Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on May 23, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama appeared before AIPAC yesterday to try to calm the tempest he created with his remarks on Thursday. If clarity is what Obama sought, he has a funny way of getting to it, as his remarks on Hamas demonstrated. Philip Klein reported that he started off fine:

Now, I have said repeatedly that core issues can only be negotiated in direct talks between the parties.  And I indicated on Thursday that the recent agreement between Fatah and Hamas poses an enormous obstacle to peace.  No country can be expected to negotiate with a terrorist organization sworn to its destruction. We will continue to demand that Hamas accept the basic responsibilities of peace: recognizing Israel’s right to exist, rejecting violence, and adhering to all existing agreements.  And we once again call on Hamas to release Gilad Shalit, who has been kept from his family for five long years.

Well, that’s just straightforward common sense, right?  No one’s going to argue that Israel has to negotiate with terrorists whose charter includes a call for Israel’s destruction.  That would just be — er, what?

And yet, no matter how hard it may be to start meaningful negotiations under the current circumstances, we must acknowledge that a failure to try is not an option. The status quo is unsustainable. That is why, on Thursday, I stated publicly the principles that the United States believes can provide a foundation for negotiations toward an agreement to end the conflict and all claims – the broad outlines of which have been known for many years, and have been the template for discussions between the United States, Israelis, and Palestinians since at least the Clinton Administration.

So, we can’t expect Israel to try to negotiate with Hamas, but we can blame them for a failure to try to negotiate with Hamas?  Is the US position that Israel has “no option” but to negotiate with terrorists that no one expects them to negotiate with?

Somewhere in these two statements is an explanation of smart power, I’m sure.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at obamaisms@edmorrissey.com with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting to get a different result.

NeighborhoodCatLady on May 23, 2011 at 8:08 AM

Sheer idiocy.

Kevin71 on May 23, 2011 at 8:09 AM

As I have said about Obama from the beginning, he’s a politician, not a statesman.

backwoods conservative on May 23, 2011 at 8:11 AM

The flip-flop presidency: Barack & forth.

itsnotaboutme on May 23, 2011 at 8:12 AM

That’s what happens when you use words for effect, without any serious thought about their meaning.

petefrt on May 23, 2011 at 8:12 AM

Remember, he is the smartest man on earth.

DuctTapeMyBrain on May 23, 2011 at 8:13 AM

another of Obama’s tics; “on this hand, but then again, on the other hand” and we end up back where we started.

Smart powah, indeed.

BTW, hope the Morrissey home escaped the Minneapolis tornado last night. Joplin, MO wasn’t so lucky…

ted c on May 23, 2011 at 8:13 AM

Makes no sense at all, but notice how cleanly he articulated it!!!

-Sheriff Joe

VelvetElvis on May 23, 2011 at 8:13 AM

excuse me, while I negate my last point..

/bho

ted c on May 23, 2011 at 8:14 AM

PBHO doesn’t actually understand what he is saying, it’s all the identical bullshiite that any freshman poli-sci student would hear from a pontificating liberal professor; blah blah feel good blah blah pablum yack yack.

Bishop on May 23, 2011 at 8:14 AM

Obama should just drop the charade and embrace his inner Carter.

csdeven on May 23, 2011 at 8:14 AM

ok my head hurts…what????

probably trying to get a dig in at Bibi after the schooling he got in the oval office….

cmsinaz on May 23, 2011 at 8:15 AM

Mr. Spock would have said, “Captain…that is illogical.”

sdd on May 23, 2011 at 8:15 AM

this type of argumentation eventually requires the person to take a stand on one side of the argument or the other. Failing to do so just makes the speech nothing but diarrhea of the mouth. Then again, I’ll consider the source.

ted c on May 23, 2011 at 8:16 AM

So, we can’t expect Israel to try to negotiate with Hamas, but we can blame them for a failure to try to negotiate with Hamas?

you didn’t care to think this over because the simplicity of it was so appealing. as usual.

of course you can push hamas to stop being a terrorist organization sworn to israel’s destruction. as in “We will continue to demand that Hamas accept the basic responsibilities of peace: recognizing Israel’s right to exist, rejecting violence, and adhering to all existing agreements.”

sesquipedalian on May 23, 2011 at 8:17 AM

Compare and contrast.

Bibi Netanyahu and Barack Obama….both pictured in their 20′s.

check it.
http://www.americanthinker.com/cartoons/

ted c on May 23, 2011 at 8:17 AM

Just because it’s impossible doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it!

Okay, that clears it up for me.

Crusader Rabbit on May 23, 2011 at 8:19 AM

Does returning rocket fire with bigger rockets count as “meaningful negotiations?”

ExpressoBold on May 23, 2011 at 8:19 AM

of course you can push hamas to stop being a terrorist organization sworn to israel’s destruction. as in “We will continue to demand that Hamas accept the basic responsibilities of peace: recognizing Israel’s right to exist, rejecting violence, and adhering to all existing agreements.”

sesquipedalian on May 23, 2011 at 8:17 AM

And you can expectorate in one hand and wish in the other and see which fills up first.

kingsjester on May 23, 2011 at 8:23 AM

No bigs. Regarding standing firm against negotiating with a terrorist organization sworn one’s destruction, he was merely for it before he was against it….

apostic on May 23, 2011 at 8:23 AM

Does returning rocket fire with bigger rockets count as “meaningful negotiations?”

ExpressoBold on May 23, 2011 at 8:19 AM

Works for me.

backwoods conservative on May 23, 2011 at 8:23 AM

So, we can’t expect Israel to try to negotiate with Hamas, but we can blame them for a failure to try to negotiate with Hamas? Is the US position that Israel has “no option” but to negotiate with terrorists that no one expects them to negotiate with?

Sure, Ed. It’s six of one; half-dozen of the other. If I can figure out what O-Jimmy is saying, why can’t you?
/

GrannyDee on May 23, 2011 at 8:26 AM

And you can expectorate in one hand and wish in the other and see which fills up first.

kingsjester on May 23, 2011 at 8:23 AM

and you can’t commit to mocking someone every single day without ending up looking like a clown.

sesquipedalian on May 23, 2011 at 8:26 AM

ted c on May 23, 2011 at 8:17 AM

Whoa. Brutal comparison. BRUTAL.

Bishop on May 23, 2011 at 8:28 AM

sesquipedalian on May 23, 2011 at 8:26 AM

You’re the clown, if you believe that you can negotiate with barbaric killers like Hamas.

kingsjester on May 23, 2011 at 8:28 AM

http://www.americanthinker.com/cartoons/

ted c on May 23, 2011 at 8:17 AM

Worth a thousand words.

petefrt on May 23, 2011 at 8:30 AM

sesquipedalian, do you support Obama’s continued warmaking without congressional approval? We won’t divert the thread too much. A yes or no is fine.

rogerb on May 23, 2011 at 8:30 AM

Compare and contrast.

Bibi Netanyahu and Barack Obama….both pictured in their 20′s.

check it.
http://www.americanthinker.com/cartoons/

ted c on May 23, 2011 at 8:17 AM

Those two photographs say a lot, don’t they…

ProfessorMiao on May 23, 2011 at 8:31 AM

And you can expectorate in one hand and wish in the other and see which fills up first.
kingsjester on May 23, 2011 at 8:23 AM

Did you even read what PBHO said, or are you just flying off the handle again. He said he would “demand” Hamas be more responsible and peaceful, as in…demand!…RIGHT NOW!…or…yeah…there will be more strong demanding soon after.

Bishop on May 23, 2011 at 8:31 AM

If Zero bothered to read the Hamas charter, he would cut off all aid to the “palestinians”… Surely he has read and he understands their charter? Right? No?

Key West Reader on May 23, 2011 at 8:32 AM

Where mockery is concerned, Obama provides a target rich environment.

backwoods conservative on May 23, 2011 at 8:32 AM

“Present.”

visions on May 23, 2011 at 8:34 AM

and you can’t commit to mocking someone every single day without ending up looking like a clown.

sesquipedalian on May 23, 2011 at 8:26 AM

For reference, see yourself 2000-January 20 2009

Sekhmet on May 23, 2011 at 8:37 AM

ted c on May 23, 2011 at 8:17 AM

Ted, saw that picture over the weekend. That picture is worth a thousand million words

lukespapa on May 23, 2011 at 8:37 AM

All of this nonsense from someone who most likely can’t win an argument with his wife.

Cody1991 on May 23, 2011 at 8:38 AM

Is the US position that Israel has “no option” but to negotiate with terrorists that no one expects them to negotiate with?

It appears this administration expects Israel to just bend over and smile. Yet there IS an option, and Hamas will not disappoint the masses by admitting to Israel’s right to exist. Hence, Obama and his “state department” will kick the can down the road while making the claim that “he tried”, (just as so many other Presidents have)……and failed.

And just as Obama has done for almost four years, (for 90% of his failures), look for POTUS and the Liberals to blame Bush in 5-4-3-2.…..

Rovin on May 23, 2011 at 8:38 AM

If Zero bothered to read the Hamas charter, he would cut off all aid to the “palestinians”… Surely he has read and he understands their charter? Right? No?

Key West Reader on May 23, 2011 at 8:32 AM

I’m sure he knows what’s in the charter. He’s playing a game where he is trying to appear to be giving Israel “tough love” (goes over great with the Europeans), but he’s actually screwing them (which also goes over great with the Europeans).

And Israel-supporting democrats like Dershowitz keep falling for it.

ProfessorMiao on May 23, 2011 at 8:39 AM

I was for it, before I was against it…Obama’s triangulation, is becoming his political strangulation…
Now he can say he was against negotiations, and he was for negotiations.
And his little minions fall for it every time…

right2bright on May 23, 2011 at 8:40 AM

I don’t know why more is expected from a charlatan and a fraud…

golfmann on May 23, 2011 at 8:42 AM

We’ve seen this before…
Presidents think they’re the one
Who can solve this mess.

After years and years of having people tell you that you are the most wonderful person, the most powerful person, the one we’ve all been waiting for, you start to believe it. Then you think that the only thing that keeps there from being peace in thd Middle East is that you have not tackled that problem yet.

This is the ultimate in hubris, and we have seen American Presidents fall into this trap, over and over again. The US President should just admit that this problem is not one that he can solve, that we support our ally Israel, and leave it at that.

Haiku Guy on May 23, 2011 at 8:42 AM

Gene Simmons says KISS this

Jerome Horwitz on May 23, 2011 at 8:42 AM

ted c on May 23, 2011 at 8:17 AM

Ted, saw that picture over the weekend. That picture is worth a thousand million words

lukespapa on May 23, 2011 at 8:37 AM

Saw it as well and forwarded it to everyone on my email list. Shame on this country for electing an intellectually vapid, lazy dilettante.

Cody1991 on May 23, 2011 at 8:43 AM

we must acknowledge that a failure to try is not an option. The status quo is unsustainable.

Where do Obama’s speechwriters get this sh*t? I don’t know exactly where the first cliche originated, but I can say that I saw Apollo 13 too. And I’m completely at a loss as to how to respond to the second part. Can we ban unsustainable, because Obama sustains a helluva lot of unstainable sh*t.

BuckeyeSam on May 23, 2011 at 8:45 AM

The people must be the dumbest they’ve ever been since the greatest orator of our time needs to go back and explain what he means. Time and again

oldernwiser on May 23, 2011 at 8:46 AM

of course you can push hamas to stop being a terrorist organization sworn to israel’s destruction. as in “We will continue to demand that Hamas accept the basic responsibilities of peace: recognizing Israel’s right to exist, rejecting violence, and adhering to all existing agreements.”

sesquipedalian on May 23, 2011 at 8:17 AM

You obviously are naive…you don’t know what Hamas’s charter is?
You don’t know how many thousands of bombs they have lobbed into Israel? How many school buses they have targeted, not military, but school buses full of children…
You negotiate with someone like that when they lay down their arms, and change their charter, and rid themselves of the leadership that is determined to wipe Jews off the face of the earth.
If a neighbor of yours shot your dog, than one of your kids, and your wife, and declared he won’t stop until every member of your family, brother, sister, mother, father, cousin, were killed, than killed your brother, and a sister…you would want to “negotiate” with him, while he was killing your family, and dedicated to complete destruction of your family…you are a fool and a self pitying wimp, you would allow your family to be destroyed so you could live.
That is what Israel is facing…meanwhile he is asking for your backyard bar-b-cue so he can have a party to celebrate him killing your family, one by one.

right2bright on May 23, 2011 at 8:48 AM

Keeping Israel on the defense while giving Iran a pass…

……..”smart power”

Baxter Greene on May 23, 2011 at 8:50 AM

[...] That is what Israel is facing…meanwhile he is asking for your backyard bar-b-cue so he can have a party to celebrate him killing your family, one by one.

right2bright on May 23, 2011 at 8:48 AM

.
DAMN that was good! Righteous!

ExpressoBold on May 23, 2011 at 8:55 AM

Bishop on May 23, 2011 at 8:31 AM

Stop picking on KJ, libtard! You’re a meanie!

ladyingray on May 23, 2011 at 8:55 AM

you didn’t care to think this over because the simplicity of it was so appealing. as usual.

of course you can push hamas to stop being a terrorist organization sworn to israel’s destruction.
sesquipedalian on May 23, 2011 at 8:17 AM

You can also push your dog to stop being a dog and digging up your yard, but you’re still going to end up with a lot of holes to fill.

“Hope and change” was appealing in its simplicity too. Look where that got us.

AZCoyote on May 23, 2011 at 8:58 AM

Spot on Rovin

cmsinaz on May 23, 2011 at 9:11 AM

How about an organization whose logo features guns and grenades, and rejects the existence of your state?

Fatah is supposedly the moderate one, but they’re also a terrorist organization who reject Israel as a Jewish state.

http://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%A7%D7%95%D7%91%D7%A5:Fateh-logo.jpg

Phoenician on May 23, 2011 at 9:13 AM

It’s really kind of frightening this man is in charge of our foreign relations isn’t it? Gene Simmons makes more sense than Mr. President does.

http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2011/05/21/israeli-born-kiss-guitarist-gene-simmons-67-borders-obama-has-no-f-ki

scalleywag on May 23, 2011 at 9:17 AM

Who writes this stuff for him? What a bunch of hand wringers we have articulating so eloquently our foreign policy which is moronic on its face. Since the left is so against bullying, why don’t they start telling Hamas how to behave before insisting on negotiations and deadlines. Why is it always Israel who has to give up this or that. We know it is because of anti-semitism.

Kissmygrits on May 23, 2011 at 9:19 AM

That is what happens when you can only read real good. God help us.

ctmom on May 23, 2011 at 9:23 AM

It’s all in the “nuance” Ed.

GarandFan on May 23, 2011 at 9:29 AM

Besides, his speech was full of contradictions.

- Listing conditions for a settlement, and then saying that it’s all up for negotiations.
- Saying the Palestinians deserve a free state, but that it should be demilitarized
- Saying the Palestinian state should be contiguous (how do you do that? what about Israel?)
- Saying that he support the Arab revolutions, then saying Israel should negotiate with a dictatorial regime. Abbas’ term expired in 2009. The elected Hamas PM is currently ruling only over Gaza.

Phoenician on May 23, 2011 at 9:32 AM

So, we can’t expect Israel to try to negotiate with Hamas, but we can blame them for a failure to try to negotiate with Hamas? Is the US position that Israel has “no option” but to negotiate with terrorists that no one expects them to negotiate with?

-
Barry made it clear 3 years ago that he would sit down with anyone… without preconditions… Of course that that would solve any of the really big problems of the world is a pipe dream and he (half) knows it… but it sounds so reasonable.
-
And for Israel it’s a trap… Barry knows this also. He just doesn’t care… He wants the ‘healer’ tag to stay affixed to his messiah complex no matter.
-

RalphyBoy on May 23, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Somewhere in these two statements is an explanation of smart power, I’m sure.

Welcome to ideas have consequences. This is a distillation of his early training in Indonesia, his high school mentorship by a communist, his college Marxist days and his 20 years of training in Black Liberation Theology.

chemman on May 23, 2011 at 10:03 AM

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting to get a different result.

NeighborhoodCatLady on May 23, 2011 at 8:08 AM
That goes of yesterday’s AIPAC crowd and their never-ending applause, too.

Shy Guy on May 23, 2011 at 10:05 AM

Talking out of both sides of his mouth again.

Pandering to the Muslims, and trying to appease the Jews.

It’s really a shame, that the Jews can’t see thru this. I heard the applause during his speech…and just… sighed!

capejasmine on May 23, 2011 at 10:12 AM

sesquipedalian on May 23, 2011 at 8:17 AM

It’s the thought that counts right? Actions speak louder than words and as long as our government and others fund them why would they change their spots. With one hand we have demanded they change since the 60′s. With the other hand we have provided funding. Which one do they really believe is what we want.

chemman on May 23, 2011 at 10:12 AM

He taking both sides of an issue are nothing new.

Hog Wild on May 23, 2011 at 10:14 AM

So, we can’t expect Israel to try to negotiate with Hamas, but we can blame them for a failure to try to negotiate with Hamas?

Ed nailed it. This should be be the Obamateurism of the Year, but Obama still has seven months to outclown himself.

Steve Z on May 23, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Obama needs to read some history.

In 1991, fresh from the victory of the “U.N. coalition” over Saddam Hussein, President George H. W. Bush tried to negotiate a New World Order between Israel and the Palestinians. The Palestinians slammed the door.

In 1999 and 2000, President Clinton invited Yasser Arafat to Camp David, with an Israeli PM named Barack (strange coincidence) who made lots of concessions, but Yasser Arafat slammed the door.

In 2005, President George W. Bush laid out a “roadmap to peace” and started negotiations, and once again the Palestinians slammed the door.

Three Presidents of both parties, three failures. Obama had it right the second time–”No country can be expected to negotiate with a terrorist organization sworn to its destruction.” Until the Palestinians stop bombing Israel and offer some concessions, why negotiate with them at all?

Steve Z on May 23, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Barry made it clear 3 years ago that he would sit down with anyone… without preconditions…

Well maybe he should insist that Abbas do the same – because it is Abbas who is insisting on preconditions (now the 1949 armistice line as the basic border, surprise surprise), not Netanyahu. Yet Obama saves all his pressuring and opprobrium for Israel.

And for Israel it’s a trap… Barry knows this also. He just doesn’t care… He wants the ‘healer’ tag to stay affixed to his messiah complex no matter.
-

RalphyBoy on May 23, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Agree that it’s a trap, but disagree on the motives. He knows that politically he cannot support the PA claim for statehood along the 1949 armistice lines at the UN in September. But he’s strengthened their case. And he also knows that the result will further marginalize and endanger Israel. And that’s what he wants.

Remember, this is the guy who spent 20 years listening to Rev Wright’s antisemitic bilge, palled around with Bill Ayers and his wife – who are founders of the “Free Gaza” movement, and acknowledged that much of his thinking about the Israel-Palestine ‘issue’ had been shaped by his conversations with Rashid Khalidi.

ProfessorMiao on May 23, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Obama needs to immediately fire his speech writers.

Then again, if he wrote this himself, he needs to immediately fire his own %*&#ing a$$.

It goes something like this: “I can’t be expected to make you understand everything I say. Hell, I don’t even understand any of it. But if I don’t try then I’m unsustainable, or your unsustainable, or sumthin’ like that. (BHO)”

(OK, does that make me an Obama speech writer? What do I win?)

Yoop on May 23, 2011 at 10:30 AM

I just don’t think we’re capable of understanding his sheer genius.

To most people, those would sound like contradictory statements. But, that’s just ’cause we’re dum.

Pablo Snooze on May 23, 2011 at 10:34 AM

No country can be expected to negotiate with a terrorist organization sworn to its destruction.

That is why, on Thursday, I stated publicly the principles that the United States believes can provide a foundation for negotiations toward an agreement to end the conflict and all claims

Shorter Obama: “I expect you to do something I don’t expect you to do”.

BobMbx on May 23, 2011 at 10:45 AM

That is why, on Thursday, I stated publicly the principles that the United States believes can provide a foundation for negotiations toward an agreement to end the conflict and all claims

Shorter Obama: “I expect you to do something I don’t expect you to do”.

BobMbx on May 23, 2011 at 10:45 AM

But it’s even better: having taken away your only bargaining chip and handed it to the Palestinians (who have already pocketed it, made it a ‘precondition’ to negotiations), I expect you to negotiate with people you cannot negotiate with, even though you no longer have anything to offer them.

ProfessorMiao on May 23, 2011 at 10:54 AM

I never thought we’d ever see someone more inept on foreign affairs than Jimmy Carter.

I was wrong: 0bama is far worse: he has managed to turn our friends into enemies, stoke contempt in our enemies, and invite anti-US actions and outright attacks by showing ignorance, weakness, and indecision to the world.

landlines on May 23, 2011 at 11:42 AM

He’s nothing if not clear as mud.

Schadenfreude on May 23, 2011 at 12:08 PM

“I didn’t write any of this bullcrap, but you gotta love the way I deliver it,” -O’Booba.

Akzed on May 23, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Mr. Spock would have said, “Captain…that is illogical.”
sdd on May 23, 2011 at 8:15 AM

Mr. Spock would have said, “Captain…Seriously, are you an idiot?

FIFY!

DSchoen on May 23, 2011 at 4:27 PM

you don’t know what Hamas’s charter is?
You don’t know how many thousands of bombs they have lobbed into Israel? How many school buses they have targeted, not military, but school buses full of children…

Well if Israel cedes the high ground (literally, the high ground) then Hamas, PLO, whatever won’t have to lob bombs, artillery, rockets into Israel!

They will be able to use “direct fire” to shoot bombs, artillery, rockets into Israel!
And that will change everything!

S/
Wait, is it sarcastic if its true?

DSchoen on May 23, 2011 at 4:53 PM