Even faithful liberals like Kevin Drum at Mother Jones think President Obama bungled the prisoner swap for Sgt. Bergdahl…..
I exchanged some emails with a friend about Obama’s seemingly tone deaf handling of the Bergdahl case, and one of the things he said is this: “My read is he is getting bored and detached after being so boxed in and hammered. He sounds like he is starting to check out. I think the staff is getting demoralized and are just not caring too much since they know it’s going to get hit one way or the other.”
Obama has always had a certain amount of contempt for the modern media and its endless Politico-style pursuit of shiny objects designed to “win the morning.” Ditto for the parochial nature of congressional politics and the insane tea-party style of no-compromise governing adopted by the modern Republican Party.
Was Obama’s handling of the prisoner swap “seemingly tone deaf?” Is Obama, worn down by the ridiculousness of our nation’s profit-seeking media, just checking out early? Doesn’t Obama even care anymore?
I have followed the Bergdahl story closely…..and I have a different explanation.
Those who read here are capable of thinking for themselves, otherwise…..you wouldn’t be reading here. So, think along with me….
First: Did Obama realize beforehand that GOP opponents and the Wurlitzer would break the faux-outrage volume control over the prisoner swap deal? Of course he did. Republicans briefed on the matter for over two years never hid their intentions of going full-metal-jacket-apeshite should Obama make a swap deal without their approval. Point being…..Obama anticipated this week’s media insanity. Therefore, any talk suggesting that Obama was taken flatfooted, or by surprise, by the level and tone of the crazed reaction to Bergdahl’s release is just crazy, stupid talk…..proving that corporate media and anti-Obama right wingers take their audiences for total fools.
Second: In a corollary to the above……do you think that when Obama sent Susan Rice to last week’s Sunday “news” shows to represent the White House in answering questions about the prisoner swap deal that the president had, somehow, forgotten that Rice has been constantly vilified by the usual suspects…..for her answers to questions on Sunday shows after Benghazi? Of course not. One can disagree with Obama about stuff but few would argue that Obama is a complete and utter moron.
So, no, I don’t see any Obama flat-footed stumble…..or Susan Rice obliviousness in any of it. Here’s what I see….
Obama, whether one likes it or not, is winding down our combat involvement in Afghanistan and has spoken recently about rescinding the AUMF. The president has also recently reiterated his policy to close the embarrassing offshore gulag at Guantanamo. Republicans oppose both of those efforts.
With that in mind, I regard Obama’s prisoner swap announcement as Obama calling his political opponents bluff. Put another way….in a, you know, less civil way…..Obama’s announcement of the prisoner swap was actually Obama symbolically flipping his political opponents the bird. Not a flat-footed stumble…..but a defiant dare.
And Republicans, as Obama had calculated, took that dare……and responded just as Obama expected they would. Like reactionary baboons on meth. It was another teaching moment from the professorial president. The nauseating stench of the winger and media response, far from being a surprise to Obama, was fully anticipated. My view is that Obama wanted the American public to experience, again, the totally unhinged “thinking” of the GOP, this time over how Republicans regard U.S. POWs and closing Gitmo….and the GOP didn’t disappoint.
Having said all that, I really have to hand it to Obama for sending Susan Rice out to the Sunday shows last weekend to represent the White House’s perspective on the prisoner swap. That was a move after the old Reverend’s heart. Far from being tone deaf in sending Rice, Obama deliberately chose Rice…..and with the full expectation that those meth-infused baboons I mentioned above would see red and start flinging their own poo-poo around. Again, the baboons didn’t disappoint. Benghazi, Bergdahl….Baboons…..see?, they all start with a B.
In other words, Obama got the response he was after.
Looking forward now, what Obama needs to do as CIC is unilaterally close Gitmo. Don’t wait for the approval of drug-addicted baboons…..they’re drug addicted….just close it. Guantanamo is not part of the U.S. That’s why Dick and George opened it in the first place…..so that U.S. laws wouldn’t apply there. Congress did not approve the opening of Gitmo, Obama shouldn’t wait for congressional approval to close it.
Bonnie Raitt sings a song called “Let’s Give Them Something To Talk About.” Great tune, great voice. In light of media and conservative reaction to the Bergdahl deal, Obama should stick his chin out, close Gitmo, transfer detainees as he sees fit in his role as CIC,……and really give those political meth-loving baboons* something to talk about.
*No real baboons were harmed in the production of this blog post.