In All the President’s Certitudes, Bret Stephens writes that “a more confident leader wouldn’t tar opponents as stooges and idiots.”
Much has now been written on the merits and demerits of the Iran deal. Not enough has been said about the bald certitude of its principal sponsor, or the naked condescending disdain with which he treats his opponents. Mr. Obama has the swagger of a man who never seems to have encountered a contrary point of view he respected, or come to grips with the limits of his own intelligence, or figured out that facile arguments tend to be weak ones, if for no other reason than that the world is a complicated place, information is never complete and truth is rarely more than partial…
One might have thought that, by now, the president and his advisers would be chastened by experience. Al Qaeda is “on a path to defeat” (2012). Bashar Assad’s “days are numbered” (2011). “If you like your current insurance, you can keep that insurance. Period, end of story” (2009). Russia and the U.S. “are not simply resetting our relationship but also broadening it” (2010). Yemen is an example of a counterterrorist strategy “we have successfully pursued . . . for years” (2014).
And so on—a record of prediction as striking for the boldness of its initial claims as it is for the consistency of its failures. Doesn’t Mr. Obama get this? Haven’t his advisers figured out that they have a credibility issue?