Emmett Tyrrell

WASHINGTON -- It is becoming apparent for all to see that a man who has made his name as a community organizer does not have the skills to be president of these United States. Maybe he could develop the requisite skills as a governor. Possibly he could develop such skills were he to sit in the Senate for a couple of terms. Yet there are delicate sensitivities, the ability to listen, to stick by your guns, occasionally to remain reticent. These are the fundamentals of a leader, and President Barack Obama has demonstrated that he lacks all of them, most notably reticence. I now think it is clear even to Official Washington that President Obama is the worst president of modern times. President Jimmy Carter is redeemed.

The other night at a White House dinner solemnizing the opening of Ramadan, he leaped right in to endorse the building of a mosque at ground zero. He -- a man who has shown no religious fervor during his time in the White House -- let out a ringing defense of religious liberty and tolerance. Of a sudden, he was at the center of a national controversy that was growing. It put me in mind of his inability to defuse the controversy over health care. Any sensible president would have relented as opposition to health care reform grew to the majority position. He would have settled for some sort of compromise, but not the community organizer turned president. He wanted it all. He lunged on and created among the electorate a row over national health care that divided the nation and put some of us in mind of a civil war that continues to rage. What is more, he imperiled his party's margins in both houses of Congress.

Notwithstanding his apparent personal insouciance toward religion, he made clear that the mosque should be built. Who cares about the sensibilities of the loved ones of the 3,000 victims? Or, for that matter, of the 68 percent of the American people who, according to a CNN poll, oppose the mosque? It took him less than a day to make things worse. While on a swing through Florida, he claimed that he was not speaking "on the wisdom" of building the mosque. He merely was commenting on the constitutional right to build the mosque and to practice one's religion. A right "that dates back," the prof allowed, "to our founding. That's what our country is about." Blah, blah, blah -- the community organizer turned lecturer at the University of Chicago could not resist.


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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