Obama: The Man Who Knew Too Little

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According to the New York Times – in a piece of reporting later edited for what editors claim were space considerations – President Obama admitted in a meeting with columnists last week that his response to the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and California has been anemic. But it was the reason for that weak response that is shocking.

“In his meeting with the columnists, Mr. Obama indicated that he did not see enough cable television to fully appreciate the anxiety after the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, and made clear that he plans to step up his public arguments,” said the original article.

This isn’t the first time Obama has mentioned cable news, but this may be the first time in his or any other administration that we’ve seen the president blame his own refusal to watch television for a failure of response. Does this president also forgo newspapers? Does he avoid the internet? Does he stay informed at all, or does he spend all of his time reading novels?

Keep in mind that this meeting was ostensibly off the record, meaning that Obama did not intend to present this excuse to the American people. This proves two things: One, he’s at least vaguely aware that the only possible reaction to such a statement is laughter and derision. Two, that this is likely the truth. This is actually the reason that he failed to address these terrorist attacks with the strength and resolve the citizenry expects from the American president.

Now clearly, the president of the United States has better things to do with his time than sit around watching hours of CNN. But you would have to literally shut yourself off from all forms of current-events media to not grasp the mood of the country following these attacks. In fact, you would have to not only turn off the television and refuse to read any print media; you would have to shut yourself in a room and refuse to socialize with anyone who does. It would be difficult to even find teenagers, notoriously apathetic to current events, who do not understand that things changed after Paris and San Bernardino.

But as unbelievable as it is to imagine President Obama in such an isolated state of ignorance, it is the only thing that explains the national address he made from the Oval Office. The address where he continued to harp on gun control and brazenly told us that his approach to defeating ISIS would remain the same.

It is now, going into Obama’s final year, that we must finally confront the possibility that his presidency wasn’t poisoned by dogmatic ideology and Islamic sympathy; it simply succumbed to the rot of gross incompetence. Whether that’s a comfort or not, you can decide.