President Obama’s departure for his Hawaiian vacation the other day reminded us of the chaotic scene at the end of the Vietnam War when desperate American military and civilian personnel were extricated from Saigon by hovering helicopters while surging North Vietnamese troops, pressing forward with their encirclement of Saigon, were mere yards away.
Make no mistake: Mr. Obama is presently under siege, and he can no longer blame his troubles on nasty Republicans putting politics over the public interest. Even the media, finally tired of serving as the administration’s lap dogs, are calling him to task.
Front and center, of course, has been the disastrous rollout of Obamacare along with the patent untruths the president spoke about its costs and about how Americans would be able to keep their current insurance plans and doctors.
We now understand why he delayed the much-anticipated (or much-dreaded, depending on one’s political perspective) rollout until after last November’s presidential election. Just imagine a president having to run for reelection with this debacle hanging over his head – especially with the Benghazi controversy still fresh in voters’ minds.
Damage had already been done to Mr. Obama’s credibility by Benghazi and a host of other embarrassments, including the revelation that the IRS had targeted conservative groups. But it took the Obamacare fiasco to sink the president to unprecedented lows in the opinion polls, with a majority of Americans viewing him as untrustworthy or incompetent – or both.
Mr. Obama is also facing an open revolt by senior Senate Democrats who are ignoring his importuning to delay enactment of new sanction legislation aimed at Iran on the grounds that it would thwart the continuation of current talks with Tehran. And a growing number of our allies are wondering whether the U.S. is still a reliable ally given Mr. Obama’s having ignored his own “red lines” regarding Iran and Syria.
Ominous also is the recent Chinese assertion of jurisdiction in international waters despite U.S. protests and Russian moves in Asia and Europe. Meanwhile, Iran’s support for terror around the world continues unabated.
We are at a critical juncture in our history. We really need the president to somehow refurbish our image in the world and regain respect for his office. Because whatever one may think of his politics and policies, he’s the only president we have, and he has three years left to his second term.