Charles Krauthammer: Semi-Retired President Dithers Too Much


Mr. Krauthammer had an interesting take on Obama and his administrations inability to get it together in terms of ISIS/ISIL

(Fox News) Last week, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said ISIS was an imminent threat, but Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said Monday that the group was not a direct threat to the U.S.

Krauthammer, a syndicated columnist and a Fox News contributor, questioned that discrepancy.

“You wonder…whether this administration, that can’t even get its story straight in one day, can conduct an operation of that delicacy and complexity, military, diplomatic and political, ” he said. “The president simply can’t decide. . I think this really ought to make us think twice about whether we can entrust a man of this lack of decisiveness.”

Is it dithering, indecisiveness, or simply that Obama doesn’t really care about doing the job? Is it that doing The Hard Things just bore the heck out of him? Whenever something difficult comes up, Obama just doesn’t seem to want to engage beyond some talking points. Then it’s off to golf, campaign appearances, and other fluff. Here’s Michael Gerson

As the president has vacationed, senior officials have talked of efforts to “stall,” “contain,” “degrade,” “defeat” and “destroy” the Islamic State. These words actually mean very different things, indicating either a major internal administration debate or utter confusion. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel describes the Islamic State as an “imminent threat to every interest we have.” But a senior defense official was recently quoted as saying, “There is no policy” to deal with this imminent threat.

In his public statements, Obama has carefully avoided resolving or clarifying his administration’s ultimate policy goal. He has consistently downplayed the United States’ incremental (but escalating) military actions. He has promised to be “relentless” toward some unspecified end. He has argued that the Islamic State has “no place in the 21st century” – as though the appeal of radical Islamism should have faded like bell bottoms and disco.

All this reinforces the notion that Obama likes to BE president, he doesn’t like to DO president. I don’t think he is lazy or detached: I just think his priorities lie in other directions, and those directions do not include doing the necessary hard work, and, being The Boss, this rolls down to those who work for him.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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