A White House built on Shifting Sands

While Cheney remains a rock

Obama vindicates Bush

By Allan Erickson


The primary criticism leveled at candidate Obama was his lack of executive experience.  He had never held an executive job, never run a business, never managed a large organization. 


Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden and many other Democrats expressed extreme concern about Obama’s lack of executive experience, going so far as to say he was categorically unqualified to be President.


As events unfold, we learn more and more about the importance of executive experience, most often brought to the table by governors running for the White House.


The leader of the free world must be decisive and consistent.  He must operate from a well-established set of core values and tested principles to successfully guide the ship of state.


Already we are seeing this President is not cut from that cloth: he is indecisive, inconsistent, and takes cues from focus groups and polling data.  It is a presidency run like a campaign: in that light, no presidency at all.  


Consider Mr. Obama’s shifting positions in crucial areas of engagement having everything to do with our security and economic well-being:




May 14, 2009

Ronald Kessler, Newsmax

In the beginning, President Obama said he wanted to make us safer by letting potential terrorists know that we do not engage in torture. The idea was that sending that message would deprive terrorists of a recruiting tool.  So, even though enhanced interrogation techniques had not been employed since 2003, and Michael Hayden as CIA director banned their use three years later, Obama said he was stopping them.  Then Obama released Justice Department memos describing the enhanced interrogation techniques that had been used on three terrorists. In doing so, despite his claim that he did not want to do so, Obama provided terrorists with ammunition to recruit more terrorists. [Thereby putting our troops and our citizens at greater risk.  Obama’s CIA Director, Leon Panetta, told the President not to release the memos, agreeing with four previous CIA directors.  After ‘agonizing’ over the decision, the President release the memos, and now obviously regrets that well-thought-out decision.]



May 15, 2009

David Gardner, UK Daily Mail

President Barack Obama was today accused of a major U-turn after he decided to keep the controversial military commissions set up by George Bush to prosecute terror suspects. The surprise White House announcement reversed Mr Obama’s campaign pledge to rely on America’s conventional criminal court system. It was the president’s second U-turn this week after he changed his mind and pledged to try and block the court-ordered release of damning photographs showing US soldiers abusing prisoners. Last night’s move led to an outcry from shocked human rights campaigners who thought Mr Obama intended to dismantle the terror tribunals after calling them ‘an enormous failure’ during last year’s presidential campaign.



May 13, 2009


The administration said last month that it would not oppose the release of the pictures, but Mr. Obama changed his mind after seeing the photographs and getting warnings from top Pentagon officials that the images, taken from the early years of the wars, would “further inflame anti-American opinion” and endanger troops in two war zones.



Feb. 22, 2009

Stephen Foley, Independent UK

Less than a month after signing an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, President Barack Obama has quietly agreed to keep denying the right to trial to hundreds more terror suspects held at a makeshift camp in Afghanistan that human rights lawyers have dubbed “Obama’s Guantanamo.”  In a single-sentence answer filed with a Washington court, the administration dashed hopes that it would immediately rip up Bush-era policies that have kept more than 600 prisoners in legal limbo and in rudimentary conditions at the Bagram air base, north of Kabul.



May 6, 2009

Jake Tapper and Luis Martinez, ABC News

This morning in Riyadh, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he spoke to Saudi Assistant Minister of the Interior Muhammed bin Nayaf about sending the roughly 100 Yemeni detainees currently in the detainee center at Guantanamo Bay to Saudi Arabia to the Saudi government’s rehabilitation program for jihadis.  Former USS Cole commander Kirk Lippold issued a statement today saying that “the impact of turning Yemeni detainees over to either Saudi Arabia or Yemen is an unacceptable compromise to our national security. … Transferring Yemeni detainees to Saudi Arabia will inevitably lead to more terrorists on the battlefield endangering the lives of our military for a second time.”  [No plan to close Gitmo.  No idea where to put detainees.  No other countries want them.  Congressmen telling the President: not in our back yard.  Another chaotic situation.]



May 14, 2009

Roger Runningen and Hans Nichols, Bloomberg

President Barack Obama, calling current deficit spending “unsustainable,” warned of skyrocketing interest rates for consumers if the U.S. continues to finance government by borrowing from other countries.  “We can’t keep on just borrowing from China,” Obama said at a town-hall meeting in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, outside Albuquerque. “We have to pay interest on that debt, and that means we are mortgaging our children’s future with more and more debt.”  Holders of U.S. debt will eventually “get tired” of buying it, causing interest rates on everything from auto loans to home mortgages to increase, Obama said. “It will have a dampening effect on our economy.”  The president pledged to work with Congress to shore up entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare and said he was confident that the House and Senate would pass health-care overhaul bills by August.  “Most of what is driving us into debt is health care, so we have to drive down costs,” he said.  [Massive government spending has nothing to do with deficits?]



[Note Mr. Obama’s shifting positions on Iraq and FISA as well.  Indeed, when it comes to economic policy and national security the President is playing politics, not behaving like a chief executive.  That was predicted by HRC and Biden.  He is not a chief executive.  He is a politician.]


Other examples of shifting sands:

Charge Vets for Medical Care, Changed Course

Go to UN Racism Conference, the Boycott the conference

Stop warrantless wiretaps, keep them going

Stop military operations on Pakistani soil, keep them going

Note the importance of intelligence gathering, then paralyze the CIA

Secure the border, ignore the border

Engage Sudan, ignore Sudan

Confront Iran, ignore Iran

Confront N. Korea, ignore N. Korea

Support Israel, undercut Israel

Promote America, Criticize America overseas

Insist on Cap ‘n Trade, back away

Push nationalized healthcare while decrying deficit spending

Kill nuclear power, coal and petro development all the while calling for reduction of reliance on foreign oil

Claim he doesn’t want to run banks and car companies and then takes controlling interest



And while Ronald Reagan was liberating Grenada and helping the Contras overthrow the communist Sandinistas, liberal Democrats were penning “Dear Commandante” mash notes to Daniel Ortega.


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