Foreign and Defense Policy

The relentless infantilism of the Obama Left

Image credit: Official White House Flickr

Image credit: Official White House Flickr

A moment of substance for the few among us that still care: At last night’s national security debate, the president and his challenger both proved that they were indeed men who could be commander-in-chief. Romney did so with a general air of gravitas, and Obama did so because, as he told us on multiple occasions, he actually is the commander-in-chief. (Here’s more from me in a serious vein in today’s NYT.)

But enough of that foolish leader-of-the-free-world stuff. What people really care about is, who said something stupid? And by people here, I mean much of the mainstream media and apparently the commander-in-chief and his many partisans. How else to explain that vital trending topic, #horsesandbayonets?

Let’s go back a second. Barack Obama did a workmanlike job in defending his record on national security last night. And Mitt Romney did a workmanlike job in attacking it and laying out his vision. The president, however, did have one moment in which he demeaned his office with the clearly rehearsed suggestion that Governor Romney didn’t know a lot about defense and was somehow… old. Here’s the president’s line:

“Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.”  

The Washington Post called the president’s comments “patronizing and juvenile,” and that seems about right. But his followers are having none of that. Rather, they think he was awesome in the same sense that generations of second-graders have loved to point out to other seven-year olds that their epidermis is showing. BOOM.

This latest bit of juvenalia is of a piece with other Democratic talking points over the last couple of months: First Big Bird, then women in binders, and recently, “Romnesia.” Now, some might wonder why the presidential campaign can’t feature its fair share of fun and entertainment. True enough, however these are memes that have been promoted aggressively by the president and vice president themselves. Repeatedly.

We can put Obama and Biden on the couch and psychoanalyze why it is they feel the need to behave like kids and not leaders, but what’s the point? Let’s just say that for every moment when the Commander in Chief and his number two could have been talking about jobs, or soldiers, or Iran, or China, they were telling Mitt Romney that his epidermis was showing. Which is, when you come right down to it, pretty pathetic.

15 thoughts on “The relentless infantilism of the Obama Left

  1. I’d much rather a president with a sense of humor than one who inherently lies.

    Romney’s point about the navy was truly childish and ignorant. If I was going to complain about the debates then I would focus on those points rather than someone’s sense of humor.

    But I guess that would lead you to criticize Romney which I guess is not allowed here.

    • Yes. No criticism of Romney is permitted. Period. Ever. For any reason. At all. Nope.

      That’s why Max Planck and LarryG continue to offer such consistently supportive insights and nonpartisan commentary on the Romney campaign, or calling out AEI bloggers for fights at recess.

  2. re: horses and bayonets

    the real question is where were Romney’s 17 Bush NeoCon advisers including John Bolton and Dan Senor (talk about infants…)?

    Apparently someone in Romney’s organization was smart enough to stuff those Neocons into a closet when Romney was in debate-prep.

    Face it. Romney has a 1980 view of the Geo-Political world. He thinks the number of ships is the issue – not the technology and massive changes to seapower strategy which pretty much recognizes battleships as giant targets for Exocets and similar.

    Romney is clueless and his 17 NeoCon advisers – if they stood with him on a stage – would pretty much lose the election for him once most people realized he had Bush’s NeoCons for advisers.

    • Romney has a 1980 view? Hard to believe from someone repeatedly mumbling worn-out tired old liberal mantras like “NeoCon” while trying to sound smart.
      But it is understandable because after four years of wandering into cul-de-sacs behind your “savior,” you are starting to realize how utterly lost you really are. Like a man who has been living in a cave for years and is suddenly thrust into the sunshine, the bright light dazzles and confuses you, and “progressive” contradicting ideologies offer no guidance or comfort.
      So stop living in the past. Why not update yourself – tie a hanky on your head, grab a drum and chant “we are the 99″ instead?
      Anyone who knows anything about building ships knows that the number of ships IS the issue, but I won’t waste time trying to explain it to someone who thinks that we actually still use battleships.

      • re: 1980′s view. Yep… think about what the man said about the Soviet Union.

        ” Russia is the U.S.’s “number one geopolitical foe” (a statement that even Colin Powell mocked) and back in April, a Romney adviser criticized President Obama’s “Czechoslovakia” policy. Today during a foreign policy debate at the Brookings Institution, senior Romney adviser Richard Williamson, attacking Obama’s Syria policy, said the Middle East country is “strategically important to the Soviet Union.” ”

        This guy, John Bolton, Dan Senor and about a dozen others comprise 3/4 of Romney’s foreign policy advisors.

        the truth is that Obama’s foreign policy advisors are mired in a 1980 geopolitical world and trying to drag Romney back with them.

        Someone with some common sense – made sure these NeoCons played no role in the debate – lucky for Romney because had he gone the NeoCon route – that exposure would have ruined in with more than just “liberals”.

        Romney, in fact, sided with Obama more than he did with NeoCon ideology.

        Now the big question is – is Obama “pretending” to be a NeoCon or pretending not being a NeoCon?

        but talking about how many ship we have is truly ignorant in terms of military capabilities now days.

        Ask the Brits who sent warships to the Falkland Islands.

        Ships are targets in the 21st century. The only ships that are not (or less so) are subs and aircraft carriers and boats that are fast and small.

        Romney is a dufus when it comes to foreign policy and he’s being advised by NeoCons – and it shows.

        Obama was dead on.

        • I think it is Obama, not Romney, who is stuck in a 1980s mindset. Why did he try so hard to get an ABM treaty with Russia? In pursuit of which he undercut Poland and, yes, Czechoslovakia. As for Syria–Russia has been strategically involved in the Middle East since at least the 19th century. For a variety of historical reasons, Russia considers herself the protector of Christians in the region. Syria has a large Christian minority, who support Assad. And certainly the Russians don’t want an Islamist Syria which will be even more closely tied to Iran. Who meddle all over via Hezbollah already. And, yes, Max, Syria is an avenue to the Mediterranean Sea. S-e-a.

          Your understanding of military strategy seems stuck in the eighties. Falklands War was 1982. Royal Marines won the war on the ground. Marines transported thousands of miles and supplied by— ships. Big ships. Aircraft carriers need cruisers and destroyers to protect them. The British frigate that was sunk was small, light, fast. Didn’t help, did it? The Exocet has been at least partially cancelled by the development of Aegis-type radar. But that system is getting old. Research and development–and new ships–are constantly needed in warfare.

          • re: Russia and the Soviet Union.

            do we know the difference?

            re: ships

            every hear of anti-ship missiles?

            tell me how you defend against them.

            if you know how – I think the Navy might need you.

            the way it works now – you gotta have planes setting up a perimeter to monitor any craft – even a small one – that might be capable of firing an anti-ship missile.

            SeaPower has fundamentally changed – most big ships are now big targets that can be taken out with a relatively cheap anti-ship missile that are common and available.

            Anyone who thinks we need more ships to be more powerful fundamentally misunderstands how technology has altered that paradigm. That would include Mr. Romney.

  3. Don’t be silly, Ms. Pletka. As we all know, Syria is Iran’s “path to the sea!”

    And all this time these stupid liberals thought it was the “PERSIAN GULF!”

    Wallison is sticking with his Fannie Mae story though.

    God, are you people pathetic. A spectacle.

  4. Where were all those horses, bayonets, battleships, submarines, carriers, fighter planes, tanks, bombs, Bradley’s, machine guns, and boots on the ground when the screams for help come from BENGHAZI? Syria? Iran?

    It ain’t what you got, its how you use it.

    When you have an incompetent and cowardly Commander-in Chief, you may as well have spears and rocks.

    • Obama failed in his debate strategy to disqualify Romney for the prize, after he opened the door and slammed it into his own face as per my post above.

      Now Obama has to qualify himself for the prize. And he’s the incompetent president who has also run out of time. That’s not exactly where his failed debate strategy was supposed to have left him.

  5. Please! Mitt didn’t, repeat DID NOT, know that submarines travel sub the marine; aircraft carriers carry things called aeroplanes, and thinks that horse and bayonet are still the most-advanced weapons of war.
    See, when you’re a Mormon 200 years of civilization and advancements in the art of war just slip by, unnoticed or ignored!
    nd Mitt would never have known had Barry-boy not disabused him of his ignorance!
    I’m betting that Barry-boy is running around, spiking his
    well-worn football (the Bin Laden is dead, and I’m de MAAN!one) and yukking it up with Da Chicago Hood abou the teachable moment he laid on Mitt!

  6. Pletka seems to be ignorant of the fact that the debate is not so much Obama talking to Romney and Romney talking to Obama, but is actually addressed to the hundreds of millions of other people watching it or hearing about it later who will influence the election. Is comparing a straight count of 1918 naval vessels to 2012 vessels comparable to a straight count of 1918 horses to 2012 horses or not?

    Of course Pletka almost certainly does know the debate is addressed to millions of people, not primarily to Romney and Obama, who are not undecided voters in Ohio. But he mires himself in the partisan mud by scoring points by pretending it doesn’t rather than saying something that is not an insult to his own intelligence.

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