‘The Last Thing President Obama is Going to Do is Take Some Sort of Personal Action that Indicates a Real Show of Solidarity with Cartoonists Who Offend Muslims’Posted: January 13, 2015
Why didn’t President Obama go to Paris?
Jim Geraghty writes:
…The simplest explanation…is that President Barack Obama doesn’t want to put his personal stature and credibility on the line to support something like Charlie Hebdo. Since those awful attacks, we’ve witnessed a lot of allegedly intellectual leftists offer versions of “the attacks were terrible, but —” and then explaining why Hebdo was offensive, hate speech, and unnecessary provocation, foolish, etc., and imply that the magazine isn’t really worth defending and that the world would be a better place if these immature, impudent cartoonists would stop making fun of one of the world’s great religions.
[Also see Mollie Hemingway’s 4 Reasons We Shouldn’t Be Surprised Obama Snubbed Paris at The Federalist]
There’s very little evidence to suggest that Obama disagrees with this progressive intellectual reaction, that while satire of Islam is theoretically legal, the consequences of enraging Muslims is too much trouble and risk to be worthwhile.
“Obama’s absence from Paris smashes America’s reputation as the world’s physical and philosophical anchor for freedom.”
— Tom Rogan
We saw this in the response to Hebdo before, and the infamous YouTube video that the administration cited as a scapegoat for the Benghazi attacks. To a lot of progressives, while depicting Muhammad or mocking Islam shouldn’t be banned,
it should be discouraged, and a presidential appearance at that rally and march would be too close to an official endorsement of the magazine and its contents…
Obama would never support going into a magazine and shooting people. But he’s a famously thin-skinned public figure who thinks he has a particularly powerful connection and understanding of the Muslim world because he spent some childhood years in Indonesia. He is so mono-focused on “de-escalating” tensions with the Muslim world that he thinks about how he would advise ISIS…(read more)
Obama’s Paris Snub Wasn’t an Oversight
Byron York dismisses the White House’s falsehoods and explores the intentional decision to be absent:
The White House reaction to the attacks in France, going back to the first reports of shots fired at Charlie Hebdo, has been noticeably subdued. Obama had scheduled last week as a time to roll out some upcoming State of the Union proposals in trips to Michigan, Arizona and Tennessee.
When world events intruded, the president stubbornly stuck to his schedule, mentioning France only briefly before introducing his plan for free tuition at community colleges.
Then came the unity march. No, it was not essential that Obama himself attend. But there’s no doubt he should have sent Vice President Joe Biden — why is there a VP, if not to go to big foreign events? — or at least Secretary of State John Kerry.
Even as the march wound its way through Paris, the White House sent out yet another sign of its unseriousness. Read the rest of this entry »