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The Politics of Meaninglessness

January 9, 2010

On January 7, in his most authoritative public address to date, President Barack Obama, apparently giving presidential credibility to Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' use of the term "meaninglessness," forcefully declared that as regards the botched Christmas Day Boner Bomber incident, "the buck stops with me." In the wake of the lack of firings and resignations that followed the Flight 253 debacle, one was hoping, for a breathless millisecond, that the President was about to fire himself. No such luck, of course. He was merely mouthing, as he does in all of his many public appearances, words unconnected to any reality with which most Americans are familiar.

Oh, sure, the President did finally use the word "terrorist" publicly, but not until nearly two weeks after his administration had blown yet another opportunity for getting actionable intelligence from a young, scared creep, this time by mirandizing him and ushering him immediately into the warmth and comfort of the American court system. Hell, his aides didn't even wake the President until some three hours after the incident occurred. You and I knew about it before our Commander-in-Chief did. And then Obama managed to squeeze in three rounds of golf before he made his first public statement to reassure us, with another incomprehensible example of his command of the English language, that the incident was the work of an "isolated extremist."

It's becoming clear just how inept and unqualified pretty much everyone in the current administration is. The more we see, the more we understand that, not only are we not being protected by this administration, but that by their ineptitude they are actively assisting global jihadists to carry out their attacks. Whether it's because they're simply stooges of the American higher education system and believe that hardened criminals really can be rehabilitated and that terrorists really come from the ranks of the poor and downtrodden around the world, it's hard to say.

More menacingly, it may be because they're actually secretly in sympathy with terrorists' aims, so inculcated with anti-American ideas have they become. In the wake of the vitriol spewed from his pulpit, no one, for instance, can call the Reverend Jeremiah Wright or anyone who sits in his congregation a Christian in any meaningful sense of the word. And yet Obama continues to insist that he himself is a Christian. While mouthing fatuous platitudes about Christianity, the President covers up Christian symbols during his appearances at Georgetown and at Notre Dame. And he praises Islam at every possible turn, getting his history completely backwards as he insists on reminding us of the wonderful contributions Muslims have made to humanity throughout history, never mind that their most notable additions to our collective conceptual library include the words "zero" and "assassin."

And how can we forget the blank, uncomprehending stare that accompanied Janet Napolitano's putting forth the extraordinary idea that what really shocked and amazed her in the aftermath of the failed Christmas Day bombing was the fact that Al Qaeda was actually training people to commit individual acts of terrorism, rather than, as she apparently believed, only trying to launch attacks by groups of people intent on producing "man-made disasters." Napolitano's utter naiveté, which beggars comprehension, is indisputable proof that she is disturbingly unqualified to be doing the job she currently holds. I was waiting for her to suggest that her solution was that everyone be required to "go commando" when boarding an airplane on the grounds that that would insure you couldn't hide a bomb in your underwear. Whatever is at work here, Napolitano has certainly rendered the phrase "homeland security" meaningless.

And the originator of the practice of associating the term "meaninglessness" with this administration was last seen sputtering when confronted about another incident in which Barack Obama crippled the English language. This time Gibbs willfully ignored reporters' references to the dozens of video clips from last year's presidential campaign of his boss promising to have the proceedings of the health care debate "televised on C-Span." Nancy Pelosi couldn't disguise her contempt, laughing out loud when asked a question about the President's promises and finally explaining, between guffaws, that a lot of things are said on the campaign trail that no politician really means.

Indeed, the administration might well be collapsing under the weight of the meaningless utterances that emerge from the mouths of its spokespeople every day. Obama's solution seems to be to add several more bureaucratic layers to the process of protecting the nation against terrorism, while maintaining the woefully incapable heads of current agencies to make sure no chance for ineptitude goes unrealized. In the meantime, his weapon of choice continues to be the meaningless utterance.

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