Free Markets, Free People

The “teenage” administration

When Barack Obama was running for the presidency, there were a number of people who warned he wasn’t ready for prime time – that he’d never really “done anything or run anything”.  That he had never demonstrated any penchant for leadership at any time in his life, nor had he ever had any executive experience.  That most of his adult life had been political campaigns for the next highest office – moving directly from one to the next with few if any accomplishments in-between.

Those people were shouted down by their “betters” claiming Mr. Obama was hip, wicked smart, charming, “with it”, confident and a master of social media.  He would change the dynamic in Washington, charm the world into doing his bidding and calm the rising seas etc., etc., etc.

Eliot Cohen, in a Wall Street Journal op/ed, says instead, we’ve got a bunch of people in the administration that basically and unsurprisingly act like teenagers:

Often, members of the Obama administration speak and, worse, think and act, like a bunch of teenagers. When officials roll their eyes at Vladimir Putin‘s seizure of Crimea with the line that this is “19th-century behavior,” the tone is not that different from a disdainful remark about a hairstyle being “so 1980s.” When administration members find themselves judged not on utopian aspirations or the purity of their motives—from offering “hope and change” to stopping global warming—but on their actual accomplishments, they turn sulky. As teenagers will, they throw a few taunts (the president last month said the GOP was offering economic policies that amount to a “stinkburger” or a “meanwich”) and stomp off, refusing to exchange a civil word with those of opposing views.

In a searing memoir published in January, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates describes with disdain the trash talk about the Bush administration that characterized meetings in the Obama White House. Like self-obsessed teenagers, the staffers and their superiors seemed to forget that there were other people in the room who might take offense, or merely see the world differently. Teenagers expect to be judged by intentions and promise instead of by accomplishment, and their style can be encouraged by irresponsible adults (see: the Nobel Prize committee) who give awards for perkiness and promise rather than achievement.

If the United States today looks weak, hesitant and in retreat, it is in part because its leaders and their staff do not carry themselves like adults. They may be charming, bright and attractive; they may have the best of intentions; but they do not look serious. They act as though Twitter and clenched teeth or a pout could stop invasions or rescue kidnapped children in Nigeria. They do not sound as if, when saying that some outrage is “unacceptable” or that a dictator “must go,” that they represent a government capable of doing something substantial—and, if necessary, violent—if its expectations are not met. And when reality, as it so often does, gets in the way—when, for example, the Syrian regime begins dousing its opponents with chlorine gas, as it has in recent weeks, despite solemn deals and red lines—the administration ignores it, hoping, as teenagers often do, that if they do not acknowledge a screw-up no one else will notice.

It is a pretty fair and devastating summary of an immature, selfie-taking, hashtag loving administration.  Intentions speak louder than action in their world.  They don’t take criticism well.  And they are about as petty as it comes when talking about their opposition. They demand respect for the man in office, but the man in office shows no respect to those whose views differ from him.

He is also given very little if any respect in the world because he’s really done nothing to earn it (and quite a bit to unearn any he had when he took office).  Hostile nations, knowing how thin skinned this administration is, openly taunt the President and his policies. They fear no reprisal from the US.  Iran recently declared victory over the US in Syria.  Russia – well Russia has simply decided the US isn’t a real threat as it plays out its expansionist intentions.   Even our allies have openly criticized the administration for their inept handling of foreign policy.

We live in a very dangerous world, one in which the predators are always looking for an opening (usually in the form of a power vacuum) of which they can take advantage.  This administration has provided no leadership whatsoever during its tenure and that power vacuum has developed during our unilateral withdrawal from our previously prominent position in the world.  And just like a bunch of teenagers, this administration is sure that it is the fault of everyone but themselves.

After all, their intentions were pure … or something.

~McQ

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26 Responses to The “teenage” administration

  • I think Dan Riehl would use “drunken frat boys”.  But that is too cisheteronormative rapey.  Or something.
     
    I DO look forward to having adults in governance again.

  • With apologies to Tom Lehrer
    “We are the hashtag army
    every one of us cares
    we all hate poverty war and injustice
    unlike the rest of you squares.”

  • If the US looks weak and in retreat it was because the US engaged in very misguided and disastrous wars between 2001 and 2011, wars which the Obama administration has extricated the US from.  Yet it showed the real limits of US power (from a President who said he didn’t care what others thought), made the alliance system wobbly (France and Germany with Russia against the US), and turned the public much more isolationist.  Beyond that, an economic crisis made by decades (to be sure, of both parites) running up debt — building up the debt to GDP ratio in a boom, which is insane — and dergulating to the point that we had the worst recession since the 1930s.   Slowly we’re emerging, but those are things that have weakened the US in real terms.  This is now a multi-polar world, and Obama correctly realizes that the days of the US trying to run everything are over.  The public doesn’t want it, we can’t afford it, and military power is of limited value in an interdependent world.   Yes, I know you have ODS, and reflexively belittle and call Obama names whenever you can – you’re a mirror image of those who attacked Bush.   But Bush’s mistakes truly weakened the US, President Obama has fixed alliances and started a shift to Asia, putting us on solid footing for the 21st Century.  Bush did improve in his second term, but no one can honestly compare the two Presidencies and say that Obama hasn’t helped repair much of the damage done by the Bush administration.   Fixing the bipartisan economic damage will take longer, but we’re on the right track.   Yes, it’s easy to just blame the President (“blame America first” as Reagan put it) whenever things go wrong.  It is more accurate to look at real power, interests, and change in the world.

    • Walmart pharmacies are open until 9PM, Erb, so there’s no excuse for being off your meds.

    • Been a long time since reading a post as ridiculous as this, even in HuffPo or the NYT comments section.  If there are awards for this sort of silliness, consider this a nomination.

    • Beyond that, an economic crisis made by decades (to be sure, of both parites) running up debt — building up the debt to GDP ratio in a boom, which is insane — and dergulating to the point that we had the worst recession since the 1930s.
       
      I’d say this was just trolling, but I know Erp really is this stupid.  The recession had nothing to do with “deregulation”, and especially under BooooOOOOooosh.  The recession was caused by one thing: the immense Federal distortions in the housing market.
      Erp, hate to break it to you….we are NOT recovering.  Last quarter the economy CONTRACTED.  “Recovering” implies you are returning to a previous state.  Under ScamWOW that will not happen.
       
      If the US looks weak and in retreat it was because the US engaged in very misguided and disastrous wars between 2001 and 2011, wars which the Obama administration has extricated the US from.
       
      The Obami only had to slide into the driver’s seat and hold the steering wheel as the BoooooOOOOOooosh people had the wars coasting to a stop, safe and sound.  But, instead, they ran the wheels off into the ditch.  They took what they were given, and managed FUBAR.
      If the US looks weak and in retreat it is because we have a weak, anti-American regime in place.  One that is totally enthralled in magic thinking, like SoftPower(tm) and which cannot call Islamist pirates what they are.  One that calls a Jihadist massacre “work-place violence”.  People who hate us watch all this, and this is how you get a Benghazi.  You and your president are such fools you think you can put people out on the point of the spear, knowing that spear rests in a pack of ravening wolves, and deny your people any defense while claiming “SmartPower(tm)”.  Only you fools are fooled by your narcissistic delusions.  In the real world real people will kill our people.  Really.
       
      This is now a multi-polar world, and Obama correctly realizes that the days of the US trying to run everything are over.  The public doesn’t want it, we can’t afford it, and military power is of limited value in an interdependent world.
       
      What a hash of straw-men, tautology, and meaningless bullshit.  Russia is making Obama look like the confused, self-aggrandized child he internally is.  Iran is right there with the Russians, with very serious, hard-headed men having read him perfectly.  The Chinese, too.  We are in a MUCH more dangerous time since Pres. ScamWOW assumed control.  We cannot get adults back in charge of the nation fast enough.

      • Our resident adolescent perfesser to shill for the teen-aged administration. Shocked? Hardly.

    • *Yawn* Your guy is losing — you’re making excuses.

    • One wonders if Scott believes his own Baghdad Bob nonsense. The same thing written over and over again. Repeatedly saying the world is changing, yet he himself refuses to change with it. Just take for example the interest he supposedly has in social media and its impacts (Arab Spring! Twitter! Youth!). But… the man has posted exactly 19 items on Twitter since he started in 2010, hasn’t used it since 2012 and follows barely anyone. He has exactly 1 connection on LinkedIn(!) He posts barely anything relevant on Facebook. So the genius mind spouting on about the 21st century… barely uses the basic 21st century communication channels. The irony is screamingly delicious.

    • Aside from massive voter fraud, I’m still waiting for the explanation of how an empty suit like 0bam got the nod.
      Didn’t the massive (court-ordered) hiding of the documentation of 0bama past register in people minds that something just might be amiss here?
      That systemic under-the-rug sweeping of Barry’s past cost $1,250,000, a sum that can not be squared with the income of then Senator 0bama.

  • “What If College Is Making People Stupid?”, Seth Mandel asks at Commentary, noting that “International Monetary Fund director Christine Lagarde has become the latest commencement speaker to be chased off by American academia’s guardians of the eternally closed minds.”
    http://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2014/05/13/breaking-news-from-1968-2/
     
    Sitting in a class such as the ones Erp teaches could actually cost you IQ points unless you resisted.
     

    • Dude, to even enrol in the class (never mind pay to be there) puts you in the lower quartile to begin with. Losing a few points from that position is hardly going to bother the low-info drones listening to the Professor regurgitate other people’s propaganda.

      • I’ve wondered betimes whether they have a state pen hard by Moosesqueeze U.  That would go far to explain Erp’s students.

  • “We have to break people away from the choice habit that everyone has,” said Marcus Merz, the chief executive of PreferredOne, an insurer in Golden Valley, Minn., that is owned by two health systems and a physician group. “We’re all trying to break away from this fixation on open access and broad networks.”
     
    Yep.  A fascist economy just can’t allow “all that chosin’ goin’ on dow-in dar” to paraphrase Sen. Wassis.
     
    Of course, if you refuse to comply, your choices are perfectly open.  Our little dictator only has the power we give him.
     

    • Obviously the insurers have chosen sides. Expect bailouts, cozy deals, and massive cost increases.
      You don’t go around saying that stuff unless you feel very secure.

  • NOT LOOKING SO CRAZY NOW, IS IT? Panetta and Morell endorse the select committee investigation of Benghazi.
     
    Well, hell, Erp.  There goes that happy lil’ Collectivist lie.  Maybe now we can hear from the survivors they’ve been keeping under wraps.  You’d like to hear from them, right?

    • He’s busy waging war on the Eastern Front back on his own blog. Seems a couple of uppity commenters are keeping him occupied with a few partisan sorties. He’s using the exact same ammunition on them as he does here. Although, of course, we don’t get to see what he deletes since he keeps an iron fist on the homefront propaganda. I think it is time someone made a Downfall clip for Scotty.

      • Did he get around to the subtle implication they’re racists?
         
        That usually shows up after his main line has been overrun.   He makes smoke asking them to show how he’s wrong (when they already have), works in some Obama reference, and then tries to bring in the racist support units, whether the poster takes the bait or not.

        • Nope, not yet. I think he as about to wage the battle of Kursk and watch all his heavy armor go up in flames. Soon we’ll be on to the scenes in the Erb Bunker with his desperate search for legions of Erb Youth hashtagging their way to victory over the advancing hordes of Tea-sheviks. Just a pity that the modern hashtag commandos can’t get their asses out of bed before 11am and mommy has refilled their mobile phone accounts.

          • I’ve seen that video – isn’t that the one where Erb discovers they’re going to take away his key to the faculty lounge and he wants Keitel, Jodel, Krebs and Burgdorf to explain why Billy Hollis got a key to the U of M’s President’s select washroom AND free meals in the student cafeteria and he didn’t?

          • That sounds like the one. I believe at the end Ms Braun throws a hissy-fit and makes a run for the American lines rather than listen to the demented screeching about global climate tea-party bipartisan economic disasters.

  • “…no one can honestly compare the two Presidencies and say that Obama hasn’t helped repair much of the damage done by the Bush administration.   Fixing the bipartisan economic damage will take longer, but we’re on the right track.”

    Pity that almost everything Democrats give credit to Obama for vis-a-vis the financial crisis was actually put in place by the Bush administration. Oh, how soon they forget…

    Speaking of which, get ready for Subprime II, Electric Bugaloo!

    In his first major speech since The White House got their ‘flexible’ man in to manage the GSEs, Mel Watt outlined his strategic plan for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Predicated on the maintenance of liquidity, competition, and resilience of the national housing finance market, Watt’s remarkably blind to the past proposal will, as CNBC’s Rick Santelli warns, create Subprime 2.0. Easing lending standards, not lowering limits, and raising the possibility of principal reduction seems to do anything but reduce taxpayer risk and merely creates more perverse incentives.

    Nothing can possibly go wrong with this.

    • Awww man, it DIDN’T work so well last time, they can’t help but do it again to complete the ruin.
       
      A couple weeks ago they sent out their little dopey progtard minions to prep everyone for not owning property by telling the world that owning a house was a stupid waste of money and a terrible investment.
      Instantly destroyed by people who observed that if owning property was a terrible investment, renting property was an even more terrible investment.

      • In my state, there are limitations on deficiency judgements against first mortgages, so there’s almost no excuse for a man of means to rent.

        • None of the progtards explained where people ought to, you know, spend their sleeping hours for example.
          Maybe they thought people would be better off continuing to live with their mom and dad (like the progtard authors do),
          maybe they were supposed to mooch of their significant other,
          maybe they were going to form a refrigerator box co-op down by the tracks.
          Never explained that minor consideration of why owning a house was a bad investment, just assured everyone it was.
          One article I would have considered to be, as they say, chance, twice would be coincidence, and the third time I read the same thought pattern I decided it was low key concerted action that only progtardia could think they’d benefit from.

    • This needs to be fought with the same energy as amnesty.
       
      The FIRST real estate bubble was BOTH predicable and predicted.
       
      There is just no flucking excuse for doing it again.