Via the Free Beacon, forgive the length, but you understand there’s a lot to list.

The list is grave and important to hear all at once like that every now and then. Perhaps one of the PR strengths of this White House is to have so very many things going wrong at one time that one can forget about individual brush strokes of ineptitude as they blend into one magnificent mural of incompetence. Karl’s list doesn’t allow that so easily, and newly minted Press Secretary Josh Earnest must wrestle with it. His first tack— complain about media bias because a front-page story in the Wall Street Journal can’t possibly be an indicator of anything.

But the second tack is indicative of the White House’s problem. Granted, it is partially the press secretary’s job to say basically nothing, and given that Earnest’s longtime idol is the President, he is understandably a promising padawan of verbal piddling. But the level of nothingness herein, at the risk of mixing my science fiction/fantasy metaphors, is so great as to send Atreyu and Artax wading through the Swamp of Sadness.

Asked whether the president bears responsibility for these situations, and what he can do about it, Earnest dodged the questions and instead said that, in each situation, the president will consider “at the core the consequences it has for American national security.”

“In each of the situations you referenced,” Earnest continued. “People are asking a legitimate question about what is the proper role for the United States’ involvement,” curiously using the world’s confusion about Obama’s absence from action to pat the president on the back. I half expected him to end with, “and we are asking that question, too, and have no idea what the answer is.” Good news, though. The White House’s action item on the above list is to…consider a principle.