Two left feet: Obama’s week of "bad optics" is really just bad leadership

It’s the same logic you heard in high school from your highly educated feminist English teacher, the one who drove a rusted Chevette with a bumper sticker reading, “It will be a great day when schools get all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber.” She told you the best way to beat bullies was to deny them any satisfaction, i.e. to pretend they weren’t pummeling you. “Just curl up into the fetal position, Johnny, you’ll have the last laugh when their punching muscles wear out in an hour or two.” Roughly at the same time, you developed strange new respect for your meathead gym teacher, the one who taught you how to throw a punch in such a way that it would definitely make a nose bleed.

What this week really demonstrated was not that Obama has a wee problem with “the optics” of his job, but that he’s stuck forever in campaign mode, confusing rhetoric with leading. ISIS just laughs and reloads when the president chides them.

Beginning to normalize relations with Cuba is a good idea — but Obama loved the picture of himself giving a speech in Havana so much that he skipped over the part where he’d win concessions from the regime. Giving away the game was his opening bid.