Tapper: Did Obama’s Syria fumble blow his political capital?

posted at 3:21 pm on September 12, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The video here is instructive not because of the discussion that ensues, but because of the question Jake Tapper asks. DCCC chair Rep. Steve Israel can be relied upon to carry Barack Obama’s water on this subject and cry about the “politicization” of the debate over whether to authorize strikes on Syria, but the truth is that as many Democrats publicly opposed the rush to military strikes as Republicans did. Worse, Obama’s push forced Democrats like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to start making Hitler comparisons and Munich analogies, only to discover that the President had retreated and left them twisting in the wind.

What happens the next time he calls his party to arms, either literally or figuratively?

Political capital does not come cheap in Washington, D.C. After weeks of trying to rally Congress to support him on a fast-changing policy in Syria, President Barack Obama may have broken the bank on what political capital he has left in his second term. ….

But Israel said Obama is not hurting his credibility with Democratic members of the House, adding that after a Democratic caucus briefing, the party is now focused on Russia’s diplomatic proposal to disarm Syria of its stockpile of nuclear weapons.

“Our focus on both sides of the aisle right now, quite honestly, is on ensuring that this is a legitimate, transparent, verifiable proposal,” said Israel.

But much of the Democratic caucus, people Israel helped get elected in the last cycle, are against the president.

Asked if that lack of support stems from a distant relationship with the president, Israel said no, saying it is the shadow of Iraq that is driving Democrats’ doubts on authorizing a strike against Syria.

Not any more, it’s not. It’s the shadow of incompetence combined with hubris, as Obama clearly didn’t bother to consult with the very people he asked to get out in front of the intervention push. What’s the next climbdown that will leave them twisting in the wind after provoking constituents with public support for very unpopular policies? If the DCCC chair thinks that purple-district incumbents aren’t going to worry about that with the midterm cycle approaching, he’s going to be in for an unpleasant surprise.

Speaking of incompetence, the Pee Wee Herman defense (“I meant to do that”) isn’t flying with the media, not even those outlets inclined to be sympathetic to Obama.  The New York Times offers a measured analysis that includes the secret-genius argument, but Peter Baker doesn’t sound as though he’s buying it:

Over the last three weeks, the nation has witnessed a highly unusual series of pivots as a president changed course virtually in real time and on live television. Mr. Obama’s handling of his confrontation with Syria over a chemical weapons attack on civilians has been the rare instance of a commander in chief seemingly thinking out loud and changing his mind on the fly.

To aides and allies, Mr. Obama’s willingness to hit the pause button twice on his decision to launch airstrikes to punish Syria for using chemical weapons on its own people reflects a refreshing open-mindedness and a reluctance to use force that they considered all too missing under his predecessor with the Texas swagger. …

But to Mr. Obama’s detractors, including many in his own party, he has shown a certain fecklessness with his decisions first to outsource the decision to lawmakers in the face of bipartisan opposition and then to embrace a Russian diplomatic alternative that even his own advisers consider dubious. Instead of displaying decisive leadership, Mr. Obama, to these critics, has appeared reactive, defensive and profoundly challenged in standing up to a dangerous world. …

But Richard N. Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former State Department official under Mr. Bush who broke with his old boss and has been supportive of Mr. Obama at times, is highly critical of the way he has handled Syria. “Words like ad hoc and improvised and unsteady come to mind,” Mr. Haass said. “This has been probably the most undisciplined stretch of foreign policy of his presidency.”

Baker quotes one analyst who gets to the heart of the political-capital question:

“Each time he’s done an about-face or a sharp turn, other people who kept marching in the same direction look kind of foolish,” said Peter D. Feaver, a Duke University professor who worked on the National Security Council staff under Mr. Bush and Bill Clinton. “It’s clear he didn’t fully think through the implications of going to Congress and prepare for that.”

Time’s Joe Klein dispenses with the measured approach and calls this episode “one of the more stunning and inexplicable displays of presidential incompetence that I’ve ever witnessed”:

He willingly jumped into a bear trap of his own creation. In the process, he has damaged his presidency and weakened the nation’s standing in the world. It has been one of the more stunning and inexplicable displays of presidential incompetence that I’ve ever witnessed. The failure cuts straight to the heart of a perpetual criticism of the Obama White House: that the President thinks he can do foreign policy all by his lonesome. This has been the most closely held American foreign-policy-making process since Nixon and Kissinger, only there’s no Kissinger. There is no éminence grise—think of someone like Brent Scowcroft—who can say to Obama with real power and credibility, Mr. President, you’re doing the wrong thing here. Let’s consider the consequences if you call the use of chemical weapons a “red line.” Or, Mr. President, how can you talk about this being “the world’s red line” if the world isn’t willing to take action? Perhaps those questions, and many others, fell through the cracks as his first-term national-security staff departed and a new team came in. But Obama has shown a desire to have national-security advisers who were “honest brokers”—people who relayed information to him—rather than global strategists. In this case, his new staff apparently raised the important questions about going to Congress for a vote: Do you really want to do this for a limited strike? What if they say no? But the President ignored them, which probably means that the staff isn’t strong enough.

The public presentation of his policies has been left to the likes of Secretary of State John Kerry, whose statements had to be refuted twice by the President in the Syria speech. Kerry had said there might be a need for “boots on the ground” in Syria. (Obama: No boots.) Kerry had said the military strikes would be “unbelievably small.” (Obama: We don’t do pinpricks.) Worst of all, Kerry bumbled into prematurely mentioning a not-very-convincing Russian “plan” to get rid of the Syrian chemical weapons. This had been under private discussion for months, apparently, the sort of dither that bad guys—Saddam, the Iranians, Assad—always use as a delaying tactic. Kerry, in bellicose mode, seemed to be making fun of the idea—and the Russians called him on it. Kerry’s staff tried to walk back this megagaffe, calling it a “rhetorical exercise.” As it stands, no one will be surprised if the offer is a ruse, but the Administration is now trapped into seeing it through and gambling that it will be easier to get a congressional vote if it fails. …

There are domestic consequences as well. This was supposed to be the month when the nation’s serious fiscal and budgetary problems were hashed out, or not, with the Republicans. There was a chance that a coalition could be built to back a compromise to solve the debt-ceiling problem and the quiet horrors caused by sequestration and to finally achieve a long-term budget compromise. But any deal would have required intense, single-minded negotiation, including political protection, or sweeteners, for those Republicans who crossed the line. Precious time has been wasted. And, after Syria, it will be difficult for any member of Congress to believe that this President will stick to his guns or provide protection.

Slate’s William Dobson laments that Obama doesn’t seem to realize that being rescued from such a trap by an autocrat like Putin isn’t a big confidence-builder:

Give President Obama credit: He has done such a good job of acting unpredictably in the lead-up to his proposed military strikes on Syria that no one knows what he will do next. He has successfully confused ally and enemy alike. Sun Tzu would be proud.

But President Obama cannot take all the credit for sowing confusion. Secretary of State John Kerry also has the unique distinction of becoming the first chief American diplomat whose offhand quip at a press conference launched a last-minute, global diplomatic initiative to disarm a murderous dictator. Kerry never thought that he was making a bold bid to avert military strikes that his president’s party and public had no interest in supporting. He simply suggested that if Bashar al-Assad handed all of his chemical weapons over in a week, that might stave off an impending U.S. attack—and of course, Assad wasn’t going to do that. The State Department rushed forward to clarify that Kerry wasn’t floating an actual proposal—he was just speaking rhetorically. You know, riffing. To say that the Obama administration is freelancing when it comes to foreign policy is an insult to freelancers. …

No one believes that the House of Representatives (and maybe even the Senate) was going to sign off on the authorization of force in Syria. But Putin’s late-breaking gambit has prevented Democrats from having to eviscerate their own president’s foreign policy. Putin is providing President Obama political cover that even his own party wouldn’t supply.

But if your foreign policy has to be rescued by a dictator, you are doing it wrong. That’s where President Obama finds himself today.

Is there anyone who could put any stock in Obama’s competence and commitment at this point?  Obama may well be the President who found the quickest way to lame-duck status in second-term history.


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‘Love’ the Lenin images.

Schadenfreude on September 12, 2013 at 3:23 PM

He looks like Mussolini too.

Yes, on what little was left, to the topic.

Schadenfreude on September 12, 2013 at 3:24 PM

I’m starting to think MIA Joe Biden could have done a better job.

Wait… Strike that.

patman77 on September 12, 2013 at 3:25 PM

Steve Israel, to his shame, lied through his teeth.

Schadenfreude on September 12, 2013 at 3:25 PM

Klein & Dobson to be audited in 3, 2, 1. . .

rbj on September 12, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Fate – Assad and obama, paralleled btw. the HA threads, right now.

Schadenfreude on September 12, 2013 at 3:27 PM

One can only hope his (and the Democrat party’s) political capital is spent. The less they “accomplish” the better off the country will be.

Mohonri on September 12, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Is there anyone who could put any stock in Obama’s competence and commitment at this point? Obama may well be the President who found the quickest way to lame-duck status in second-term history.

He was Never qualified to be dog catcher, not to speak of president of the USA/world.

Putin exposed what the domestic/int’l media refused to…the truth about obama.

Too bad the consequences will be dire for the stupid/cheering-for-obama world and the once great USA.

Schadenfreude on September 12, 2013 at 3:30 PM

His incredible incompetence in front of the whole world during the Syria crisis has finished him politically…

mnjg on September 12, 2013 at 3:31 PM

To my knuckle dragging, mouth breathing friends on the right, give me what I want.

The man is freakin genius negotiator.

He called Putin a sloucher kid in the back of the class and Putin just kicked him in the balls. Smart play by our super ahhh, ummm, errr intelligent feckless leader.

jukin3 on September 12, 2013 at 3:34 PM

adding that after a Democratic caucus briefing, the party is now focused on Russia’s diplomatic proposal to disarm Syria of its stockpile of nuclear weapons.

If the guy’s name wasn’t Israel, would they have made that mistake, and is it a mistake, right???

rw on September 12, 2013 at 3:34 PM

Is there anyone who could put any stock in Obama’s competence and commitment at this point?

Has Obama ever shown competence in anything, besides campaigning for office?

GarandFan on September 12, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Obama’s ego is fragile. All this piling on by his lib pals is going to force him to do something drastic to keep himself in the news.

I cringe.

portlandon on September 12, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Their apparent surprise at his incompetence offends me. This is no surprise. Not even close. How dare they act like no one ever told them this clown wasn’t up to the job. That diminishment of this nation they so lament? They are as responsible for it as the man they wrote fiction after fiction about is. Sure, he’s screwing up, but they put him in charge — and they knew his entire resume was phony. They knew it because they created it — out of nothing.

Rational Thought on September 12, 2013 at 3:36 PM

His incredible incompetence in front of the whole world during the Syria crisis has finished him politically…

mnjg on September 12, 2013 at 3:31 PM

May it be so…but he is clinically NPD’d and something very bad will happen soon. His big ego and small set will not allow short Putin to mock his highness. These are very dangerous times.

Schadenfreude on September 12, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Is there anyone who could put any stock in Obama’s competence and commitment at this point?

Yes, me. I am fully confident of Obama’s competence in and commitment to … continue being incompetent and non-committal.

Dusty on September 12, 2013 at 3:36 PM

If Obama was a real policy genius (secretly, obviously), he would have pointed out that John Kerry said “in a week.” When Putin said he liked the idea, the administration could have said, “Great Vlad, get it done,” and put a big clock up over Times Square with a countdown on it.

Assad had 7 days to turn them over. Put him on the clock.

But, no, BHO the Bumbler allowed Putin to take the first part of the gaff and ignore the second — the time frame.

He could have flipped it on Vald but he’s a fool.

I guess we knew that, though.

IndieDogg on September 12, 2013 at 3:37 PM

portlandon on September 12, 2013 at 3:35 PM

:)

Schadenfreude on September 12, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Obama’s political capital was pretty much used up anyway. This was more of an “The Emperor has no clothes!” moment.

myiq2xu on September 12, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Putin is mocking too much, all at once.

Bombing, any place, of anything, to ensue, shortly, if this doesn’t recede.

Schadenfreude on September 12, 2013 at 3:38 PM

New York Sun: Time for Kerry To Resign

By: The Editorial Board of The New York Sun

At this point the best thing that could happen in the Syria crisis would be for Secretary of State Kerry to resign. He’s one of the logical persons to take the fall for this fiasco, given that we don’t live under a parliamentary system and the constitutional concept in respect of the president, any president, is for the decision to be made by voters once in four years. It was Mr. Kerry who made the blunder that has put the administration on track for a classic appeasement.

What possessed the secretary to suggest Syria be let off the hook after gassing its own people is beyond us. Only a day or so before Mr. Kerry was himself warning against appeasement, though he never sounded like he meant it. His whole public life has been a long arc of retreat. The idea that he could suddenly emerge as a hawk, even in the face of such a crisis as Syria, always seemed chimerical. The proposal to let Syria off the hook in a deal with Russia is just too cynical by half.

No doubt Mr. Kerry’s defenders will suggest that he never meant his idea of disarming Syria to be taken seriously. If that is his defense, the reason for him to resign would be incompetence. For the first time since he was on a Swiftboat, he has an executive, wartime responsibility. It’s not like a senator, where one can — indeed, one is expected to — burble on interminably and with but indirect consequence. He now holds a job in which there isn’t room for blundering.

Another possibility is that Mr. Kerry’s offer to let Syria off the hook wasn’t an unintended, off-hand remark, but a calculated collapse in the face of resistance in Congress to his mini-war-plan. In that case, it would be all too typical of Mr. Kerry. We take no joy in having predicted it in “A Moral Obscenity.” Or, for that matter, in having opposed the elevation of Mr. Kerry to secretary of state in the first place. In any event, if it was a premeditated demarche, resignation would also be in order.

Yet a third possibility is that this is all part of President Obama’s plan. This is the suggestion in an important op-ed piece by Norman Podhoretz, issued over the weekend in the Wall Street Journal under the headline “Obama’s Successful Foreign Policy Failure.” Mr. Podhoretz argues that as a “left-wing radical,” Mr. Obama “believed that the United States had almost always been a retrograde and destructive force in world affairs” and has sought to transform it accordingly.

If that’s not true, then Mr. Kerry ought to resign. If it is true, Mr. Kerry ought to resign. For millions of Americans Mr. Kerry’s political career was poisoned at birth by his meeting with America’s wartime enemies while our GIs were appearing in arms in Vietnam. It was poisoned by his libels against his fellow GIs in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he went on to chair. A political reckoning was only a matter of time.

We had hoped that such a reckoning was accomplished in the presidential election of 2004, when the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth rose up and exposed Candidate Kerry as a wartime fraud. But he passed that off as politics and returned to the Senate. It is going to be impossible for him to pass off the current catastrophe so easily. The administration, the country, our allies, our GIs would be better off were Mr. Kerry now to step down and the Senate be given the chance to consent to someone more prepared for the job once held by Jefferson, Madison, and John Quincy Adams.

Brutal.

Resist We Much on September 12, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Did Steve Israel actually say Syria has a stockpile of nuclear weapons?

I thought they were worried about the chemical ones…

ROCnPhilly on September 12, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Worse, Obama’s push forced Democrats like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to start making Hitler comparisons and Munich analogies, only to discover that the President had retreated and left them twisting in the wind.

They’re used to it. This isn’t even close to the first time Barky’s done that to them. The Indonesian treats everyone with contempt because he hates everything about the West. The dems and American blacks are just his useful idiots, but he hates them for being part of the West (even though many of them hate the West, too … tough luck, moron). Barky is pure third world stupidity.

What happens the next time he calls his party to arms, either literally or figuratively?

The same thing that happened this time, after the other 5 times Barky has had them go to bat for him and then left them twisting in the end as he retreated all by himself.

People seem to have very short memories, these days. Quite amazing considering that everything is recorded and can be called up at a moment’s notice. Anyone acting as if this Syria disaster is any different than all the cr@p the Indonesian Imbecile’s been pulling for the past 4+ years must have been in a coma or just can’t hang onto a clear conclusion (that is reached every single time Barky goes through this same sort of sh!t). WTFFF?

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on September 12, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Old & Busted:

Putin won nothing… He just told his client Assad just give up the chemical weapons or the Americans will f*** you up beyond recognition and we simply cannot do anything about it… Within four weeks the UN will be in Syria taking away Assad WMD for destruction…

mnjg on September 9, 2013 at 8:53 PM

New Hotness:

His incredible incompetence in front of the whole world during the Syria crisis has finished him politically…

mnjg on September 12, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Resist We Much on September 12, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Their apparent surprise at his incompetence offends me. This is no surprise. Not even close. How dare they act like no one ever told them this clown wasn’t up to the job.

Rational Thought on September 12, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Exactly.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on September 12, 2013 at 3:41 PM

I don’t think this is over… if Obama really wants to help his buddies in the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda then he will claim Assad’s new ultimatum is reason enough to bomb without Congressional or UN oversight. As the saying goes, it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission. And while Obama apparently didn’t know this before this fiasco, he must have certainly learned it after it.

MobileVideoEngineer on September 12, 2013 at 3:45 PM

What’s happening is the Leftmedia — Axelrod, Dunn, Plouffle from the Obama crew ‘commanders’ — are falling down (as they deserve to and should) in rewriting Obama’s incompetence as grand.

The internet is making that possible — the public is responding to events in near-realtime and the Leftmedia needs, by comparison, a day or two to get their Obama-Spin into action and it’s not working to counteract public perceptions.

It’s not Obama who has lost some sort of magic abilities, it is the public’s growing awareness that he doesn’t and likely never had them and the Leftmedia can no longer successfully “create his magic” with enough volume to reshape public perceptions.

Lourdes on September 12, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Helping out rogerb

So the President got what he wanted without having to spend a dime of the military budget, put a single American soldier at risk or risk killing civilians? That plus the intense schadenfreude at conservatives flipping their sh*t over this man’s preternatural luck? I’ll take it.

libfreeordie on September 10, 2013 at 5:59 PM

rogerb on September 12, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Schadenfreude on September 12, 2013 at 3:49 PM

World reacts…just in time

Schadenfreude on September 12, 2013 at 3:51 PM

It’s not Obama who has lost some sort of magic abilities, it is the public’s growing awareness that he doesn’t and likely never had them and the Leftmedia can no longer successfully “create his magic” with enough volume to reshape public perceptions.

Lourdes on September 12, 2013 at 3:47 PM

But it doesn’t mean Leftmedia is going to stop trying. The Benghazi disaster and IRS failing have finally gotten more of the public’s attention that Obama’s got big problems in delivering job performance as required and now with Russia stomping on him regarding Syria, people are becoming more aware that media’s been lying to them about who Obama is and what he’s capable of. Worse, I do believe that others increasingly share my suspicions that Obama’s intentions are not clean where our nation is concerned.

Lourdes on September 12, 2013 at 3:51 PM

Syrian Nuclear weapons WTF are the democrats drinking during their super secret briefing? Sounds like they need a token republican attending to bust out laughing when they make mistakes like this.

meci on September 12, 2013 at 3:52 PM

The administration, the country, our allies, our GIs would be better off were Mr. Kerry now to step down and the Senate be given the chance to consent to someone more prepared for the job once held by Jefferson, Madison, and John Quincy Adams.

Brutal.

Resist We Much on September 12, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Obama should fire Kerry, and then call John Bolton and beg him to take the job, for the sake of the country. Then Obama should resign himself, for the same reason.

Barry is in way over his head. Time to admit the truth, and bow out before more damage is done.

AZCoyote on September 12, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Longing for the times when President Bush could keep Putin at real size with his “Pooty Poot” grins.

Lourdes on September 12, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Brutal, from the left.

Schadenfreude on September 12, 2013 at 3:53 PM

His “political capital” consists of a hot air balloon repeatedly blown up by the media with cover up, promotion, protection, lies and glorification.
He is and always has been an unqualified, incapable ,extreme,characterless, political celebrity fraud.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on September 12, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Resist We Much on September 12, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Obama should fire Kerry, and then call John Bolton and beg him to take the job, for the sake of the country. Then Obama should resign himself, for the same reason.

Barry is in way over his head. Time to admit the truth, and bow out before more damage is done.

AZCoyote on September 12, 2013 at 3:52 PM

I agree with you both, BUT, I think we as citizens should understand that Obama isn’t going to do what’s best for the country, that he isn’t going to take any of those steps you’ve described that would help. Kerry is a massive wrong as SoS, and didn’t many of us know that already…I wrote about it years ago, projecting that that would happen and then it did and now look, all the rotten fallout of Kerry as SoS as I’d imagined might happen: it’s happening.

Hillary just as worse, however…

The problem is Obama and all these Leftwingers he’s “surrounded himself with”…just as expected. They and he are far left, not even moderately Liberal, but Marxist Left. Obama, his whole lot of associates.

Lourdes on September 12, 2013 at 3:56 PM

No problem, just change the subject, but use the same analogy. Lets talk about Obamacare. Those evil (Nazis) Repbulicans want you to die, they want your children to suffer. Want to talk about the economy, no problem. Those evil (Nazis) Republicans only care about tax breaks for they rich, they want to cut spending on the children and older people. See, how easy it is.

DDay on September 12, 2013 at 3:58 PM

He is like a single A ball player at bat in the 9th inning of the 7th game of the World Series. He is in way over his head and has been since day one. He is pathetic.

stop2think on September 12, 2013 at 3:58 PM

It’s hard to see how or where Obama has any real political capital remaining after his feckless and incompetent performance regarding Syria and his ‘red lines’.

He sandbagged his supporters and got pwn’ed by Putin and Assad over the past week – to the point that Putin took to the NYT Op-Ed pages today to kick Obama by being more Obama than Obama has ever been.

If it were regrettable that Vladimir Putin’s formidable diplomatic skills were wasted squashing rather than ensuring freedom inside Russia, it seems even more lamentable that his impressive prose likewise is not put to better use. Putin’s letter to us, the American people, is brilliant sophistry. The best rhetoric is always that which blends truth with half-truth and occasional fiction. In Putin’s case, he did all that—while offering the dessert of channeling Obama back to Obama. [...]

This is the fastest collapse of any US President to ‘lame duck’ status – coming just less than 8 months into his second term.

Our friends know Obama is feckless and weak.
Our allies know Obama is feckless and weak.
Our enemies know Obama is feckless and weak.

This is ‘change you can believe in’….

Now if only the GOP Leadership would grow a pair and start treating Obama like Putin and Assad do.

Athos on September 12, 2013 at 4:01 PM

May it be so…but he is clinically NPD’d and something very bad will happen soon. His big ego and small set will not allow short Putin to mock his highness. These are very dangerous times.

Schadenfreude on September 12, 2013 at 3:36 PM

This. Never back a crazy person into a corner because no one knows what they might do. And Obama has been backed into a corner with the latest smack down from Putin.

My prediction is that he will secretly order a strike on Syria and then deal with the fall out after the fact igniting a Constitutional Crisis and impeachment proceedings that will overshadow his final three years as President.

Johnnyreb on September 12, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Sorry, guys, but wondering if Ogabe’s lost his political juice is just a pipe dream. All he has to do is up the race-baiting rhetoric a couple of notches, babble even more about “soaking the rich”, bitch harder about being blocked by the teabaggers at every turn, and how Booosh! is responsible for everything that’s ever gone wrong in the history of the planet. The low information voters, relieved of the worry that they might have actually had to think about things, will suck it up like fresh air in a Beijing smog event. The MSM, having displayed criticism of the Won thus establishing their credentials as “real” journalists, will sink back to its knees and resume slobbering over Ogabe’s every word and movement. And knowing that voter torpor, aided and abetted by the MSM, has set in again, the politicians will take up right where they left off. This is a very tiny pebble in Ogabe’s glorious road to “hope and change”.

catsandbooks on September 12, 2013 at 4:02 PM

This from the Sport’s Desk:

The Seahawks announced Wednesday they will have the undercover police officers wearing opposing team apparel beginning with Sunday night’s highly anticipated matchup, saying the goal is to ensure a safe environment for all fans, including those supporting the visiting team.

The Seahawks say game day staff will intervene against unruly behavior, foul or abusive language and verbal and physical harassment of opposing team fans or stadium guests and staff members. Any fans asked to leave for violations of fan conduct will have to complete a four-hour online educational course at their own cost before they will be cleared to attend events at the stadium again.

http://seattle.cbslocal.com/2013/09/11/seahawks-undercover-cops-hired-to-wear-opposing-teams-uniform/

davidk on September 12, 2013 at 4:02 PM

His incredible incompetence in front of the whole world during the Syria crisis has finished him politically…

mnjg on September 12, 2013 at 3:31 PM

I don’t see it.

No matter how badly he stumbles, he still has very little in the way of effective opposition to his policies. Is this failure in Syria going to stop amnesty? Is it going to stop the Republicans for squashing the “defund Obamacare” movement? I doubt it. All of his key policies will continue to roll on through Congress regardless of how badly he screws up.

Doomberg on September 12, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Their apparent surprise at his incompetence offends me. This is no surprise. Not even close. How dare they act like no one ever told them this clown wasn’t up to the job.

Rational Thought on September 12, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Exactly.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on September 12, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Yes, exactly, RT.

How many of us wrote, and it now appears did so accurately, as to what would or could or would likely happen if Obama was elected before he was…

Lourdes on September 12, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Tapper: Did Obama’s Syria fumble blow his political capital?

.
Hey Jake ! . . . . . are you sure you didn’t mean:

Did Obama’s Syria fumble blow down his house of cards?

listens2glenn on September 12, 2013 at 4:03 PM

The final sign that Obama is toast – when the progressives in the lamestream media turn on him in order to save the progressive agenda, blaming the problems not on the bankrupt progressive vision, but on the incompetence of Obama.

Athos on September 12, 2013 at 4:03 PM

All of his key policies will continue to roll on through Congress regardless of how badly he screws up.

Doomberg on September 12, 2013 at 4:03 PM

A great deal hinges on how the coming round of Congressional elections go.

Lourdes on September 12, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Gahh, twitter is down.

Lourdes on September 12, 2013 at 4:05 PM

May it be so…but he is clinically NPD’d and something very bad will happen soon. His big ego and small set will not allow short Putin to mock his highness. These are very dangerous times.

Schadenfreude on September 12, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Doubt it. Obama is, at heart, a coward, a bully, and weakling. Schoolyard bullies usually cringe and fawn for the real hardcases like Putin, which is exactly what Obama is doing. Putin has established his dominance over Obama.

I expect Obama will seek domestic victories shortly to boost his fragile ego. Amnesty will probably be the first item.

Doomberg on September 12, 2013 at 4:05 PM

You put ‘Obungler the dog eater’ and ‘blow’ in the same sentence, and I’m thinking Reggie Love, or Bark’s typical Saturday night w/out the Beard.

Thomas More on September 12, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Old and Busted: Granite bust on mountain in South Dakota.

New Hotness: Wooden Tiki at driveway entrance in Hawaii.

Dusty on September 12, 2013 at 4:07 PM

A great deal hinges on how the coming round of Congressional elections go.

Lourdes on September 12, 2013 at 4:04 PM

They could help, but if we elect 20 more John Boehners and Eric Cantors in the Senate and House, will they really provide any effective opposition?

Doomberg on September 12, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Obama’s NPD could propel him into despair. The framework of the administration would suffice to support him through the end of his term. His advisers would simply tell him what to say. We know he can read a teleprompter.

The White House is already hyping Obama ‘pivoting’ to the economy… again.

He turns inward. Hoping to be able to generate some political capital with a domestic victory or two.

Watch for renewed AMNESTY push and for him to step up against delaying Obamacare another year.

The AMNESTY vote is scheduled for next month. Call your congressmen.

thatsafactjack on September 12, 2013 at 4:12 PM

They could help, but if we elect 20 more John Boehners and Eric Cantors in the Senate and House, will they really provide any effective opposition?

Doomberg on September 12, 2013 at 4:07 PM

This would invoke Einstein’s definition of insanity – doing the same thing again and again while expecting different results.

Athos on September 12, 2013 at 4:12 PM

***Hopey Slammed Into a Zero Honesty/Integrity Syrian IceBerg***!!

canopfor on September 12, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Dusty on September 12, 2013 at 4:07 PM

LOL! Made me laugh. :)

Wonder if he’ll make everyone else leave Hawaii except for those in the service industries. Maybe that’s why Hawaii is already offering homeless people plane tickets back to the mainland.

thatsafactjack on September 12, 2013 at 4:14 PM

Brutal, from the left.

Schadenfreude on September 12, 2013 at 3:53 PM

Certainly a large lot of frustration undergirding her tale full of sound and fury.

ROCnPhilly on September 12, 2013 at 4:15 PM

One group that’s pleased by Obama’s quick about-face that left the Dems in the lurch (with Lurch) are the ancestors of General George Pickett. Because, he’s no longer on the top of a list.

RSbrewer on September 12, 2013 at 4:18 PM

While it is a good comeuppance for Mr. Obama to have his pants pulled down in public it is very dangerous for our country. All manner of mischief makers will be emboldened to harm our interests. We can only hope that this incompetent will not create a major war before the end of his term by his blundering. This is a very dangerous time.

Mason on September 12, 2013 at 4:22 PM

When even hard-core lefties like Joe Klein are calling Obama stunningly incompetent in Time magazine, some of that has to be filtering down to Obama’s daughters.

We know you don’t really give a damn about the U.S., Barry, but surely you care about your own daughters. Think of how your fecklessness on the world stage must be humiliating them.

Resign now, Barry. If not for the sake of the country, then do it for the children . . . .

AZCoyote on September 12, 2013 at 4:22 PM

Schadenfreude on September 12, 2013 at 3:53 PM

You have to admit, Putin knew which buttons to push while he slapped Obama across the face with that Op-ed piece. Of course he was being hypocritical, and he did it all with a straight face, so to speak, and of course, it was aimed at the world, not just the citizens of the United States.

He did everything except invite the people of the US for a little vodka, blini,and borscht. lol!

You’d never know, reading that address in the NYTimes, that this is the same guy who’s opposition in Russia simply… disappears.

thatsafactjack on September 12, 2013 at 4:27 PM

May it be so…but he is clinically NPD’d and something very bad will happen soon. His big ego and small set will not allow short Putin to mock his highness. These are very dangerous times.

Schadenfreude on September 12, 2013 at 3:36 PM

That’s my biggest fear about the cuh-razy in the WH too…am really afraid that he breaks (mentally) under the pressure and will ill-advisedly launch a last minute ‘surprise’ attack and all heck will break loose…

jimver on September 12, 2013 at 4:30 PM

Tapper: Did Obama’s Syria fumble blow his political capital?

We’ve fallen for phony stuff like this before so they thought surely we would this time. Took a while, but Conservatives have finally come to realize that our government is in cahoots with Al Qaeda in some way. What I’d like to know is, how long and how many administrations were involved?

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 12, 2013 at 4:32 PM

Tulsa World view on Syrian Crisis

LOL! :)

thatsafactjack on September 12, 2013 at 4:39 PM

Clearly this proves that the leftists are indeed racists!!!!11111!!!!elebinty

jukin3 on September 12, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Just what is this political capital you speak of?

rjh on September 12, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Slate’s William Dobson laments that Obama doesn’t seem to realize that being rescued from such a trap by an autocrat like Putin isn’t a big confidence-builder:

Obama told Putin that he would be more flexible if re-elected. Obama has kept his promise (to Putin) by being more flexible than a wet noodle. So what’s the problem?

/KGB off

Steve Z on September 12, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Holy Geeez, now words don’t matter. I would feel more confident if we sent the Casey Anthony jury over there to deal with the crisis and Ruskies.

rjoco1 on September 12, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Schadenfreude on September 12, 2013 at 3:36 PM

That’s my biggest fear about the cuh-razy in the WH too…am really afraid that he breaks (mentally) under the pressure and will ill-advisedly launch a last minute ‘surprise’ attack and all heck will break loose…

jimver on September 12, 2013 at 4:30 PM

I’ve been wondering this, too…

If but what Putin’s actually goading Obama into military striking Syria. Putin’s certainly playing Obama and he’s obviously got a good idea of who Obama is, where all his buttons are. If Obama’s belief in his own “celebrity” is maligned just enough, he’ll burst forth but question is, how.

Lourdes on September 12, 2013 at 4:45 PM

I don’t see it.

No matter how badly he stumbles, he still has very little in the way of effective opposition to his policies. Is this failure in Syria going to stop amnesty? Is it going to stop the Republicans for squashing the “defund Obamacare” movement? I doubt it. All of his key policies will continue to roll on through Congress regardless of how badly he screws up.

Doomberg on September 12, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Amnesty can happen only if Republicans lose the House in 2014… Let us make sure that it does not happen…

mnjg on September 12, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Old and Busted: Granite bust on mountain in South Dakota.

New Hotness: Wooden Tiki at driveway entrance in Hawaii.

Dusty on September 12, 2013 at 4:07 PM

I’d like to return fulltime to HI but the idea of living in the same state as O and Mo is too icky for me. So I’m waiting to see where they’ll go but it does look like their wealthy pal/s are buying them a house on Oahu.

I can’t stand the idea of living where they do, ick.

Lourdes on September 12, 2013 at 4:51 PM

I just wish all this had happened a year ago.

JEM on September 12, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Holy Geeez, now words don’t matter. I would feel more confident if we sent the Casey Anthony jury over there to deal with the crisis and Ruskies.

rjoco1 on September 12, 2013 at 4:44 PM

The OJ jury (from the murder trial) would do a better job than Barky and his choom gang.

Gator Country on September 12, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Obama’s incompetence and this total failure in Syria will be the subject of many, many history books and scholarly papers all under the topic of “Barack Obama: The Worst President in the History of the United States”.

albill on September 12, 2013 at 4:57 PM

President Dithers McFuckstick blew his political wad beating his own party over the head during the Obamacare fight in his first term. He’s been a transparent lame duck ever since.

If the little creep had an ounce of shame he’d let his handlers come up with a fake medical issue and quietly retire before this term is out. He’s a national disgrace

RobertE on September 12, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Tulsa World view on Syrian Crisis

LOL! :)

thatsafactjack on September 12, 2013 at 4:39 PM

That is hilarious!
Right down to taking the bullet from his pocket.

Droopy on September 12, 2013 at 5:02 PM

If but what Putin’s actually goading Obama into military striking Syria. Putin’s certainly playing Obama and he’s obviously got a good idea of who Obama is, where all his buttons are. If Obama’s belief in his own “celebrity” is maligned just enough, he’ll burst forth but question is, how.

Lourdes on September 12, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Or alternatively, he gets the needed ego stroke that woud avert the breakdown of his public persona in the form of a domestic ‘win’ (immigration reform comes to mind, since I don’t see him scoring squat on the budget/debt limit front) that will be touted by the media (alas, again) as Obama’s real and historic legacy, that will be at once Lincolnesque, Reaganesque, Jeffersonian (ask Tingle and his media ilk and they’ll name it for you :)…that might restore the needed mental balance of dear leader which in turn might keep us and the humanity at large from unwittingly leaping into WWIII…

jimver on September 12, 2013 at 5:05 PM

It’s never smart to pretend to be a tough guy when you are a wimp and a coward.

Basilsbest on September 12, 2013 at 5:11 PM

lol @ “the PeeWee Herman Defense”. Obama’s not exactly surrounded by deep thinkers if the best they can come up with is that he meant to make a complete fool of himself in front of the entire world.

Murf76 on September 12, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Sun Tzu would be proud.

Maybe. If it was done on purpose. When you do it as a doofus, however, maybe not so proud…

Kraken on September 12, 2013 at 5:13 PM

That’s my biggest fear about the cuh-razy in the WH too…am really afraid that he breaks (mentally) under the pressure and will ill-advisedly launch a last minute ‘surprise’ attack and all heck will break loose…

A cornered Pres with no political capital is dangerous! I’m old enough to remember the report, a few days after a crushed Nixon had resigned and flown off to California, that the then-Secretary of Defense and the Joints Chiefs had been keeping watch against the possibility of “cuh-razy in the WH.”

8/22/74: The Washington Post prints a small, almost-buried story entitled “Pentagon Kept Watch on Military.” The relatively innocuous headline conceals a potentially explosive charge—that during the final days of the Nixon administration, Defense Secretary James Schlesinger and the Joint Chiefs of Staff had “kept a close watch to make certain that no orders were given to military units outside the normal chain of command.” The article, careful in its word choices, says the extraordinary alert was “based on hypothetical situations that could arise during a period when President Nixon’s hold on the presidency was not clear.… Specifically, there was concern that an order could go to a military unit outside the chain of command for some sort of action against Congress during the time between a House impeachment and a Senate trial on the impeachment charge.” Pentagon sources say no one has any evidence that any such action was being contemplated, but steps were taken to ensure that no military commander would take an order from the White House or anywhere else that did not come through military channels. The implication is clear: Pentagon officials worried that Nixon might use certain elements of the military to stage some sort of coup. Schlesinger gives the story “legs” by issuing the following non-denial: “I did assure myself that there would be no question about the proper constitutional and legislated chain of command, and there never was any question.”

And who do we have? Hagel???? Oh, I am all kinds of reassured.

ugottabekiddingme on September 12, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Obama’s ego is fragile. All this piling on by his lib pals is going to force him to do something drastic to keep himself in the news.

I cringe.

portlandon on September 12, 2013 at 3:35 PM

If it becomes clear in the next couple of months that Putin’s offer was a ruse and the media doesn’t bury that fact, the mocking may become so unbearable that Obama will attack Syria without warning. I’m not going to guess how much damage he will do to Syria or our national security. Or how many innocent brown children he will kill.

Basilsbest on September 12, 2013 at 5:19 PM

If it walks like a duck, and looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck – chance are it’s a lame duck.

HellCat on September 12, 2013 at 6:07 PM

I wish I could get excited about this.

I wish I could believe the GOP leadership would use this to start fighting back against him and take their fights to the public.

I wish I could believe that there was a way to undo his “fundamentally transformed America”, into a place where the American dream can still come true.

I wish I could believe that the next 3 1/2 years won’t destroy America.

I wish any of these things were true.

Chris of Rights on September 12, 2013 at 7:07 PM

And who do we have? Hagel???? Oh, I am all kinds of reassured.

ugottabekiddingme on September 12, 2013 at 5:17 PM

It’s all pretty worrisome, especially that we are dealing with a lot of amateurism by this WH, unlike the pros of time past admins…my question is are there any adults and pros in O’s admin ‘to keep close watch’ when it comes to (hasty) military orders during these volatile times, especially with our man child president’s ego so badly bruised….as for Hagel, the fact itself that this man is the Defence Secretary is scary enough…I wonder why O didn’t try to persuade Gates to stay, he was an exceptional administrator, not driven by politics (or if he was, it was realpolitik for sure and not some ideological nonsense) and he was also most likely the only adult in the entire O’s cabinet…

jimver on September 12, 2013 at 8:09 PM

Resist We Much on September 12, 2013 at 3:39 PM

FWIW, when I Googled for the original story, your blog came up #2 on the list.

AesopFan on September 12, 2013 at 11:59 PM