Thursday, May 22, 2014

"Epic Incompetence"

By now the narrative has congealed. Barack Obama’s incompetence is, Peter Wehner writes, “epic.”

For some of us, Wehner explains, it’s not news. For the rest, it’s a harsh truth, especially considering that so many Americans were duped by Barack Obama.

In Wehner’s words:

From the botched rollout of the health-care website to the VA scandal, events are now cementing certain impressions about Mr. Obama. Among the most damaging is this: He is unusually, even epically, incompetent….

The emerging narrative of Barack Obama, the one that actually comports to reality, is that he is a rare political talent but a disaster when it comes to actually governing. The list of his failures is nothing short of staggering, from shovel-ready jobs that weren’t so shovel ready to the failures of to the VA debacle. But it also includes the president’s failure to tame the debt, lower poverty, decrease income inequality, and increase job creation. He promised to close Guantanamo Bay and didn’t. His administration promised to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed before a civilian jury in New York but they were forced to retreat because of outrage in his own party. Early on in his administration Mr. Obama put his prestige on the line to secure the Olympics for Chicago in 2016 and he failed. 

Overseas the range of Obama’s failures include the Russian “reset” and Syrian “red lines” to Iran’s Green Revolution, the Egyptian overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, and Libya post-Gaddafi. The first American ambassador since the 1970s was murdered after requests for greater security for the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi were denied…. The president has strained relations with nations extending from Canada to Germany, from Israel to Afghanistan to Poland and the Czech Republic to many others. …

The president’s reaction to the burgeoning VA scandal is just the latest unforced error. How could a sentient individual not feel embarrassed by the pathetic, theatrical performance the president put on yesterday:

But that’s not all. The White House response to everything from the VA and IRS scandals to the seizure of AP phone records by the Department of Justice is that it learned about them from press reports. More and more Mr. Obama speaks as if he’s a passive actor, a bystander in his own administration, an MSNBC commentator speaking about events he has no real control over. We saw that earlier today, when the president, in trying to address the public’s growing outrage at what’s happening at the VA, insisted he “will not stand for it” and “will not tolerate” what he has stood for and tolerated for almost six years. His anger at what’s happening to our veterans seems to have coincided with the political damage it is now causing him.

We’ve learned the hard way that Mr. Obama’s skill sets are far more oriented toward community organizing than they are to governing. On every front, he is overmatched by events. It’s painful to watch a man who is so obviously in over his head. And more and more Americans are suffering because of it.

A man who has been president for almost six years acts as though he is just taking office, as though whatever has been happening at the VA has not been happening on his watch.

Barack Obama cannot take responsibility for his own administration. He still does not know how to be president.


Dennis said...

The sad part here is this is what happens when one is an ideologue who believes that academe is populated by people who are the experts on how to solve everything and that government is the solution and not the problem.
When one is taking advice from academics, the vast majority of which have little or no real world experience in running anything, then all one has is untried and rehashed theoretical ideas that in many cases failed miserably in the past. people don't become better people just by the passage of history. There is a reason why most academics stay academics and even here many of them seem unqualified to teach the students who matriculate at these educational institutions if one is to gauge the skills and abilities of those graduates and their preparedness to take on real world responsibilities.
One cannot surround themselves with equally incompetent people and not create a disaster. Can one name one presidential advisor that you would trust to create a budget, take advise from, et al?
The list of Obama's incompetencies are almost to a point of growing exponentially with each passing day. It almost boggles the mind that there are people with an active brain cell who don't recognize this problem.

JP said...

I prefer the term "inert."

I've been saying for years that he's completely inert.

He's a middling president.

Certainly not the worst, since being a passive executive is better than extremely aggressive decisions that are simply wrong.

In the end, he will be a footnote in American History.

Most presidents are footnotes.

Bizzy Brain said...

Some believe that Obama's goal is to destroy the country and its institutions. By that measure, he is, indeed, a success.

Larry Sheldon said...

Inconvient truth.

Dennis said...

When the Devil within is to horrible to face then blame everyone else.

Sam L. said...

Barack will never know how to be president. Presidents are responsible for their actions, their administrations, their policies. All he know is what he sees in the media, most of which tells him he's doing grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat!

Anonymous said...

I don't think American voters were "duped." It's that they didn't care to learn.

And that's why polls will show that people want to do something about "climate change," even though global temperatures haven't changed in 17 years. And then Obama's regulations to combat "climate change" will go into effect and people will see their utility bills and get "really, really upset." And it will all be Bush's fault.

Did you see Obama's press conference yesterday? He said his administration's VA policies aren't markedly different from the previous administration's. If true, it's a damning indictment of why government shouldn't be delivering services like medicine... to anyone. If untrue, it's libelous, because people died. Many people. Kind of like Benghazi, but dude, that was, like, two years ago.

Why does this man Obama take ZERO responsibility for anything? He gives his word about being able to keep your doctor, red lines, doing something about the VA, etc. What is his word worth???


Anonymous said...

Whatever Obama should or shouldn't do, its clear he shouldn't listen to his critics who sit back as corrupt judging, sure they're looking at someone else's problems and not noticing the mirror between them and the world.

Of course the critics never said they were anything special, so they have every right to have their say and be quietly ignored.

Dennis said...

A quick perusal of the title of this blog might be in order. It would be informative to understand that attempts to play the psychological equivalent of STFU will not work. Owing to the fact that more and more people, both Left and Right, are recognizing Obama's incompetence seems to call into question being ignored.
Nice try though. Says more about those who would languish in their own ignorance for political expediency by trying to shut down debate.
I have to admit I got a god laugh out of it. Try not to hurt yourself by being too far above the fray.

Ares Olympus said...

Dennis, it is a good question, am I trying to say STFU in questioning the integrity of critics?

People who feel bad about themselves often feel temporarily better when they can criticize someone they don't like, and even if the person they criticize ignores them, others can feel better reading opinions about someone else's incompetence that is not their fault. It's a good escape for all of us.

When I think of my own response to personal criticism of my competence, especially in acts of voluntary service is to want to walk away, and let the critic do better, since they seem so sure they knows what's needed, and why I'm doing it all wrong.

I remember hearing someone say in marriage, for every criticism you say, you need to offer 7 sincere affirmations to compensate. Whatever else, that shows how challenging it is to sidestep a critical mind only looking for things that are wrong.

Maybe Obama is consoled by the fact that the Left and the Right are critical of him in completely opposite directions?

It is curious all sides might agree money in politics, and the revolving doors between government and industry are the biggest corruption to democracy.

But as long as the Left and Right keep up their partisan hostility big money can keep flowing in all directions without any fear that their voices will be silenced.

It's like the CEO and Board of directors looking at quarterly losses, fighting over who is more stupid while the accountants are gambling away the company funds.

How do you ever know which incompetency is the important one that will sink the ship, and which was an honest outcome of an honest decision with many positive and many negative consequences whatever was done.

The only clarity I have is a need for honest facts, that is if your intention is to shame someone, you're going to make them defensive, and distort the truth to protect themselves. You don't want leaders who need to hide the truth to keep face, so there's a great need to separate facts and opinions if you want to have your facts heard.

Anonymous said...

Ares Olympus:

What is one to do when opponents make up their own "facts" and feed them to gullible voters?

What if we don't live in a democracy, and instead live in a constitutionally-limited republic? In such a system, what is corrupt about the majority not getting everything they want? Do states have to bend over and take another unfunded mandate? That's what the 18th Amendment gave us. Do producers have to give up the financial benefits of their productivity so politicians can give goodies to voting blocs? Do government employees deserve insulation from needed efficiencies by creating legal and regulatory make-work barriers to justify their own existence? These bureaucrats are the real robber barons... the nameless, faceless "they" that really control the fate of our economy, and the politicians and lawyers who enable them.

I do not understand what you are saying about accountants gambling away company funds. It's a canard. Accountants provide a service. They have no executive power, nor do they have direct responsibility for management oversight.