The Clothes Have No Emperor


Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
I wish, I wish he’d go away

Hughes Mearnes

From Leon Panetta’s testimony yesterday on Benghazi:

Under questioning from Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) Panetta says that President Obama knew “generally” what US military assets were deployed in the region, but did not ask for specifics. He left the strategy, according to Panetta, “up to us,” meaning himself and military leadership. Panetta says that after the initial briefing, which took place at about 5 pm Washington time, he had no further communications at all with President Obama that night. The president never even called to ask how the attack was progressing. No one from the White House ever called later that night, according to Panetta, to inquire about the attack. President Obama went to bed that night not even knowing whether the Americans under assault had survived the attack.

Go here to read the appalling rest by Bryan Preston at PJ Media.  Obama abidicates his responsibility as Commander in Chief to his staff when the attack is in progress in Benghazi.  Obama is not merely the worst President in our history.  He is additionally completely disconnected from the office that he holds.  What is worse is that the American people re-elected this man to be our non-leader.  Somewhere in the world to come Caligula and his horse Incitatus are relieved that their record for high level incompetence has finally been surpassed.

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  1. Agreed.

    To quote the second worst Secy of State, recently, “What difference does it make?”

    It’s now every man for himself.

    America is kaput.

  2. Obama is not merely the worst President in our history.

    Give it until 2061 to make definitive statements like that. In any case, Andrew Johnson, Woodrow Wilson, Hebert Hoover, and Lyndon Johnson are stiff competition for that award.

    I am remembering in 1981 the Reagan Administration was taken to task in the press because there was a dogfight (over in minutes, IIRC) between U.S. Navy pilots and LIbyan Air Force planes and the President was not informed until he awakened the next morning. I see that in 2012 our courtesan news media is on top of things.

  3. He is additionally completely disconnected from the office that he holds.

    Cut the guy some slack. He needed to rest up for that fundraiser in Vegas the next day.

  4. Art

    What about Jimmy Carter? It would a sin against justice for any discussion about the worst U.S. president to not include his name.

  5. The Palace Guard Media: Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these courtiers from the swift completion of their leftist jock-sniffing.

  6. What about Jimmy Carter? It would a sin against justice for any discussion about the worst U.S. president to not include his name.

    Mr. Carter’s principal offenses include

    1. Bad monetary policy leading to more rapid currency erosion.

    2. Loss of prestige (a fungible quality) due to dithering nincompoopery vis a vis Ayatollah Khomeini, Anastasio Somoza, the Sandinista National Directorate, Ahmadou Mahtar M’Bow, and sundry others. He did eventually realize that putting Cyrus Vance in charge of the Foreign Service and Andrew Young in charge of public diplomacy were bad moves. Took about two-and-a-half years of embarrassment as well as substantive policy failure (e.g. arms control treaties you could cheat, the Law of the Sea swindle, &c).

    3. A comprehensive failure to build relationships with members of Congress other than Edmund Muskie. (To be sure, Congress was and is an awful institution).

    4. An attempt at civil service reform that ended up (after the Democratic Congressional caucus was done with it) as a bag of bon bons for the public employee unions and assorted micro-constituency groups (e.g. blacks who do poorly on civil service examinations).

    He had some successes too (airline and trucking deregulation, the Camp David accords).

    Mr. McClarey will have to correct me if I have misunderstood, but I believe that Andrew Johnson was perfectly content to let the Southern states re-institute bondage through the black codes, Woodrow Wilson was willing to accommodate destructive and futile French revanchism to get his dippy and unworkable collective security scheme, Herbert Hoover presided in the most otiose manner over 29 months worth of rapid deflation and waves of bank failures; and Lyndon Johnson marched American troops into Indo-China armed with a strategy so wretched we came out the back end with an unmitigated political loss and 58,000 dead soldiers, inveigled and manipulated Congress into enacting a public medical insurance scheme so dysfunctional that the political economy of medical care has never been right since, ruined the autonomy of state and local government with wretched ‘co-operative federalism’, promoted one thing after another which made for the ruin of the inner city: ‘urban renewal’, public housing, mortgage insurance for people who had no business taking out loans; and so forth. I think you have to wait another dozen years to make a definitive statement on Carter, but I think he’s a piker compared to these others. YMMV.

  7. The naked truth concerning Barrack Hussein Obama is that had we the media and Supreme Court of the 1940’s today he would have long since been impeached.

  8. Two other things about Johnson:

    1. Currency erosion. The inflation Mr. Carter exacerbated appeared in 1966 after Johnson successfully bullied the Federal Reserve under Wm. Martin into co-operating with his economic stimulus program. Martin had resisted for about a year and then caved.

    2. Habituation to fiscal deficits.

    During the period running from 1929 to 1961, the federal government ran deficits as a matter of course. However, there was tremendous slack in the macroeconomy during the period running from 1929 to 1941 (and even so, we balanced the budget twice), the country was under a comprehensive national mobilization from 1941 to 1945, was at war and under a partial mobilization from 1950 to 1953, was winding down a war effort during 1945-47 and 1953-54, and was facing business recessions in 1945-47, 1954, 1957-58, and 1960-61. Just about every year there was not some politico-military or economic justification for running a deficit, the budget was balanced. The adults left the room in 1961 and you can see the results. We live in Johnsonland, and it is not a nice neighborhood.

  9. For a long time I counted Obama as our second worst President behind Buchanan who did so much to hasten on the Civil War through his inaction and appeasement of Southern fireeaters. However, after his re-election I decided that Obama in two terms would do enough harm to the country to surpass even Buchanan.

  10. I forgot that Carter, Vance, Sol Linowitz, and Ellsworth Bunker were successfully played by Omar Torrijos and Gabriel Lewis. Returning the Canal Zone to Panama was a magnanimous act. Turning over unqualified control of the canal and paying the Panamanians to take it off our hands was incomprehensible.

  11. The main problem with Johnson (Andrew, that is) was his stubborn inability to work with the Republicans in Congress to make Reconstruction work. Admittedly many of the Republicans were in revenge mode, so they desired a policy that was far too stern, while Johnson went too far in the other direction. Now perhaps this is less a condemnation of Johnson than a sign of what a talented politician Lincoln was, but Abe was able to work with the Radical Republicans throughout the Civil War. I have no doubt that had he lived Reconstruction would have been more successful as the policy would not have been as spiteful yet it would have perhaps granted longer-lasting protections to the freed slaves. Honestly, we’ll never know, and it’s quite possible that no president would have steered precisely the right course.


    Somehow, I suspect that ‘making Reconstruction work’ would have required generations-long trusteeships over most of the Southern states. One could argue that stiffing Confederate veterans of their Army bonuses was bad policy and stripping much of the adult population (including veterans and Confederate politicians) of civic privileges was also. Please note that the code linked to above was enacted in Mississippi three years prior to the passage of the 14th Amendment.

  13. I think that Lincoln might have hit upon the partial solution of creating “black” states out in the West and in Alaska. The United States Colored Troops, all 180,000 of them, could have been used to help establish the infrastructure of such new states. The Federal government could have picked up the tab to transport black families to new lives in the West. This would have had to have been done on a voluntary basis of course. With Southern states bleeding blacks to these newly created states, I think there would have been an attempt on part of some of the states to treat the freedmen better in order to retain this source of cheap labor. The new black states would have ensured continued black representation in the House and the Senate. Not an ideal solution certainly, but far better than what historically occurred.

  14. I always thought that Andrew Johnson was a politically deaf person in an awful situation. We usually remember that war is hell, but we always seem to forget how ugly the aftermath of war is.

    Lincoln had the same good fortune as Churchill, not having to serve through the rebuilding years. Lincoln maybe could have pulled it off, as he was a great man with a great reputation. Johnson’s reputation was less stellar, and he didn’t make any friends with anyone in states that had the vote. I think of him as the wrong man for a tough job, but not as one of the worst presidents of all time. I could be wrong though.

  15. Shameful!
    US citizens must be wondering how this is affecting the way other countries view their foreign policy. Knee jerk is that the US can no longer be trusted.
    Saner heads realise that this will pass with the passing of Obama – the sooner the better.
    I’m not suggesting that some redneck should make it happen sooner than his elected term comes to its close. 😉

  16. Since Fox and the Weekly Standard have been covering this in the immediate aftermath in September, I have been waiting for someone to label this the famous three AM call and demanding to know where the president and Hilary were during he crucial 7-8 hours and where are the state department employees who were on site and have not been allowed to be questioned as well as who concocted the lame video story that he parroted for weeks. Just like his overriding his advisors on Syria, he didn’t act. I believe he went to bed relying on the fact that his staff and the media would cover for him which people have been doing all his life I hope the parents and other relatives of the slain men come forward and demand answers. Better late than never.
    I believe he is the worst because of his duplicity (see Obamacare), disengagement, trashing of the Constitution and enormous debt and government expansion and intrusion in every facet of citizens’ lives and his unwillingness to confront terror (The handling of Fort Hood shooter who killed 31 Americans is a disgrace). Add to that his handling of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Egypt etc. and his constant campaigning on selected issues and playing constatly to his base, make him the hands-down winner.

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