The Campaign Spot

Obama on Libya: Look, Just Trust Me On This

I’ll have more in tomorrow’s Morning Jolt, but I feel tonight a lot like the night of Obama’s speech announcing the Afghanistan surge to West Point. On paper, I agree with a lot of what Obama is saying. But he’s stringing together a lot of pretty-sounding phrases without really getting at the questions most skeptical Americans have: why intervene here and not in other places? Obama’s caught himself between his comments that clearly suggested regime change (Qaddafi must step down) and a strict adherence to a U.N. mandate that doesn’t include regime change. What is our goal? What do we do when America’s national interest and a United Nations rule conflict? And why are we worrying about what the U.N. says, anyway? Obama seems to be indicating we say publicly that we’re not pursuing regime change militarily but pursue it through non-military means, which seems like a fine (and perhaps odd) line. (If you’re trying to knock a brutal terror-sponsoring dictator out of power, knock him out of power! Don’t do it halfway!) Finally, what have we signed ourselves on to? Can we trust the Libyan rebels? What are we trying to replace Qaddafi with?

In the end, Obama’s speech amounted to, “Look, I realize none of you understand my decision making, but at the end of the day, you can rest easy knowing I’m right.”

He thinks he’s reassuring us.

Most Popular


Jonathan Swift in a White Suit

In 1965 Tom Wolfe visited Princeton University for a panel discussion of "the style of the Sixties." The author of The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, published that year, was scheduled to appear alongside Günter Grass, Allen Ginsberg, and Paul Krassner. Grass spoke first. The German novelist's ... Read More

In Appreciation, and against (Too Much) Nostalgia

To put it a little self-pityingly: It seems that my gurus are going, and the world’s. Richard Pipes, the great historian of Russia and the Soviet Union, died on Thursday; Bernard Lewis, the great historian of the Middle East, died yesterday. We had them both for a long time. Pipes was born in 1923, Lewis way ... Read More
Law & the Courts

This Day in Liberal Judicial Activism—May 20

1996—What’s one way to deal with unhelpful precedent? Just ignore it entirely, as Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion in Romer v. Evans does. In 1986 the Supreme Court ruled in Bowers v. Hardwick that it is constitutionally permissible for states to make homosexual conduct criminal. A decade later, the Court ... Read More

Comedians Are Catching On

The comedians are beginning to catch on. Over the weekend -- just one week after featuring a bevy of top-line Hollywood stars impersonating members of the Trump administration, as well as a cameo by a vengeful Stormy Daniels asking for President Trump’s resignation -- Saturday Night Live finally acknowledged ... Read More
PC Culture

The Nature of Progressive Insensitivity

Former vice president Joe Biden is back in the news yet again. For a second time, he seems surprised that poor residents of the inner city are capable of doing sophisticated jobs: We don't think ordinary people can do things like program, code. It's not rocket science, guys. So, we went and we hired some folks ... Read More

The Feminization of Everything Fails Our Boys

Let me share with you two troubling — and, I believe, closely linked — news reports. The first, from this weekend, comes courtesy of the American Enterprise Institute’s Mark Perry. In one chart, he highlights the dramatic and growing gender gap in higher education. In short, women are dominating: ... Read More