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Topics: Veterans Affairs

Bowe Bergdahl disaster caps four days in May when Obama tripped on America's last icon

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Barack Obama,Veterans Affairs,Veterans,Eric Shinseki,Bowe Bergdahl

Is President Obama approaching the midpoint of the worst presidential second term since Richard Nixon tumbled from a landslide re-election to the ignominy of resignation?

The American Thinker's Thomas Lifson thinks so and today he offers a careful summary for the proposition that bears close reading by Obama's allies and opponents.

As the key to understanding why Obama has "lost his mojo," Lifson points to the one American icon that no politician can ever afford to insult — the U.S. military, active duty and veteran.

Three strikes in four days

Whatever one thinks of Obama's policies, it is likely no one expected to see him at the center of the amazing sequence of events in just four days last week.

First, there was the West Point speech on Wednesday that was supposed to restore Obama's credentials as a foreign policy master.

Instead, critics across the ideological spectrum panned the address as vacuous, politicized and utterly without the substance of a systematic presidential doctrine.

It didn't help that, as a CNN correspondent described it, the reception Obama received from the assembled graduating West Point cadets was, at best, "icy."

The Veterans Affairs scandal

Then on Friday, Obama moved to quell the exploding scandal of the Veterans Administration by dismissing Secretary Eric Shinseki.

It was the first decisive move by Obama to deal with the scandal, but he undermined his credibility by claiming neither he nor Shinseki knew all the facts about the horrendous abuses by the bureaucracy of aging American heroes.

The result was Obama walked away from what should have been a net positive for himself instead looking weak, indecisive and disingenuous.

From bad to worst

The Shinseki debacle was bad enough, but then came Saturday's announcement that Obama had given back to the Taliban the cream of its detainees at Gitmo in return for the lone U.S. soldier held in captivity by the Afghan terrorists. Critical questions about the deal began as soon as it was announced.

As Lifson observed, "it must have seemed like a good idea. One pen-and-phone executive action driving the stubborn VA scandal out of the limelight, welcoming home an American held captive by our enemies. The vanquisher of Osama bin Laden now bringing home the last prisoner of war."

Instead, the bottom line is Obama sent a terrorist "dream team" home where they will soon be planning murderous new assaults on Americans around the world in return for a soldier who likely deserted and may even have been a collaborator.

Past, present and future

So, in the brief span of four days, Obama bungled opportunities to restore his leadership standing by acting decisively on behalf of America's future protectors, her aging heroes and her present defenders.

Having been told of his brilliance for so long by Valerie Jarrett and others of his closest advisers, Obama knows nothing of Nixon's tortured inner struggle with demons and won't be resigning.

But it's impossible not to wonder if the last four days of May 2014 mark the moment when Obama's political standing became irrevocably unsustainable because he mishandled the last icon of American unity.

On today's washingtonexaminer.com

Editorial: Don't give incumbents power to regulate political speech.

Watchdog/Richard Pollock: Civil rights commissioner wants docs, answers on "toxic" workplace.

Columnist/Ron Arnold: White House science adviser John Holdren is godfather to Obama's climate policy.

Columnist/Noemie Emery: Obama is at a loss for words on foreign policy.

Columnist/Timothy P. Carney: Yes, the climate is changing. Now shut up and be reasonable.

Beltway Confidential/T. Becket Adams: Wikileaks doc backs soldier's claim Bergdahl tried to contact Taliban.

PennAve/Susan Ferrechio: Some in GOP see Bergdahl swap as move to empty Gitmo.

Legal Newsline/Kyla Asbury: California supreme court says Target can charge sales tax on coffee "to go."

In other news

ABC News: Taliban video shows Bergdahl release.

USA Today: Obama urges global help for Ukraine.

New York Daily News: Questions remain on how five Taliban will be monitored in Qatar.

Righty Playbook

National Review Online: The Bergdahl culture clash.

The American Thinker: How Obama lost his mojo.

The Daily Caller: Top Obama choice for new VA head predicted Obamacare will lead to single payer "like they have in England."

Bonus must-read

The Federalist: Nine questions about Bergdahl that must be answered.

Lefty Playbook

The Huffington Post: China on alert ahead of Tiananmen Square anniversary.

Salon: The Right's unhinged Bergdahl hypocrisy.

The Daily Beast: The U.S. war hero who died searching for Bergdahl.

Bonus must-read

Mother Jones: Hillary Clinton's Goldman Sachs problem.

Blog Right

The Gateway Pundit: Relative describes filth, feces, urine in squalid St. Louis VA facility.

Jammie Wearing Fools: Obama told Dem fat cats he could probably amend the Constitution on campaign finance.

Powerline: Dems try to repeal First Amendment.

Blog Left

Talking Points Memo: "Year of GOP Establishment" narrative loses more credibility.

Crooks and Liars: Sharyl Attkisson lands at Heritage Foundation.

Slate: The clever new way the Obama White House is selling global warming.

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Author:

Mark Tapscott

Executive Editor
The Washington Examiner