In this year of the political outsider, the ultimate political insider — President Barack Obama — is reminding us how politics has always been practiced. And how it shouldn’t be practiced any more.
Obama wanted to have a news conference to say farewell to his friend and partner in Common Core, Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
But Arne exited the stage pretty quickly, clearing it for Obama to tap dance around questions from reporters. At one point, even the master of the teleprompter lost his place. Midway through a rambling answer to a question about Syria, Obama paused and asked, “So what was the question again?”
The real question should be: Does President Obama even listen to his own answers?
For example, he came out strongly against ObamaCare while discussing gun control. “I mean, normally, politicians are responsive to the views of the electorate,” Obama commented. Well, not on ObamaCare. Going all the way back to 2010, it’s always been unpopular with voters, as the handy chart at RCP indicates. Maybe it’s time for politicians, specifically the president, to respond to the electorate.
The president also stumbled when he tried to help Russian President Vladimir Putin understand the risks of intervening in Syria.
“I would have hoped that we would have learned that from Afghanistan and Iraq, where we have devoted enormous time and effort and resources with the very best people and have given the Afghan people and the Iraqi people an opportunity for democracy,” Obama noted.
Well, the problem with our Middle East policy isn’t that we wasted “time” or “resources.” We have plenty of both. The problem is Washington’s last two presidents wasted lives — so many of our best people died in Afghanistan and Iraq, and yet we have little to show for it.
It’s our policies, designed and implemented by politicians of both parties, including Obama, that haven’t worked. No wonder the polls show voters are hungry for a change.