A Moral Primer | National Review Online

King Barack

King Barack

The last but long gasp of the Obama administration is characterized not so much by deceit and incompetence as by growing chaos. Everything appears to be coming apart. The chariot of state now veers up and down with a terrified Phaethon clueless at the reins. Whether it is ISIS, Ebola, Putin, or Obamacare, the common strain is not simple incompetence, but a maladroitness born of intolerant ideological fundamentalism.

Have our government agencies ever seemed more corrupt or useless or both, staffed by political cronies and leftist zealots? What ever happened to the old IRS, GSA, VA, Secret Service, NSA, NASA, EPA, or Justice Department? All seem now mere appendages to a larger agenda of fundamentally transforming America.

We are mired in the slowest recovery in modern times, alleviated only by recently falling oil prices, which came despite, not because of, the president’s efforts. Fiscal sobriety is now redefined as a $600 billion annual deficit rather than the usual $1 trillion, again brought about by efforts other than Obama’s own. Yet the president has an unfortunate habit of taking credit for the good that he opposed and fobbing off on others responsibility for the bad that he embraced. There is interest in watching Obama’s press conferences, but mostly in appreciating how ingeniously he serially blames others for his own blunders.

Our foreign policy is such a wreck that it makes the mess of the Carter administration seem inspired in comparison. Europe is pouting because it finally, after a half century, found what it wanted in Obama, and yet it rues the fact that he is turning the United States into Europe — without a United States left to protect either. By Putin’s sheer force of malice and Obama’s paralysis, Russia is now sowing havoc from its borders to the Mediterranean. China is hesitant only to the degree that it cannot quite fathom whether such presidential ineptness could be real, or whether it is instead some intricate American feint designed to entice a cocky Beijing into overstepping its bounds.

Failed Marxism characterizes a Latin America that not long ago looked northward for help in making the transition to free-market democracy. There is little left to be said about a Middle East that now bears no resemblance to what it was prior to 2009 — an estranged Israel, a duplicitous Turkey, all labor for naught in Iraq, Iran smiling its way to a bomb, Syria as a desert, Libya from “lead from behind” to Benghazi, and on and on.

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