President Barack Obama had a glorious opportunity on Sunday. When he announced that he would be addressing the U.S. from the Oval Office, even his detractors had a moment of hope. Pushed to the breaking point by the tragic deaths of fourteen innocent Americans, Obama would finally unleash his inner lion. He would swagger into our living rooms with the same confident stride we saw on the night Seal Team 6 ended Osama bin Laden. And he would assure us that he would spend the remaining months of his presidency stomping out every last remnant of the Islamic State.
Instead, he came on to lecture us about peaceful Muslims and angry Republicans and that old, tired standard: gun control.
His speech was a disgrace. Instead of listening to his military advisers, almost all of whom have said publicly and privately that we will not defeat ISIS without ground troops, he defended his strategy with the same stubborn blindness we’ve seen since the beginning. It is obvious now that no amount of bloodshed will persuade this man to change his mind.
He’s still out there assailing Republicans for their “tough talk.” He’s still out there pushing his lame gun control strategy. Sure, it sounds good to say that Republicans want people no-fly list to have guns. That’s a great campaign sentiment. It would make a wonderful piece of Democratic propaganda.
But this is not what it means to be the president of the United States. It’s not what we need to hear from the civilian commander of our armed forces. Obama is so desperate to hang on to whatever legacy he’s dreamed up – being the anti-Bush, perhaps – that he won’t confront the realities of the world.
“The strategy that we are using now – airstrikes, Special Forces and working with local forces who are fighting to regain control of their own country – that is how we’ll achieve a more sustainable victory,” Obama said.
No it isn’t. He knows that isn’t going to solve anything and he doesn’t care. He just wants to make it through the final year of his presidency without committing to a war on terror that he has always regarded as beneath him. If the attack in California was not sufficient to wake him out of his long reverie, nothing will.
You want to know why Donald Trump is gaining so much support, despite never having held office? It’s because Americans are tired of the nonsense. ISIS is not a nonsense problem, and we are going to need someone willing to do the tough things if we want to defeat them. And we need to understand that even once ISIS is gone, Al Qaeda will still be there. And there’s always the likelihood that another terror group will arrive to fill the void.
The only way to keep that from happening is to elect a president who understands the threat. A president who won’t shirk his responsibilities because he wants his ultra-left circle of friends back in Chicago to be proud of him. The time for politics is over; the time for war is nigh.
And Barack Obama wants to go back to bed.