As Michelle Obama treated herself to an additional week in paradise as a 50th birthday present at taxpayer expense, her husband returned from their multi-million dollar, 17-day vacation in Hawaii to badger Republicans in Congress over whether to continue to pay people not to work.
Then his former defense secretary, Robert Gates, announced the publication of a new book that reportedly vilifies the prez and his veep, blundering Joe Biden, whom Gates says (quite accurately) has been wrong on every major national security issue in the last forty years.
But the issue that has the national media dancing for joy is the ongoing “bridgegate” scandal, starring New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, wherein a good portion of the heavily-travelled George Washington Bridge, linking New Jersey and New York, was closed last fall for political reasons. Allegedly, the purpose was to punish the Democrat mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey, who had failed to support Christie’s re-election campaign. In a two-hour press conference, Christie apologized and announced that he has fired the alleged perpetrator of the scandal, his deputy chief of staff.
Like John McCain in years past, Christie was a media darling - and seemingly their favorite Republican - until the sycophantic lefties of the fourth estate began to perceive that his presidential ambitions threatened those of their real favorite, in this case Hillary Clinton. As Sarah Palin likes to say, “They’ve gotten all wee-weed up about it.”
However, my vote for the story of the week is the amateur diplomatic efforts of one of the weirdest people in America, Dennis Rodman. Others may say that Rodman’s whirlwind basketball tour of North Korea, the most repressive country on the planet, along with other washed up players of the game, is a non-story. I say it speaks to the very nature of diplomacy in the Obama administration, for which Dennis Rodman is the perfect representative.
Like Barack Obama, Dennis Rodman bows before tyrants. Obama has bowed to the Wahhabi royal fanatics in Saudi Arabia and the despots in Communist China. Upon arriving in Pyongyang, Rodman bowed to the juvenile tyrant and basketball fanatic Kim Jung Un, who recently turned 120 hungry dogs loose on his own uncle, who was subsequently torn to pieces. That’s how they do things in North Korea. Rodman reportedly serenaded his chubby little BFF with a rendition of Happy Birthday - somewhat reminiscent of Obama’s warm greeting of Raul Castro at the funeral of former South African President Nelson Mandela.
Also like Obama, Rodman seems not to care about the release of innocent hostages held by despotic regimes. Obama has permitted Americans, especially clergymen, to languish in foreign jails, essentially hostages of regimes like those in both Iran and in North Korea.
Rodman ranted on American television about alleged, unspecified offenses committed by Kenneth Bae, an American Christian convicted by North Korea on trumped up charges of planning to overthrow the North Korean government, and of setting up bases in China for the purpose of toppling the North Korean government. Bae is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence, making him the longest-serving U.S. prisoner of North Korea since the end of the Korean War more than sixty years ago.
Rodman has since apologized for his drunken, on-air rant but promised nothing with regard to broaching to Kim the subject of Bae’s release.
Obama is a misguided, misinformed radical. So is Rodman. Their political views and cavalier attitude toward the worst tyranny in the world is disturbing. Obama never hesitates to use his executive power against his political enemies. He is only restrained in his actions against the enemies of America. Call it buffoon diplomacy. Whether it is ideological naïvety or simple stupidity, these two men seem to share a worldview that makes them see things in a way most Americans do not share.
Doug describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. Readers are encouraged to email him at email@example.com and/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.