Monday, July 28, 2008

Obama The Commander In Chief?

In writing this, I think of a remark by Charles Krauthammer. First I must apologize, I do not have a direct quote and my details are scant about the conversation. I should explain why this is so. I watched Mr. Krauthammer when he was on the panel of Brit Hume’s Special Report. He made a remark, which I will get to in a moment, that I found interesting. At the time though I did not give a lot of thought to it other than it was subtly accurate. Now fast forward to me mowing my lawn. Be patient, there is a point here. I mow approximately 2 – 2.5 acres so I use a riding mower. If you have never done this, it is not very exciting. I spend a lot of time thinking and going around and around. Sometimes my thoughts are simple but sometimes I do some real deep thinking while riding in circles. It is this internal musing that brought this article about so forgive me if my details on the actual conversation are bare, it is my insight that I am actually writing about.

So after that, on to the quote, paraphrased. Like I said they were discussing Obama and his qualifications. Mr. Krauthammer in his dry delivery said that Obama was the single most unqualified candidate for Commander in Chief ever to run. This drew a rebuke from one of the moderate members of the panel and the remark died there. Further it would be easy to dismiss this as hyperbole. These types of remarks are thrown around freely in elections and are just as easily dismissed. Now back to the mower. I’m riding around in circles and I think of this remark. I wonder, is it just an extreme remark during an election or is there some truth to it?

This got me thinking about previous Presidents and their qualifications while running for office. Without doing a dissertation on Presidential history, I decided to look at the second half of the 20th century. In fact, excluding Bill Clinton, you have to go back to Franklin Roosevelt to find a President with no military experience whatsoever before entering office. Since Roosevelt, we have had:

-Harry Truman served in WWI as an artillery officer and served for one year as Vice President to Roosevelt during WWII before assuming the Presidency upon Roosevelt’s death.

-Dwight Eisenhower was General of the Army during World War II and possibly one of the most qualified Presidents to be Commander in Chief.

-John F Kennedy had his PT boat sunk during WWII and helped rescue the survivors.

-Lyndon Johnson served in the Navy as an officer in WWII earning the Silver Star.

-Richard Nixon also a Naval officer in WWII

-Gerald Ford, though not elected, was the 38th President of the US. He also was a Naval officer in WWII.

-Jimmy Carter, again a Naval officer for seven years.

-Ronald Reagan was an officer in the Army stateside during WWII and, as Governor of California, oversaw the National Guard.

-George H W Bush was a naval fighter pilot in WWII and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

-Bill Clinton, did not serve in the military and was actually a draft dodger. With all of this though, he did oversee the National Guard as Governor of Arkansas.

-George W Bush. There has been some discussion over his role as fighter pilot in the Air National Guard. Oversaw Texas National Guard as Governor of Texas.

This brings us to the present election. On one hand we have John McCain, fighter pilot in the Vietnam War. Shot down and spent six years as a POW in the infamous Hanoi Hilton being tortured. On the other hand we have Barack Obama who…

He has absolutely zero experience in anything that would make him qualified to be Commander in Chief. No military experience, has not been a Governor, he has though played basketball with the troops in a war zone. His closest claim to experience is as a member, not chairman, of three Senate committees, Foreign Relations, Veteran’s Affairs, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. It is hard to call three years on these committees a qualifier for Commander in Chief. Further, while the previous two presidents had limited experience, the job of Commander in Chief is too important to have on the job training. Bill Clinton was a dismal failure in his role. Troop morale suffered, the strength of the military was undercut, and Clinton was, ahem distracted, while terrorists ran amok during his administration. George Bush had better success although he could have done a considerably better job managing the Iraq War. Which reinforces the case that it is not one to be undertaken by someone without experience.

Obama’s refusal to admit that the surge in Iraq has helped quell violence in that country, even though the view is shared by most other analysts, speaks to a lack of understanding of events on the ground there. His insistence that Iraq is not the central focus in the war on terror is na├»ve. While it could be argued that it was not originally the front on the war on terror, completely dismissing it considering this is where we are fighting al qaeda, gives the impression that he really does not grasp the fight against terrorism. Finally, we are not comforted by Obama’s recent clumsy cancellation of his visit to wounded troops in Germany. While we are outraged by this, it is more important than just his disdain for the troops. Being Commander in Chief is not just understanding military theory, a President has advisors and the Pentagon for this, it is maintaining troop morale. This is something that Obama really doesn’t seem to get. For Obama troops are photo backdrop when he needs them and somewhat of an embarrassment when talking to his far left friends.

Perhaps being a junior Senator is something that can be done with on the job training. Being the Commander in Chief of the world’s most powerful military at a time in history when the United States faces so much danger from abroad requires someone who can do the job the day they take office. Learning on the job in this position doesn’t risk making bad laws, it risks the lives of American citizens and the men and women of the military. For this reason we need to think about the words of Mr. Krauthammer and take them to heart when voting this November. Being the first new President elected after 9/11, we know now more than ever that this is a job in which those with experience need not apply.


Aurora said...

You lay out a good case regarding the credentials of Obama. Welcome to the new era of the anti-leader. Obama is the archetypal SNAG (sensitive new age guy) to outward appearances. I believe you're absolutely right that Obama is no commander in chief. Obama has other agendas and none of them have anything to do with dynamic foreign policy.

WomanHonorThyself said...

excellent overview Chuck..Heaven help us all if that Marxist, black separatist ever gets near the White House!

Papa Frank said...

YES HE CAN!!! You've just got to BEEEELEEEEEVE Chuck!!! He will be great because he SAYS he will be great. After all he would have had the audacity to stand by and do nothing had he been in any sort of office that mattered at all during 9/11. He NEVER would have got into this war in the first place and would have had the fortitude to turn the other cheek when we were attacked on our own soil and respond to Bin Laden with what he would call "sanctions with teeth" in response to 9/11. We'll give you one more chance to get onboard Chuck as we sing the 3rd and 4th verse again. YES HE CAN!!!

Chuck said...

Aurora and womanhonorthyself, I think you are both new here, welcome and thanks for visiting. You are both correct, this is why we need to work for the next 100 days to keep him out of the WH.

Papa frank, you didn't watch one of his screeches, er I mean speeches, did you, I don't want you to fall under his spell and become an Obamaniac.

Z said...

Chuck, don't hold your breath waiting for my friend Papa to like Obama!! NEVER HAPPEN!! I was laughing by the end of his screed! (good one, Pops!)

Krauthammer's so good and you're so right in talking about experience.

I personally don't believe one has to have hands-on military experience, BUT obama has so LITTLE experience at ANYTHING that it's positively scary to think of him as the leader of the free world. Actually, the very thought's starting to get to me BIG time..horrible. But, of course, we're only looking at the demise of America as we know her.!!

The media's making him look SO reasoned, so smart, so charming and popular...meanwhile, here's a guy who wants to give billions to the world and then create a stimulus package for us. is he NUTS?

or are WE?

Karen said...

Terrific post, Chuck. I love the calm intelligence of Krauthammer. He is usually completely right.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. I hope you'll visit often.

cube said...

Krauthammer is spot on about Obama. The first affirmative action candidate. Woefully unqualified on so many levels.

Chuck said...

Z, just wanted to make sure Papa hadn't been hypmotized. My suspicion is we don't have to worry much.

Karen, welcome and thanks for stopping by. Enjoyed your blog.

Cube, affirmative action had to hit the Presidency sooner or later, it's been in the Senate for a while, just look at Maxine "um, ah, um, take over the oil industry" Waters. You do have to love Krauthammer.

MK said...

"For Obama troops are photo backdrop when he needs them and somewhat of an embarrassment when talking to his far left friends."

For him and much of the MSM and the progressives, this explains why they love him so much.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I find him to not only be unqualified, but also deeply undeserving.

His arrogance and apparent belief in his own hype as "the black Kennedy" and second coming of MLK just adds to my disgust.

Can so many of my fellow citizens really be so taken in and sold on smoke and mirror appearances and snake oil?