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September 16, 2013

"Incompetence", Defined

We suspect Herr Stephens will not be invited to the next White House kaffeeklatsch:

One of the favorite Democratic attack lines against the Bush administration was that it was "incompetent." Maybe so, but competence is also a matter of comparison.

So let's compare. The administration will be lucky to win an unbelievably thin congressional majority for its unbelievably small plan of attack. By contrast, the October 2002 authorization for military force in Iraq passed by an easy 77-23 margin in the Senate and a 296-133 margin in the House.

The administration also touts the support of 24 countries—Albania and Honduras are on board!—who have signed a letter condemning Assad's use of chemical weapons "in the strongest terms," though none of them, except maybe France, are contemplating military action. Yet Mr. Bush assembled a coalition of 40 countries who were willing to deploy troops to Iraq—a coalition Mr. Kerry mocked as inadequate and illegitimate when he ran for president in 2004.

Then there's the intel. In London the other day, Mr. Kerry invited the public to examine the administration's evidence of Assad's use of chemical weapons, posted on whitehouse.gov. The "dossier" consists of a 1,455-word document heavy on blanket assertions such as "we assess with high confidence" and "we have a body of information," and "we have identified one hundred videos."

By contrast, the Bush administration made a highly detailed case on Iraqi WMD, including show-and-tells by Colin Powell at the Security Council. It also relied on the testimony of U.N. inspectors like Hans Blix, who reported in January 2003 that "there are strong indications that Iraq produced more anthrax than it declared," that his inspectors had found "indications that the [nerve agent VX] was weaponized," and that Iraq had "circumvented the restrictions" on the import of missile parts.

The case the Bush administration assembled on Iraqi WMD was far stronger than what the Obama administration has offered on Syria. And while I have few doubts that the case against Assad is solid, it shouldn't shock Democrats that the White House's "trust us" approach isn't winning converts. When you've spent years peddling the libel that the Bush administration lied about Iraq, don't be shocked when your goose gets cooked in the same foul sauce.

Cheeky thing.

Posted by Cassandra at September 16, 2013 08:10 AM

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Unlike the goose and duck, Obama seems to enjoy flying into a headwind. Reminds me of the Bush election in 2000 post election when a lady elitist decried the Bush victory by stating "How did he win? I don't know a single person who voted for him?" This attitude is endemic to the liberals and progressives. Don't worry about obstacles you dismiss (at your own peril).

Posted by: vet66 at September 16, 2013 11:28 AM

I'm never sure what criteria (other than their own bias) journalists use for these ad hoc intelligence tests :p

Bush was - famously - not a reader. Never mind that he was, or that he read both history and contemporary political stuff, no - he was a lightweight. An incurious buffoon who couldn't bear to be told anything that contradicted his world view. Remember when John Lewis Gaddis came out and said that Bush not only read his critical review of Bush's performance, but required his top level officers to read it too?

That's evidence of insularity and inability to consider what his critics had to say.


Enter Obama, The Smartest President EVAH... what does he read? Junk novels, from what I've read so far. But that doesn't mean he's anti-intellectual or a poseur. It's an indication... err... somehow of his vastly superior intellect :p

And the fact that his administration is widely reputed to be downright incestuous? Doesn't mean a thing.

Aye, chihuahua. These people.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 16, 2013 11:42 AM

and why, pray tell, do the MSM accept that he is so darn bright?
Because he was accepted at Occidental? . . ;)
- please show me admittance records
Because he was accepted at Columbia?
- please show me admittance records
Because he was a great student at Coumbia?
- please show me his transcript
Because he was accepted at Harvard?
- please show me admittance records
Because he was a great student at Harvard?
- please show me his transcript
Because he was an editor at the Harvard Law Review?
- please show me his published work (which *all* other editors did)
Because of his work as a Wall St grunge analyst, or that pathetic gimme non-tenure track instructor position at UOC?
- go fish; OUC faculty should be ashamed
- show me *any* published work as an academic
Because he was a brilliant pol in IL?
- he lost his first election
- he won his second election by disqualifying his opponent
- he originated *zero* significant legislation, was a sponsor of a couple popular bills *only* because Dem machine pulled strings, and cowardly avoided any difficult issues by literally voting 'present'

>>> soo, on the basis of *one* well delivered speech, and the fact that he was a 'clean, well spoken black' (Joe Biden, not me) . . . he's the smartest POTUS in living memory?
- confidently a lot of pundits will look *really* dumb in a few years.

Best Regards,

ps: every other modern POTUS candidate disclosed basic records like transcripts; why not BHO?

Posted by: CAPT Mike at September 18, 2013 02:40 AM

Mike, you ignorant slut :p

As all Really Smart People know, the most transparent President evah does not have to actually do anything to establish the fact that he is unquestionably the most transparent President evah.

Your impertinent questions only serve to reveal the deep well of ignorance and bias from whence all conservatives spring, and from whence they never escape (unless, of course, they finally see reason and simply accept everything I say at face value).

Sheesh. Do I have to explain everything to you people?

Posted by: Barack Obama at September 18, 2013 08:13 AM

"Your impertinent questions only serve to reveal the deep well of ignorance and bias from whence all conservatives spring,...

You forgot, "Raaaaacccist!!"

Posted by: DL Sly at September 18, 2013 01:15 PM