Facing a public that thinks he has no strategy for dealing with terrorism and even less of a strategy for defeating the Islamic State, President Obama delivered a special prime time Sunday night speech from the Oval Office.
The speech pretty much confirmed their suspicions.
It can be summed up in four lame points.
1) I’m not changing a single thing about what I’m doing about ISIS, which is lots of small stuff no one will remember an hour after this speech.
2) I’m going to make it sound vaguely as if Congress somehow isn’t doing its job against ISIS, because they didn’t pass an authorization to use military force. Right after I just told you about all the air strikes I’ve ordered against ISIS, which is presumably military force I was authorized to use. No one will remember this point by tomorrow morning, either.
3) I think we should ban “assault rifles” and keep people on some list somewhere from buying guns. But despite my people teasing this point all day, I only mentioned it for about 30 seconds, so I’m not serious about it. This also will die immediately.
4) I’m going to lecture everyone for a really long time about not being mean to Muslims. Because I really think you people need this.
Oh, and the president had one big new sytlist tic: anything he doesn’t want us to do is “what groups like ISIL want us to do.” Because he hasn’t noticed that this has already progressed from a meme to a running joke.
None of these points is likely to accomplish anything with the general public. Their only purpose is to provide talking points to the press so they can carry water for the president.
The whole thing was summed up early on when Obama felt the need to assure us that he thinks “the threat from terrorism is real.” It’s the sort of thing you feel you need to say only because nobody thinks you actually believe it.
And judging from this speech, we still have no reason to think he takes terrorism or the Islamic State seriously.
Follow Robert on Twitter.