To be honest, I think the story is overblown. The question is not how the President feels about it; the question is what he does about it, and thus far the answer is nothing. Earlier this year, Obama dismissed ISIS, the terror group behind this atrocity, as the "jayvee." Look, a beheading here, a flogging there.........can we move on to something serious? Or at least to the golf cart?
He had just hung up the telephone with the devastated parents before heading in front of the cameras. Unusually emotional, President Obama declared himself "heartbroken" by the brutal murder of an American journalist, James Foley, and vowed to "be relentless" against Islamic radicals threatening to kill another American.
But as soon as the cameras went off, Mr. Obama headed to his favorite golf course on Martha's Vineyard, where he is on vacation, seemingly able to put the savagery out of his mind. He spent the rest of the afternoon on the links even as a firestorm of criticism erupted over what many saw as a callous indifference to the slaughter he had just condemned....
[T]e criticism went beyond the usual political opponents. Privately, many Democrats shook their heads at what they considered a judgment error. Ezra Klein, editor in chief of the online news site Vox, who is normally sympathetic to Mr. Obama, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that "golfing today is in bad taste." The Daily News published a front-page photograph of a grinning president in a golf cart next to a picture of Mr. Foley's distraught mother and father under the headline, "Prez tees off as Foley's parents grieve."
Terrorist Horror, Then Golf
The title of this entry is taken from yesterday's headline in that right wing rag, the New York Times. It refers, of course, to President Obama's ostensibly somber and angry news conference about the videotaped beheading of an American citizen by Islamic butchers, followed forthwith by a few rounds on the links.
As the Times points out, the contrast was a bit much even for the President's usual allies:
There is one other point lurking here. The NYT recognizes that sawing a hostage's head off with a knife is barbarism, but goes conspicuously silent on what should be done if and when the killer is caught.
To me and I strongly suspect most other Americans, the answer is obvious: The death penalty. The idea that a term in the slammer, no matter what its length, is justice for a crime that harkens the second coming of the Dark Ages is somewhere beyond absurd. The NYT cannot help but understand this, but is on record opposing the death penalty no matter what the facts. So its only recourse is silence -- that plus a diversionary story about the President's sentiments and how they are perceived.
Still, if that is to be the take on this, a picture of the President's seriousness and resolve is worth a thousand words.