People ask me if I ever lack ideas for opinion pieces. Au contraire: Like a Malibu firefighter encircled by blazing brush, I can’t decide where to aim my hose. I spent most of Wednesday trying to pick which of that day’s Obama-fueled infernos to douse.
I awoke to the news that Obama has fallen way behind on his promise to train moderate Syrians to fight ISIS. After budgeting some $500 million to instruct and equip 3,000 anti-ISIS troops by year’s end, Obama, in fact, has unleashed 60 such combatants. That’s 2 percent down, 98 percent to go. But, hey, what’s the rush?
Even before the advent of ISIS, Obama originally touted this effort as a bulwark against the brutality of Bashar Assad, the dictator of Damascus. “We are particularly interested in making sure that we are mobilizing the moderate forces inside of Syria,” Obama declared at a presidential debate on October 22, 2012. Thirty-two months later, Obama’s moderate Syrian force boasts a whopping five dozen members.
“The number 60, as you all recognize, is not an impressive number,” Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. “The number is much smaller than we hoped for at this point.”
Obama exhibits little urgency. His policy recalls what a Jamaican waiter might say after your conch fritters remain unserved after 45 minutes: “Soon come, mon. Soon come.”
Apparently, placing non-American boots on the ground is not so important in the battle against ISIS.
“Ideologies are not defeated with guns,” Obama explained Monday. “They are defeated by better ideas and more attractive and more compelling vision.” If only we had deployed copies of The Federalist Papers on Omaha Beach, rather than GIs. We could have crushed Hitler in a jiffy.
Senator John McCain (R., Ariz.) told Fox News Channel’s Martha MacCallum Wednesday, “In all the years that I have observed different conflicts and American conduct of foreign policy and national-security policy, this is the most bizarre.”
Also, bizarre is the IRS political-harassment scandal. Former IRS official Lois Lerner initially blamed “our line people in Cincinnati” for subjecting conservative and tea-party groups to excessive scrutiny, stifling paperwork demands, intrusive interrogations (“please provide the percentage of time your organization spends on prayer groups”), and endless delays in their applications for tax-exempt status.
Wednesday’s headlines revealed a far broader and darker abuse of power.
If you like Obamacare and Obamanet, you will love Obamahood. Having wrecked the medical industry and nationalized the Internet, Obama now wants Washington to dictate the demographic makeup of America’s neighborhoods.
“The FBI and Justice Department worked with Lois Lerner and the IRS to concoct some reason to put President Obama’s opponents in jail before his reelection, and this abuse resulted in the FBI’s illegally obtaining the IRS files of innocent Americans,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch. The conservative watchdog group uncovered an IRS document that shows how the agency furnished the FBI with 21 computer disks bearing 1.25 million pages from some 113,000 tax records. This transfer included the improper disclosure of “confidential taxpayer information,” which is covered by two laws that carry criminal penalties: Internal Revenue Code Section 6103 and the federal Privacy Act.
Given Team Obama’s Chinese-style stonewalling, congressional investigators are unlikely to solve this mystery. They also lack police power to do much about it. Thus, it’s time for a special prosecutor.
Fitton correctly wonders: “How can the Justice Department and FBI investigate the very scandal in which they are implicated?”
Meanwhile, if you like Obamacare and Obamanet, you will love Obamahood. Having wrecked the medical industry and nationalized the Internet, Obama now wants Washington to dictate the socioeconomic and demographic makeup of America’s neighborhoods. The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule is a 377-page federal regulation unveiled Wednesday. Federal ethnocrats now will dragoon local communities into adjusting their racial compositions, housing density, zoning, and other matters according to the whims of America’s masters on the Potomac.
Unable to focus on one executive-branch outrage from among the many that arose on Wednesday alone, I remain astonished at how much incompetence, corruption, and hyperactivity Obama can pump out in just 24 hours.