Barack Obama

'No Drama Obama' and the Virtues of Inaction

What President Obama has displayed when dealing with the Ebola crisis are his best qualities, not his worst ones.

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Obama
Pete Souza / White House

In responding to the Ebola crisis, President Barack Obama is being his usual self: passive, detached, unable or unwilling to lead. So say his critics, who accuse him of being an idle observer of his own presidency.

Idleness in the Oval Office is not necessarily a vice. What Obama displays in this episode are not his worst qualities but his best ones. In refusing to succumb to the demands for showy action, he is dampening emotions that others exploit for political convenience. He is insisting on rational responses to a danger that preys on primal fears.

In many ways, that's a sound approach. But it can be a handicap in a media environment biased toward big, visible choices, even if they are largely symbolic or self-defeating. Longtime adviser David Axelrod told Bloomberg BusinessWeek, "There's no doubt that there's a theatrical nature to the presidency that he resists."

The safety of modern American life makes many people yearn for excitement and danger. With crime falling sharply, life expectancy rising, the specter of all-out nuclear war relegated to history and homeland terrorism nearly nonexistent, things can feel so placid as to be boring. So some of us look for ways to liven up our existence.

Some hold it against Obama that he does so little to keep us entertained. The president has always been notable for his even temper and immunity to hysteria. During the 2008 campaign, his staffers wore T-shirts that said, "No Drama Obama." They were advertising what they regarded as a virtue.

But calm deliberation can be depicted as indecisiveness or passivity. Similar charges were leveled at Abraham Lincoln, who wrote, "I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me."

Obama's style was once welcome, if only because the previous two presidents had provided a surplus of turmoil. Bill Clinton often subjected aides to towering rages. He agonized over going to war in Yugoslavia, allowing gays in the military and signing a welfare reform bill. His appetite for extramarital mischief led to an affair that made him the second president to be impeached.

George W. Bush offered a respite from conflict and scandal. He promised to end "the Washington war-room mentality—the hostile stance, the harsh charges, the lashing out at enemies."

But even before he took office, Bush was awash in bile, having gotten fewer votes than Al Gore and owing his victory to a controversial Supreme Court decision. Even those were just a small taste of what was to come: two wars, mass surveillance, torture, financial panic and the Great Recession. His presidency had more drama than a Taylor Swift medley.

Obama has labored to extricate us from the catastrophes of the Bush years while avoiding new ones. Most notably, he has exercised an overdue caution in the use of military power—completing the withdrawal from Iraq, setting a date to get combat forces out of Afghanistan, declining to arm Ukraine against Russia and taking only a small role in the Libyan civil war.

He's had missteps, like making a threat to bomb Syria that he wasn't prepared to carry out. Obama approved air strikes on the Islamic State at the risk of being sucked into a quagmire. He preserved Bush's surveillance.

He's shirked the unpleasant chore of wooing members of Congress. He's fumbled important managerial tasks like rolling out Obamacare and monitoring the IRS.

But infallibility belongs to popes, not presidents. Obama resembles none of his predecessors more than Dwight Eisenhower. Ike was pilloried by liberals for feeble action against segregation and McCarthyism. He antagonized conservatives by failing to help Hungarians when the Soviets invaded and offering a domestic agenda that Barry Goldwater called "a dime store New Deal."

"In contrast to FDR and Truman," wrote biographer Stephen Ambrose, "Eisenhower seemed to be no leader at all, but only a chairman of the board or even a figurehead … in a time that demanded dramatic exercise of executive power." Today, though, many Americans remember that as a golden age—largely because of what Eisenhower didn't do.

When David Remnick published his book "The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama," I picked it up in hopes of understanding what makes him tick. But after a few chapters, I no longer cared. At a fundamental level, I realized, Obama is dull enough to put a meth addict into a coma.

I like that in a president.

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  1. Obama has labored to extricate us from the catastrophes of the Bush years while avoiding new ones.

    Citation please.

    1. Chapman don’t need no stinking citations, he’s STEVE FUCKING CHAPMAN

      1. If he were a Balko or even a Stiegerwald, I might accept his good word for it.

    2. He’s talking about Iraq and Afghanistan.

      1. So then it’s patently false?

        1. There’s no comparison to the level of involvement in and the initiation of the two.

          1. True, significantly more combat deaths in Afghanistan under Obama.

          2. You are just one “christfag” away from being shriek.

            Troop levels in Afghanistan are just now coming back down to where they were at the start of Obama’s presidency, which at the time was the highest they had ever been.

            We are beginning a new campaign in Iraq, after having carried out a withdrawal that was orchestrated before Obama took office.

            Not to mention the clusterfuck that is now northwestern Africa.

            1. totally bush’s fault!

              /shriek

    3. He’s talking about the disastrous Bush tax cuts.

    4. Certainly he’s talking about the Patriot Act

      1. No, he’s talking about Rendition and Assassinations.

        1. I know! I know!

          It’s shuttering Gitmo!

    5. So my health care insurance didn’t go up 40% for this year?

    6. I read this article without looking at who wrote it. When I got to this quote I said to myself “Chapman wrote this.”

      In his defense we are not yet in any catastrophe similar to Iraq or Afghanistan, but I wouldn’t credit Obama with that fact. I would credit gridlock.

    7. Obama is a delinquent puppet that drags his feet in the face of the Zionist New World Order that rules many nations from behind the scene. It’s Global hegemony. JFK described it in his speech to the press as a ‘monolithic and ruthless conspiracy’, April 27, 1961.

      America is living a lie. Israel did 9/11.

  2. Today, though, many Americans remember that as a golden age?largely because of what Eisenhower didn’t do.

    And yet you’re still a huge fan of BO.

    1. “If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking… is freedom” – ? Dwight D. Eisenhower

      1. That’s just like Obama!

    2. Obama is the new Dwight Eisenhower. Can you believe this?

      Every time I think Chapman can’t make himself look like more of a stupid dipshit, he comes out with something that moves the bar even lower.

      1. I guess we’re just lucky he’s not trying to compare Obama to Calvin Coolidge or Grover Cleveland.

        1. It all comes into perspective when you learn Israel did 9/11/2001.

          I have to give Obama credit for dragging his feet. Rothschild Zionism forces Jewish people to occupy Palestine, the worst human rights violations in history according to Jimmy Carter, who the Jewish owned media mocks.

          America is subject to this New World Order now and we’ll have boots on the ground if the Zionists so desire. For now we create/build/train/fund/equip/arm ISIS/ISIL to kill other Muslims.

          It appears the establishment prefers chaos to surround it’s occupied territory.

          Beside Palestinian genocide, they like to overturn legitimate governments like Iraq and Libya.

          Syria is next; their only hope is to give up control of their own currency and let a central bank like the Federal Reserve to be jammed up into it’s sovereignty.

          The Zionist New World Order has erected the jackboot of the establishment’s tyranny on the neck of liberty in the U.S.A. with a ‘department of homeland security’ headed up by the dual citizen Chertoff, with both an Israeli and a U.S. passport. This Zionist let all the Israelis we arrested for 9/11/2001 go free, back in the day when he was in charge. Now with Chertoff in charge of the DHS and Netanyahu in charge of our intelligence agencies, you still want to argue the stupid D/R difference in ideology for a solution?

          It’s all a big lie and an illusion of choice.

          America needs a good healthy dose of ‘antisemitism’ to right itself.

  3. Would anyone really be all that surprised if Obama just resigned one day in the next two years?

    As in, “People of America, I have tried to implement policies that would reverse the devastating Bush Administration policies of six years ago, but obstructionist Republicans have forced my hand and I cannot serve you in the manner in which I promised when I was elected. Therefore, I have decided to retire from Public Office so that the American people can get what they voted for.”

    This isn’t outside the realm of possibilities, is it?

    1. Nobody that loves power that much will ever resign.

      1. Oh, come on. Valerie will resign if he does.

    2. YES, it is outside the realm of possibility. I’m not sure he’ll leave the White House in 2017 without federal marshals evicting him.

      1. People said that about Bush too…

  4. Idleness in the Oval Office is not necessarily a vice.

    On this we can actually agree; I yearn for idle political “leaders.” But then, you fuck it all up by lying with:

    In refusing to succumb to the demands for showy action, he is dampening emotions that others exploit for political convenience.

    The emphasis is so you know when to start laughing out loud at the proposition.

  5. that photo is the first I’ve seen of him working.

  6. Obama resembles none of his predecessors more than Dwight Eisenhower.

    fore!

    1. Eisenhower was a lot less obvious when he threw his subordinates under the bus, as well.

      Comparing Obama to Eisenhower is almost laughable.

  7. Longtime adviser David Axelrod told Bloomberg BusinessWeek, “There’s no doubt that there’s a theatrical nature to the presidency that he resists.”

    Good grief, Axelrod. It’s *all* theater.

    1. Good catch.

      There’s no doubt that there’s a theatrical nature to the presidency that he resists.

      Uh, I have doubts.

  8. This is stupider than usual for Chapman. To wit(less):

    wars, mass surveillance, torture, financial panic and the Great Recession. His presidency had more drama than a Taylor Swift medley

    Obama? Oh! Steve meant Bush! Yeah – Obama, too, also, even MORE. Bush terms 3 and 4, dude. Smarten up.

    Obama has labored to extricate us from the catastrophes of the Bush years while avoiding new ones. Most notably, he has exercised an overdue caution in the use of military power

    Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahahahaha! Ohhh, that’s rich!

    Drone much? To say nothing of the BIGGER! LARGER! NEW! IMPROVED! EVEN MORE TERRIFYING! surveillance state. And continued War and Drugs/Liberty/Race Relations….

    Fuck Obama, and fuck you, Chapman.

    1. Chapman is the new Weigel.

  9. Maybe Obama forgot where he left his pen and telephone and will get active again when someone finds them for him.

    1. He probably lost them under one of the newspapers he reads to find out what his Admin is doing.

  10. Chapman can always be depended upon to bring the stupid. If Obama and his administration really were inactive, that would not necessarily be a bad thing. Instead they are anything but. Obama is about taking action in all kinds of areas Congress or the law be damned. You can call him a lot of things, but it takes Chapman to call him “inactive”.

    Obama’s constantly playing golf and going to fund raisers is a big deal for a couple of reasons. First, as I point out of above his doing so is in no way a sign of his administration as a whole taking a passive approach to things. Second, the standard applied to all previous Presidents is that part of the President’s job is to reassure the country that during a crisis the government is actually on top of things. To now suddenly say that it is okay for Obama to give a statement about an American being beheaded by Isis or tell Hillary and Penetta “I don’t know, you guys take care of it” during the Bengazi attack and then take off to play golf or go to a fund raiser is a bit rich and serves to make his compulsive golfing just a big “go fuck yourself America”.

    1. What do you think he should have done about the Benghazi attack and or an American being beheaded that I as a non-interventionist would appreciate?

      1. Not lied and blamed it on a video and threw an innocent guy in jail would have been start. Then of course taking action to try and save the US ambassodor rather than telling the military to stand down and sat around and watched him die would have been something else.

        Taking an interest in why and who murdered a US diplomat in ways other than “how can we cover this up and make sure it doesn’t hurt my re election chances” would have been another.

        In short, maybe he could have done his fucking job for once. But hey, according to you he is competent because he ran an election campaign. So I could understand why you would think what he did was okay. Those of use who live outside your Prog fantasy land view it a little differently, however.

        1. “Then of course taking action to try and save the US ambassodor rather than telling the military to stand down and sat around and watched him die would have been something else.”

          He should have ordered a significant military intervention into a large city in a post-civil war environment? I’m glad he didn’t do such a foolish thing.

          The only real ‘Benghazi scandal’ is why in the world they would have sent such a bungling, arrogantly interventionist mission into the city in the first place.

          1. He should have ordered a significant military intervention into a large city in a post-civil war environment? I’m glad he didn’t do such a foolish thing.

            It is called a rescue mission you fucking half wit. You don’t have to invade, you just send in the military to stop the attack and save the guy.

            Are you really so fucking stupid you think the US should never act to defend its diplomatic personnel from harm?

            You are just a fucking troll. In some ways you are a dumber troll than shreek. Shreek is at least smart enough to not even try and defend some of these things and just tries and dismiss it. You in contrast try and you end up saying things like “how can we intervene in a civil war to save an ambassador” as if doing that one thing is the same thing as going to war.

            1. Are you really so fucking stupid

              Yes. So stupid he fails to realize he shits on threads.

          2. And we do these sorts of things all of the time. They are called NEO operations. It is where you send the military in to extract and protect US diplomats and citizens in places that have fallen apart due to civil war or such.

          3. He should have ordered a significant military intervention into a large city in a post-civil war environment?

            Absolutely that is what you do when a member of your diplomatic corps is under armed assault.

            Followed up, IMO, with a punitive expedition as needed to deter anyone contemplating such an assault in the future.

          4. It rather pains me to agree with Bo, but the real issue is just WTF was going on there in the first place and why was Stevens there (not to mention with all but no security).

            As for the spin so as not to conflict with the campaign talking points – shame on anyone with the two clicking brain cells to see through it. Which means about 60 million fucking voters.

  11. Obama resembles none of his predecessors more than Dwight Eisenhower

    I don’t think I have every read a stupider comment.

    “…problems do exist in health, education, welfare, and other things. They must be solved. But the closer you can bring the action to the local level — that is the best way to do these things.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Sounds just like Obama, doesn’t it?

    1. By local, Chapman assumes “national” is meant. Aka as far from local as possible.

    2. He really topped himself there. Also, he of course gets history wrong. Eisenhower didn’t actually play that much golf. And Eisenhower was absolutely an active and competent administrator. He just was able to do that why projecting an image of calm. We know now Eisenhower was nothing like his critics portrayed him.

      And lastly, Eisenhower was in charge of this thing we like to call the European Theater in World War II. He managed one of the largest armies ever assembled and kept together a very fragile alliance before he was President. Obama in contrast smoked a lot of dope, snorted a little blow, conned his way into some good schools, community organized (whatever that is), and wrote books about himself before becoming President.

      Yeah, Obama is just like Eisenhower.

      1. Yeah, Obama is just like Eisenhower.

        Now you have it. Community organizer is just like a five-star general.

        1. I’m guessing he meant their styles as President. Because Ike wasn’t black, or a secret Muslim, for example.

          1. And Eisenhower might have been the most competent administrator to ever hold the office. The only thing Obama has in common with Eisenhower is that both pee standing up. Obama has proven to be one of the most incompetent executives ever to hold the office.

            And no, running a campaign doesn’t count as part of the fucking job.

            1. The only thing Obama has in common with Eisenhower is that both pee standing up.

              Citation needed.

              1. When Michelle lets him.

                1. I often consider that Obama might be gay and Michelle’s fucking him in the ass with a strap on.

                  1. What’s your definition of often?

          2. I’m guessing he meant their styles as President. Because Ike wasn’t black, or a secret Muslim, for example.

            That is sarc, right? This site is hard to tell sometimes, and I haven’t seen enough of your posting history to know.

        2. Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that Bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.

          it’s scary how alike they sound.

          1. Man, that almost sounds like taking responsibility for one’s actions.

            Must be one of those schizo illusions I’m having of late.

      2. “And lastly, Eisenhower was in charge of this thing we like to call the European Theater in World War II.”

        Exactly. How long would Obama even last in Boot Camp? It’s not even that he could never in a million years be a competent military leader. Skillwise he wouldn’t be fit to lick the boots of an average soldier. He HAS no skills.

    3. Not to mention this line from his farewell address:

      “Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties.”

      Can you imagine Obama making such a conservative statement–the notion that government panaceas are temptations to be avoided, rather than actively pursued and promoted?

  12. Lastly, as wonderful as government inaction usually is, there are sometimes when the government needs to act and the President needs to do his fucking job. One of those times is when there is a pandemic spreading in Africa and threatening to come to the US. Only the President can decide what aid if any to send or who should or should not be let across the border. So it is his job to make those decisions, ensure they are carried out and explain what he is doing and why to the public, even if it encroaches on his golf game.

    1. Lastly, as wonderful as government inaction usually is, there are sometimes when the government needs to act

      I’m still not convinced of that.

      1. Don’t worry, at some point the laws of biology will show you otherwise via an actual pandemic health threat.

        1. John, you make the terrible assumption that government action will effect positive results.

          History has shown us that to be anything but the case.

          1. No. History has shown that things like quarantines and shutting the border and government mandated mass inoculation actually work. Have some governments fucked those things up? Sure. But some haven’t.

            Unless you are an anarchist, you have to admit there is a place for government. And one of those places is no kidding public health and sanitation. If you are anarchist, I don’t know what to tell you other than you are nuts.

            1. Unless you are an anarchist, you have to admit there is a place for government.

              I do agree that there is a place for Government.

              The problem is that Government initiating a quarantine would only work if people were honest or enforced such a quarantine on everyone. The former just isn’t ever going to happen. The latter would be akin to concentration camps. Neither is feasible.

              The Government’s place is to protect individuals from the bad actors in society; those that would infringe another’s liberty or defraud others. I’m not so sure it’s to protect against a disease that nobody is going to get. Even if I granted that premise, there’s obvious potential for abuse. Remember the ruckus about Swine Flu? How many Americans did that kill with government inaction? I know it was pretty fucking close to zero. Imagine if our government had Ebola reaction to -every- single disease that, as scientists proclaimed, “is going to come to MURKA and murder BILLIONS!”

              I just can’t see the benefits outweighing the costs.

              1. The problem is that Government initiating a quarantine would only work if people were honest or enforced such a quarantine on everyone. The former just isn’t ever going to happen. The latter would be akin to concentration camps. Neither is feasible.

                That is just not true and not how quarantines work. You get around the ‘but they will lie problem’ by just not letting anyone whose passport shows they are from or have been to that country in or if they are citizens you let them in and quarantine them until you know they don’t have it.

                If this stuff were lose in Mexico you would have a point. But as yet, it is not. It is only lose in a place we don’t share a land border with and thus are able to control entry very effectively. It is not complex. They just wont’ do it because they care more about Africa than they do about the US.

                1. You get around the ‘but they will lie problem’ by just not letting anyone whose passport shows they are from or have been to that country in or if they are citizens you let them in and quarantine them until you know they don’t have it.

                  I’m sure passport controls in third world countries are totally legit.

                  In what world could you possibly believe that, say, a nurse working with ebola patients, may not pursue a way to do so without the hassle of quarantine upon re-entry?

                  1. I’m sure passport controls in third world countries are totally legit.

                    They probably aren’t but that doesn’t matter since that is not what we are talking about. We are talking about our controls. And the control is you look at the passport and see if it says “LIBERIA” on the front or if it has a stamp from there. It is so easy even a bureaucrat can do it and in fact do it every day.

                    In what world could you possibly believe that, say, a nurse working with ebola patients, may not pursue a way to do so without the hassle of quarantine upon re-entry?

                    Because when she enters the country they will stamp her passport. Also, there are not a whole lot of free lance nurses leaving the US on their own to treat Ebola patients. They go as a part of aid groups and thus we will know when they go and who they are.

                    You are allowing your ideology to lead you to believe stupid shit. I get it that you want to believe that it is never necessary for the government to control anyone’s movement. But life doesn’t give a shit about what we hope is true. Sometimes reality doesn’t conform to our hopes.

                    1. “You are allowing your ideology to lead you to believe stupid shit.”

                      Wow.

                    2. I’m sure passport controls in third world countries are totally legit.

                      They probably aren’t

                      Ok, so we agree that perhaps third world passport controls might somehow not stamp a passport. Whether it’s through bribery, coercion, whatever; the how is irrelevant but the result is relevant. How do you reconcile that with:

                      Because when she enters the country they will stamp her passport.

                      This is an honest question. I see the situation similar to gun control; as in, it only works on the people that aren’t likely to break the law anyhow.

                      I have more, but will separate posts for clarity of contention.

                    3. Because not all controls fail. Countries really do stamp your passport. Even ones like Liberia. If they didn’t, no one would let their travelers get on airplanes to leave there. I deal with these sorts of issues as part of my job. And as cynical as I am about government, I can say with complete confidence you don’t fly in and out of any country or legally cross any land border without getting your passport stamped you just don’t. If that doesn’t fit your narrative, too fucking bad. That is really how it is.

                      You have no reason to believe it is not so and are just pulling the point out of your ass because you are desperate to believe your ideology trumps reality here. I however, know for a fact that is not how it works. it just doesn’t.

                    4. or legally cross

                      Right. As I said, there are many reasons to pursue an illegal avenue, especially with a mandated quarantine upon re-entry.

                    5. Anon,

                      Who is illegally crossing the border to get into an Ebola outbreak?

                      Think about what you are saying here. And moreover, the big danger is from health professionals. And none of them are sneaking into these countries.

                      You are grasping at straws.

                    6. Who is illegally crossing the border to get into an Ebola outbreak?

                      What I’m saying is that by mandating a quarantine upon re-entry, you’re altering the circumstances which an individual may take action upon.

                      I, for one, may travel to Liberia for something completely unrelated, and may not want to suffer the burden upon re-entry. If I knew there were a mandatory quarantine upon re-entry, I may take action to avoid that burden in my life.

                      You’re making the mistake of assuming that shit will just keep happening the way it’s always happened by making one minor change to the law of the land. People react to change, and often in unpredictable ways.

                    7. I, for one, may travel to Liberia for something completely unrelated, and may not want to suffer the burden upon re-entry.

                      So what? There is a pandemic on. Delay your trip until it is over. Your desire to go to Liberia shouldn’t mean the country at large has to risk an Ebola outbreak.

                    8. So what? There is a pandemic on. Delay your trip until it is over. Your desire to go to Liberia shouldn’t mean the country at large has to risk an Ebola outbreak.

                      As simple as your solution may sound to you, I might find it far more inconvenient to re-schedule a long planned trip than to pay some dude $100 USD to not stamp my passport.

                      In fact, were those the circumstances, that’s 100% guaranteed exactly what I’d do.

                    9. Think about what you are saying here. And moreover, the big danger is from health professionals. And none of them are sneaking into these countries.

                      Right. Not currently.

                      Ok, lets try something different. If you know that guns are going to be banned tomorrow, and you don’t have any guns, what might change in your life -today?-

                    10. You are allowing your ideology to lead you to believe stupid shit. I get it that you want to believe that it is never necessary for the government to control anyone’s movement. But life doesn’t give a shit about what we hope is true. Sometimes reality doesn’t conform to our hopes.

                      It’s possible that I have some kind of confirmation bias based upon the government fucking up everything it’s had its hand in for the past 20 years, I’ll grant you that. However, I can find zero evidence of any quarantine actually having the intended results outside the scale of a hospital. I’ve given myself the burden of proof and tried to find it; I’m either unable to provide it or it doesn’t exist. I don’t know which one, and freely admit that, but it’s ultimately a red herring, because even if quarantines do work they do not guarantee any security for the price you pay with your liberty, they merely alter the odds to about that of getting struck by lightning 3x in your life to 4x in your life.

                    11. owever, I can find zero evidence of any quarantine actually having the intended results outside the scale of a hospital.

                      African countries like Nigeria who share land borders with the infected areas seem to have done pretty well being careful about who comes across their borders. And quarantines have been effective at controlling disease for hundreds of years. It is not like we live in the middle ages and don’t understand how we get diseases. Why on earth other than your confirmation bias would you be so loath to believe that keeping people 3exposed to a contagious disease from having contact with other people would not be a good way to stop the spread of that disease?

                      Over and over again you guys reach for any sort of plausible justification to deny common sense here. I say “hey just don’t let anyone in the country whose passport says they have been to these places” and you immediately say “but these countries won’t stamp those passports” with no evidence to believe that is true or any reason to think that other than it must be true because it is necessary to support your ideology.

                    12. I say “hey just don’t let anyone in the country whose passport says they have been to these places” and you immediately say “but these countries won’t stamp those passports”

                      You’re misrepresenting my argument. My argument is that, very much like gun control, the people that really don’t want to be quarantined aren’t going to be quarantined anyways, and the people that won’t be quarantined are just going to be subject to additional burden.

                      “Ok sir, prove you’ve never been to Sierra Leone or get locked up for 21 days. That’s what I thought, off to the camp with you.”

                    13. You’re misrepresenting my argument. My argument is that, very much like gun control, the people that really don’t want to be quarantined aren’t going to be quarantined anyways, and the people that won’t be quarantined are just going to be subject to additional burden.

                      First, you don’t let anyone in who has been to those countries. So they won’t be quarantined because they won’t get on the plane. Second, the only people who would be quarantined are American citizens whom you can’t deny entry to. And those people will be quarantined. Is is possible that someone is so dead set on going to Liberia and not being quarantined, they would fly to a neighboring country and then sneak across the border and then back so their passport isn’t stamped? Sure. But that is a pretty small group of people. And even if they do manage to do that so what? That doesn’t undo the good of stopping the natives from coming in. Moreover, if we do nothing those people would go an come back anyway. So how are we any worse off even with regard to that small number of people? Meanwhile, we are stopping lots of other people and greatly reducing our chances of an outbreak. It is not an all or nothing thing. The fewer infected people who come here the better off we are.

                      Again, you are just forcing yourself to believe anything so you don’t have to admit your ideology might not apply here.

                    14. First, you don’t let anyone in who has been to those countries. So they won’t be quarantined because they won’t get on the plane.

                      With so much evidence to the contrary you continue to push this bullshit that somehow when it comes to travelling laws work. Even with the current situation on our OWN FUCKING BORDER WITH MEXICO.

                      I think you’re wrong on this, John, and I think you’re deluding yourself if you believe that laws to restrict travel somehow magically work yet laws to restrict guns don’t.

                    15. Even with the current situation on our OWN FUCKING BORDER WITH MEXICO.

                      This is not Mexico you idiot. If it were, your arguments would make sense. This is West Africa. Unless they can swim, they have to come here via plane or ship and to get on a plane or ship, you have to have your passport checked. No body sneaks across the border on a commercial flight.

                      Come on. You are smarter than this. You honestly can’t see the difference between controlling entry from a place separated from us by the Atlantic Ocean and controlling entry from a country we share a thousand mile land border with?

                      Just stop it already.

                    16. This is not Mexico you idiot. If it were, your arguments would make sense. This is West Africa. Unless they can swim, they have to come here via plane or ship and to get on a plane or ship, you have to have your passport checked. No body sneaks across the border on a commercial flight.

                      Why would you possibly assume that to be the case?

                      How can you declare with such certainty that nobody might want to (as AQ or whatever their name is today) just fly to Mexico or Canada first, then take a bus/hitchhike/walk across a completely open border with effectively zero controls?

                    17. Also, if our own border with Mexico is so easy to navigate, I can only imagine fucking Africa basically has no borders.

                    18. Also, take for example that nurse who was just yesterday quarantined by law. Then was out riding her bike this morning.

                      I now give you the burden of proof that quarantines work, because all evidence points to the contrary; I’d say they mean exactly jack shit.

                    19. Why would you possibly assume that to be the case?
                      \
                      Because it is true. People sneak into the country from places like Liberia by getting tourists and student visas and just never leaving. They don’t sneak on the plane without a VISA. That is not how it works. Go take an international flight or try and get on one without a passport sometime if you don’t believe. Have you ever been to an airport with international flights?

                      You are just telling yourself fantasies because you can’t accept the truth. What the hell is the matter with you? You are actually arguing we shouldn’t restrict travel because Africans will just lie and sneak on planes and Americans who want to go there will just fly to other countries and sneak across the land border so they can hide it. And according to you because of that we should be giving tourist VISAs to anyone from these areas who asks for one.

                      It is just mind boggling.

                    20. Yes, you’re right. I’m saying that it doesn’t matter if we restrict travel because the only people it’s going to affect are those that are abiding the law anyways, when in reality it’s those that aren’t willing to abide the law that are the risk.

          2. “you make the terrible assumption that government action will effect positive results. History has shown us that to be anything but the case.”

            Ask those people in Haiti who caught cholera thanks to the UN’s relief efforts.

            1. Yes because the UN, which is not a government, fucked things up all government action everywhere will forever be worthless.

              Something tells me you had a lot more faith in the potential of government action in the aftermath of Katrina. I bet you were not chalking up the government failures there to “well of course it failed, all government action does”.

              1. “well of course it failed, all government action does”.

                I’m pretty sure I posted a response on this very site that was pretty similar to that.

                Not that it matters. I don’t believe government action always fails, I just believe that often its success may come at a price I’m not willing to pay.

              2. Actually, I thought the inept government response in Katrina, at every level, compared to the much better private responses, demonstrated something general.

    2. One of those times is when there is a pandemic spreading in Africa and threatening to come to the US.

      Nuke it from orbit.

    3. Only the President can decide what aid if any to send or who should or should not be let across the border. So it is his job to make those decisions

      Disagree – this is Congress’ responsibility. They appropriate funds and the Senate ratifies treaties, etc. The Pres can PROPOSE, but Congress should be acting (if we want action, and I’m not stipulating I want action…I don’t).

      1. No it is not. The immigration and naturalization act gives the President the power to bar entire classes of people entry into the US due to a health emergency like this. And the President is the commander and chief. It is up to him to decide if sending troops there is a good idea or not. Since it is not a war and the troops are already funded, it is his decision and he doesn’t have to ask Congress.

        Also, the foreign aid budgets are already set. And the President as Chief Executive has to decide how or if to spend that money or to go to Congress to get more. We have a chief executive for just this sort of situation and Chapman is a just as big of a moron as I thought he was for thinking that it is okay for Obama to fuck off and play golf rather than doing his job.

    4. I agree that Obama’s inaction has nothing to do with any principle – just laziness and incompetence.

      Comparing him to a supremely competent leader like Eisenhower is preposterous.

  13. There is a difference between inaction due to a conscious decision not to make matters worse and inaction due to being an incompetent fuckhead. (I lead toward Obama is a fuckhead, in case you’re wondering.)

    1. I think the most likely is that they’re actually waiting for opinion pols to return on what they should do.

    2. Or inaction due to just not giving a fuck.

    3. Or inaction due to wanting to play both sides of many fences.

  14. Is someone trying to justify his 2008/2012 vote, or something?

  15. He is insisting on rational responses to a danger that preys on primal fears.

    WHAT A LOAD OF HORSESHIT

    1. Obviously, I have no primal fears.

    2. Ebola just isn’t that dangerous! The gobmint tole us so!

    3. He is insisting on rational responses to a danger that preys on primal fears.

      AND he is open to any good ideas, from members of either Party.

      1. As long as they’re Dem ideas.

  16. My inner Conspiracy Theorist thinks that Pres. Obama gave up trying when he realized that he really has almost no control, anyway. TPTB are telling him what to do, and how to respond to various events, and he doesn’t really have a say in things.

  17. I’ve been loving the MATT DAMON getting pissed off at Obama videos

  18. One of the Reason editors once joked that they don’t ban shrike “because every barrel needs to have a bottom.”

    I believe this is also the explanation for Chapman.

    1. I would dispute that….but I have absolutely no basis to do so (maybe other than say “Tony” rather than shriek).

    2. So when White Indian left our barrel bled out? Or just got smaller?

  19. Well this is bullshit. Did Obama not appoint an Ebola Czar? Let me check… OH yes, CNN:

    Washington (CNN) — President Barack Obama will appoint Ron Klain his “Ebola czar,” knowledgeable sources tell CNN.
    The president on Thursday signaled his openness to the idea to have one individual coordinating the entire federal response to any threat of an outbreak in the United States.

    So, he creates a new office and position to ‘coordinate the federal response to an outbreak'”.

    Why, because TWO Ebola Czars weren’t enough? The problem with Obama, is he has no intellectual capacity to suss out what the government is already programmed to do. The fact that Obama and the feds already “had an app for that” didn’t matter. Let’s create a NEW app for that!

    1. And the federal government already has an entire system for emergency management that is for the specific purpose of doing just that. It is almost as if he just does meaningless shit for PR purposes or something.

  20. WTF Reason, seriously. What. The. Fuck.

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