- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 18, 2009


When a ringing telephone once interrupted her train of thought, American author Dorothy Parker reportedly exclaimed, “What fresh hell is this?” It’s a sentiment now shared by most Americans when they think about the Obama administration.

Over the past 10 months, President Obama has subjected the country to a grueling and dizzying whirligig ride. Every day brings a new outrage, failure, resignation, scandalous revelation, incompetence, untruth, laughable spin and, most important, horrifyingly bad policy.

You cannot open a newspaper, go to a news Web site, or turn on cable news without seeing a new story that is more appalling than the last. Just when you think you’ve heard it all from Team Obama, the next day brings another jaw-dropper.

The man is exhausting. Since taking office, Mr. Obama has given us near-daily fresh hells. He has:

• Signed into law a $787 billion economic “stimulus” meant to create jobs and keep unemployment to 8 percent. Since January, the jobless rate has climbed to 10.2 percent and the stimulus is regarded as an economic failure.

• Pushed for a $1 trillion plus government takeover of health care, complete with Orwellian rationing, monumental tax increases, skyrocketing premiums, massive new bureaucracies, deep Medicare cuts, and lies about finding “savings” in the current system.

• Proposed a $3.5 trillion budget.

• Spent to such an extent that the national deficit stands at a record $1.4 trillion, and the national debt is on track to double in the next five years and triple in 10; further, he supports raising the national debt ceiling, because $12.1 trillion just isn’t enough.

• Has taken over much of the U.S. auto industry, including General Motors Corp., whose last chief executive officer he summarily sacked.

• Funneled tens of billions of dollars into GM and Chrysler, only to have them file for bankruptcy anyway, while giving the unions a majority stake.

• Pushed the “cap-and-trade” scheme, which would result in the largest tax increase ever.

• Appointed more than three dozen “czars,” accountable to no one but him.

• Forced the resignation of one of them, Van Jones, the “green jobs czar,” whose radicalism was too “out there” for a White House that likes its radicalism on the down-low.

• Sanctioned war with Fox News.

• Apologized multiple times for the United States in major speeches abroad.

• Pussyfooted over whether to approve a troop escalation in Afghanistan.

• Disrespected friends from Great Britain (slighting Prime Minister Gordon Brown; giving the queen an iPod, loaded with his own speeches) to Israel (demanding a settlement freeze while accommodating Iran’s nuclear ambitions) to Eastern Europe (you’re on your own) to the Dalai Lama (you’re on your own, too).

• Engaged enemies from Iran (see above) to Hugo Chavez (thanks for the book) to Chavez-lite Manuel Zelaya (what Honduran constitution?) to Russia (who needs that pesky land-based missile defense system anyway?).

• Bowed to Saudi King Abdullah and Japanese Emperor Akihito.

• Joy rode to Copenhagen, only to have the 2016 Olympics go to Rio instead of Chicago.

• OK’d Air Force One to fly low over downtown Manhattan for a photo shoot, causing widespread panic among New Yorkers for whom Sept. 11, 2001, is a fresh memory.

• Jumped to conclusions by criticizing the Cambridge, Mass., police for “acting stupidly” when they arrested a black professor, Henry Louis Gates.

• Had to make up for jumping to conclusions by holding a “beer summit” with Mr. Gates and the arresting officer, Sgt. James Crowley.

• Warned of “jumping to conclusions” after Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan fatally shot 13 of his fellow servicemen and women in an act of jihad at Fort Hood.

• Made an initial statement after the slaughter that featured an opening two minutes of “shout-outs.”

• Won the Nobel Peace Prize for accomplishing nothing.

Yet all of this pales in comparison to the mother of all irresponsible decisions made by Mr. Obama last week: the transfer of top al Qaeda terrorists, including Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, from Guantanamo Bay to New York City to stand trial in civilian courts.

Cue the lawyers. Cue the constitutional rights for enemy combatants who do not deserve them. Cue the allegations of government “torture.” Cue the trial of former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, and the rest of the Bush team. Cue the motions to dismiss, the insanity defenses, and the messed-up criminal proceedings. Cue the terrorists’ soap-box use of the ensuing media circus. Cue the astronomical cost of security, and the increased probability of another attack in New York. Cue the possible acquittals, or overturned convictions.

This epic-disaster-in-the-making is the latest fresh hell from Team Obama. The man who was known as “no drama Obama” during the campaign has given us nothing but depleting and infuriating drama since he arrived in office.

A president is supposed to calm the American people with sober decision-making in the national interest. He is not supposed to exhaust us with an unrelenting stream of humiliating and dangerous actions before his first year is through.

He is wearing us out, perhaps deliberately so we’ll lack the energy to oppose his future policies. But that’s a risky game: A people fatigued by bad presidential judgment aren’t inclined to reward him or his party. Mr. Obama is the first president who seems to relish having the public awake each day, thinking “What now?”

Hopefully he will be the last.

Monica Crowley is a nationally syndicated radio host, a panelist on “The McLaughlin Group” and a Fox News contributor.

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