Serious fires are burning around the world and President Obama is playing golf, fundraising and issuing unnecessary executive orders regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.
At home and abroad, when it comes to the big issues, Obama is increasingly missing in action or focused on less important matters.
Take the border crisis. We learned this week that Obama and company ignored multiple warning signs over the past two years that a crisis was building on the U.S. southern border. A former federal law enforcement official told the Washington Post, “There were warning signs, operational folks raising red flags to high levels in terms of this being a potential issue.”
But that was 2012 when Team Obama likely put their interests – winning the presidential election and not wanting to appear “tough on immigrants” – ahead of the country’s needs to control its borders and prevent a huge influx of illegal immigration.
Now that over 50,000 unaccompanied children and thousands more single adults and families have crossed the border,Obama’s “catch-up” strategy is to treat the symptoms, not fix the problem.
In an attempt to look like he’s doing something, Obama asked Congress for $4.3 billion in “emergency” funds to address the security and humanitarian issues on the border. But according to the Congressional Budget Office review of his request, the administration is planning to spend less than one percent ($25 million) of those funds in 2014.
Clearly, Obama is lackadaisical in implementing even his own plan – which I consider misguided — of solving the border crisis by throwing money at the problem
And then there are national security and foreign policy matters, which apparently are tiresome for the president. From the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas and the growth of Islamist terrorist networks like ISIS in Iraq and Syria, to the ongoing bullying of Ukraine by Russia, Obama seems to be “suffering from geopolitical whiplash,” as the New York Times puts it.
Perhaps that is because when you lead from behind, you lead from nowhere – you find yourself constantly reacting, and as appears to be the case with Obama, increasingly disengaging. He seems completely sidelined and uncertain of how to deal with some of the world’s worst actors.I suppose it’s easier to keep up with your tee times and fundraising schedule than figuring out a strategy to contain Russia and terrorist threats in the Middle East.
Obama has shown a tendency to pick and choose what issues he wants to engage upon and the time and manner in which he wants to do so. Unfortunately that is not how the world works: Ignoring the hard issues doesn’t make them go away. If Obama doesn’t want to pick up the phone at 3 a.m., he shouldn’t have run for president.