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The Man Who Knew Nothing

The quintessential question of Watergate was “What did the President know and when did he know it?” Obamagate, the vast scandal that encompasses an entire presidency, offers a preemptive answer.

Obama didn’t know anything and he never knew it. At least not until, like smuggling weapons to druglords, bugging journalists, IRSing his political enemies and killing vets, his right hand found out about what his left hand was doing from the morning paper.

After skipping 58% of his daily intelligence briefings in Term 1 and 59% of them in Term 2, he went on 60 Minutes and blamed intelligence agencies for being caught by surprise by ISIS. The intelligence had been there all along, but Obama wasn’t just missing his 3 AM phone calls, he was also skipping the 3 PM phone calls while golfing with the CEO of Comcast, friendly hedge fund managers and assorted lobbyists.

When the media, in the person of loyalist New Yorker editor David Remnick, tried to do its newfound duty by briefing him on the ISIS takeover of an Iraqi city, Obama snarked back by calling ISIS a jayvee team. Snark had proven to be an effective national security strategy for him before when he won a presidential debate by dismissing Mitt Romney’s concerns about national security with lines like, “The 80s called, they want their foreign policy back” and “We also have fewer horses and bayonets.”

The media cheered the spectacle of a real life version of a Saturday Night Live or a Daily Show skit while licking its lips at the thought of a President Stewart or Colbert ruling through pre-scripted quips. And the problem was solved until ISIS took over much of Iraq.

The ISIS version of a snappy comeback was to call Obama “a White House slave” and a “mule” which sounds really racist and doesn’t translate well.

What the ISIS standup act lacked in comic timing, it made up for by besieging Baghdad, bringing back slavery and taking selfies with severed heads. Between his golf games and vacations, Obama finally penciled in a war, declaring, “The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force.”

And it only took him 6 years to figure that out. Talk about an intelligence failure.

Obama botched his own disastrous ObamaCare program turning it an even more expensive mess than it already was. Once again he claimed that he only found out about the problem from the media. Just like he found out that his VA turnaround was killing more vets than Al Qaeda was from that same media.

Let’s take Obama at his word for a moment and assume that he really is a clueless dilettante who doesn’t know anything about anything until it appears in bold type on the front page of the New York Time. But then what exactly does he do besides give speeches at fundraisers, golf, vacation and blame Congress for not passing some gimmick bill that even his own party loyalists wouldn’t touch in an attempt to divert attention from the latest disaster he only found out about through the media?

He tried to force amnesty through Congress and instead caused a border crisis. After blowing a billion dollars on a contractor with a top family friend executive, the ObamaCare website went 404. His stimulus funds went into the trash. His Green Energy recipients went into bankruptcy court. He’s still claiming credit for fixing unemployment by convincing the unemployed to drop out of the economy.

And now he’s stuck being a third-rate Bush, bombing Iraq while trying to explain that the Al Qaeda he’s bombing now is not the Al Qaeda he claimed to have defeated when he was running for reelection.

There’s no doubt that he did a great deal for the left by stewarding an expansion of the regulatory bureaucracy and scoring lots of points in the culture war, but he could have managed to achieve the former by sticking to his old career of filing frivolous lawsuits and pulled off the latter by becoming one of Jon Stewart’s Comedy Central second bananas before graduating to his own spinoff show.

No one needed him in the White House. If the Democratic Party was that desperate to dodge every gaffe, scandal and criticism with cries of racism, it could have gotten some other black guy. There are twenty million of them. And any one of them would have done a better job and played a lot less golf.

And now after running for office as the “Smartest guy in the room”, the Nobel Prize winner has chosen to become a born-again idiot.

Nixon could have pretended to be a moron barely capable of tying his own shoes. Instead he chose to let Americans think of him as a crook instead of as an incompetent idiot. Obama has taken the other road with his wartime latte salutes and his post-war announcement golf games. Instead of being seen as Nixon, he’s desperately trying to convince the voters that he’s really Chevy Chase’s Gerald Ford.

Obama is willing to be seen as an amiable incompetent idiot to preserve his likability rating, the only part of his rating that isn’t deeper underwater than Jimmy Hoffa, but that’s only half-true. There is nothing amiable about his incompetence or his idiocy.

The roots of both can be found in his arrogance.

Obama claimed “I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters… I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors … I’m a better political director than my political director”.

It went without saying that he also understood legislating better than Congress and the Constitution better than the Supreme Court. He understood website programming better than the programmers which is why the ObamaCare website testing and redesigns happened inside the government.

He even insisted that he was a better ISIS Jihadist than the actual Jihadists, offering his advice as “an adviser to ISIS” to a coterie of big media types. And yet if ISIS ever did make him its Caliph, it would be reduced to two guys hiding in a kebab shack in Yemen before the month was out.

Obama can do everything better than everyone else, which is why he can never get anything right. He assumed that he would rule as a genius surrounded by incompetent idiots. And he was half right.

The HHS and VA secretaries were purged over failures of leadership that came from the top down. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton resigned half a year after Benghazi. After six years of running his mouth, the Attorney General was finally forced to resign after a U.S. District Court judge began applying serious pressure on the Justice Department over Fast and Furious docs. If we begin listing the top generals, defense and security officials who were forced out to cover up for Obama’s incompetence at all things military, we would be here all day.

Having thrown everyone else under the bus, Obama is gently climbing under it for a short nap. Then he’ll be back to change the subject from his latest failure to a proposal that is doomed to become a failure while urging Americans not to be cynical about all his past failures.

It’s what makes him such a perfect man of the left.

The left never understood that its policy failures emerge from its bad intentions. It’s incompetent because it’s malicious. The only variations are in the ruthlessness with which it pursues its agenda. That is what distinguishes a tinpot EuroSoc like President Hollande, who is busy turning the French economy into the toilet bowl of Europe, from the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the Coryphaeus of Science, the Father of Nations and the Great Genius of Humanity, Uncle Joe Stalin.

Stalin was tremendously incompetent and compensated for that incompetence with extreme ruthlessness. The industrial accomplishments that were the toast of the left were achieved through a combination of massive fraud and mass murder. When faced with an invasion by his Nazi allies, he used his own population and territory to soak up the damage until America once again bailed the USSR out.

The left succeeds only when it acts so ruthlessly and sacrifices so many lives that eventually some kind of result is achieved. The result is achieved inefficiently and is lacking in every way, but it’s there.

Obama’s ruthlessness isn’t Stalinesque; it’s Stewartesque and Colbertesque. He’s willing to violate the law while reading from a teleprompter. And that won’t intimidate anyone except the occasional RINO. His policies kill people, but not on enough of a Stalinesque scale to outpace their basic inefficiency. Socialized medicine won’t work unless you kill a whole lot more people. Just ask its architect or the NHS.

The failures of Obama are those of the left. Its ideologues equate ideology with ability and empathy. They assume that a policy will work because history is on their side. They don’t bother with the niceties of following the law or listening to anyone. Instead they move on to the next big thing while ignoring the big disaster already underway. And when it all blows up, they lie and deny until they realize the people in whose name they have been acting aren’t buying it anymore. And then they blame someone else.

Obama is blaming the intelligence officials for not giving him the briefings on ISIS that he wouldn’t attend. But he knew all about ISIS. He chose not to listen to avoid exactly what is happening now.

As a born again idiot, Obama maintains a layer of plausible deniability over his incompetence that allows him to blame his own people and claim ignorance. But it’s an ignorance of choice. Obama chooses not to contemplate the consequences of his actions. He chooses to implement the bad ideas of the left without questioning them the way that he would have if they were being proposed by George W. Bush. And he chooses to listen to the media because it shares those same filters and acts as a warning system that the crisis has become so severe that not even his backers in the media can continue to ignore it.

The left chooses not to know what it doesn’t want to know. It chose not to know what the USSR was doing. It chose not to know what ISIS was up. It chooses not to know about the people suffering under ObamaCare. It remains calculatedly ignorant of the human cost of its own policies because it doesn’t care about those who are harmed by it. It chooses not to know because then it would have to do something. And it doesn’t want to.

When those in power are ignorant and incompetent in all things, it is because they lack empathy. The policy failures of the left are symptoms of deeper human failures. Their skills of taking power by manipulating, smearing and deceiving stand in contradiction to the humane skills that are needed to apply that power in meaningful ways. Like all evil, the left is doomed to destroy itself from the start.

Obama didn’t want to do anything about ISIS. He didn’t want to do anything about the VA. He didn’t want to acknowledge knowing anything about the IRS targeting and he didn’t care about how well or how badly the ObamaCare website would work until he realized its impact on his approval ratings.

Obama’s incompetence and ignorance are expressions of his contempt for the people beneath him. His policies implode because he never bothered to understand how they would impact real people. He chooses not to know, because he chose not to care.


  1. 1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

    2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night." Psalm 1. That's obama. A scornful man. A scoffer. A man who mocks. And mocking works. It's so powerful. It shames people. Obama intimidates New York Times type people into not criticizing him. Great article Daniel. You are the best. We are your loyal fans.

  2. Fisk Ellington Rutledge III7/10/14

    Obama is like most Blacks and Hispanics I've known. Once they get the job, their work is over. It's time to enjoy life and be kowtowed to. But anyway, ISIS is irrelevant. We have no business at all messing with ANY of those savages in their counties. The was is here in the U.S. right now. The war is against Leftist cowards and traitors and their third-world savage foot soldiers.

    Leave Third-World savages alone in their own countries and kick them ALL out of ours. Let our worst enemy, Mexico, get them all when we ship back all the Mexican savages.

  3. @Ivan

    The opening line of psalms. So beautiful. You should learn it in the original. The music of the words has more power in Hebrew.

  4. Y. Ben-David7/10/14

    While I largely agree with what you wrote here, it must be pointed that the American people TWICE elected this man as President. For that matter, they also elected that corrupt fraud Bill Clinton to the Presidency. Apparently this is the type of man a significant number of Americans want in the White House. Polls show that Obama's popularity ratings don't drop below 40% in spite of the obvious flaws he has. Romney even pointed out that almost half of Americans don't care what a President does as long as he keeps the handouts coming, yet Mitt himself ran an incompetent 1948-Tom-Dewey-like campaign which said "I can't lose because everyone sees how bad the incumbent is" and lost anyway.
    Thus, my point is that the problem far transcends the man in the White House, it is the whole Post-Modernist, welfare state mentality that is eating away at the soul of the American people. Sad.

  5. We are deep into the era of blame shift. People easily relate to and thus make excuses for their leader abdicating responsibility because by example it gives them permission to do the same. In the anything goes matrix, lowest common denominator sets the standard. what is true, what is real must always be overruled to accommodate justifiable incompetence.

  6. rexrs7/10/14

    You're much too kind, Mr. Greenfield, the mark of a true gentleman. Unfortunately, the time of gentlemanly conduct in this matter has long passed. Please accept the advice of an old street fighting man.

    Obama must be indicted, arrested and tried for treason against The United States. He must immediately be removed from office and placed in custody of the US Army to await trial. All laws, regulations and executive orders under Obama shall be vacated and declared null and void.

    The image of Obama in an orange jumpsuit at the bar of justice, without a teleprompter, will be a tonic for our citizens and an unmistakable warning to our friends and enemies that we mean serious business.

    The damage is so severe and the wounds so deep that in the fullness of time all his lackeys, enablers and his wife should suffer the same fate.

    God bless America.

    1. Anonymous16/10/14

      rexrs, well said. I concur. Until we remove this phony king and his gypsies in the palace, (since we know he will not willingly abdicate...) the downward spiral will continue. Rightful liberty will eventually be restored in this country, all that remains to be decided is the road we take to get there, and how many will have to suffer the birth pangs of the restoration. But Obama in an orange jumpsuit making the perp walk is a fine start. As has been said before, there's going to be a fight. Let's win.

  7. Anonymous7/10/14

    "until America once again bailed the USSR out." I agree with almost all of the essay but the above portion is so much rubbish. The USA was NOT interested until Pearl Harbour and by then Hitler was at the Gates of Moscow. Certainly once in the war the USA gave aid (FOR GOLD not for free as applied to all allies) What did save Stalin was the Soviet spy in the German embassy who discovered that having been mauled once by the Red Army, Japan were not the slightest bit interested in Siberia as oil was their pressing problem and this knowledge enabled the winter trained Siberian divisions(>20) to be sent to Moscow in the "nick of time". Once he failed to get the Moscow railhead in 1941 Germany could NOT win the war (same railway that supplied Stalingrad) and the USA had NOTHING to do with it then. later on there was loads of paid aid but only the trucks(Studebaker = truck in soviet slang) were that useful as the soviets considered the armour and the planes inferior to their own(and they were).
    Nit picking I agree but Mr Greenfield is not perfect although his analyses are often close.

  8. The USSR never even repaid a fraction of the aid it was given. Nor did it ever intend to. Meanwhile the US extensively equipped Russian forces with everything imaginable. The number of aircraft provided alone was huge. And the amount of civilian aid was staggering.

    Hubert van Tuyll's Feeding the Bear covered the subject well enough.

  9. Anonymous7/10/14

    It may be somewhat naïve to consider Obama the problem by himself.
    The Chicago machine saw an articulate, well dressed, half Black cipher , who seems drugged quite often, staying desperately in the closet and designated him the One. When they experienced their words coming off the teleprompter and channeled through their very own Charlie McCarthy, they were off to the races.

    O was happy to do as told, as his love for the good life, and the need to shut up his materialistic 'beard', provided an easy path to riches that neither of them could have ever achieved on their own accomplishments.
    O entered the race, not to become a leader, but to become wealthy, which seems to have worked.
    As for him 'caring' about all the damage he has done, people with narcissistic personality disorder are flatly incapable of such emotion. Easier to teach a pig to fly.

  10. And why doesn't he care?

    Is he too stoned to care?

    Is it because the country is mostly white?
    Is it because we're unruly believers in freedom?
    Is it because we're not communists?
    Is it our religions? i.e. not Islamic.

    Is he just a figurehead, maneuvered into the job to read scripts, biding his time until it's over?

    I think the last and first reasons answer the question.

  11. Anonymous7/10/14

    The failure of the Luftwaffe to beat the RAF decided the war in the end BUT the failure to take the Moscow railhead in 1941 was what decided the eastern front strategically and the USA aid to the USSR then and when it really mattered, was trivial, if at all. Stalingrad showed that Germany could not keep up the manpower and was the tactical turning point but Moscow was THE one as it was always the USSR and Stalin's lack of care for his own body count(he admired Muhammad and his "ethics" as did Hitler) that beat Hitler despite countless movies that suggest otherwise. No western government could withstand the cost in manpower it took to beat Hitler and this probably applies to beating Islam now.

    I am not disagreeing about the massive amounts of aid later on but that was only after Pearl Harbour. Even then, FDR pushing for aid to the USSR created a Washington flak storm. My point is that even then the good ol' USA did not do anything for nothing and finished the war with most of its gold unlike GB who were in it from the start and bankrupt by 1945.

  12. Anonymous7/10/14

    impeach all obomba's peons in IRS, etc.

    then impeach obomba after Nov. Make Moochelle right for the first time in her entire life, she claims the Republicans will impeach obomba if they win.

  13. We can argue over what decided the war, but describing the amount of aid sent by the US as trivial is inaccurate. Stalin's willingness to spend huge amounts of lives slowed down the German war machine, but Hitler was also willing to sacrifice his people.

  14. Anonymous7/10/14

    Brooks, having read the assessments of mental health professionals and by observation, I feel he is a full blown victim of NPD..Also worked in public health for many years, and saw this up close, I would compare the narcissists' lack of empathy with that which is sometimes demonstrated in autism, The npd patient is often the drama queen of the mental health arena. The difference is that the NPD patient often knows how to Pretend to care, at least sometimes.. I have often thought that NPD might be somewhere on the autism spectrum, but there is not enough information out there to verify this.

  15. From the start this man's ascendancy has been inexplicable to me. I have yet to see to him display his vaunted brilliance and the endless passing of the buck *should* expose his complete inadequacy for the office of president. Yet he was voted in twice. It boggles the mind. I will never again underestimate the power of government handouts or the ignorance of the average voter.

  16. Anonymous7/10/14

    SQT. your post raises the question; how powerful would handouts be if jobs were plentiful ? Oh, I slap my own forehead,...what a silly question !

  17. Y. Ben-David7/10/14

    The aid given to the USSR was given as part of "Lend-Lease", as was the aid given to Britain after LL was passed by Congress in 1941. It was never intended to be paid back, as I understand it.
    The Red Army destroyed something like 3/4 of the strength of the Wehrmacht, and paid an enormous price in lives to achieve this. My view of the USSR is no different than yours, but the truth must be told. This saved a lot of American and British lives in the end.

  18. Some of it was meant to be repaid.

    Far fewer US and British lives would have been at risk if Stalin hadn't made a deal with Hitler. The USSR paid much of the price because of the collapse of its dirty little deal with the Third Reich.

  19. Anonymous7/10/14

    We'd like to think that it is just the government end of the system that has led to an America that can accept Obama but corporate America has done its work well. How many Obamas were in the auto industry while it ignored the threat from foreign automakers? How many Obamas are involved in the tech bubbles, mortgage scams, phony mergers and IPO's?

    RINO's are community organizers for the rich.

  20. Anonymous8/10/14

    US aid to the USSR was trivial when it counted and that was in 1941. You have deliberately ignored my point and my agreement that later aid was not. Yes Hitler was happy to waste his own men but he knew that in ANY war of attrition he would lose. That was why the meat grinder of Stalingrad was the tactical turning point. After Moscow Germany could not win. After Stalingrad the USSR could not lose. I bow to you in many areas but this is one of my own and you are wrong.

  21. Anonymous8/10/14

    quote:"Far fewer US and British lives would have been at risk if Stalin hadn't made a deal with Hitler. The USSR paid much of the price because of the collapse of its dirty little deal with the Third Reich."...that deal was simply to give the USSR enough time to fortify its new front line and by it the USSR bent over backwards to keep it up(a train full of ore passed over a bridge as the attack occurred). The ONLY way that Germany COULD be beaten was by the USSR as the west have neither the will nor the manpower and that includes the USA and GB. Like Muhammad Hitler made his intentions clear and the USSR knew that there would be a confrontation. It just could NOT believe that Hitler would be stupid enough to do it with GB still alive and kicking and that was what gave Germany the huge initial surprise advantage.

  22. Y. Ben-David8/10/14

    Britain and France made a dirty deal with Hitler at Munich in 1938, months before that which Stalin did. I am not defending Stalin but he could have reached the conclusion that Chamberlain was pushing Hitler to the East with his appeasement policy, so Stalin decided to do the same thing. British apologists said that Chamberlain was merely "buying time" at Munich since Britain was supposedly wasn't ready to go to war at the time (there is some truth in this, particularly in the RAF) and Stalin's apologists say the same regarding the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact in 1939 regarding the USSR, again with at least some truth, since the massive purge of the Red Army was just a year or so earlier. Looks to me that there is plenty of blame to go around.

  23. There's a sizable difference between a dirty deal of appeasement and invasion. Stalin wasn't appeasing Hitler. He was joining him in conquest.

  24. Anonymous8/10/14

    There is a difference in class and quality between selective omission of comments and honest publication of all and your crown has slipped IMO. A pity as I once had respect for you and you have destroyed this by being unable to accept criticism. You are still wrong and becoming more wrong. I am shocked TBH

  25. Anonymous8/10/14

    It seems to me that Obama believes his role is to choose people who agree with him and can be trusted to keep their mouth shut and get thrown under the bus who do the actual leading. He is simply the administrator. Tell his followers his basic plan (destroy America any way possible), and give them the ball. That way, he really can say he doesn't know anything.


  26. The USSR didn't fortify its front line. Stalin assumed that he had fooled Hitler. Nor was the USSR buying time. It was seizing territory.

  27. TBH, the only comment I recall not putting up on this post urged domestic terrorism. And there are obvious reasons why I wouldn't run such a comment.

  28. Anonymous8/10/14

    How did the comments morph from an attempt to understand O to a re-staging of WWII ? My dear father was a veteran of the Army Air Corps, he enlisted the day after Pearl Harbor and stayed until the end, flying many missions in between. One time I asked him how the war was fought and he just shrugged his shoulders and changed the subject. All his friends were veterans and they were equally mum on the topic of war stories.
    Monday morning quarterbacking all around here.

  29. Anonymous11/10/14

    Sophie: My Dad was also in WW2. Throughout my entire childhood and into my early twenties, I would ask my Dad about the war. He would tell me he saw no action and was only a cook. One day, I mentioned this to a neighbor--a friend of my Dad's who was about the same age as my father. I remember well that the man spun around quickly and said, "Is that what your Dad told you?" When I feebly answered "Yes", he went on to tell me that my father saw a lot of action and killed a lot of men in hand to hand frontline warfare. I went right home and asked my Dad and he said that my neighbor was telling the truth. I asked him why he never told me. He said, "When you are in a war, you never want to talk about it."


  30. Curtis11/10/14

    The Jihad maniacs have and will be with us in their dark dank corners, popping out their heads here and there. It didn't do us any good destroying the infrastructure of Libya and Syria... and Iraq, either directly and/or directly, creating a power vacuum that let these Jihad maniacs out of their corners. Our government let slip the dogs of war by ousting / attempting to oust, the strong men.

  31. Anonymous18/10/14

    The Pr. won the 2nd term because a majority of people decided to stay home. Most of these were on the RIGHT!!!!


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