July 09, 2014

The border issue — is it actually Obama's #Katrina moment?

Yes, wingnuts have said more than once — eight previous times, at a minimum, Dave Weigel says — that "X is Obama's Katrina moment," and every such pronouncement has been wrong.

That said, this time, the mainstream media, a left-of-center online blog and news site, the Daily Beast, and a good fellow liberal blogger, are all saying that Obama blew this one.

Let's start with the MSM of NBC. It notes:
This is not the first time the White House has dug in its heels on an optics-related critique.
Tis true. That is part of what's contributed to the "eight previous times" list of Weigel's.

The Daily Beast goes from there:
I usually try to ask myself what I’d be saying if a Republican did X, and if a Republican did that, I’d be teeing off. It’s not defensible. ...

And this is pretty far afield, but keep an eye on Aleppo in Syria. Aleppo has been a stronghold of the more legitimate opposition to Bashar al-Assad. It might be about to fall to Assad’s forces. This, two weeks after Obama announced a big aid package for the moderate rebels. Syria is Obama’s biggest foreign policy failure—he should have delivered that $500 million to those forces long ago, but he delayed. When Assad’s recapture of Aleppo is consummated, Obama is going to look played again. 

That delaying is a pattern. I don’t understand it. I covered New York mayors. When a crisis hits, you go. 
Most people this side of Benghazi-slavering wingnuts will miss Aleppo, or forget about it in short time, but the problems on the border are a different issue. That's especially because Obama just asked Congress for an emergency appropriation.

It's also right in the mix of ongoing debate about who's going to get the Latino vote in the future, and Texas Democrats' problems with voter turn out.

Finally, friend Perry:
Obama is letting them tar him with this.  He could put a stop to it by simply going to South Texas.  Yes, he would have to endure being with Rick Perry for several hours, probably the worst punishment imaginable, but to just keep to his fundraising schedule is simply awful.  Not as awful as detaining children in crowded conditions with the threat of deportation... but everybody has to suffer a little now.
Bingo. This is half of what's wrong. Compare his Jan Brewer moment in Arizona a few years ago. Obama gave her the "optic" of finger-pointing at him, then moved on.

Go to the border. And, visit American citizen Hispanics in the Valley. Listen to them and their concerns as well as Anglo ones. Drum up some capital.

Then go near an actual crossing area, while making sure to invite Rick Perry and Greg Abbott to go with you. Ask both of them what they would do about the political problems in Central America causing this. Put them on the spot, not yourself.

I've noted Obama's previous "optics" failures myself.  This one may not be "Katrina," but, contra Weigel, it's more serious than the others.

The man is sometimes just an idiot on stuff like this.

Witness that the NSA phone-snooping on German Chancellor Angela Merkel wasn't enough. Nor was recruiting a German intelligence agent to go double. No, now there's apparently a second physical spy on Germany. (facepalm)

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