Obama’s West Point Speech signals a presidency in deep trouble

Thursday, May 29, 2014
By Paul Martin

Thomas Lifson
May 29, 2014

Yesterday’s speech to the graduating class of West Point by President Obama may be remembered as the signal that his presidency has entered a crisis of confidence, much as Jimmy Carter’s infamous “malaise” speech has gone down in history as marking a failed presidency. Not only was the content of the speech delusional (calling Russia “isolated” in the wake of a massive and historic gas deal with China that marks a major rapprochement between two powers hostile to the United States; claiming Ukraine as an example of the success of his coalition strategy), the delivery was wooden, as if Obama were wishing he were on a golf course or basketball court, and felt a hostile vibe. And the visible reception was embarrassingly icy, with only a few people applauding at key lines, and a standing ovation in which the vast majority remained seated and unmoved, suggesting the commander in chief is held in contempt by the next generation of military leadership.

Writing at Powerline, Scott Johnson titled his quick reaction to the speech, “More mush from the wimp.” This is an allusion to an infamous Boston Globe op-ed critical of aJimmy Carter speech written by the late Globe op-ed page editor Kirk Scharfenberg. As a joke among the newsroom staff, Scharfenberg wrote “More mush form the wimp” on the piece, which was supposed to bear the headline “All must share the burden.” But his sarcastic barb was printed in 161,000 copies of the paper before being corrected.

The comparison is apt. Carter was a disaster who has been exceeded by Obama. As Carter fostered the rise of Iran’s mullahs and emboldened the Soviets, Obama has allowed Al Qaeda to spread and grow, all the while claiming it was “on the run.” As Carter’s economic policies gave rise to the neologism “stagflation,” Obama has managed to shrink the work force, hide inflation by keeping food and gasoline costs of the CPI, and make the title “recovery” a joke, as the nation remains mired in stagnation throughout his presidency.

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