How Not to Lead on Islamic State and Climate
Obama seems to want to lead the terrorists on some kind of laughter patrol. Maybe he is hoping this will give away their position. Probably it is more incompetence.
Check it out:
President Obama departed the Paris conference on climate change with the same defiant and oddly confident air he’s been projecting in recent weeks. Though the always-shaky confidence in his leadership has plummeted since he responded to the Paris terror attacks by refusing to contemplate a change in strategy in the war with ISIS, the president continues to double down on his approach. At a press conference today in Paris the president reiterated his belief that climate change was the main security threat facing the world and downplayed the significance of the Islamist terrorists who took the lives of 130 people in that same city. He not only defended his leadership but also mocked those who questioned his priorities. Yet while Obama may be right that most of the European leaders he’s been hobnobbing with agree with him, his stand starkly illustrated the growing disconnect between the lame duck commander-in-chief and most of his own people on both climate and terrorism.
One doesn’t need to be a climate change skeptic to understand that the president’s obsession with creating a legacy on the issue is out of touch with the concerns of the majority of Americans. As even a new ABC News/Washington Post pollpublished on the day the conference started illustrates, while a majority think climate change is a serious problem, the number of those who believe that the federal government should do more to address it is at 47 percent, a new low and far below the total in previous surveys. Moreover, as virtually every poll in recent years has shown, very few consider it a priority. Earlier this year only 3 percent saw it as the country’s most important problem. It’s also interesting to note that the ABC/Post poll indicated that a majority of Americans viewed the issue as one on which there was still some doubt — a remarkable figure given the way the media and Obama have dismissed all doubts about the simplistic and often misleading figures about rising temperatures and the arbitrary goals set by the Paris conference.
But while Obama has the bully pulpit of the presidency and the echo chamber of the liberal mainstream media at his disposal, it’s not likely those figures will move in his direction once Americans understand the nature of the commitments he’s making in his name in Paris. As I noted yesterday, the impact on the American economy — still stuck in the most anemic recovery of the last half-century — of the emissions restrictions he is promoting will be severe. They may also be shocked to hear of his ardent support for a scheme for what the Third World widely views as “reparations.” That plan, advocated in 2010 by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, would have leading Western nations will pay poorer nations $100 billion a year to compensate them for any caps on their carbon emissions because of the sins of the developed world. There’s little doubt that the U.S. will have to pay the lion’s share of that total, a new federal entitlement that will further undermine support for foreign aid.