The Kumbaya Party


To most people, the phrase “kill them with kindness” is an idiomatic expression about the importance of trying to win arguments not by bombast and antagonism, but through thoughtfulness and reason. It is not, however a prescription for winning a gunfight. Except, that is, for President Barack Obama. For him, it has become a central policy for defeating radical Islamic terrorists (or whatever euphemism he uses to describe these mass murderers).

To Obama, radical Islamic terrorists are best dealt with through group hugs, building metaphorical bridges, and a refrain of the hippie anthem “Kumbaya.” Where Ronald Reagan was guided in his drive to defeat the Soviet threat by the policy of “Peace Through Strength,” Obama’s guiding philosophy is “Peace At Any Price.”

Sadly, this inane doctrine has taken hold beyond the White House, and now has infected the U. S. Department of Justice, as evidenced recently when Attorney General Loretta Lynch stated publicly that “our most effective response to terror and hatred is compassion, unity and love.” Her colleague at the Department of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, added that building bridges to Muslim communities works well, too.

The Obama Administration has always approached complex policy issues with all the seriousness of a hippie drum circle waxing philosophic about fantastical visions while the Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” plays in the background. In such a setting, it is easy to see why this Administration’s plans almost always collapse even as they begin — because they reflect policies rooted not in understanding the world as it is, but rather how they would like it to be. A recipe for disaster repeated over and over.

For example, during the standoff between Russia and Ukraine, then-State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki tweeted a picture of herself holding a piece of paper with “#UnitedForUkraine” scrawled on it. And, similar to Lynch’s comments above spouting love and unity as the essential ingredients to defeat terrorist killers, a State Department official once suggested a “root cause” for the growth of ISIS was a “lack of opportunity for jobs.”

This “hashtag” policy-making would be comical, if not for the disastrous consequences it entails by substituting feel-good, symbolic acts for reality-based substantive action. What, for instance, does our Attorney General think ISIS is doing in the time it takes for the Department of Justice to craft a public statement about showering them with love and compassion? Are ISIS fanatics carefully considering that perhaps they have strayed down the wrong path towards violence, and should repent?

This world-view would be bad enough were it limited to only the Executive Branch of the federal government. But it is not. The childish “Kumbaya” outlook has infected members of Obama’s Democratic Party in the Congress. Just last week, for example, veteran Georgia Rep. John Lewis decided that the best response to not getting his way on gun-control legislation following the Orlando terrorist attack, was to plop himself down on the floor in the well of the House of Representatives and pout. Rather than be shamed by his Democratic colleagues for such an infantile act, he was joined by a number of them.

Obviously, to the Left, these childish antics pass for meaningful action; but in the real world these games are seen not as strength, but as signs of a confused and powerless government.

How is our intelligence community supposed to provide accurate intelligence on terrorism, or to develop effective strategies to defeat it, when Obama’s head of national intelligence is focused — as he was recently at a public conference — on transgender bathrooms? And, how are military leaders supposed to approach the Commander in Chief with battle strategies when they share seats in the Cabinet Room with officials declaring that we can defeat our enemies with “good karma”? Even if Obama’s Kumbaya attitude is purely for show, it sends a powerful message to his subordinates and to our adversaries that he is not serious about how the world works.

Our enemies, too, are listening to this drivel with glee. To hear that America is responding to its biggest terror attack since 9/11 not with military action, but with calls for hugs and kisses, surely makes ISIS shout “Allahu Akbar” in joy; as they can continue operating without fear of reprisal. Meanwhile, our enemies in international diplomacy, such as Russia and China, know that if ISIS can get away with mass murder on U.S. soil, then there is little worry that the United States will hold them accountable for actions that, under a more respected leader like Ronald Reagan, would have never been tolerated.

It is only slightly ironic that these recent missteps by the Administration and its congressional team are taking place just as the House Select Committee on Benghazi issued its official report. That report is a scathing indictment of then-Secretary of State and now the de facto Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s decision in 2012 to respond to the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi by…doing nothing. Clearly, an Administration headed by Hillary Clinton would be seamless — a seamless transition from one clueless Commander-in-Chief to another.

Bob Barr is a former Congressman who represented the citizens of Georgia’s 7th Congressional District in the US House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. Bob heads Liberty Guard, a non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting individual liberty.