Whenever I was engaged in a political discussion with supporters of then-candidate Barack Obama, I always asked them to list the things he had done that showed he was ready for the job of President. It was depressing how many people were ready to vote for him, but who couldn’t name one accomplishment off the top of their heads. A few pointed to his Senate election as a qualification, and more than one flatly stated that they were voting because of his race. During these discussions of qualifications, I always pointed out his lack of executive experience. Why should anyone place a neophyte with no executive experience into the role of the top executive? I compared it to taking a military officer with little to no leadership experience and placing him in charge of the entire military. It made as little sense then as it does now. The job of President is too important to trust to on-the-job training.

On his third day in office, President Obama signed an executive order stating that the facility in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba would be closed within a year. Bye-bye, Gitmo. I laughed at the time because I saw it for what it was: a bone tossed to the rabid anti-war branch of his party. And they dutifully gnawed on it and rejoiced. Less than two weeks later, he admitted that even he was worried that released Gitmo prisoners “might resume attacks on the United States.” Maybe his announcement to shut down Gitmo was a bit hasty.

While many countries in Europe had been calling for the U.S. to shut down Gitmo, when it came time for them to step up to the plate and take back some of the detainees, they began to balk:

Germany’s interior minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, has suggested publicly that if Guantánamo detainees pose no security risk, there is no reason the United States should not take them.

When the administration suggested that the detainees could be released in the U.S. and given welfare, Obama found out that the NIMBY principle was just as active in the U.S. as it was in Europe. I guess the decision to foist off the detainees was too hasty.

Then on May 15th, President Obama announced that he was restarting the military tribunals he had shut down at the beginning of his administration. Could it be that his decision back in January to stop the Gitmo tribunals was too hasty?

On May 4th, 2009, the House dropped the funding President Obama had requested in order to close Gitmo. And today, the Senate did the same:

In a major rebuke to President Barack Obama, the Senate voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to block the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the United States and denied the administration the millions it sought to close the prison.

The 90-6 Senate vote — paired with similar House action last week — was a clear sign to Obama that he faces a tough fight getting the Democratic-controlled Congress to agree with his plans to shut down the detention center and move the 240 detainees.

Holy cow! What a resounding defeat for President Obama’s plan, mustering only six Democrat Senators to vote for it. Judging by these acts from the Legislature, I guess that both the House and Senate think Obama’s plan was too hasty.

But it’s not just me, or Europe, or Americans, or the House, or the Senate who think this decision was too hasty. Even White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs says this decision was too hasty, and he thinks President Obama will say this as well tomorrow. Skip to the 2 minute mark to hear it:

“Uh, and I think he’ll say this tomorrow that, uh, we’ve made some, uh, hasty decisions that, uh, are now going to take some time, uh, to unwind. And, uh, closing Guantánamo Bay obviously was one of those decisions.”

Hasty and unthought-out decisions like closing Gitmo and others are just what you get if you hire people for a job when they have no experience qualifying them for it. But there is good news from all this — President Obama has been successful in uniting the people. The bad news is that they are uniting against him and his policies.

Face it, we have a n00b in the White House.

Leave a Reply