senate vote yesterday produced only 6 members willing to vote in favor of giving the President money to close GITMO without a clear plan. Even Press Secretary Gibbs described the Executive Order to close the facility as "hasty". Decisions have consequences.
President Obama heralded his ban on enhanced interrogation methods but failed to mention his Executive Order to allow rendition to continue. He brought in the name of John McCain as someone who was against enhanced interrogation methods but not as someone highly critical of the Obama decision to close GITMO without a clear plan. He referenced Sen. Lindsey Graham - a JAG- as someone who has voiced a favorable opinion that prisoners don't escape from SuperMax facilities - but not to the fact that Graham in on record as against bringing GITMO detainees to this country, and that he believes it violates current immigration laws.
President Obama points to the fact that 2/3 of the detainees in GITMO were released by the Bush administration. Well, if Obama thinks it is good to release them, since they have been there so long with only 3 trials so far, then why the criticism?
Obama claims our country's "moral authority" has been damaged. He is of the proficiently apologizing crowd of politicians, so this is not a surprising claim. However, it is interesting to whom the rest of the world continues to come for assistance - yes, America.
"Now, over the last several weeks, we have seen a return of the politicization of these issues that have characterized the last several years. I understand that these problems arouse passions and concerns. They should. We are confronting some of the most complicated questions that a democracy can face. But I have no interest i spending our time re-litigating the policies of the last eight years. I want to solve these problems, and I want to solve them together as Americans." That's really interesting, considering he has been at the forefront of making national security a political issue. As a candidate running for Senate in Illinois, he was conveniently anti-Iraq war. As candidate running for President, he couldn't deliver a speech without criticizing foreign policy and military decisions of the former administration - as we were a nation at war with troops overseas. He still puts into every speech either "long before I was President" or the "last eight years" or the "failed policies of the Bush administration". Plus, he left the door open to "truth commissions" to lead to prosecuting the former administration for their political opinion and decisions.
"I ran for President promising transparency, and I meant what I said." Except in the website Gov.org which is to have everything on it and doesn't even come close. Except in living up to his promise to allow 5 days between a bill arriving on his desk and its signing, which also hasn't happened.
And, three or more references were made blaming the media for story lines stoking political divides. He didn't, however, bother to point to the fact that the slobbering press is very firmly planted on his side of every debate. Some press members so unprofessionally biased as to refer to former Bush administration members speeches as "sleazy" and others to publicly claim it is their "job" to see to it that Obama succeeds as President. Who of us can even imagine such help from the media given to former President Bush?
President Obama, is Michelle really proud of America yet?