Worth reading: Michael Ledeen, What’s Up With All the Presidential Gaffes, Anyway?:
I suspect that drafts of presidential speeches and statements are treated the same way. I think they are only circulated among a very small number of people for comment, and those people are probably very busy, and don’t have the time to check things like the precise name and history of a Medal of Honor recipient.
That would explain today’s embarrassment (embarrassment to us, to the nation–he speaks for us, after all–since he doesn’t seem to suffer embarrassment very often), but it doesn’t explain things like the apology for his lack of fluency in “Austrian” or his lack of knowledge that we have a Marine Corps (pronounced “core”). That comes from lousy education, from lack of basic knowledge about the world. And if I’m right about the small number of administration officials who get to see his words before they’re delivered in public, it tells us that they, too, aren’t properly educated.
It tells us that the president and his trusted advisers are the products of the atrocious, politically correct educational system that’s wrecking the country in so many ways. And it’s very worrisome. It’s part of the Orwellian universe that envelops many of our leaders, a universe in which they feel free to simply invent “facts” so long as they fit the emotional and ideological pattern that really matters to the elite.
And these people think they’re the smart guys, and we’re the dummies, even though we know that German is spoken in Vienna, and many of us would be mortified to make a glaring error about an American hero.
The gaffes are important. They tell us a lot about the nature of our leaders, and it’s not good news.
And unless you read political blogs you probably don’t even know that last week, President Obama committed a mortal gaffe: he mixed up a living and a deceased Medal of Honor winner in a speech. At Fort Drum, home of the 10th Mountain Division. Which is the unit that lost the very person — Jared Monti — that he mistakenly named as a living recipient of the Medal of Honor.
You could not pick a more embarrassing scenario if you tried.
President Obama flubbed his remarks to troops at Fort Drum Thursday when he told the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division about the time he awarded the first Medal of Honor to someone not receiving it posthumously. The medal, he said, went to Jared Monti. The only issue is that Jared Monti died in service in Afghanistan, and did in fact receive the medal posthumously.
Are you freaking kidding me? This is unbelievable. Obama is Commander in Chief, and so he is the one who presented the Medal of Honor to the family of Jared Monti, because Jared Monti gave his life in service to his country and defined heroism, as all Medal of Honor recipients do. And Obama, as Commander in Chief, also presented one just last fall to Sal Giunta of Iowa, who is the actual living recipient that should have been named.
He is the Commander in Chief, and he shook the hands of these people, yet not only did he not catch this error, but nobody else in his crack speechwriting staff caught it either. He appeared to be impressed by the gravity of the moment. Well, that’s kind of hard to believe now, isn’t it?
Catch the irony: this total snake charmer surrounds himself with so many like-minded Kool-aid drinkers that he increases the chances of making super-embarrassing gaffes like this.
You can call that smart if you like, but frankly, I find him to be the least-informed President of my entire 52 years on this planet. He has become an embarrassment to the nation, and I’d love to see him debate somebody who can actually think and talk at the same time for a living, like Christopher Hitchens or P.J. O’Rourke or Niall Ferguson, or Milton Friedman if he were still alive. They would rip him to shreds. Because he isn’t that smart even with the teleprompter, and he keeps proving it.