I’m ready to concede that President Obama believes in American exceptionalism — his own version, in which American does things so perverse that no other country in history would even contemplate them.
Any country might do a prisoner swap, even if it meant freeing very bad people. But only an exceptional country would swap five leading terrorists in exchange for a deserter.
Any second-rate county might screw up in providing medical treatment for its veterans. But only an exceptional country would do so while at the same time providing a sex change operation for an ex-soldier who betrayed his country.
What Obama really believes in, of course, is his own exceptionalism. This belief is fully justified.
Some might point to Jimmy Carter as proof that Obama isn’t all that exceptional. Indeed, Scott refers to this stage of the time of Obama as “the killer rabbit phase,” a reference to the Carter presidency. But the perverse spectacle Obama provides goes far beyond Carter’s laughable ineffectualness.
For example, the spectacle involving the Bergdahls transcends anything Carter could have concocted (at least during his presidency). Any president can botch a complicated rescue mission, as Carter did. Only an exceptional one could produce the Homeland meets Manchurian Candidate production that Obama has delivered by securing the release of Bowe Bergdahl.
Nearly all of the exceptional elements of Obamaism are present. The president appeases a deadly enemy (recall his statement that he hopes through the exchange to gain the trust of the Taliban); makes life more dangerous for an ally we are about to abandon (Afghanistan will bear the brunt of the terrorism unleashed by the five Taliban commanders); and disregards American law (which required him to consult with Congress). Moreover, he does all of this on behalf of an anti-American deserter and his jihadist-sympathizing father.
You couldn’t make this up.
Jimmy Carter had a knack for putting himself in absurd and humiliating circumstances. But I doubt that Carter could have staged anything like the White House photo opportunity with Bergdahl’s parents.
There was Obama, embracing the Taliban’s number one American sympathizer. And there was that sympathizer, breaking into Pashto, the dialect of southern Afghanistan.
I suppose we should be grateful that Obama didn’t respond in Pashto.
As Bill Otis says, I’m not sure what more Obama can do to damage this country, but I’m sure we’ll soon find out.