Last week, in my post “Our McClellan” – in which I compared Obama’s dithering in Afghanistan to that of George P. McClellan, some of the feedback said “look, the President is thinking things over and not being rash, unlike the previous resident”.
That might be true – although Obama doesn’t have the eighteen months Bush had to spend on his deliberations before invading Iraq – but only if he comes out of it with the right decision, as opposed to more concerned inaction.
But when even the LAtimes gets it, you know the Administration is in trouble:
Obama was right to insist on a full review of whether U.S. interests are better served by expanding the American military footprint in Afghanistan or shrinking it.
But now, two months into his second “comprehensive policy review,” after eight Cabinet-level meetings and several slipped target dates, the president still hasn’t made up his mind.
At some point, “deliberation”, especially in the face of an ugly-and-deteriorating situation like Afghanistan, becomes “paralysis”.
In George W. Bush, we had a president who shot first and asked questions later. In Barack Obama, we have a president who asks the right questions but hesitates to pull the trigger.
And there the LATimes is conjecturing based on facts not in evidence. We have no idea what questions he’s asking. But we have no idea if he’s “hesitating to pull the trigger”, or if he can’t figure out how to get the pointy things into the gun.
Is he even qualified to make the decision? Does he have beginner’s flop-sweats?
Three weeks ago, former Vice President Dick Cheney accused Obama of “dithering.” At the time, the charge sounded premature and partisan — but now some of Obama’s own supporters have begun to wonder whether Cheney was right.
Last week, the president’s indecision became even more apparent after White House aides let it be known that he was asking the military for more “exit strategies” — what one official called “off-ramps” — in case things go badly.
Read one way, it sounds like he’s more interested in covering his butt than anything.
And that all of us who said he wasn’t ready for prime time were right.