In 1788, King George III began to see a decline in his mental health, which modern scientists and doctors would call today acute intermittent porphyria — but back in the 18th century, having a low metabolic rate equated to madness. This footnote of history was turned into a sharp satirical play by Alan Bennent called The Madness of King George, which three years later was adapted into an Oscar-nominated film. So when the Washington Post’s Bob “Watergate” Woodward called President Barack Obama “mad” on cable news on Feb. 27, I thought immediately about Bennent’s play and what satirists will create 200 years from now.
What caused the liberal news writer to go on an anti-Obama rant has to do with the president’s inability to lead effectively. Woodward claimed President Obama is exhibiting a “kind of madness I haven’t seen in a long time” due to his decision not to send an aircraft carrier into the Persian Gulf over “budgetary concerns.”
Woodward continued his rant by revealing how incompetent Obama is by comparing him to recent commander in chief.
“Can you imagine Ronald Reagan sitting there and saying, ‘Oh, by the way, I can’t do this because of some budget document’? ” said Woodward.
“Or George W. Bush saying, ‘You know, I’m not going to invade Iraq because I can’t get the aircraft carriers I need?’ “ Or even Bill Clinton saying, ‘You know, I’m not going to attack Saddam Hussein’s intelligence headquarters, … because of some budget document’? “
Obviously, Woodward sees the ridiculousness in Obama’s policies, but after such aggression in Afghanistan and after ordering the shot heard around the world at Osama bin Laden, why the passivity now? Experts are saying the newfound budgetary consciousness stems from “the sequester,” a grouping of cuts to federal spending jumping into effect on March 1.
Obama claims there is a tiny piece of paper that is prohibiting him from being able to move forward in our nation’s security. Woodward believes this to be insanity.
“Under the Constitution, the president is commander in chief and employs the force. And so we now have the president going out because of this piece of paper and this agreement. ‘I can’t do what I need to do to protect the country’,” Woodward said. “That’s a kind of madness that I haven’t seen in a long time.”
The most interesting part of the story concerns the White House’s response to Mr. Woodward. According to Woodward, who was on CNN the night that his morning comments on MSNBC had been made, a very top-shelf White House employee e-mailed him that he will “regret doing this.” Sounds more like Nixon than Hope and Change, if you ask me.
What makes the sequester so frightening is that a large portion of the federal budget cuts are directed at our military. According to the House Armed Services Committee, the sequester will force the Marine Corps to shrink from 202,000 Marines to 145,000, and the Army will lose 143,000 soldiers, moving from 569,000 troops to 426,000.
In fact, the majority of the cuts are directed toward military spending. Approximately $42 billion in defense cuts will take place, whereas $28 billion will be domestic discretionary cuts. If that doesn’t show where the president’s priorities are, I can’t imagine what else will. He continues to put the welfare state over the protection of the state.
Essentially, President Obama is declaring a war on war. He is deciding it is better to hurt our military and help our domestic souls. Could this have anything to do with the fact that he only received approximately 44 percent of the military vote? Or because the majority of our military votes conservative? President Obama did have a small scandal back in September, when he was accused of sending out military ballots later than usual in an attempt to void their votes when the ballots came back late.
Or is it because he sees his place in the world as one put into office to equalize the playing field at home and abroad? Will a smaller military allow him to sleep better at night, knowing that he’s reducing America’s role in the world?
It’s so unclear, the only word to describe it is madness.