Mona Charen

The president's attempt to pass gun control legislation by relying solely on the "bully pulpit" was defeated. Obama vented his frustration at a foot stamping press conference that served only to highlight his ineffectiveness.

Obama's foolhardy declaration of a "red line" in Syria regarding the use of chemical weapons has now come back to haunt him. Reluctance to intervene in Syria is a defensible policy, but the president painted himself into a corner by declaring that if Assad used certain weapons, the U.S. would act. With our allies' intelligence agencies now confirming that such weapons have been used, the president's bluff has been called. He may be forced to take action he believes to be unwise (and that may indeed be unwise) only because he boxed himself in. "I don't bluff," the president vowed in 2012 regarding Iran. Tehran is watching now. Everyone is watching.

The Boston bombing has revealed that the Obama Administration's priorities in the struggle against "workplace violence" and "overseas contingencies" have weakened us. The failure of the FBI and CIA to thwart Tamerlane Tsarnaev - despite warnings from Russia, his extremist comments in his mosque, his patronage of jihadi websites, and his travel to Dagestan - demonstrate that the guidance the Administration is providing is dangerously wrong. It comes from the top. As Sebastian Gorka of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies put it, "The fact is religion has been expunged from counterterrorism training. The FBI can't talk about Islam and they can't talk about jihad."

The results are dire. But at least everyone had a good laugh on Saturday night.


Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
 
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