Criticism of Obama is OK, But We Draw the Line at Unfairness to Barney Fife

We have long been critics of Barack Obama, sometimes harsh ones. But we have always tried to be fair. So when unfairness comes to light, we feel obliged to object to it.

That happened yesterday when Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert lit into Obama for his incompetent foreign policy. The Daily Mail has the story:

Lawmakers are fuming over President Barack Obama’s admission on Thursday that his White House lacks a strategy for dealing with the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in Syria….

And as House and Senate members piled on with sharp criticism, a former senior aide to a retired defense secretary told MailOnline that the Joint Chiefs of Staff are “seeing red” and “spitting nails” following Obama’s candid admission.

“They’re losing confidence in their mission,” said the long-time Pentagon insider, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “When the president doesn’t know what direction to point people in, all his advisers can do is guess at what he wants. That’s not good.”

Those criticisms are entirely justified. Pretty much everyone who isn’t a paid Democratic Party operative, or an unpaid operative like a reporter or editor, sees Obama’s paralysis in the face of ISIS and similar terrorist groups as a disastrous failure.

Most of what Congressman Gohmert said about Obama’s foreign policy was right on point:

“I don’t know where he’s getting his information,” said Gohmert. “Maybe it’s CIA Director [John] Brennan who said earlier this year that ‘No, these guys don’t want a caliphate.’

“He must have his head buried in a hole somewhere on the first green.”

That is a fair and rather mild comment on Obama’s ineptitude. But this is where Congressman Gohmert went astray:

Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert told Fox News on Thursday that Obama articulated “a pitiful foreign policy, and Barney Fife is in charge.”

This is, I think, deeply unfair to Barney Fife. Those who watched Andy of Mayberry many years ago recall Barney as the nervous, seemingly ineffectual deputy sheriff who could never do anything right. And yet…there was more to Barney than that. He may have been confused at times, but he was no dummy. And he may have been nervous, but he was no coward. Take this clip, for instance:

To put Barack Obama in the same category as Barney Fife is deeply insulting to Fife. Therefore, we must protest. Has Barack Obama ever shown the courage and moral clarity that Fife exhibits in that brief video? No.

So: if you want to criticize the Obama administration, go right ahead. They have it coming. But leave Barney Fife out of it: we should be so lucky as to have him for a president.

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