By Alan Caruba
The last time America elected a young President it was John F. Kennedy, age 44 when he took office.
The result was the Bay of Pigs fiasco involving an ill-fated invasion of Cuba to overthrow Fidel Castro and the decision to step in for the defeated French in Vietnam. Other comparable decisions were cut short by his assassination. We remember him mostly for his stirring inaugural speech, but his choice of Lyndon Johnson as his Vice President gave us the escalation of the Vietnam War and Great Society social spending that proved to be a waste of billions.
Now we have a President who is 47, a very young age to be running the greatest economic and military power in the world. He had, on taking office, already written two autobiographical memoirs, but people are slowly becoming aware of the fact that there is virtually no paper trail by which to measure him. His birth certificate and legal standing to be President are in dispute. Records from his college days are hidden from view.
His record as a one-term Illinois legislator is replete with “present” votes that revealed little about his political positions. He did not even wait to complete a full term as a U.S. Senator before almost immediately beginning to run for the highest office in the land.
In terms of political leadership, he is a child among grownups and a petulant one at that.
His first months in office have demonstrated an astonishing lack of judgment regarding those who he appointed to office, many of whom were revealed to be tax cheats and others who have since demonstrated a distinct lack of competence or preparation for positions of critical importance. Why, for example, would he appoint a longtime political operative like Leon Panetta to be the Director of the CIA?
His initial policy decisions and statements panicked Wall Street and were it not for grownups like Ben Bernacke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and the steps taken by President Bush prior to his taking office, the economy might have suffered even greater damage. His decisions in office, however, are widely decried as a repetition of all the errors made by the FDR administration that prolonged the Great Depression.
While babbling endlessly about “energy independence” he has again banned any offshore exploration and drilling for oil and natural gas. His preferences for solar and wind energy ignore the fact that, while heavily subsidized by taxpayer funding, these two “clean” energies provide barely one percent of the electricity the nation requires and are the two least efficient and impractical means of generating power.
While deploring “earmarks” he signed an “imperfect” stimulus bill that contained nine thousand of them.
Foreign policy under President Obama has been characterized by ignoring the human rights and security needs of nations like Poland, Tibet, and Israel. Despite more than a half century of resisting the communist domination of Cuba, he has softened that and is likely to abandon it.
He has insisted on a swift withdrawal of troops from Iraq despite the obvious need to provide vital protection against the forces that would undermine its newly minted democracy. He insists on transferring troops to Afghanistan in a war that few regard as anything other than a prolonged insurgency with little prospect of a successful outcome.
Obama may be our first President with Attention Deficit Disorder. He went from declaring we faced an economic “catastrophe” to saying the economy was still strong in just over a month. Maybe that accounts for his dependence on the TelePrompter which, we’re told, goes everywhere he does.
We’re watching an already long list of fatally flawed decisions and I suggest that we are looking at a combination of his socialist ideology, his youth and inexperience, and a narcissism that cannot tolerate criticism no matter its source.
His greatest support comes from a younger generation of Americans with virtually no knowledge of the nation’s history, no grasp of the economic issues affecting it, and no more political insight than to rely on “hope and change” without understanding that these are not, nor ever were sufficient to the task of being in charge of a great nation with great challenges.
Politically, emotionally, and intellectually, Barack Hussein Obama is a child. This has become increasingly evident with every passing day.
It is not too soon to demand those hidden documents. It is not too soon for the Democrats in Congress to realize that supporting his policies represents a grave danger to the nation and their reelection. It is not too soon to begin working to neutralize him by electing a Republican controlled Congress in 2010.
The military’s meritocracy is based on experience that comes with age and proven leadership. We require that our police act in a disciplined and mature way when dealing with law-breakers. We don’t put children in charge of our schools.
We don’t believe or support people who regard carbon dioxide—vital to all life on Earth—to be a “pollutant” that must be regulated and used to raise billions for a profligate government while wrecking its economy.
“The secret of eternal youth is arrested development,” said Alice Roosevelt Longworth, a keen observer of life and the politics of the nation’s capitol. She passed away in 1980, but she would reaffirm the truth of that opinion if she was watching the Obama administration at work.