Islamic extremists are overrunning major cities in Iraq that U.S. forces liberated at the cost of American lives. Children from Central America are pouring illegally into America in numbers that far exceed our capacity to deal with them. Veterans are dying because they can’t get medical treatment.
What do these developments have in common? No reasonable American can possibly think they are desirable. trivial, or unrelated to action (or inaction) by the Obama administration.
This distinguishes them from, say, the Bergdahl deal. Although I have strongly criticized the deal, it is not beyond the bounds of reason to believe that the release of five Taliban commanders in exchange for one American soldier was, on balance, desirable. The Israelis make deals far more one-sided (which I also criticize). Like the Israelis, we place a very high value on those who sign up to fight for our country.
Developments in Iraq, the Southwestern border, and VA hospitals are also distinguishable from Benghazi. The attack can be viewed as a tragic, one-off event. To be sure, the administration should have been better prepared for the attack and should have responded more quickly and decisively. And obviously, it should not have lied about what drove the attack.
But there’s a reason why critics focus so much on “the cover up.” Many Americans are reluctant to second-guess a president’s reaction in real time to fast moving, unexpected events.
The three emerging crisis cited above are different. They are not one-off problems from which we can simply “move on.” The Iraq fiasco is ongoing and its consequences might well reverberate for years. The children who swarmed across the Southwestern border must be dealt with, and there don’t appear to be satisfactory options. Veterans will probably continue to receive substandard health care, or none at all, for the foreseeable future.
Moreover, these crises all have a direct connection to administration policy. The fall of western Iraq is the predictable consequence of President Obama’s decision to leave Iraq without a status of forces agreement. Mitt Romney and others warned of the consequences of a full military pull-out, but Obama pooh-poohed the warning. Had we sustained a military presence, Iraqi forces would likely have the will and the means to defeat, or at least hold off, the rebels.
The unlawful influx of Central American children seems to be the predictable consequence of Obama’s support of amnesty for “dreamers” and his move away from deportation. Word has spread to Central America that children who enter this country illegally will receive amnesty. Signals from Obama fueled this view.
The failure of the VA is the failure of those Obama selected to run the VA. As early as the 2008 transition period, Team Obama was warned that numbers were being manipulated to mask serious problems in the provision of care to veterans. The warning went unheeded and the situation worsened.
A new CNN/ORC poll shows that President Obama is now as unpopular as President Bush is. The survey was conducted before the fall of much of Iraq and the children’s invasion of the Southwest became prominently reported (the invasion remains largely ignored by the MSM).
The way things are going, one can imagine Obama’s rating approaching that of Bush at the end of his second term, though improvement in the economy would probably prevent this. Obama deserves even worse.