Gary Hofmeister: A telling clue
December 1, 2013
Our good friend, the brilliant (late) Tony Blankley, told me shortly after President Barack Obama was inaugurated a truly scary story. Obama's first major executive order to be signed as he entered his first term in office was for the eventual closure of the Guantanamo Bay facility. Upon signing it, he handed one of the pens to his lead counsel, Greg Craig, while offhandedly asking, "Where are we going to put them?"
Now just think about that. Here was a front-and-center campaign promise that had both sides of the aisle debating for a couple of years just how this could be accomplished without diminishing our security and he hadn't even thought it through. If you're thinking this is just what a disengaged ivory tower professor might do thinking out loud in his classroom because it had no real world significance, you're probably right on the money.
I have run this over so many times in my head since that time. The unbelievable hubris and naivete of his foreign policy dismissing the work and experience of professional diplomats who had labored for years making recommendations of what should and shouldn't be approached with various nations essentially trashed in favor of his personal narcissism. The refusal to become involved in the minutiae of a plethora of initiatives both domestic and foreign where generalities are irrelevant because the "devil is in the details." Now this makes sense if you are a dorm proctor discussing how to save the world with a bunch of 18-year-old college freshmen but is absolutely lethal when you actually have the power to implement your ideas.
This may also be the leading clue to why so many, even former acolytes and supporters, are now labeling him a liar (full disclosure: I'm one of them). Fuzzy-headed academics virtually never get called to task to explain why their theories don't work in the real world. So without accountability, they can pretty much let their minds wander into the hypothetical without fear of a challenge. As President Obama has had his claque within the mainstream media defending him with starry eyed devotion that even with the multitude of blatant failures, he's been given a pass. The Syrian debacle, the Benghazi cover-up, the Fast and Furious murders, the NSA disclosures and, my personal non-favorite, the IRS scandal have all had to default to "the poor guy just didn't know." Since most of us live in the real world neither academic nor political, this doesn't really wash. We think either this guy doesn't care enough to know or he has no idea what the presidency or management actually means. So maybe he's not truly lying in his own mind. Maybe he is still academic enough to rationalize that if you think it should be so, it is. But remembering the last Democrat president, a certain Bill Clinton, " it all depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is."
The telling characteristic of true liberals is their adamant belief that they are smarter, better informed and certainly more well-intentioned than that great unwashed mass of humanity out there, which doesn't have a clue. Those folks are to be occasionally patted on the head and told they will get their crumbs when we are ready to disburse them. But in the meantime, just shut up and do what you're told. You might misunderstand what I actually said about keeping your doctor and health insurance but that's because you're a bit stupid. And in the infamous words of my fabulous Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: "What difference does it make?"
Gary Hofmeister is the owner and operator of Hofmeister Personal Jewelers in downtown Steamboat, a company he founded in 1973. He is a director of the Steamboat Institute and a former Republican nominee for Congress in the 10th District of Indiana. He made 18 trips to the former USSR to teach democratic-capitalism during the 1990s.