The story from the right, and now increasingly from the left as well, has been that president Obama has checked out - he's busy golfing, not caring about the job, reinforcing his lame duck status - and he no longer cares about the job. But is that really true? Consider the evidence.
1. President Obama has always viewed foreign affairs as the nuisance of the job of being president. He wanted out of Iraq before he even became president. He only wanted to remain in Afghanistan in order to get Osama Bin Laden. After that, he declared victory and anything else that happened afterwards was J.V. (junior varsity, not ready for prime time, like ISIS was). He did nothing in support of Iran's Green Revolution when it might have mattered. He led from behind in Libya. He ducked involvement in Syria. He shrank from confronting a resurgent Russia over first Crimea and then eastern Ukraine. He never has, and never will be engaged in foreign affairs. Sure, he'll take sole credit for capturing Bin Laden because that's a political win, not a foreign affairs victory.
2. National Security is almost equally unimportant to the president. The flood of illegal immigrants to him is an opportunity, not a national crisis. He didn't seem to care when the floodgates from Mexico seemed to open up this summer. In fact, postponing potentially illegal executive action on admitting illegals into the country until after the election proves that national security is not his first concern, winning Democratic seats in the Senate is far more important. Why? Because it's political. Admitting potential Democrat voters after the fact is not in the best interest of the United States, it's in the best interest of Democrats. That's purely political. Which brings us to my third point.
3. Obama has not checked out on politics. He's always been about politics - getting it, and keeping it the hands of himself or his allies. Winning Hispanic voters. 'Evolving' on gay marriage. Trotting out the War on Women, playing the race card with African Americans (Ferguson being the latest example, the beer summit being one of the first) at every opportunity, blaming Bush and granting amnesty for illegals is all part of the plot to cater to what liberal politicians view as their very own special interest group constituencies. But it goes deeper. The amount of fundraising the president has done and continues to do proves he's not checked out on politics. Politics are alive and well in the Obama presidency. They define his presidency, and they are alive and well.
He may have checked out on the national interest side of his job but he's not checked out on politics. So he`s not checked out. He views politics as the bigger game. He views his interests as being in the best interest of America. He views a Democratic hegemony in Washington as the way to best serve America. He may be wrong, but to say he's checked out is a mistake. In fact it's the classic mistake of underestimating your opponent, and the type of mistake that leads to complacency and to colossal failures.
Don't make that mistake.