Even the self-indulgent American love of satire can strike Barack Obama. Could this mean “Obama has lost America” as one poster suggested? Has the leading standard in criticism of all things “establishment” discovered Leftists are just as funny and foolish as traditional targets?
Recently, President Obama exchanged five Taliban leaders for an American POW, Bowe Bergdahl. One prisoner for five is an iffy trade to begin with — but even moreso when it was revealed that Bergdahl had deserted his post. So, Obama got his man, but there was a lot of collateral damage — it kind of reminds us of a movie we once saw…
It’s been a week, and the Bowe Bergdahl beat goes on. The story has been dominant in the news, even on shows that typically shy away from heavy news—as well as from news that reflects poorly on the Obama administration.
This morning, for example, on NBC’s “Today Show”—not exactly a hotbed of hard-news-focused right-wingers—White House correspondent Kristen Welker reported that the Obama administration is “facing increasing anger,” adding, “Members of Congress are furious” at the “shifting stories from the administration.” And she cited a new poll showing that just 29 percent of Americans approve of swapping Taliban fighters for Bergdahl.
And looking ahead, Welker predicted, “This week will undoubtedly be overshadowed by Bergdahl as well”; Defense Secretary Hagel testifies Wednesday on Capitol Hill.
Indeed, the Bergdahl story is going to reverberate for a long time, for lots of reasons. I can count a total of 13 reasons. In popular usage, a “baker’s dozen” refers to 13 of something. So let’s call the whole thing Bergdahl’s Dozen.
First, the White House has hoisted itself on its own photo op. Pictures are worth a lot of words—especially when they come from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The enduring image of the President, arm in arm with Bowe Bergdahl’s parents in the Rose Garden, reminds us that Team Obama wanted this story to play big. They thought they had a feel-good patriotic pageant on their hands, and by all accounts, they were stunned when the story blew up in their faces.
And no, the Obamans have no plans for an equally nice ceremony for the men of Second Platoon, Blackfoot Company, First Battalion, 501st Regiment. Nor do they have plans that we know of to host any other unit, nor hold an event for America’s wounded from Afghanistan, nor for the families of the fallen.
Second, Susan Rice, certain to be remembered, at best, as the most verbally incompetent national security adviser in history, threw a gasoline-soaked log onto the media bonfire when she said that Bergdahl had served with “honor and distinction.” And then, when pressed on that claim, she claimed it again. So what on earth was going through her mind? On Fox News’ “Red Eye,” Greg Gutfeld put it well: To contemporary liberals, desertion is no crime, no big deal; it’s sort of like calling in sick. And so one reason that this story has resonated so loudly is that it clanged on the tin ear of contemporary liberals when it comes to patriotism.
As an aside, we are reminded: This is not the Democratic Party of FDR, which insisted on winning its wars—and presided over extreme political incorrectness in pursuit of victory. Roosevelt was also willing, we might note, to oversee the execution of deserters. The Democrats have come a long way, from the New Deal to the New Left.
Third, the Republicans are fueling the fire. And why shouldn’t they? Some things deserve to be burned.
Fourth, a fair number of Democrats are upset. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has gone off the Reid Reservation on multiple occasions, and this headline in The New York Times sums up the party-wide mood: “Democrats Are Weary in Wake of Bergdahl Case.”