Team Obama “Surprised” By Bergdahl Reaction
One does have to wonder what was going through the heads of Obama and the people working for him regarding the prisoner swap that released 5 hardcore Islamists, high ranking members of the Taliban, in exchange for a soldier who deserted, and possibly gave aid and comfort to the enemy. Defense and CIA were overruled, and told to suck it up, in favor of politics. There were numerous investigations into what Bergdahl did. The people who served with him were less than enthused over the big deal made of his release. His release was met with crickets when announced to troops involved. Obama violated the law, a law he signed. Yet, somehow, they’re surprised
(The Hill) The White House has been caught off guard by the negative reaction to the deal that freed Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the last American prisoner of war in Afghanistan.
It has been particularly surprised by criticism of Bergdahl, who is accused of walking away from his unit shortly before being abducted by the Taliban.
The surprise helps explain why the administration has struggled to respond to the criticism, which appears to have caught officials flat-footed.
Political observers say the White House miscalculations were highlighted by the decision to have President Obama appear alongside Bergdahl’s parents in a Saturday night address at the Rose Garden address.
“They put too positive a spin on what is a very ambiguous set of circumstances,” Southern Methodist University professor Cal Jillson said.
“A big part of the WH stew on this is typical photo op hubris,” said Boston University political strategist Tobe Berkovitz. “Instead of just bringing Bergdahl back, they had to do the full kissy-huggy announcement with mom and dad figuring this good news would push the VA mess off the front page.”
Team Obama always seems to be surprised by the negative reactions to what they do. Perhaps they’ll say Obama read about it in the newspaper? More than likely, they did what they normally do, live in the moment, thinking this would be some great victory for Obama, without considering the reality of Bergdahl being a deserter, and possibly a traitor.
The administration believed any criticism of the deal would be overshadowed by a positive story: the freeing of a U.S. soldier after five years of captivity in Afghanistan, just as the war there is drawing to an end.
It expected some criticism over the release of the Guantanamo prisons, and it also expected lawmakers would be angered they weren’t informed of the deal in advance. But it didn’t see the criticism of Berghdahl himself coming.
In other words, they live in a fantasy bubble world, making decisions in the moment, failing to realize that the military, and the American People, are not fond of deserters, and possibly traitors. And now Team Obama is in spin mode, trying to defend the decision, and going on the attack. They surely figured that this would be happy time, and overshadow the VA scandal, leading into Obama’s super-awesome “carbon” scheme, allowing weeks of campaign messaging. Instead, now Team Obama has stepped into a big steaming pile, and his “carbon” scheme has virtually disappeared. And the VA scandal is still around.