STEVE KROFT:What is the most frustrating part of the job?
BARACK OBAMA: (SIGH) The— the fact that— you are often confronted with bad choices that flow from less than optimal decisions made a year ago, two years ago, five years ago, when you weren't here. A lot of times, when things land at my desk— it's a choice between bad and worse. And as somebody pointed out to me— the only things that land on my desk are tough decisions. Because, if they were easy decisions, somebody down the food chain's already made them."
As the vernacular of today's youth would have it, "Well, Duh!"
I don't even know where to start with this. Should I start with the fact that Obama has never in his life had any meaningful executive experience? Was this fact not pointed out repeatedly during his campaign? Didn't Sarah Palin herself say that being an executive means having to make decisions rather than voting "present?" But no, that was deemed an unimportant and inconvenient distraction from Obama's real qualifications, which ultimately turned out to be his African-American heritage and the fact that he's not George Bush. Yes, what useful traits those have turned out to be, but unfortunately only in the area of aggrandizing and worshiping our new president.
Confronted by choices made during previous administrations?? I'm sorry, but how could he have not known that? It has been ever thus, up to and including his predecessor having to deal with the terrorist acts of 9/11 that were largely the result of Clinton's milquetoast response to the emerging threat. Clinton had plenty to deal with when he took over from Bush 41. Reagan had a horrible mess to contend with brought about by the abject failure of Carter's presidency. Those men, though, dealt with the situations they "inherited" without tiring us with adolescent sniveling about just how horrible the job of being Chief Executive is. Perhaps that was because all of those men had acted in an executive capacity before. "Wow," you say, "experience really does matter in the role of President of the United States? Who knew!" Well, I'll tell you who knew: 47% of those that voted knew.
So, President Obama, you're finally starting to realize that "A lot of times it's a choice between bad and worse?" You don't say! Perhaps you could ask George W. Bush about that. You remember him. He's the guy that was faced with extremely difficult decisions every single day, many of them involving issues that would be life or death to thousands of brave volunteer soldiers. He's the guy that had to decide what to do with suspected and/or proven terrorists captured on the battlefield or under suspicious circumstances. He's the man that had to decide to what lengths we should go to extract information from potential terrorists that could save thousands of innocent lives.
There's a difference, though, between the environment in which he had to make those decisions and the situation you're in: George Bush did not have the luxury of an adoring media, a rabidly partisan supporting Congress, and throngs of enthralled believers that would not second guess or harshly criticize every single decision, and often twist his words to give the impression that he was an ignorant, uncaring monster. You, President Obama, were one of those people. You spent at least two years telling anyone that would listen how horrible Bush's decisions and policies were. You were one of the worst demagogues of Bush "failure." You never once professed to recognize that Bush too was forced to decide between "bad" and "worse."
Yet you have the unmitigated gall to whine about the difficulties you face now? You're kidding, right? Maybe you should have listened when millions of voters tried to tell you that you weren't ready to make the tough decisions. Maybe you should listen as more and more people try to tell you that you still aren't ready to make the tough decisions.