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Posted by on Jul 31, 2009 in Politics | 8 comments

Obama Acting Without the Facts — A Presidential Pattern Emerges (Guest Voice)


Obama Acting Without the Facts — A Presidential Pattern Emerges

by Michael Reagan

Last week, President Obama was almost finished with his nationally broadcast press conference when he was asked to comment on the arrest, and subsequent release, of renowned Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. by the now-famous Cambridge, Mass. police Sgt., Jim Crowley.

In his response to the question, the president started off with a legitimate point for discussion — his concern over the alleged practice of profiling across our nation. Had he stopped there, the matter would most likely have been put to rest and the president and national media could have re-focused on more pressing matters facing our nation such as the economy, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, or even the debate on health care.

However, the president inexplicably decided to expand his response by saying the Cambridge police acted “stupidly” in their handling of the matter — while admitting that he did not yet have all of the facts at his disposal.

While this certainly turned out to be a significant political blunder, thankfully this particular occasion did not directly impact national policy or international standing. However, the unfortunate truth is that a pattern is emerging — one where President Obama decides to speak in advance of the facts on matters of much greater importance than a mistaken arrest.

First, when it came to the economy and the administration’s prediction that unemployment would stabilize at 8 percent or less, Vice President Biden himself admitted they were in error and that “there was a misreading of just how bad an economy we inherited.”

Despite pumping billions of dollars of “stimulus” money into the economy, unemployment — currently at a 26-year high — continues to rise, and we are left to understand that this administration does not have a solid feel for where the economy is heading and, indeed, never did. Talk about boosting consumer confidence.

The litany continues. Just a few days after assuming office, President Obama again jumped the gun by signing three executive orders relating to the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. One order in particular called for the facility’s closure within a year of his signature — by this coming January. Again, after taking full measure of the situation it now appears that this accelerated timeframe is premature and infeasible — causing embarrassment for the administration and casting doubts on our international credibility.

There were plenty of warning and cautions beforehand, but again it seems the president did not take the time to acquire all the facts before making a decision, and now we’re left with prisoners whom no one will accept, and an administration forced — yet again — to admit they’re unsure of how to proceed.

During his campaign, Barack Obama promised all troops would be out of Iraq within 16 months of his assuming office. Barely a month after entering office, the president had already adjusted that plan to end combat missions within 18 months and allow for a complement of 35,000 troops to stay even longer. Yet just this week Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki suggested that the troops may be needed even longer than currently planned.

Most recently, we see the same pattern emerging with his proposed health-care plan, where even Democratic Congressional leaders are trying to rein in President Obama and distance themselves from his timetable, not to mention the details of his plan, as the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office releases report after report regarding the deficit increase and economic danger the President’s plan poses. This, of course, sits on top of the CBO’s analysis that the program is also at least a decade away from any savings and would still leave tens of millions of Americans uninsured. It seems to me like that sort of information would have been helpful to have in advance, and thankfully voters are already seeing through the scheme.

It’s not that we, the American people, don’t appreciate the ability to adjust to the reality of circumstances. Indeed, upholding a foolhardy promise would be reckless insult on top of gross error. But is it too much to ask that next time our president get the full information before he rushes towards judgment?

Mike Reagan, the elder son of the late President Ronald Reagan, is chairman and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation ( Look for Mike’s newest book, “Twice Adopted” and other info at ©2009 Mike Reagan. This column is licensed to be run in full on TMV. Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc., newspaper syndicate.

The cartoon by Aislin, The Montreal Gazette, is copyrighted and licensed to run on TMV. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

  • DdW

    “But is it too much to ask that next time our president get the full information before he rushes towards judgment?”


    You should have asked this of president Bush, before he rushed towards judgment on Iraq—and on so many many other issues

    • EEllis

      You should have asked this of president Bush

      OK now that we know how you feel can we move on?

  • dmf

    the only facts you need to know to conclude it was stupid were: (1) the cop knew gates lived there and (2) he got arrested anyway.

    he acted stupidly.

  • redbus

    There’s nothing wrong with a mid-course correction now and then. That’s all that these amount to, Mr. Reagan. And frankly, I hope once President Obama “gets all the facts” on health care, the public option will be jettisoned as destructive of private enterprise.

  • Father_Time

    Michael Reagan is a pathological liar. Please get somebody with credibility.

    Thank You.

  • JSpencer

    I used to actually read MR’s columns and make a good faith attempt to discern whatever valid and objective points he might be attempting to make. It didn’t take very long to establish what a fools errand that was. Now all I need to do is see his name on the post and the subject; the rest can usually be predicted with a fairly high degree of accuracy.

    “But is it too much to ask that next time our president get the full information before he rushes towards judgment?” – MR

    One word Michael . . . IRAQ

  • DLS

    Reagan is tardy — that is the only real complaint merited here. He’s not anywhere as hype-filled as the liberal media and interest groups emerging from the woodwork were, in trying to hype this event and paint the USA wrongly (in the demented alternative vision of radicals) as inherently racist or unjust (if never had mattered what the facts were, of course, about this event — nothing about “society” here — that from the start debunked any racism claims). Obama himself said something truly stupid, and was most revealing wasn’t the pathetic PR stunt at the picnic table later, nor the idiotic “teaching moment” degeneracy, but the claim that he was ‘surprised” by normal public negative reaction to his remark and his behavior.

  • JSpencer

    Wow! Still trying to squeeze mileage out of that one word?? Time to let it go dude. Fact is, the beer summit was a smart way to handle it and most folks have moved on. You should too.

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