Search This Blog

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Dithering on Afghanistan

James Taranto in the WSJ.
This is going to be stirring, isn't it? With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will give a clear sense of both the time frame for action and how the war will eventually wind down! Let every nation know that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, to ratchet back our presence after the buildup! Either you are with us or you are with those who would fail to make clear that a significant American presence will remain, not just for a while but for a long while!

It sounds as though, after months of indecision, the president has finally resolved to be irresolute. It seems that his central strategic goal is to displease no one. Unless the speech turns out to be markedly different from what the Times leads us to expect--and let us hope it does--it will only reinforce the impression that he is a ditherer....

The defense of Obama is that he's not indecisive, he just has trouble making tough decisions. When decisions are easy, bang, he makes them just like that! Imagine him sitting in a diner:

Waiter: Would you like eggs for breakfast?
Obama: Yes, I most certainly would!
Waiter: How would you like them cooked?
Obama: Hmm, let's see. Bush liked deviled eggs, so that's out. Sunny-side up? No, wait! Scrambled--that way they're cooked through, so the risk of food poisoning is less. Or I could compromise and have them over easy. Then again, there's something to be said for hard-boiled . . . Gosh, this is tough . . .
You know what? I'll let you know at dinnertime. I'm just gonna eat my waffle right now
Achenbach's eagerness to portray Obama's vacillation in a positive light reinforces another stereotype: that of journalists as courtiers rather than critics of the "new" president.

No comments: