Tough words from Billy and Karen Vaughn, whose only son Aaron gave his life in a 2011 crash of a SEAL Team Six Chinook helicopter in Afghanistan, perhaps in the shootdown shortly after the mission that killed Osama bin Laden. For years, Barack Obama relied on the success of the bin Laden mission to make the argument that he could lead the nation in war. Now the Vaughns accuse Obama of “a cowardly lack of leadership,” and demand his resignation over the administration’s failure to stop ISIS when it had opportunities to do so:
On Monday, the Vaughns wrote a letter, calling out Mr Obama’s decision to go golfing after holding an important press conference on the Foley video.
‘As Commander-in-Chief, your actions – or lack thereof – Mr President, cost lives.
‘As you bumble about in your golf cart, slapping on a happy face and fist-pounding your buddies, your cowardly lack of leadership has left a gaping hole — not only in America’s security — but the security of the entire globe.
‘Your message has come across loud and clear, sir: You are not up to this job. You know it. We know it. The world knows it,’ the Vaughns wrote in the letter published on World Tribune.
The couple go on to directly ask Mr Obama to resign so that a man or woman ‘of courage and substance’ can take over and address the ‘out-of-control thug fest’ happening in Syria and Iraq, where ISIS is attempting to establish a caliphate.
‘It’s time for you to step down and allow a true leader to restore our honor and protect our sons and daughters…You, Mr President, are a bump in the road.”
The Vaughns appeared today on Fox News after their report that Obama had been briefed for more than a year about the threat from ISIS and the opportunities for strikes on “hundreds” of targets long before the group broke out across Iraq. Needless to say, the Vaughns point to that development as further evidence that Obama needs to resign in favor of someone who takes the job more seriously. “Your report there at the top of the hour is a perfect example,” Billy Vaughn tells Brian Kilmeade:
Let’s get back to the idea that a resignation will produce “a man or woman of substance” as a leader. Actually, it’s very clear what it would produce, as a matter of constitutional law — President Joe Biden, whose instincts are probably even more isolationist than Obama’s. He might be more engaged, but he’s hardly the steady hand on the rudder that the Vaughns would obviously prefer. If both Biden and Obama resigned at the same time, that would make John Boehner President, which would improve matters but would never happen in a million years, as Democrats aren’t about to walk away from controlling the White House, especially not at the very moment that it appears Republicans are about to take control of the Senate.
Besides, it’s clear that the only part of the job that truly engages Obama is the set of perks the office provides, which means he’s not going to simply walk away from the Presidency, even if history provided more precedents for it than it does. He’s not going to marry himself to Richard Nixon for eternity, after all, not willingly at least.
As a strategic demand, then, this is an exercise in futility. As a cri de coeur, however, it succeeds — and highlights once again the growing consensus that Obama is out of his depth on national security and foreign policy.