By Dr Tim Stanley, The Telegraph
Let's imagine that America is invaded by aliens. They vaporise Congress and melt down the Statue of Liberty. What does Obama do? He hits the campaign trail.
"It's time for the Martians to pack their bags and leave the USA!" he tells screaming crowds at a university event in Boulder, Colorado. "I won't negotiate, or retaliate – I'm just gonna stand here and wait until they go away!" Barbra Streisand sings the national anthem; Kal Pen tells a gag about flying a UFO while stoned. "Thank you Mr President for supporting the rights of gay people to marry," Eva Longoria says as the intergalactic hordes of Thraaag storm over the horizon firing their ray-guns at liberal students.
"Dare to hope, America! Dare to hope!"
That's what Obama does in the middle of any crisis. He doesn't confront events head on like a mature leader should – particularly a mature leader in the middle of his second term with no more elections to run in. No. Obama goes out and campaigns. And he's doing it right now.
Day three of the shutdown and Congress is convening in Washington to debate a series of mini-spending bills to reopen some government services. The Republicans have stated that they want to negotiate and are ready to start. Meanwhile, President Obama is twenty miles away at a construction company in Maryland bashing the GOP. In a fiery speech, he demanded that Congress pass a budget without a "partisan strings attached" (because, of course, the Democrats haven't shown any partisanship over protecting Obamacare) and accused John Boehner of pandering to "extremists". He also warned that the economy would get "worse" the longer than the shutdown goes on. A shutdown that he's doing very little to bring to an end. After all, he's too busy campaigning.
Two things irritate about this story. First, it illustrates that Obama is being just as stubborn as the Republicans in the budget talks – and this point is sadly lost on a mainstream media that prefers to place the blame for the entire shutdown on ten little known Tea Party congressmen. Second, it's yet another example of Obama's tendency to prefer campaigning to governing. He never stops stumping – even when he really doesn't have to anymore because he won the 2012 election and doesn't have another one to run in (someone please let him know!). And if his presidency is low on accomplishments and high on disappointment then this is why. He not only under-performs for the majority of Americans in his day-to-day work but he also misleads his base with angry rhetoric that promises the Earth and usually delivers nothing.
Herein lies the paradox of this presidency. Obama gets very little done yet still manages to exhaust us all in the process. Three more years to go…
Obama, in charge of everything, responsible for nothing. - SoRo