Michael Barone: The Three Rules Of Obama
Michale Barone, observing the Obama presidency as it unfolds, has penned his own “Three Rules of Obama”.
First, Obama likes to execute long-range strategies but suffers from cognitive dissonance when new facts render them inappropriate.
Barone cites Obama’s long range strategy of conciliatory diplomacy with the likes of Iran and North Korea being “undercut by North Korea’s missile launches and demonstrations in Iran against the mullah regime’s apparent election fraud.”
His assumption that friendly words could melt the hearts of Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have been refuted by events. He limits himself to expressing “deep concern” about the election in the almost surely vain hope of persuading the mullahs to abandon their drive for nuclear weapons, while he misses his chance to encourage the one result — regime change — that could protect us and our allies from Iranian attack.
Obama apologist continue to insist his policy of “restraint” is the right course. Events and history seem to argue otherwise. Bottom line: not very agile when his presumptions are shattered.
Second, he does not seem to care much about the details of policy.
The “closing” of Guantanamo is perhaps the perfect example. Obviously politically satisfying at the time it was announced, its execution has been an absolute fiasco. None of the underlying problems of closing the prison had apparently been researched or considered when the promise was made.
And that’s not the only example:
He subcontracted the stimulus package to congressional appropriators, the cap-and-trade legislation to Henry Waxman and Edward Markey, and his health care program to Max Baucus. The result is incoherent public policy: indefensible pork barrel projects, a carbon emissions bill that doesn’t limit carbon emissions from politically connected industries, and a health care program priced by the Congressional Budget Office at a fiscally unfeasible $1,600,000,000,000.
Obama sees himself as the grand vision guy and it is up to his minions to put his vision together. Of course, that sort of outsourcing is bound to come up against competing agendas. He doesn’t seem to take that into account, apparently doesn’t do the necessary work to assure his version of his agenda is the dominant one and the result is chaos. Bottom line: his legislative and executive inexperience is the worst enemy of his aggressive agenda.
Third, he does business Chicago-style.
“Transparency” and “openness” are now just a words as he and his administration begin to insist on more and more executive privilege. And there’s also the example of the IG mess, not to mention the stories of threats and intimidation toward auto company bond holders and banks.
From Chicago he brings the assumption that there will always be a bounteous private sector that can be plundered endlessly on behalf of political favorites.
Just ask the UAW (and other unions) and ACORN. And Barone uses precisely the right word here – plunder. All of his grand plans are based on plundering the rich and redistributing the spoils to favorites. A more destructive presidency is hard to imagine.
Hope and change.