Timing is everything. Whether you are baking a cake, playing baseball, or telling a joke, precise timing matters and is arguably the most important variable that, without it, all else will fail. Lest we forget though, everything IS relative. What you are baking is as important as the time it takes to bake. If you hope to advance the runner, pitch counts and runners on base determine how to approach an at-bat. And a common and shared experience is crucial if a joke is to be well-received and you want your audience to laugh. The same holds true in politics. Just as the timing and context of post 9/11 America are critical to any discussion regarding the use of ‘harsh interrogations,’ they are equally important in the President’s decision to release the so-called “torture memos.”
The first 100 days of Obama’s Presidency are upon us and as curious of a benchmark for a president’s performance it is, it is no less interesting that the national discussion is, to some degree, off the president himself. Because of his egregious flopping on the issue, he’s certainly—and deservedly—drawing criticism from both sides of the aisle by those who wonder why? Why release the memos when he’s repeatedly stated that he would rather turn his attention to the future than investigate the alleged crimes of the past? And once they’ve been released, why not defuse the issue immediately rather than fuel the debate and further obscure his intent by passing the buck over to AG Holder? And why draw attention to a matter that was all but forgotten except to those on the extreme left who can’t seem to shake their nagging case of Bush Derangement Syndrome.
It’s become apparent that Obama believes that history, defined by that which occurred before his presidency, should have little impact on the issues of today. Whether it’s ties to domestic terrorists or actions of US Presidents that occurred in his infancy, President Obama continues to employ the excuse that although he’s the international face of our country, he can not be held accountable for anything in which he was not personally involved. It must be easy then, for him to ignore the feeling of helplessness most Americans felt after 9/11, an event that took place before he had the chance to slow the rise of oceans and heal our planet. It’s painfully obvious that Obama wants to remove the context of history from his Presidency, particularly the context which most Americans accept as one of American Exceptionalism. Judging by his actions and his contrition to the international community, it shouldn’t be a surprise that President Obama does not share that ideal.
The campaign showed that Obama possess a mastery of nuance and knows the importance of staying on message, even if a complicit media wasn’t willing to veer him off track. But since the election and the Pandora’s Box of Obama’s liberal agenda was opened, a growing number of people—in spite of the media—have begun to realize that his past associations may, in fact, matter. As people begin to realize that his apology tour is perhaps reflective of his own antipathy for America’s history, Obama’s sparkle has started to dull. Even the media was, if not offensively, reluctantly forced to report on the half million Americans who are outraged with the president’s agenda. All of which makes the timing of the release of these memos so curious.
People on both sides of the aisle agree that the release of these memos represents a no-win situation for the president. So why relent and risk the criticism if only those to the extreme left were pushing for their release. And then, as I was watching Sean Hannity interview Vice President Cheney, it occurred to me. In politics, timing is everything and nothing is relative.
Every news channel and radio show is making this their primary president-related story. Indeed, the discussion is warranted but the longer we talk about this, the more we ignore every other item the President has on his plate; each of which would be big enough to wag any President’s dog. Instead, it seems that Vice President Cheney has been in the public eye more than the 8 years he spent in undisclosed locations and the Bush supporters are out in force reminding the world how they kept the country safe and Obama is making us weaker.
All of this, of course, is a boon to the liberal media who can finally pursue their primary objective without appearing biased or irrelevant. It was getting hard to report the news when most of it would require a subjective look into the president’s agenda. The longer this story is relevant, the longer SorOlberMaddOfalo will have a target for their venom. And, by shoving the responsibility to AG Holder, the President has managed to somewhat remove himself from future debate.
The President now has a vehicle with which to remind America that he’s not President Bush. With his popularity slipping and each day more people voicing their concern with the direction in which this country appears to be headed, the debate over the release of these memos has shifted the national attention. Americans are being inundated with daily reminders of the reasons why a majority voted for President Obama in November; not on the agenda he’s currently pursuing but rather as the anti-Bush. For Obama, nothing is relative and timing is everything.