ABC News really knows how to cause a coffee spit-take. All you have to do is introduce George Stephanopoulos talking to President Obama and put these hyperbolic words on screen: "No Holds Barred."
Someone should tell the geniuses at ABC that's a term suited for competitive wrestling. It doesn't describe Democrat chitchat that demonstrates about as much as dramatic confrontation as other morning TV fare, such as "Bubble Guppies" and "Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends."
To be fair, the questions were about policy, including budget matters and North Korea. But they weren't challenging. Ask any conservative Republican about "no holds barred" media questions, and I'll show you the tire tracks on his back. Here's the kind of tough questions the president will never get:
1. When are you going to address how your administration failed to protect our diplomats in Benghazi? Why is Susan Rice still being considered for jobs after she was sent out to lie about the causes of Benghazi on five Sunday news shows?
2. Why does your administration prefer to kill foreign terrorists in drone attacks rather than capturing them for intelligence purposes? And why wasn't there more than one liberal joining Rand Paul's Senate filibuster on the grounds that drone attacks shouldn't kill American citizens who aren't an imminent threat on American soil?
3. Why can't you even stomach the goal of a balanced budget? Your budget outlook points to deficits every year as far as the eye can see. No country can survive this recklessness. Is this not fiscal insanity?
4. If you're sincere in reaching out to Republicans on the budget, why are your White House aides telling reporters that your outreach is a "joke" and a "waste" of your time as a ruse to please the media?
5. The unemployment rate's almost exactly where it was when your administration started four years ago. Why should anyone expect your next four years to be any better? Must America accept massive unemployment under you?
6. Why is Obamacare leading to higher premiums and prices of health care? This is exactly what Republicans predicted, and you denied, would happen. Are you prepared to admit that they were right and you were wrong?
7. Why do you oppose religious liberty? Catholics, especially, believe the forced funding of abortion, abortifacients and even birth control is a mortal sin. Are you aware that Catholic leaders are warning "authentically Catholic health care in America is now in mortal danger"?
8. Do you still believe in partial-birth abortion? Do you still support the extreme abortion advocates who believe in "born-alive" abortions, that babies who accidentally survive abortions should be left to die in the hospital to honor a woman's "choice"?
9. When women die from "health care" in an abortion clinic, like 29-year-old schoolteacher Jennifer Morbelli just did a few miles from the District of Columbia, shouldn't government punish the abortionist?
10. Do you agree with your vice president that "transgender discrimination" is the "civil rights issue of our time"?
11. If the nation approves "gay marriage," as you advocate, what will prevent the left from next demanding that three and four people should be able to marry, since you argue you should "marry whomever you love"?
12. What makes a gun an "assault weapon"? Do you agree with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who would deny these guns to victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault? Why does the Senate bill exempt law enforcement officers but not members of the military?
13. How can your administration blame Republicans or sequestration for your decision to release 2,000 illegal immigrants slated for deportation? What does this say about your willingness to fix a broken immigration system? And your priorities?
14. How is it legal or proper for you to turn your Obama for America campaign army into a lobbying group that sells access to your White House for a $500,000 donation?
15. Why did you cancel the White House tours and blame it on the sequester, and then the Secret Service? What happens if a tourist arrives with a $500,000 check? Will that get him in?
16. Are you done blaming Bush?
These are tough, no-holds-barred questions. They are also perfectly acceptable questions — for serious journalists. But no serious journalists are allowed anywhere near Barack H. Obama.