HUFFINGTON POST: What’s wrong with this picture?That's very Instapunditly sharp and enigmatic, so let's dig into the details....
UPDATE: Marc Ambinder explains that it’s all a cunning plan. Ambinder’s a nice guy, but his nonstop spin has become embarrassing. I mean, when you’re getting more honest criticism from HuffPo....
First, the HuffPo (Steve Marmel):
It's December 23 - I lug my tired butt to the airport, ready to leave for vacation. Carrying a bottle of very nice wine, I have to leave my place in the security line as I can't bring it as a carry-on, check it in a bag, get a special box, go through security again and hope I - and my fancy wine - arrive intact....What kind of idiot imagines that "nice"/"fancy" wine is some exception to the well-known rule against carrying liquids onto the plane? You didn't lose your place in line. You stupidly got into line. I almost stopped reading. But, I see: His point is that he'd become oblivious to terrorism prior to the Christmas Day incident. People traveling after the attack had a properly post-9/11 edge. But...
Meanwhile, the president continues his vacation.Did the passengers actually make a difference? The crew was there with fire extinguishers, and Abdulmutallab was stunned and badly burned when the passengers jumped him and dragged him down. It looks to me as though the defectiveness of the device was what saved that plane.
America lucked out this holiday season. It's as simple as that. Something terrible could have happened and It was the bravery of passengers, and the ineptitude of a would-be terrorist, that prevented it.
... It was luck.Yes. Indeed.
And if you're like me - that scared the crap out of you. You probably wanted assurances. What will be done to prevent this? How are we reacting?The picture is of Obama in Hawaii. Sure, he can still say, We must stop the terror, but...
If you're like me, you're not looking for Attorney General Eric Holder, or Representative Pete King, to be telling you how it could have been worse or how it will be managed.
When the nation is attacked, I expect to be informed and hopefully calmed by the President of the United States.
So I ask, one more time - of this president who understands that how a message is delivered is just as important as what the message is - What is wrong with this picture?
See the problem?
Yes, the president deserves a vacation....I would go further, as I've said. I don't think the President should be out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It's too far away. And I don't care that a temporary White House can be set up anywhere. (By the way, I would like an itemization of the costs, in taxpayer dollars and in carbon emissions, of relocating the White House in Hawaii.)
But that vacation should have been over moments after the plane landed at noon on Christmas day, and everybody was starting to do the math that once again, al Qaeda tried to strike at this country.
And even if it were only for appearances - even if it were simply to make people know the commander-in-chief was in front of whatever buttons and levers are at his disposal to act and react to threats to this nation - the president should have been inconvenienced as well.
There are moments like these where it's important not to simply just do the work, or be told by others that the work is being done. We need to see it.
And that could have been done in Hawaii. Just not from the back nine.
Back to work, sir. Back to work.
Oh, hey... remember this?
What do you think Hillary is thinking about what's going on? That she would have been back in the White House. She wouldn't have left it to the Secretary of Homeland Security to do the talking on the Sunday shows. She wouldn't be all...
So get out of the tropical foliage, Barack, and fight terrorism. Even if it's all photo-ops for you, have some sense about what the photo op should be right now.
On to Marc Ambinder:
In his Farenheit 9/11, filmmaker Michael Moore juxtaposes images and words of a terrorist attack in Israel with President Bush's first words about the incident, spoken to a press pool on a golf course, with him leaning casually against a tree.Ah, my association was the same as Ambinder's. Ambinder goes on to tell us that Obama has been golfing in Hawaii. And he went to the gym right after he was briefed about the attack. But Ambinder offers his usual pro-Obama spin:
There is a reason why Obama hasn't given a public statement. It's strategy....So was Bush. It wasn't effective. Obama has had the opportunity to learn from Bush.
[A]n in-person Obama statement isn't needed; Indeed, a message expressing command, control, outrage and anger might elevate the importance of the deed, would generate panic....
In a sense, he is projecting his calm on the American people....
It's a tough and novel approach....It's not novel, because Bush did it too. The only thing novel about it is doing it after Bush did it... ineffectively.
As I was writing this post, Instapundit put this up:
OUTCRY: “Napolitano should quit.” “I watched her on three shows and each time she was more annoying, maddening and absurd than the pevious appearance. It is her basic position that the ’system worked’ because the bureaucrats responded properly after the attack. That the attack was ‘foiled’ by a bad detonator and some civilian passengers is proof, she claims, that her agency is doing everything right. That is just about the dumbest thing she could say, on the merits and politically. I would wager that not one percent of Americans think the system is ‘working’ when terrorists successfully get bombs onto planes (and succeed in activating them).”That's Jonah Goldberg.
UPDATE: More from an Obama voter: “Now, I know they are mopping up after a failure, and there is reason to want to portray the attack as coming out of the blue and unconnected to anything that should have been the subject of close monitoring, but — damn — I hope they are doing a better job than they look like they are doing. And if they don’t look like they’ve been doing a good job, then they aren’t even doing a good job of mopping up after their failure.”Oh! Well, I agree with that. It's me. Thanks for the link, Glenn. Yeah, I voted for Obama. Am I sorry? I should be exactly the same amount of sorry I would be if Abdulmutallab's device had not malfunctioned. So, I must say: Yes, I'm sorry.
IN THE COMMENTS: Jason said:
I think everyone should watch that Hillary commercial all the way to the end. It seems different somehow.Sorry for that too. Or not. LOL.