Free Markets, Free People

The wages of emotional voting and lack of scrutiny? Obama

National Review has published an article by Victor Davis Hanson with three views of the Obama presidency.  One view is that of an Obama partisan and presents his presidency in a positive light.  The second is a decidedly non-partisan look that does precisely the opposite.  However, there’s a third view that I find most appealing and frankly the most honest:

A third view of Obama is neither so rosy as the first nor so melodramatic as the second. Obama may well have been an unapologetic progressive wolf in centrist clothing, but mostly he was a continuation of what he had been in the past: an unimpressive state legislator, a one-term partisan senator without any accomplishments, a lackadaisical executive who in his own words had to worry most about not appearing lazy and distracted. Obama as president simply pushed the right progressive buttons, all the more easily once his own party lost the Congress and he was freed to sign executive orders that enraged his enemies and moved the country leftward. He cares little about the scandals involving the IRS, VA, AP, NSA, GSA, TSA, EPA, Benghazi, and the Secret Service, other than ensuring that they stay far away from his own godhead.

Mostly, President Obama likes the ceremonial perks of his office — the public spotlight to pick sports winners, the regal access to the links in sporty golf attire, the huge plane and entourage, the video clips of his catlike descent down the stairs of Air Force One, and the captive audiences for his often ahistorical and confused ramblings about America’s past and present shortcomings. Rarely has a president entered office so inexperienced and unprepared, yet with such great hopes and expectations among the public. That he squandered such good will through petty spite and inexperience should not be surprising, given his meager qualifications and thin résumé. Most of Obama’s career in community organizing, academia, and the Illinois legislature was predicated on leveraging his race, name, and unique background with the pretensions of liberal America to land opportunities for which he knew in advance that he would never be held accountable.

Make sure you read the other two views, but unlike some who are sure Obama is following some sort of plan to hurt America, I don’t find this man able to purposely do much of anything.

One of the warnings many of us threw out there early on is he’d never “run anything or done anything”.  Think about it – his sole accomplishment before essentially running unopposed for and Illinois Senate seat, had been to write an autobiography.  About what?  Well, himself, of course.  He was all about self-promotion.   He is a first class narcissist as we’ve all discovered.  He loved the campaign but not the work.  He no sooner became an IL state senator, a poor one at best, than he began running for the US Senate.  In the case of both senate seats he came with an extraordinarily thin resume.  But, he was the right color with the right party at a time of two wars and an unpopular US president, and it just opened up for him.  Once ensconced in the US Senate he almost immediately began running for President on an even thinner resume (heck, with the US Senate run, he could at least claim “experience” at a state level).

I find Hanson’s point about Obama liking the “ceremonial perks” of office over the work to be dead on.  You’ve seen others remark about our “semi-retired” president.  His lack of leadership qualities is staggering.  And yet, there he is, in the Oval Office.

His domestic and foreign agendas have been a mish-mash of college dorm discussions and naive beliefs proffered by others equally as clueless (such as his former Secretary of State) combined to do enough harm that we’ll need years to overcome them.  His inability to work within the system, mostly because he doesn’t seem to know or understand how,  has left him frustrated.  His manner of dealing with his frustration is spiteful childishness and unilateral action which, frankly, he doesn’t care whether its legal or not.

What concerns me more than the fact that he’s so incompetent and as Hanson says “inexperienced and unprepared” is that a significant portion of the population was gulled into voting for him the first time and then, apparently uncritically, re-elected the man for 4 more awful years.

We’ve certainly paid the price for that bit of emotional voting and lack of scrutiny.

But let’s also not forget who aided and abetted this travesty and the lack of scrutiny.

All you have to know to understand what institution that was is to know that Marco Rubio and his wife have had 17 tickets in 20 years and own a “luxury speed boat” while Hillary Clinton’s past is essentially ignored.

And, as you might have surmised, that institution is again cranking up its machine to give us another incompetent who has more baggage and corruption surrounding her than one can shake a stick at.

Forewarned is forearmed, not that it is likely to change much.


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20 Responses to The wages of emotional voting and lack of scrutiny? Obama

  • The most useful professional course I have done was based on some US military derived stuff on group dynamics and leadership (I think it grew from trying to understand why so many officers were plugged by their own men in Vietnam). Long story short, the final exercise was to spend a day to fulfill some kind of vague goal and the point was to select a leader, define some processes etc and present to the instructors at the end. Of course it was all kind of a disaster and went south pretty quickly. Selecting a leader was easy, someone who the majority found acceptable for their own reasons. But the work was a mess and in the analysis afterwards it became clear why. One woman was seriously upset to the point of tears by the focus on (by mostly men) getting actions done and goals met, she and others stated that the outcomes were irrelevant really and if not everyone *felt* fulfilled then it was a failure. On the flipside others were completely exasperated by the lack of achieving anything and the obstruction of the “feelers”. Strictly speaking no one was wrong, you can’t tell someone they don’t feel what they feel and you can’t deny a lack of achievement. But the point was that the leader had failed to account for this and guide through the minefield of personalities without blowing the place up, nor was the leader supposed to go Rambo and do it all him/herself. Obama is the type of person who fails to grasp the point of such a course, he convinces the group to choose him and believes he has the right to expect everyone to follow along and deliver his desired outcomes. He exploits the feelings of the majority of the group to attain the leadership but blames the group for his failure to lead them to desirable outcomes. But he has not the skills or energy to go full Rambo on the situation and deliver the results himself through sheer hard work. So it all ends up… like this.

    • Like what?
      Our economy is awesome!
      Our unemployment rate is low low low!
      We have immigration almost fixed.
      Health care is working.
      Foreign policy is mostly way better.
      The world is the most peaceful it’s ever been!
      Pretty soon we’ll have an awesome trade deal that will do, uh, incredibly good things!

      But, I see.
      You think the underwear gnomes business plan that President Obama has adopted as a general strategy for running the country is flawed don’t you!

    • I think I’ve said it before, but… Obama thinks leadership is that he tells people what to do, and they go do it.

      Anyone who has ever been in a leadership position before, even if literally over only two other people, either rapidly figure out this is stupidly wrong, or they cease to be in a leadership position.

      It is a child’s view of leadership. It is held by many, because many people are never put in a position to be disabused of it, and others are put in that position, fail to learn their lesson, and are removed from that position. Or, in the worst cases, fail to learn the lesson, but are not removed from their position.

      Why does Obama like the executive’s pen, and probably relieved that nobody calls him any longer on having to work with Congress (despite the historical fact that numerous Presidents have successfully worked with Congress’ held by the other party)? Because that’s what he thinks of as leadership. And he doesn’t see the capital it costs him to use that, nor how little he may get out of that expenditure.

      On the negative side, Obama has spent our country in fiscal and moral bankruptcy. On the plus side, he’s also spent the liberals into total moral and cultural bankruptcy. An optimist could yet hope the latter may, in the long run, make up for the former. (Though as the Obama clock ticks down and China, Russia, and Iran feel the need to get what they can while the getting’s good our bankruptcy may look less wonderful…)

      • Because that’s what he thinks of as leadership. And he doesn’t see the capital it costs him to use that, nor how little he may get out of that expenditure.

        To coin a phrase… “he didn’t build that”. He didn’t build the institution on the Presidency and he has no interest in it after 2016. So what use is any capital to him once he leaves?

        • I have an unfinished blog post from a while back that points out Obama is a spender. Not just of money, but of everything… the political capital of liberals, the political capital of Democrats, the faith and credence of the United States both domestically and abroad, our military morale, his own leadership capital, his campaign cash, Federal dollars, he just spends with wild abandon and no apparent concern about the RoI, or any signs that even necessarily understands the concept. Spend, spend, spend. It’s all he knows.

          He really is a bad politician, not just one that we happen to disagree with, but actually bad.

          • Come to think of it, it will be interesting to see how he does post-Presidency. I’d guess he’s the most likely post-President to actually go personally bankrupt when he’s on his own, despite the enormous opportunities to cash in on being the ex-President with speaking fees. (Even if evidence suggests that he may not be able to command the enormous fees the Clintons do with casual impunity, he still ought to be able to make a very comfortable living.)

    • My view of this POTUS comes from the movie “Dave” (1993), but without the dead President and mistress.
      I really get the feeling that Obama pretty much fell into this. Face it, both the main power controllers in both major parties are dweebs. Hillary in 2007/2008 was as vacuous as she is now. McCain kept frying to figure his positions on this and that. Obama merely filled the void.
      After he won, I’m sure he used the same line as Robert Redford in the movie “The Candidate” (1972) uttered at the end of the movie …

      Bill McKay: What do we do now?

      The first two years were probably lots of fun. Then it was work, till now, it’s a burden. He has been escaping to the trappings of the office .. Air Force One, endless wagyu.
      Like the character “Dave,” he still can’t believe that his political opponents are so stupid at the PR game. Sure the press applied a big “helping” of Camelot to boot. But he won the POTUS slot, twice.
      On the official business side, the man is the “anti-Midas”. Everything this man touch turns to cr@p. And that, will be his legacy.

  • Obama 4*@l(438&##(4 one of the greats !@>>>>4fdgdd go down in history +#+#+#$ ab47,,, you are being left behind 2*@–}\ anachronisticccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc

    *** Error 839 at F7EC EA42 – String parser unable to resolve arguments – program terminated, please restart program

    • Ah, I see the whole problem. You are using that out-moded Twentieth Century programing that is so, so very passe. Everything has changed, you know. Every. Thing. Human nature is now completely different. Everything that we understood changed for the New Millennium! Yep. Computers don’t understand the old logic, you see? People have changed. Um. Everything has changed, and you and your programming have not kept up!

  • Malvolio:
    “Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and
    some have greatness thrust upon ’em.”
    Wm. Shakespeare

    Sorry to contradict Mr. Shakespeare, but
    Obama was definitely not born great (though he may disagree with that), does not have the ability to achieve it, nor the strength to hold it when it is thrust upon him.
    He is an overrated underachiever.

  • There is no contradiction in thinking that Obama is grossly incompetent and desires to harm America’s standing in the world. A lot of liberals truly hate America.

    • Yep. It’s the same as people arguing over whether the media is biased or lazy. Why can’t they be both?

    • I didn’t say it is a contradiction … I just said I don’t think he is competent enough to carry out a plan of action.

    • His domestic and foreign agendas have been a mish-mash of college dorm discussions and naive beliefs proffered by others equally as clueless

      A sober examination of Obama’s policies will reveal that he has changed his position on anything since 2007 (except perhaps his evolution of gay marriage).
      Bottomline: the man has learned nothing while in office.

  • I would say that Obama wanted to hobble the idea of American exceptionalism and America’s world Influence.

    One of those aspects is burning relationships with longtime allies. One of Obama’s first acts was to return the bust of Churchill. What’s that about? If you have a personal issue with the guy, you move it out of the way for your term. How insulted would you feel if someone returned your gift. I sometimes wonder if Americans understand nationalism or ethnic nationalism, I guess nationalism is immediately equated with nazi racial supremacy here and there’s no other form. I know many of the Brits hate Churchill as much as Obama does, but in general they took note of the insult although would never publicly acknowledge it.

    Then there’s the Ukraine. Right or wrong we encouraged them to stronger relations with us. Trying to get them to host an anti-missile system because of their geographical location between Iran and Europe in a large part neutering Iran’s benefit for seeking nuclear technology. Of course Russia wouldn’t like it, not because they fear a NATO invasion but because they were Iran’s nuclear and missile weapons technology benefactor and also political benefactor. That’s beside the point we encouraged Ukraine to stick their necks out and Obama abandoned them abruptly. There could have been more graceful ways to back out than abruptly leave Ukraine high and dry.

    Then there’s Mubarak. We may have been partly responsible for him, but he wasn’t exactly the worst quasi-strongman. What do we do? We talk him into stepping down and let him end up in a cage in front of a kangaroo court. After that, how many dictators would we be able to just talk into stepping down? They’re all going to go down fighting now. At least if the US is involved, I wouldn’t just turn thing over if I was one.

    There’s incompetence and then there’s a certain expedience if you have nothing but contempt for, lack of a better term, Reagan’s America.

  • Obama is the symptom, not the disease.

    The disease is the thought process, as described by Mr. Hanson, of electing an executive who “… was a continuation of what he had been in the past: an unimpressive state legislator, a one-term partisan senator without any accomplishments, a lackadaisical executive who in his own words had to worry most about not appearing lazy and distracted…” was somehow a good idea.

    I also agree that Obama has no master plan: he’s way too incompetent.

    However, there are those below him who, to borrow a phrase from the past, are ‘working towards him’ that pose the real danger.

    • The plan is, Anti-Communist America was evil and we should be ashamed of it and needs to be changed and more communism (or more big government since we’re suppose to be afraid and ashamed of calling a communist a communist or socialist a socialist for that matter these days).

      For the presumed incompetance, his era he managed to foist huge changes to the relationship of government to the people that are essentially irreversible and will have the largest impact on the American public & their future probably since the new deal or maybe even the civil war. Quite a random accomplishment for a “boob”. It wasn’t him doing the work, but does it matter if we attribute Obama or Team Obama with it?

  • All I can think of is “Dumb and Dumber” and the line, “So there’s still a chance?” What would Malibu have to do that would convince you he’s a Manchurian? Seriously that’s the unanswered part of your thesis and you won’t be able to put anything together Dale. You could have laid out a list of what a Manchurian would do to destroy this country before he got elected and he would have hit on every point. And he exceeded all expectations for our first Manchurian with his boundless enthusiasm for destructive policies and his ruthless assassination of enemies.

    The argument is academic and destructive in itself. That’s the biggest problem. Does it really matter if he is fully cognizant? At some point after repeated actions of a Manchurian there is no obligation for charity of any sort.

  • It’s hard to sit back and watch another “you’ll find out what’s in it when we pass it” Obama(name) disaster and be convinced that he doesn’t have some glimmer of malicious purpose.

    It’s also hard to watch the Republicans work so furiously to commit their own version of the Obamacare betrayal.
    Obamacare you can blame on the Democrats.
    It won’t make me happier if they do turnabout and when we realize how screwed we are by the trade deal that we can blame the Republicans.
    Unless the bastards think we’ll blame Obama all by himself, and they better think twice on that.