Emmett Tyrrell

WASHINGTON -- Sidney Blumenthal, the Clinton administration's famed servitor, saw it all coming. He predicted the Obama administration's carousel of incompetence, as I like to call it. He was not thinking about the serious botches, the health care monstrosity, the spending spree, the criminal trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed planned for New York or the cap-and-trade extravagance. He probably agrees with those policy lurches.

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What he probably had in mind were the lesser bungles, the administration's bizarre appointees (Van Jones, Anita Dunn), their embarrassing departures and now the two imposters who gate-crashed a state dinner for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India. Things like this happened during the Clinton administration, though not the last colossal bungle, the gate-crashing of a state dinner. Blumenthal had witnessed the greenhorns who came in with the Clintons from Arkansas. Now he has seen the greenhorns who have been coming in with the Obamas. Inadvertently, he confided to an American Spectator reporter some months ago his judgment that the Chicagoans are even greener. The arrival of the uninvited Michaele and Tareq Salahi at the southeast gate at the White House and their untroubled entry into the Obamas' first state dinner confirms his judgment. This sort of thing was heretofore unthinkable, and the security around the president was supposed to be unprecedented.

Now, of course, the Secret Service has been put under pressure to take the heat. Its director, Mark Sullivan, has made a rare public apology and appeared before Congress to explain. The Secret Service is one of the finest organizations in our government. Its members have proved their competence and even heroism for generations. Why are they taking the heat rather than the White House social office? It is the social office -- under social secretary Desiree Rogers, a Chicagoan close to the Obamas and particularly close to White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett (a Chicagoan, too) -- that is supposed to have a representative standing near the security checkpoint into the White House to welcome and verify every guest. Sometimes the social office representative precedes the Secret Service; sometimes the representative is just behind the Secret Service. Always one is there.

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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