Obama channeling P.T. Barnum

Jim Yardley
Many critics feel that the Obama administration is trying to recreate the Progressive policies of Woodrow Wilson, or Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I can see how they might jump to that conclusion, but I feel I have to disagree.

Mr. Obama is channeling a person from our history, but not a Progressive president. At least I'm pretty sure that P.T. Barnum never held the office.

The Obama White House seems to echo Mr. Barnum's deeply held, and widely quoted, belief that "there's a sucker born every minute." And the American public is their choice of sucker to con.

Take the situation with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called Christmas Bomber. The administration now claims that even though he was read his Miranda rights, was provided with an attorney and immediately thereafter refused to answer any questions, is now providing "useful" intelligence data to FBI interrogators.

Yeah, right, sure he is, Scooter!

Fortunately for the administration, this claim is irrefutable, since no one can ask "Oh, really? Like what intelligence, for instance?" Nope, they can't tell you - it's secret you know.

So we are asked to take it on faith that a young man, dedicated enough to a cause and ideology to kill himself and 300 other people has decided to roll over on his former friends.

We are to take on faith that the FBI is the proper agency to seek "actionable intelligence" when their jurisdiction ends at the water's edge, and their core institutional goal is convicting criminals not preventing a recurrence of the event.

Of course, it must be remembered that this is the same source of information that assures us that their policies have "created or saved", let me see, was it 600 thousand, or was it 6 million, jobs.

This is the same source that assured us that lobbyists would never be hired in policy making roles.

That assured us that we could keep our doctor and our preferred health insurance, unless, of course, someone "snuck something into the bill."

Assured us repeatedly that we could "spend" our way out of a recession.

Promised us that international creditors (read China), would never try to influence our policies. We are giving their spies inside our borders a pass because, well, they're just showing high-spirits like teenagers so why be too tough on them?

That being said, I have to ask myself, and you, is there any reason to offer the slightest credibility to the idea that Abdulmutallab is talking about anything other than the best restaurants in Yemen?


Many critics feel that the Obama administration is trying to recreate the Progressive policies of Woodrow Wilson, or Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I can see how they might jump to that conclusion, but I feel I have to disagree.

Mr. Obama is channeling a person from our history, but not a Progressive president. At least I'm pretty sure that P.T. Barnum never held the office.

The Obama White House seems to echo Mr. Barnum's deeply held, and widely quoted, belief that "there's a sucker born every minute." And the American public is their choice of sucker to con.

Take the situation with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called Christmas Bomber. The administration now claims that even though he was read his Miranda rights, was provided with an attorney and immediately thereafter refused to answer any questions, is now providing "useful" intelligence data to FBI interrogators.

Yeah, right, sure he is, Scooter!

Fortunately for the administration, this claim is irrefutable, since no one can ask "Oh, really? Like what intelligence, for instance?" Nope, they can't tell you - it's secret you know.

So we are asked to take it on faith that a young man, dedicated enough to a cause and ideology to kill himself and 300 other people has decided to roll over on his former friends.

We are to take on faith that the FBI is the proper agency to seek "actionable intelligence" when their jurisdiction ends at the water's edge, and their core institutional goal is convicting criminals not preventing a recurrence of the event.

Of course, it must be remembered that this is the same source of information that assures us that their policies have "created or saved", let me see, was it 600 thousand, or was it 6 million, jobs.

This is the same source that assured us that lobbyists would never be hired in policy making roles.

That assured us that we could keep our doctor and our preferred health insurance, unless, of course, someone "snuck something into the bill."

Assured us repeatedly that we could "spend" our way out of a recession.

Promised us that international creditors (read China), would never try to influence our policies. We are giving their spies inside our borders a pass because, well, they're just showing high-spirits like teenagers so why be too tough on them?

That being said, I have to ask myself, and you, is there any reason to offer the slightest credibility to the idea that Abdulmutallab is talking about anything other than the best restaurants in Yemen?