Thursday, October 29, 2009

Comment on The Belmont Club
"Pick a number"


Academic delay, sabotage, lunacy or simple incompetence? The default is to defer.

Our most self consciously academic Presidents have turned out to be our worst in the last 100 years. Wilson and Obama have both proven thin skinned and hostile to constitutional liberty. Another who affected academic airs, but without any qualification to do so was Carter. Arguably the most educated and scholarly American President was Taft who did not display the personality flaws of a stereotypical academic.

A diagnoses of conspiracy or insanity demands either overwhelming evidence, like that given in the Constitution for treason, or professional judgement subject to peer review. For the first case of conspiracy or treason we have limited but disturbing evidence but not such that would at this time convince the broad electorate or an impartial jury. We do have some members of the Club who have held Top Secret clearances, Habu, myself and others, and who can speak with some knowledge of the issues. These are by definition murky waters and while we may speculate freely here I wait to hear from a broader consensus of retired Intelligence professionals on the subject. My suspicion is that over the next several months those who stood aside from what could initially be considered partisan wrangling may feel called upon to weigh in on either side.

Regarding the possibility that Obama's actions are disconnected from reality as it would be assessed by competent outside observers that could only be determined trained professionals who are usually loath to offer an opinion in advance of a crisis. If the working definition of mental illness is a condition that significantly impairs the ability to successfully function in the world as it is then a decisive judgement may be hard to arrive at. The man did get himself elected, regardless of the methods used, and that shows some competence at demonstrating functionality. Given that the demands of his position are unique it is hard to compare his failures with those of other CEOs. An argument that Obama fails to effectively serve the national interest, in either foreign or domestic policy because he is, to use a technical term, nuts does not address the question of the motives of his enablers and supporters. It is of course possible that two or three of the four possible explanations alluded to in my first paragraph are at play. There are practicing physicians, including psychiatrists, who are part of our Club. I would like to hear their opinions.

That leaves the fourth of my suggestions, simple incompetence. Even if Barack Obama, Bill Ayers, Rahm Emanuel and the rest of the gang were dreaming of the triumph of History they may simply be chortling clowns who are in over their heads. As I said above differing percentages of these elements may be at work for each of the actors, POTUS, VPOTUS, Czars, Wallahs and Grand Nincompoops, in the play that we and the world can't walk away from.

If only the Taliban were to stupefied by what they see to act.

Has anybody read this? Is this more than Strategic Hamlets redux?
One Tribe at A Time by Major Jim Gant.
H/T Theo Spark

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