Sunday, January 10, 2010

Look--It's The White House! Who's In Charge?

If you're not using a large screen, click on the picture so you can play "how many times do the words 'White House' appear in this picture?" Channeling Harry Truman, the President recently announced "the buck stops with me," but apparently somebody forgot to tell Janet Napolitano.

The picture was taken nearly two weeks after Napolitano first announced that she had the situation stemming from the Flight 253 underwear bombing fiasco and near-disaster completely under control. She had declared security procedures to be working perfectly. That was shortly before she said that security procedures were a mess, and just before the president announced there had been a "systemic failure." The picture apparently demonstrates that Napolitano is still very much in the president's favor, even now.

On Thursday evening, the president declared that the battle for control over the White House had resulted in perfected security procedures, and dammit, he's in charge. He even took personal responsibility for the US intelligence failure, at least according to another one of the residents of the White House, ABC News. Of course there's no mention of any change in procedures, but he took responsibility, didn't he? What a man! What next? A president who thinks he's the commander-in-chief?

Quickly retreating to his "can't we all just get along?" mode , he also announced that no officials would be fired (see Napolitano, above). He almost seemed to take pride in his humility (if such a thing is possible) in announcing the failure, while completely forgetting to reassure the nation by laying out any plans he might have for correcting the systemic problem he acknowledged. Frankly, I think he should borrow an antique guillotine from France and send heads rolling all over D.C. and the immediate environs. He's an amateur bowler, after all, and he should be tossing those heads at every agency and agency executive that was so busy protecting his or her own fiefdom that they didn't notice the most obvious terrorist since the Green Goblin boarding a plane in Amsterdam.

Obama actually spoke the dread word "enemy" and aimed the epithet at Al Qaeda, after first using the words "terrorist" and "war." Well, that's a start, and at least he was sophisticated enough to refer to "Al Qaeda affiliates" in recognition of the fact that the original organization has decentralized and metastasized. If he ever recognizes that the enemy is not just Al Qaeda and its affiliates, but rather worldwide Islamofascism (foreign and domestic), he'll be on to something. Still, though he can't seem to help himself most of the time, for once Obama didn't note a gazillion times that the watch lists failed because they were put into place under the Bush administration.

On his first outing as a movie director, actor/dancer Gene Kelly was chided for his lack of directorial skills. After a scene was shot, and he wasn't happy with it, he would give the actors another opportunity. When they asked what he wanted them to do this time, he is said to have responded "do it better." It appears that Obama's leadership contains the same skills. The New York Times thinks that Obama told the security agencies to "do things faster." The Christian Science Monitor reports that Obama has told his agencies to "keep doing what they are doing, only faster and in a more coherent manner." All the MSM publications reported a "change in tone," but none were able to point out a change in substance.

Gene Kelly got better at what he was doing, and learned how to give directions and set the stage for movie success. But there, only a movie was at stake. Today, we have a president who is simply incapable of giving direct orders, clarifying what he wants done, and making sure that it gets done quickly and efficiently. A great deal more than a mere movie is at stake here. The lives of American citizens and the safety of the entire nation are at stake, and the big chief has finally awakened to the fact that we do have an actual enemy. The big question now is "when will he start directing?" Or maybe the real question is "is he even capable of it?"


HamiltonsGhost said...

Lawhawk--I remember a political "balloon" captioned humor book series being published starting with John Kennedy. News photos, with balloon captions with silly things being said in the balloons. The series was published about once a year, and was called "Who's In Charge Here?" Two years into the Carter administration, they re-titled it "Nobody's In Charge Here." Too bad it isn't around these days.

AndrewPrice said...

"Keep doing what you're doing (i.e. failing) only do it quicker and in a more coherent manner." Yeah. . . that makes total sense.

Honestly, I think no one is in charge at the White House. . . I think they're letting events run themselves. Napolitano in particular strikes me as utterly in over her head.

Tennessee Jed said...

The problem for Obama is that people are pretty much onto the fact by now that every word he utters is either complete bullshit, or more charitably, well intentioned mumblings of an incompetent. He is the champion of speaking out of both sides of his mouth, a fact which I attribute to long term reliance on stereo teleprompters.

Unknown said...

HamiltonsGhost: I remember that series. I particularly remember one with Grace Kelly standing in the White House, looking at John and Jackie with her caption reading "And I had to settle for a prince." That was cute and amusing at the time. Unfortunately, that kind of "movie star worship" is the only thing supporting our current president. There's no there there.

Unknown said...

Andrew: Dont ya love it? More of the same, only faster. I guess he figures the number of attempts will speed up, so we need to speed up the process of nearly missing them as well (at least we hope they'll continue to be failed attempts).

Unknown said...

Tennessee: Words, words, words. I still am not the least bit convinced that even after using the words "terrorist, enemy, and war" he has the least idea of what any of those mean, let alone what to do about them.

StanH said...

Reactive as opposed to proactive, typical liberal mind think. However, in this case it could be deadly. Barry’s in the middle of a collegial debate, where he believes with clever wording, and cool demeanor, he will win over the Islamo-fascist, stupid. As far a Napalotino(?) birds of a feather brother, an incompetent has no problem with incompetency.

Unknown said...

StanH: I keep hearing rumors that Napolitano will go, but I'm sure not hearing that coming from Obama. It may just be wishful thinking on the part of those with more sense than the messiah.

Skinners 2 Cents said...

I don't know if anyone here has heard of the "bubu bunny." It's essentially some cloth wrapped up to look like a bunny with a place to put a cube of ice in it.
They're for children when ever they get a little scrape or a bruise they get to use the bubu bunny with ice and that alone makes them feel better. Sure the ice probably does something to numb the pain but incredibly the children just want to hold the bubu bunny to feel better not actually use it. It's similar to mom kissing a wound and making it feel better. Neither actually does anything physically but does help young naive minds in a physiological sort of way.

That's the only thing that comes to mind when ever I hear Napolitano speak. She seems to be big on creating a sense that everything is fine. Just like mom would do when you were 2 and scraped your elbow. Unfortunately we're not talking about inconvenient flesh wounds we're talking about whole sale annihilation.

These guys dropped the ball big time and no amount of ice wrapped in cloth can change the reality of what would have happened had this been successful. This incident was truly a Christmas Miracle.

Miracle at 37 Thousand Feet.

I would be stunned by Napolitano if she didn't have a boss that has the same naive approach. All we have to do is apologize and everything is going to be fine.

Really the only thing holding us back from true security is a little Pixie Dust.

Writer X said...

That photo is hysterical. Do you think they walk around with nametags that say "Secy of Homeland Security" and "President" too?

Obama's bumbling of the Christmas Day terrorist was pathetic. But expected. I wasn't surprised to see Napolitano fumble; she was simply parroting what Obama and Emanuel told her to say, I think. I don't think she has a functioning brain.

If people weren't concerned about Obama before, I think more of them are now.

Unknown said...

WriterX: Yes--They all wear their big-name party buttons (they match the bumper stickers on their limousines that we pay for). Your comment showed admirable restraint, since I know you are very well-acquainted with Napolitano's many failures in Arizona before she put the entire nation in jeopardy.

Unknown said...

Lawhawk. Was that picture taken at the White House? LOL. I know she stinks on national security, but I wouldn't want to meet her accidentally in a dark alley. That woman is scary looking.

Unknown said...

CalFed: She is indeed a tough looking babe (too bad she doesn't scare the Islamofascists). I think they're hiring down at the motor pool if Obama ever grows a pair and fires her (but I think he's scared of her too).

Unknown said...

Skinners2Cents: Very astute, and very accurate. Everything they've done (and not just in national security) has been a palliative. They are handing us the most expensive and dangerous placebos in history. Bubu Bunny would work just as well, and cost one helluva lot less.

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