The Corner

Man Bites Dog

Jake Lingle must be tearing out what’s left of his comb-over these days, as one epic disaster after another has afflicted Barack Hussein Obama II these past few weeks. It’s amazing what can happen to a politician’s popularity once the image puppeteers lose control of the “narrative.” We’ve had the ill-advised Supreme Court bullying, the Maldives/Malvinas/whatever twofer (pandering political blunder/geographic illiteracy), the GSA follies, the Hilary Rosen exploding cigar and — much to the nation’s merriment — the “Dog: It’s What’s for Dinner” celebration of vibrant multiculturalism. 

So far, so risible. The Punahou Kid has always been a faintly comic figure, full of bluster, braggadocio, and an inflated self-image that makes the balloons at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade look like the homunculi in The Bride of Frankenstein. Only respect for the office and David Axelrod’s media fog machine have kept the public from laughing at the president — something that’s now changed. As Jack Woltz says in The Godfather: “A man in my position can’t afford to be made to look ridiculous.” Just ask Jimmy Carter

But there’s a serious side to the whoopee cushion that is the Obama administration, which for three years has managed to be both amateurish and malevolent at the same time. And that’s this:

The partying U.S. Secret Service agents and officers who allegedly brought prostitutes into their Cartagena, Colombia hotel rooms brought the call girls “into contact with sensitive security information,” the Chair and ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform wrote to Mark J. Sullivan, the director of the U.S. Secret Service today.

The charge is contained in a letter from Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Elijah Cummings, D-Md…

“The facts as you described them raised questions about the agency’s culture,” the two congressmen write. “The incident in Cartagena is troubling because Secret Service agents and officers made a range of bad decisions, from drinking too much, to engaging with prostitutes, to bringing foreign nationals into contact with sensitive security information, to exposing themselves to blackmail and other forms of potential compromise.”

Details of this fiasco are still emerging (and you can bet that the most damaging will be buried), but it’s simply stunning that so many Secret Service and military personnel could have acted so cavalierly about matters of national security and the president’s personal safety, and their behavior, if true, raises a whole series of ugly questions. Did they deliberately compromise Obama’s safety, or did they just not care? Does the fish rot from the head down? Is there a culture of laxity about national security in the White House that communicated itself to the Secret Service and the Marines? Have they never heard of a honey trap

As Rand Simberg points out, it’s highly likely that neither Obama nor Bill Clinton ever would have received even the most basic security clearance had they not been elected president, and it’s certainly true that Democratic presidents seem to have a lot of trouble keeping spies and enemy agents out of their administrations. But what do you expect from a criminal organization masquerading as a political party? As some idiot pointed out just before the inauguration, the Obama administration was from the outset a clown car heading for disaster, the unholy issue of ’30s mobsters and ’60s Marxists, slickly packaged for a new generation of suckers. 

“Man bites dog” used to be the very definition of news; now it’s just another punch line in an ongoing national practical joke that’s no laughing matter. 

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