Growing up in New York City it was inevitable that I was exposed to hearing a variety of Yiddish words and phrases. Some of those stuck with me and while I seldom have an opportunity to use them there are certain situations when they very succinctly describe a person or situation. One of those gems is the word “nebbish.”
Nebbish – A pitifully weak, ineffectual person.
Several commentators have described the relationship between Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama as a game in which the former is playing chess and the latter playing marbles. That description might understate Putin’s gamesmanship and abilities and Obama’s inadequacies.
Putin is not a nice guy. He is cruel, ruthless and determined. He also has a game plan and is not afraid to implement it. The recent events in Crimea illustrate his ability to take advantage of his assets having analyzed his opponent’s weaknesses. He has had five years to observe Obama and has a clear vision that he is a far more skilled tactician than the current president of the United States.
By all accounts, Obama comes across to those who know him as a nice guy. Sadly, while we need more nice people in the world we don’t need them at the helm of the country. We need someone who is determined, has a plan of action and most of all is forceful and consistent. It would be difficult even for the supporters of President Obama to argue that he has those qualities or, if he does, employs them.
If I didn’t have a higher opinion of Obama I could concoct a conspiracy theory that would suggest that the United States’ loss of faith and standing in the world community is not a matter of mere incompetence but the result of willful design. Starting with virtually his first act as president, Obama went on an “Apology Tour,” lamenting all the “misdeeds” this nation has committed. His wife joined the chorus saying that as a result of his election, “This is the first time that I am not ashamed to be an American.”
The theory might pursue one line of thinking that suggests that the president is merely an incompetent bumbler. Whether it is the question of his failure to address the lack of economic recovery while he gave away billions, dallying in the world of green “science”; the fact that more Americans than at any time in our history are now receiving government assistance to keep them out of abject poverty; the unsustainable increases in our national debt; the strains he has placed on the relations with our closest global allies; and, of course, the multitude of changes that he has made to his disastrous signature law, Obamacare which the majority of Americans oppose, all of these suggest that while the president may, “To the best of his ability” be upholding the Constitution of the United States, that ability seems to be short of what is necessary to effectuate positive results.
Or to return to the theory, one could ask, “Could any person who is as bright as the president is reputed to be so consistently concoct plans that result in abysmal failure? How is it possible to be so wrong on virtually every subject and issue?”
For someone who is as shrewd as Vladimir Putin or the mullahs in the Middle East, being on center stage of the world’s theater provides ample opportunity to analyze, dissect and defeat such a person and the nation which he heads.. And it is hard to believe that someone as canny as the Russian president will not take full opportunity of the chance for aggrandizement that has been so callously handed to him by the voters in this country.
Perhaps when history is written, we will look back at this time and realize that the most lethal WMD’s were neither controlled by the fanatic government in North Korea or by Assad and his chemical weapons in Syria. Lethal weapons are, after all, only lethal if we allow them to be deployed. The mere threat of a strong military response directed by a strong leader can be persuasive in convincing an irrational foe that using his armaments would be a tragic mistake. But today there is no George Washington in the White House and it may turn out that the greatest danger to world peace happens to be its current resident.