Tonight President Obama will address the nation in a major speech about the Iraq war and the end of combat operations there. I don’t expect to learn very much tonight that I don’t already know, but I hold out hope that our Commander-in-Chief will surprise me on something. Will he acknowledge the extraordinarily positive impact of President Bush’s gutsy decision to execute the surge, thus putting us on a path to win the war? Will President Obama share the credit for the victory (he of course will not use that word, but whatever left-correct word he uses in its place). Will he give even the slightest hint that the timetable Obama met was the timetable President Bush had laid out during his last 6 months in office (or will he pretend he created the timetable himself and then met it?)?
Unfortunately precedent says otherwise. The President and his aids have behaved like 10 year old children, not like leaders, when they talk about the Bush administration. The thousands of unprecedented “we inherited”, “we were handed”, “undoing the work of my predecessor” continue to echo on, even yesterday with Robert Gibbs saying “there will be no mission accomplished declaration” in Obama’s speech (First class Robert. By the way, Robert knows that sign was meant for that specific carrier group, not to describe the entire war). They sound so immature when they say such things I can’t imagine the average thinking American tolerating the grade-school nature of the rhetoric and approach.
If Obama has even an ounce of the qualities he pretended to have during the campaign that had college students starry-eyed, he will extend credit to the leadership of President Bush on the Iraq War, even if he has to do so only from late 2006 on. If he had more than an ounce of such qualities, which I’m sure he doesn’t, he would acknowledge that every credible intelligence agency believed Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, that it wasn’t a Bush “lie”, that Saddam’s reign resulted in the deaths of millions (yes, millions…1.7 million in the Iran-Iraq war alone), and that the world and Iraq is a better place without him. Obama doesn’t have this in him, nor does his staff, nor does the Democrat party in general. They simply can’t find it in themselves to say “Bush was good on this, bad on that, bad on that, good on that.” This is the way a juvenile behaves. They point fingers, they whine about what others did to them, they complain, and they can only compliment themselves and never their adversaries.
Lay down your bets. Mine is that after the speech the general message will be “Bush screwed up, you elected me, I came in and fixed it”. If I’m right, it will be another sad chapter in what has been an extremely disappointing presidency by Obama.