Disavowing ‘Victory’ is Just the Beginning

The morning after Barack Obama’s disappointing but certainly not wholly unexpected electoral win over John McCain, I got to thinking about what we needed to see out of Americans from that day forward. Despite the loss the night before, I felt we needed to remember that time and time again we have proven to be a center-right nation, and that in order to survive the Obama presidency and thrive in its aftermath, we needed to “return to the message that captivates those of us who work hard, who fear God, who believe in the fundamental, unequivocal, unconditional greatness of the United States of America.”

I don’t think, at the time, I realized just how much of a role the notion of American exceptionalism–and, most conspicuously, a lack of appreciation of it from certain segments of our ruling class–would play over the course of the next year-and-a-half.  To me, the notion of American exceptionalism was a given; right or left, Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, I just could not fathom that anybody truly wanted to see our nation knocked down a peg or two.

And it’s not as though I wasn’t familiar with Barack Obama, who he was, and the type of people he counted as friends, looked up to as mentors, and elevated as idols.  It’s not as though I failed to understand that there were Americans who fundamentally disliked America.  I had simply never watched one of them in action before.

Since then, however, from his overseas apology tour to his intentionally unsustainable fiscal policy to his interference in Wall Street to his acquiescence to the Russians to his penchant for bowing submissively to anyone with a flag-adorned Mercedes, our president has proven that his America was little more than a schoolyard bully in desperate need of a comeuppance.

In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, the brilliant Karl Rove pointed out that during last week’s joint press conference featuring President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron, in discussing Afghanistan War policy, neither leader seemed willing to accept victory as even the most remote of possibilities.  From the piece:

The president and prime minister declared their solidarity on the Afghanistan war. Both leaders “reaffirmed our commitment to the overall strategy,” in Mr. Cameron’s words. Mr. Obama said that approach aimed to “build Afghan capacity so Afghans can take responsibility for their future,” a point Mr. Cameron called “a key part” of the coalition’s strategy.

All well and good. But neither leader uttered the word “victory” or “win” or any other similar phrase. They made it sound as if the strategic goal was to stand up the Afghan security forces, leave as soon as that was done, and hope the locals were up to keeping things together.

Neither man called for the defeat of the Taliban or declared its return to power unacceptable. Instead, Mr. Obama offered a lesser goal, namely to “break the Taliban’s momentum.” That is hardly a strategy that will galvanize people—as the King James Bible expressed it, “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?”

Later on in the piece, despite acknowledging that Obama has “acted impressively” by reinstalling Gen. David Petraeus and changing strategy and increasing troop levels as necessary, Rove rightfully questioned the president’s resolve.  “But is Mr. Obama’s heart in this fight?” he asked.  “The commander in chief has said stunningly little about the war.  He rarely explains to the American people what is happening or asks for their support.”

On television, Rove has acknowledged that the Afghan war puts the president in a tough spot, politically.  In the Journal piece, he even noted that Obama must “deal with” a growing number of restless anti-war Democrats and demonstrate, unequivocally, that when it comes to the war, “he’s all in.”  What Rove does not seem to get–or, more likely, does not seem to wish to confront–is that the president’s overt reticence is not rooted in politics — it’s rooted in ideology.

To Barack Obama, the notion of American exceptionalism is laughable.  It’s something to be overcome, not something to be lauded. And it’s certainly not something to be perpetuated.  And what better way to strike at the heart of the notion than to consciously remove “victory” from the American lexicon?

Well, darn, maybe President Obama can explain it better than I can.  Here:

Uncomfortable with victory.  American victory.  Personally, I don’t really care whether we fight ourselves fighting against nation-states or loose bands of foreign terrorists or anything in between — in war, you either win or you lose, and with the lives of brave American men and women at stake each and every day, anything but victory really does not strike me as an option.  And, if this president or the last president or any other president is willing to put those American lives at stake with the intent of achieving anything less, (a) we shouldn’t be getting involved at all, and (b) I don’t want that president as my president.

Furthermore, when it comes to the perpetuation of American exceptionalism through acknowledgment of our military prowess, last week’s press conference with the British PM was not the first time President Obama has gone out of his way to avoid talk of triumph.  Back in December, if you recall, Obama delivered a major speech to an audience of cadets at West Point after taking more than 80 days to acknowledge Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s request for more troops and a new strategy; there, he also failed to use the word “victory” even once.

(If you don’t remember that speech, it was that night that MSNBC’s Chris Matthews described West Point as the “enemy camp.”  Here at AR, after showing the video, I asked Chris: “If the cadets at West Point are the enemy, Chris, what does that make the Taliban?”)

So, while Karl Rove was right in questioning whether President Obama’s heart was “in it” when it comes to the war in Afghanistan and right to point out that, “in it” or not, Obama needs to convince people of his commitment, I think Mr. Rove missed the big picture.  Barack Obama’s heart is most definitely not in the war in Afghanistan, regardless of good decisions made, because his heart is not in the idea of America as victor.

To Barack Obama, America the Victor is America the Oppressor.  America the Victor and her speculators have brought economic ruin upon a spendthrift world.  America the Victor has brought radical Islamic terrorism upon itself.  America the Victor is the root cause of all the inequities of the world.  And America the Victor needs to be knocked down a peg or two.

Back on that Wednesday morning in November, as dawn broke on a changed world, despite all the evidence to the contrary I still didn’t want to believe that there were folks who honestly looked at the United States of America that way.  I was not wholly divorced from reality; I simply had never seen it for myself before.  Now, however, when I look at those currently in power, it’s all I see.



  1. whats_up says:

    Sorry Jeff, I disagree with you on this one. Just because a group of people suscribe to a different political view than you doesnt make them value America less.

  2. HonestAmerican says:
  3. T.I.M. says:

    Clearly, Mr. Obama does believe in all-out war, and victory at any cost. Unfortunately, the enemy he has chosen to attack are those who don’t believe in his policies. In his “politics of personal destruction”, those who see red are making him blue.

  4. Jeff Schreiber says:

    Why “fundamentally transform” something you like so much? That same something you’ve derided for years?

    Hillary Clinton subscribes to a different point of view than I do. Yet I don’t see in her what I see in Barack Obama. Not at all.

  5. whats_up says:

    I would agree with Obama that their are parts of America that need to be fundamentally changed. The power of big bussiness to control our government must stop, it must stop if we are to survive as a country. We have been fighting big business and its control over government since Teddy Roosevelt, who broke up those big businesses. Now he would be called a socialist.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I have had to see a gastroenterologist. Every time I see the word ‘change’, I throw up.

  7. Boston Blackie says:

    “The power of big bussiness to control our government must stop”
    You’re kidding yourself if you think this admin is your savior from the big, bad wolf that you call capitalism. Check Obeyme’s corporate contributions over the years, he is always in the top 5 when it comes to money to his campaigns from big businesses. Actions speak louder than words.
    “I just could not fathom that anybody truly wanted to see our nation knocked down a peg or two.”
    Jeff, You are just slightly too young to remember his mentors, their only goal was to knock down this great country a notch or two. Living in Boston, we’ve had to deal with Harvard, M.I.T., Radcliffe as well as too numerous colleges and universities to name. These radicals finally figured out that they must shower, shave and put on a suit to hoodwink the general public, most who have an attention span of a six year old. Then they found a tall, dark, handsome man who can read from a teleprompter as their frontman. Always sell their plans in general terms with few details to make everyone feel good. Unfortunately, few actually took the time to do their homework to find out about this man with no voting record to hold against him. Then of course the golden ticket was race which trumps gender, that way Hillary is out of the picture.
    “To Barack Obama, America the Victor is America the Oppressor.”
    This is what happens when you have no national pride because your impressional years were spend overseas. First his radical grandparents and mother, then his time in Indonesia, then university professors all telling him how bad this imperalist oppressor of a country is, why would he be any other way.

  8. Les E. P. says:

    The only traitor worse than BHO in my 85 year history was Tokyo Rose who smothered us with lies and hate all during WW II. He is only playing the game to advance his own agenda and destroy the entire economy and FREEDOM of the citizens of the USA This manis not now nor has he ever proben that he is a US citizen. Why isn’t he being deported to Kenya where he was born?

  9. Boston Blackie says:

    Just an observation but….
    Have you ever seen a picture of Obeyme’s desk in the Oval Office? It is so clean, you can eat off it. Nothing but the phone on it, no paperwork, not even a stapler. Until recently no personal effects but someone behind the curtain must have noticed because now there are a few photos on the windowsill behind his desk. Check photos of ANY previous president and you will see folders, papers, even coffee cups strewn about. Another reason I am leery of him.

  10. Gail B. says:

    Jeff said, “I was not wholly divorced from reality; I simply had never seen it for myself before. Now, however, when I look at those currently in power, it’s all I see.”

    Not only is it all I see, it’s all I worry about.

    One cannot expect a Socialist Democrat to strengthen America, to restore her greatness, when his object is to tear her down and overtake the government.

    If we can just make it through the next 95 days without martial law being declared, we can take out the trash on November 2.

    The Leftists are trying their best to get the conservatives and TEA Party people angry enough to riot somewhere so that martial law can be declared. In that case, Congress goes home for six months, and there are no elections.

    Personally, I am just weary of false-witness name calling by the Leftists. They are two-faced and untruthful. They look for ways to incite anger. It didn’t used to be this way before The One usurped the White House.

    I’ll sleep better now that Jeff is back! That is not to take away from the wonderful job that John Feeny and Robert Wallace (and others) have done in your absence, though.

  11. Gail B. says:

    THREE heavy pieces by Jeff in TWO days! He’s loaded for bear, y’all!

  12. Kevin says:

    Dear whats_up.

    “The power of big bussiness to control our government must stop”
    So you believe government should control big business? That sounds even more dangerous to me.

  13. Jeff Schreiber says:

    Loaded for bear? Calm down, Gail. Pace yourself.

    I need to.

    I have a travelogue from Jesse Civello and a piece by Ron Glenn in the hopper, ready to get edited and go. And, for some reason, I feel compelled to write something entitled “Why Snooki Matters.” I’m still too gosh-darned lazy for my own good–I’m going to the beach tomorrow, and leaving the computer behind–but I’ll get going again soon enough.

  14. Randy Wills says:

    Excellent article, Jeff. I have read it multiple times and agree with your perspective completely (no surprise, I’m sure, to anyone who follows), but the question remains, How do we get the attention and “buy-in” of those who neither comprehend or care about the inevitable outcome (or shall we say “logical conclusion”) of the path that the Obama administration is taking the country down? Most of those who oppose our perspective have either little or no knowledge of history or experience in creating and managing successful businesses. Consequently, it seems as though we are “preaching to the choir” most of the time.

    The opposition has been brain-washed and “dumbed down” by revisionist history and ideological generalities that ignore the realities of both the secular (economic) and spiritual (human nature) forces at work in the affairs of both individuals and countries.

    Take for instance the commentor who contends that it would benefit government (i.e. public policy) to break up “big business”. Would he prefer “big” government controlled by “big” unions, resulting in “big” unemployment and a welfare state? If he knew anything about creating or running a business – of any size – he would know that that is what successful businesses do; they become big so that they can compete in a world economy and hence employ millions of Americans. For them to not try to influence government policies which affect their operations would be utter stupidity, but it is also incumbent on our politicians to act with integrity in the public interest rather than succumb to quid pro quo entreaties by industry (or union or trial lawyers, or any special-interest group) lobbyists. I certainly fear big government more than “big business”.

    As a matter of fact, our problem is not “big” anything. As Glenn Beck, whom I happen to believe is the most important spokesperson for right thinking in the public domain at this time, says, both the problem and the solution lies within the individual’s attitude towards, and relationship with, the God whom was reverenced by our Founders. It is only in that realm of individual choices that the real problems of human nature can be confronted and reconciled with Christ’s call to “Love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself”.


  15. Randy Wills says:

    How I hate those misspelled words that always creep into whatever I write.

    Have mercy on this old guy.


  16. Great piece Jeff. I am so leery of this Apologist-in-Chief who is undermining everything for which this country stands. His goal to “fundamentally transform America” is going full speed ahead, that I fear there will be too much damage done to try to even unravel.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Don’t keep us waiting, Jeff, on Snooki stories. Stumbling drunks captivate me.

  18. Victory (in Virginia) says:
  19. Anonymous says:

    I’d much prefer a book, “The Post Barack World”.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Rubber bullets and bean bag guns next?


  21. todd says:


  22. Anonymous says:



  23. Randy Wills says:

    Todd @ 8:48 PM:

    Exactly what is it that you “like” about President Obama and what, in your opinion, are his policies which lead you to believe that he is taking “this country —– to the great place it once was —?”

    Just curious because from my perspective he is doing just the opposite.


  24. Anonymous says:

    Todd it’s gonna take a long time to get past the Fannie Freddie mess Clinton left. Bush warned ya.

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