This Just In: President Barack Obama Is Still Incompetent

Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead

I know I’ve neglected our current unethical President lately while trying to determine which candidate to be out future unethical President is less likely to leave the nation a smoldering ruin, but rest assured, Barack Obama has not improved.

The most indisputable example of late comes as he prepares to visit Cuba. In December, President Obama told Yahoo! News:

“What I’ve said to the Cuban government is, if . . . we’re seeing some progress in the liberty and freedom and possibilities of ordinary Cubans, I’d love to use a visit as a way of highlighting that progress. If we’re going backwards, then there’s not much reason for me to be there.”

This isn’t a casual, non-committal statement when a President makes it, though I realize that Obama has never quite grasped that essential aspect of the job. Cuba reads it, and so does the rest of the world. If Obama is to be believed—he isn’t, but let’s pretend—it is a commitment, and his office as well as the nation is placed on the line along with his credibility.

According to human rights organizations,  the Castro regime’s repression has indeed grown worse since the renewal of diplomatic ties with the United States in 2014. Abuse and arrests of dissidents have increased, and there has been a government crackdown on churches and religious groups:

Throughout 2015, there were more than 8,616 documented political arrests in Cuba. In November alone there were more than 1,447 documented political arrests, the highest monthly tally in decades. Those numbers compare to 2,074 arrests in 2010 and 4,123 in 2011. . . . According to the London-based NGO, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), last year 2,000 churches were declared illegal and 100 were designated for demolition by the Castro regime. Altogether, CSW documented 2,300 separate violations of religious freedom in 2015 compared to 220 in 2014. . . .  Most of the 53 political prisoners released in the months prior and after Obama’s December 2014 announcement have since been re-arrested on multiple occasions. Five have been handed new long-term prison sentences. Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch noted in its new 2016 report, “Cuba has yet to allow visits to the island by the International Committee of the Red Cross or by U.N. human rights monitors, as stipulated in the December 2014 agreement with the United States.”

Oh, never mind all that depressing stuff, you Gloomy Gusses! Obama announced last week that he’ll go to Cuba anyway, and thus his December pledge was meaningless, just more words. He will reward the hemisphere’s sole dictatorship with the prestige of a presidential visit, with no assurances that anything will change regarding the plight of Cuba’s dissidents. As deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters Thursday, the president’s goal is to make diplomatic relations with Cuba “an irreversible policy.”  In other words, this is about Obama’s “legacy.”

Yecchh.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) was appropriately harsh:

“[I]t is absolutely shameful that Obama is rewarding the Castro’s with a visit to Cuba by a sitting American president since their reign of terror began.  For more than 50 years Cubans have been fleeing the Castro regime yet the country which grants them refuge, the United States, has now decided to quite literally embrace their oppressors. There has been no progress in regards to human rights on the Castro brothers’ island gulag nor have conditions in Cuba improved since this administration began providing the regime with concession after concession.A visit by President Obama more than one year after his unilateral concessions to the regime will only legitimize the Castros’ repressive behavior.”

It is much worse than that, however. This is another “red line” fiasco, one more instance where Obama has squandered his power to reassure allies and  to restrain international wrong-doers. He can’t be trusted to follow through on promises or threats, conditions, ultimatums or quid pro quo requirements, and he constantly makes certain everyone knows it. All by himself, he makes the United States and the Presidency weak and untrustworthy. Does Obama really think that because he has revealed himself to be bluffing regarding Cuba, national leaders elsewhere aren’t taking his actions into consideration, such as those in Russia and Iran?

Oh, he probably does think that that, because for seven years he has maintained a flat leadership learning curve, and still has no idea how to be President.

________________________

Sources: Washington Post, Boston Globe

Ethics Alarms attempts to give proper attribution and credit to all sources of facts, analysis and other assistance that go into its blog posts, and seek written permission when appropriate. If you are aware of one I missed, or believe your own work or property was used in any way without proper attribution, credit or permission, please contact me, Jack Marshall, at jamproethics@verizon.net.

21 thoughts on “This Just In: President Barack Obama Is Still Incompetent

          • He’s a Republican, albeit a very centrist one. He’s vetting him to try to peel away GOP senators who are facing tough reelection battles, hoping that will crack McConnell’s base of support and erode GOP support in the upcoming election. I think whether he’s qualified or not is the last consideration.

              • Or, as Ann Althouse just wrote:

                “I never thought the floating of the Sandoval name was anything other than political propaganda.
                So I’m not surprised that Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has let the White House know he doesn’t want to be considered for the Supreme Court nomination.
                He doesn’t want to be exploited in the other party’s political maneuverings. Yesterday, my son John had a Facebook post linking to a New Republic item: “Why is Obama considering a Republican for the Supreme Court?” I didn’t go to the item. I just answered the question: “Because he’s not.”

                Is it ethical to say you are considering X when in fact you aren’t really and there isn’t a chance in hell that you’d nominate him, but just want to troll Congress and get the media bussing? I think that’s beneath a President, or ought to be.

                Of course, very little is beneath THIS President.

      • There are some good points in it I think, although you’re right that it’s basically pure PR. If I recall correctly, one of the sections involved familiarity with the real world. I think Scalia legitimately had an issue with that, as evidenced by his opinion that police take the constitutional rights of citizens seriously. That’s NOT to say that Obama’s view of reality is accurate, given that he seems to seriously believe the Iran deal is a good one among other things.

        I may be suffering from a selection bias regarding the activities of the police, but existence of cops who were fired for actually trying to hold their fellow officers accountable seems like signature significance to me.

        If Obama actually nominates someone who fits the criteria laid out, in the judgement of a non-partisan observer, then I think the republicans should go ahead and approve him. I’m not holding by breath for either event.

        • Signature significance for what? All it shows is that the police value loyalty over self-policing. That’s wrong, but it has nothing to do with respecting Constitutional rights. Scalia was right, as a general proposition. Do they also think Miranda and the exclusionary rule unreasonably interfere with catching bad guys? Sure.

          Real world context is relevant, and Scalia certainly was unusual in thinking otherwise. Ann Althouse checked the SCOTUS blog statement with Obama’s statement in 2009 before appointing Sotomayor, and guess what (as John Kasich would say)? It’s basically an updated version.

          • That police forces in general can’t be trusted. Even “good” cops will look the other way, because that’s the incentive structure for them. A trustworthy organization wouldn’t eject someone for pointing out bad behavior even once. Most of the bad behaviors Balko lists as counterpoints to Scalia’s comment could be fairly described as disrespect for a suspect’s rights.

            It’s funny you mention the exclusionary rule, since the Hudson decision eliminated it as a means of enforcing ‘knock and announce’.

            • Everyone hates the exclusionary rule, and some limits are good.

              As “Blue Bloods” has gone to great lengths to show, since police must trust each other completely to have their backs in life-threatening situations, there is a belief that reporting colleague misconduct undermines the force. I get it. It’s wrong, but I still get it.

  1. Next he’ll go to Iran. He’s his father’s son. We have a virulent “anti-colonialist” as President of the United States. Wonderful.

    Having grown up in Miami and having seen South Florida turned into Cuba del Norte Province, now apparently for no reason whatsoever, I can’t tell you how upsetting this is.

    • Every person I know from Iran, both Persian and Assyrian , HATES President Obama. Its the only thing I’ve ever seen them all agree on.

      • That’s interesting. I would have thought the Mullahs love him. They’ve continued to fart in our general direction but received billions of dollars from us

        My point was simply the Iranians, as have the Castros, are being rewarded for their flagrant intransigence by our current President either in the hope they will be nice or simply to reward them for being anti-American.

        • Well all the Iranians I know that are here despise the mullahs back home. The Mullhahs may well like him but Id bet like the Castros they don’t represent the feelings of their people.

          • “That are here.” Big difference, non? Some of the Russians I know that are here are not big Putin fans (although I think some may actually be Putin fans). Most Cubans that are here are not Castro fans (to put it mildly) but a few kind of sort of are, which is really bizarre.

            And of course dictators don’t represent the feelings of their people. So many people in the U.S. don’t seem to get that. Why do so many in the media assume people in dictatorial countries are enthusiastic about their “leadership?” Maybe Americans just don’t understand how raw power works, how militaries dominate countries and their economies as in Cuba and Egypt and Pakistan and Burma and Iran and Syria. It’s such an un-American model that Americans seem to discount it as being entirely preposterous.

  2. Apropos of nothing, but Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s comments on her website are terribly written, Whoever wrote or approved does not seem to have a basic grasp on English grammar. Incorrect usage of possessives, run-on sentences, and sloppy sentence structures. Shameful.

    jvb

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