Come on, who's surprised? The White House-engineered photo-op of low-flying Air Force aircraft that caused terror in New York City this week epitomizes the Age of Obama. What better way to mark 100 days in office than with an appalling exercise in pointless taxpayer-funded stagecraft?
The superficiality, the unseriousness, the hubris, the obliviousness to post-9/11 realities: They were trademarks of the Obama campaign, and they are the tattoos on his governance.
He never leaves home without his teleprompter. All the Obama world's a stage. Or a world ready to be staged.
So is it any wonder he would staff his White House military office with a clueless paper pusher who saw nothing wrong with spending inordinate government resources -- and re-creating 9/11 havoc -- to update Air Force One publicity shots? And who planned, believe it or not, to do the same in Washington, D.C., next month, where the 9/11 jihadists murdered 53 passengers and 6 crewmembers on board American Airlines Flight 77, and 125 military and civilian personnel inside the Pentagon?
All for some publicity shots.
No one should be shocked. Remember: Barack Obama is the frivolous man who concocted his own presidential-looking Great Seal before he was elected. An ego big enough to publicly display a ridiculous "Vero Possumus" ("Yes, we can" in Latin) motto and a regal eagle with the Obama campaign logo emblazoned on its chest is an ego capable of far more reckless things. Obama orchestrated a grand photo-op in Berlin, Germany, to declare his world citizenship at the Siegessäule -- the Victory Column -- a soaring monument of arrogance championed by Adolf Hitler and Third Reich architect Albert Speer. He manufactured his own Open Temple of The One in Denver for the Democratic National Convention last summer, replete with fake Greek columns.
Since taking office, Obama has remained in perpetual campaign mode, idling in 9/10 gear. The photo album has filled up quickly with megalomaniacal moments. When his massive pork-filled stimulus package was in trouble, he ran to Ft. Myers, Fla., for a carefully choreographed revival meeting with his most ardent supporters. "It is such a blessing to see you. Oh! Gracious God, thank you so much!" one young booster exclaimed.
The president's famous embrace with another questioner -- homeless woman Henrietta Hughes, a perpetually unemployed drifter looking for a handout -- turned up on the White House online retrospective of the stimulus bill victory. (Missing: The photos of hundreds of thousands of Americans who took to the streets in Tea Party protests to oppose this massive act of generational theft and expansion of the entitlement state.)
Another Kodak moment from the stimulus campaign exposed Obama's hype of the spending boondoggle's effects. Using a Caterpillar plant and workers as a backdrop, Obama grandly promised that if the stimulus passed, Caterpillar would rehire laid-off workers. It made front-page headlines. After the photo-op: Caterpillar's own CEO refuted the bogus promise and last week posted its first quarterly net loss in 16 years. After the signing, it finally dawned on pliant media outlets that the stimulus money was stupendously wasteful, and the job creation estimates, bogus. No pictures of those epiphanies.
Obama's photo-ops abroad have been more unsettling: Bowing and scraping before Saudi King Abdullah, trashing America as "arrogant" (talk about a pot and kettle moment) in front of adoring French and German students, chumming it up with Venezuelan thug-in-chief Hugo Chavez. These are the defining images of a stunt(ed) presidency blind to our enemies and in a perpetual state of (re)pose.
Obama appointed Leon Panetta, a chief of intelligence with no intelligence experience. He gave us Hillary Clinton, a secretary of state who cackled about the Somali pirate hijacking and laughed off serious questions about the effectiveness of enhanced interrogation techniques. He installed Rosa Brooks, a radical George Soros-trained ideologue, as a top Pentagon adviser. He came close to embracing Charles Freeman as top U.S. intelligence analyst -- a jihadi-sympathizing conspiracist who blamed America for 9/11.
And he appointed Janet Napolitano, the homeland security secretary who can't get her facts straight about the 9/11 terrorists, pooh-poohed our immigration laws, disseminated a hit job on conservatives and veterans as right-wing extremist threats, and redefined acts of terrorism as "man-caused disasters."
"Man-caused disaster." That's a perfect description of the Scare Force One torture photo-op that took place this week and an apt summary of the last 100 days. Say cheese.