An Ironic Press Conference

by Victor Davis Hanson

NRO’s The Corner

The president did not really answer questions as much as lecture the nation at his press conference Tuesday about how everyone and everything are politicized except his own policies — as the same old themes and tropes always seem to reappear. “Game-changers” and “red lines” are boldly announced and then quietly modified and internationalized. We sorta, kinda may do something if the “international community” (rather than the U.S. Congress, à la Libya) determines that there was WMD use in Syria — but probably not. And even as prior game-changers are contextualized, once broken promises refloat — like yet another dramatic vow to close Guantanamo. The president is an expert at issuing executive orders to circumvent marriage laws, bans on women in combat, immigration enforcement, etc., so why, in the aftermath of Boston, does he not just use his powers to close the facility as he promises?

There is a strange priority of focus: The president is now unaware that for weeks those knowledgeable about “long time ago”/”what difference does it make?” Benghazi have claimed that they feared reprisals should they testify about heretofore unknown facts of the killings. Yet he has time to call Jason Collins to congratulate him on apparently being the first openly gay basketball player in the NBA. Then comes the normal “projection,” in which Obama assumes that others share his own way of thinking, in this case by alleging that Lindsey Graham is worried about the FBI and CIA lapses largely because of his desire for “headlines.” Post hoc fallacies are the new normal: The law-enforcement responseafter the bombings was excellent, therefore it was as well before. Petulance is always a requisite: The president laments that he cannot do the job for the other side, and at one point sighs, “Well, if you put it that way, Jonathan, maybe I should just pack up and go home.”

Condescension is the same old, same old: We all really love the early implementation of parts of Obamacare, but like the proverbial clingers, we just are not in-the-know enough to appreciate it.

And always looming is what is never said — the dangers of radical Islam. But there is no such reluctance on the part of the administration to sermonize to us about the perils of our Neanderthal reactions to terrorism, rather than to warn of the catalysts of the act itself. How odd that just as the attorney general lectures about overreacting to Boston, the president himself apparently suggests a hunger strike may well lead to Guantanamo being shut down (the delighted and famished detainees must be reading their Alinsky). In short, we are still clueless about what energizes the Tsarnaevs, in Major Hasan style, to commit workplace violence and to contribute to man-caused disasters, all in pursuit of their own holy struggles and purification, as they recklessly endanger our diversity programs.

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