Scary stuff that xMAS day incident over Detroit Airport. Equally unsettling for many was the unsteady response of the Obama administration. To begin with, Homeland Security Secretary Jane Napolitano bizarrely seemed to suggest that the incident showed the system worked! I guess citizens wrestling with would be terrorists on commercial flights in mid-air was part of the plan all along. Then three days after the event, President Obama appeared sans cravate near his Hawaiian holiday getaway very, very calmly expressing his regret. The next day, still without a tie, Obama assumed Commander in Chief mode and angrily denounced the entire bungling homeland security apparatus. It was a strangely disconnected performance undermined further by a loss of video transmission during its initial live broadcast. Obama seemed to be assigning blame without accepting responsibility. Uh, Dude, these people work for you, right!?
Obama’s performance raised the hackles of the usual suspects, including former VP/pit bull Dick Cheney. No surpise there. But some of the folk who’ve been largely admiring were almost as scathing. Check out Maureen Dowd’s column, “As The Nation’s Pulse Races, Obama Can’t Seem to Find His” in NYT 29.12.09. Dowd is not exactly of the Fox News tribe, but she’s deeply freaked by “Barry’s” under performance.
As 2009 comes to an end, the Obama honeymoon is most decidedly over. The current flap over national security may even jeopardize passage of his most prized domestic goal – health care reform – if his stewardship of the past week begins to gnaw on the minds of wavering congress members.B