Free Markets, Free People


Is the Obama presidency failing?

Edward Luce, writing in the Financial Times, certainly seems to think so:

Anyone wondering about the scale of the anti-Obama backlash should look at its impact on the 2016 US presidential race. Both major parties are looking for candidates with genuine executive experience. The Republican list of hopefuls is filling up with sitting governors. Among Democrats, hopes rest mainly with Hillary Clinton. Should Elizabeth Warren, the popular senator from Massachusetts, enter the fray Mrs Clinton’s riposte would trip off the tongue. Ms Warren has no governing experience, she could say. And we all know the risks of that.

Having authored an inspirational politics, President Barack Obama’s difficulties are spawning a new fashion for perspiration. Given its limited powers, the strength of the US presidency derives largely from its occupant’s credibility.

Faith in Mr Obama’s competence was already negative. Doubts now extend to his personal integrity. A majority of Americans tell pollsters that they no longer believe he is always telling the truth. Were Mr Obama in a different system, he would be fending off a leadership challenge or facing a snap election. Since the US constitution rules out those options, Mr Obama is in danger of becoming a permanent lame duck.

I’d say that was a pretty fair summary of the depth of Obama’s problems.  It reminds many of the George H. W. Bush “read my lips” moment, only on steroids. In both cases, personal credibility suffered.  It is also interesting to read the first paragraph.  Suddenly the experience of actually having run something or done something besides promote yourself all your life is in demand.

But Luce makes some important points – especially with the line, “Given its limited powers, the strength of the US presidency derives largely from its occupant’s credibility.”  Mr. Obama has trampled his.  And, unfortunately for Democrats, he continues to do so.  Luce gives a bit of insight for that as well:

But Mr Obama’s problems derive chiefly from his tendency to react politically to events, rather than from a lack of time. His fumbling response to the woes engulfing the Affordable Care Act show how hard it is for him to kick the habit – even if the remainder of his presidency depends on it.

Pinpoint accuracy in describing the major problem of this administration.  As I’ve said many times, it is all politics all the time with them.  And for such a politically astute group while on the campaign trail, they are incredibly inept in the use of politics while governing.  That’s mainly because the only experience they have is with politics – certainly not with governing.

Finally:

Mr Obama has continually promised more from his signature healthcare reform than it can deliver. In addition to telling Americans that they could keep their insurance if they liked it – a pledge that millions now know was untrue – Mr Obama said the law would extend coverage to the one in six uninsured Americans, reduce costs for the other five and improve delivery for all six.

There ought to have been more scepticism about whether he could make a thing universally available, higher quality and cheaper all at the same time. Only price controls and public provision could conceivably have done that. And Mr Obama had ruled those out early on.

There ought to have been?  There was plenty of skepticism at the time among those who actually took the time to think it through.  And so far the only promises that have been kept are those the skeptics said would happen.  The fact is this was panned by the entire right, but that argument against was virtually ignored by the main stream press who, on the whole, thought this was a dandy idea.  There was plenty of skepticism … just no one willing to listen to it.  Instead, they chose to listen to the snake-0il-salesman-in-chief.

So is Obama’s presidency failing?  Of course it is.  It is a presidency built on a cult of personality.  And once that which held it together and gave it its strength and resiliency is destroyed, the whole house of cards collapses.  Mr. Obama’s credibility is in tatters.  While there are those who will claim this is recoverable, it’s not.  Even if they finally get the website fixed, they then have to deal with the sticker shock so many are going to experience when they see higher premiums and higher deductions and feel lied too again.

Is the Obama presidency failing?  In a word, ‘yes’.  And if, as Luce claims, Obama is relegated to “permanent lame duck status”, so be it.  That may give the country an outside chance to survive this administration.

~McQ

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41 Responses to Is the Obama presidency failing?

  • No.  This is the Dagwood of crap sandwiches, and it just going to keep squirting out new delights.

    AND this is just ONE of MANY things that is crumbling in front of the Obami.

    Americans  do NOT like being lied to, and we DO like choice…

    The president’s health-care law dropped substantially in popularity over the last month and a half, according to a new poll from Rasmussen Reports — moving to 38/58 approval-disapproval among likely voters, from 45/49 in the firm’s previous survey, conducted October 4–5 (when the exchanges had been launched, but the problems were said to be transitory). That’s the highest disapproval rating for the law since January of this year. Sixty-six percent of Democrats still approve of the law, but that’s down from 73 percent around the law’s debut in October.
    Twenty-eight percent of Americans say their health insurance has been affected by the law. Interestingly, in October, 76 percent of people said that they believe Americans should be able to pick from health-care plans that offer varying degrees of coverage — something the Affordable Care Act makes impossible on the individual market.

    • We have a CHOICE!!!! Yay!
      That means we have the god-given freedom to vote for another Bob Dole, John McCain, or Mitt Romney.
      Halleluja!  Choice choice choice!  Hail democracy!
      </snark>
      The reality is that the Democrats just need to ride this out until the media gets too lazy to harp on it, then look for a new issue to use (some new crisis, scandal, etc.) or to rehash the old stand-bys like “War on Women”. When your toddler starts ambling towards the dog, don’t panic when he’s 20 feet away. Pull out your car keys and jingle them. He’ll quickly forget about the mutt.

      • Halleluja!  Choice choice choice!  Hail democracy!

        Wow.  That whole MARKET choice allusion flew right over your head as you scrambled to diss our Republic again.

        Dole = McAnus = Romney…???  Really…???  No difference there?

        • I confess I don’t see much difference among those establishment GOP squishes. I didn’t vote for any of them, because they are clearly not friends of freedom.

          • Romney was on record as working to kill of ObamaDoggle.

            Obama…SURPRISE!…will turn himself inside out to impose ObamaDoggle.

            THAT was a difference.  One of MANY.  In an existential election, that seemed pretty clear.

            As Milton Friedman taught me, “You have to compare something with something”.

          • Big difference between some senate fossil and a governor and CEO. Sure, Romney wasn’t a hard conservative, but he knew leadership, budgets, etc.

            I think we are in big trouble if we are waiting for Mr. Perfect Conservative.

          • “Romney was on record as working to kill of ObamaDoggle.”

            And Bush I was on record that he was not going to raise taxes. And Obama was on record that he was going to cut spending. I don’t believe any one of the three.

            I base my expectation much more heavily on what someone has actually done rather than what they say they will do. The father of Romneycare was never going to scuttle Obamacare.

            Oh, sure, he would have worked to “reform” it. Which mostly means knocking off some of the sharper edges to make it palatable.

            But that just pushes the problems further down the pike, and making them harder to solve when it is entrenched.

            I’m happier with the current mess. I *knew* it was going to fail, but it was an open question as to whether the failure would be big enough that the media could not hide it. Obama’s toxic combination of arrogance and incompetence assured that.

            I believe, quite seriously, that our chances of throwing off the albatross of Obamacare are greater now than they would have been under Romney. Especially a Romney with a Democratic senate, who would probably have been blamed for any problems instead of Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Schumer, et.al. And who would have then desperately done any kind of half-assed thing that the Democrats would go along with to duck some of the blame.

          • You’re free to opine and believe anything you want, Billy, as you know.

            I think you’re wrong, but we will never know, will we?  And I agree that the BIG MO looks all headed in the right direction just now.

            I don’ think it will simply subside, either.

          • Romney was on record as working to kill of ObamaDoggle.

            RomneyCare.

          • I think we are in big trouble [X] if we are waiting for Mr. Perfect Conservative.

            Your sentence would have been 100% accurate and more concise had you stopped it where I marked it with an [X].
            I would have been quite pleased if Ron Paul had won, even though I wouldn’t call him perfect.  Plenty of other viable leaders who might have fought the establishment never got out of the starting gate before the primaries started.  The nature of democracy means you either have to suck up to the establishment or you have to promise the people lots of free cheez.

          • The nature of democracy means you either have to suck up to the establishment or you have to promise the people lots of free cheez.

            Ignorant bullshit.

          • Ron Paul is a lousy candidate in many ways. His actual executive experience is limited to running his doctors office, better then Biden or Obama but hardly a serious candidate. And of course there are other issues: the left could kill his campaign at will, simply by dredging up his old newsletter. Now, I like RP and agree with him on many things. But there is no way I’d vote for him except to register a protest vote, and I am not inclined to protest vote.

            As far as Romney is concerned, he’s been attacked for Romneycare and signing an assault rifle bill. However, my understanding is that in both cases he was reforming EXISTING MA law which was WORSE.

          • Ron Paul is a lousy candidate in many ways.

            He could never get the votes to win, because he didn’t kiss establishment butt or promise more free cheez.  He was a symbolic figure for the issues he wanted to push.

            As far as Romney is concerned, he’s been attacked for Romneycare and signing an assault rifle bill. However, my understanding is that in both cases he was reforming EXISTING MA law which was WORSE.

            That’s not what I got from what I read about his term as governor.  Also, there were all sorts of things in his past which were scrubbed clean, which was rather troubling.

          • On the Romney AW ban, he had NRA support. He was reforming an existing AW ban. It was hardly ideal, but he wasn’t going to achieve anything close to ideal there.

            With respect to Romneycare, it was also a reform of existing law, and his veto of several provisions could not overcome the supermajority vote (seems he had a line item veto).

            With respect to Ron Paul, he lacks executive experience and he lacks the personality to do well in high level executive positions.

            Generally ideological purity does not go well with high level management skills, IMO (this in part explains Obama’s poor management). Reagan is about as good as it will get, frankly. Anyone making a big deal about issues like the Federal Reserve, or the unconstitutional nature of Social Security or Medicare isn’t going to make it in high level executive office. It doesn’t matter how right you might be. You have to recognize that we lost those fights and that we would lose them again if they were fought today or tomorrow. Bush’s ideas on SS may not be ideologically pure but he came closest to actual reform . . .

          • The fact that it was named “RomneyCare” and had so many similarities to ObamaCare was a huge albatross around his neck. Yes, of course, the pragmatist will argue that he had to do it.  Except, he didn’t.  He could have let them override the veto and kept his name off it.  Or, he could have gotten an honest job instead.

            With respect to Ron Paul, he lacks executive experience and he lacks the personality to do well in high level executive positions.

            *sigh*
            You’re entirely missing the point.  My remark was merely a counter-example to refute the notion that rejecting the likes of Dole, McCain, and Romney, not to mention the Bushes, is demanding perfection. It’s a rejection of rottenness. As I said, Ron Paul was not perfect.  I didn’t endorse him, as I’m fundamentally opposed to democracy. My happiness would simply be relief that the person in that office was not an unprincipled bumbler who only gives lip service to individual rights, the free market, and such.

            Generally ideological purity does not go well with high level management skills, IMO (this in part explains Obama’s poor management).

            That entirely depends upon the ideology. If it’s collectivist-based Marxist-lite, Mussolini-style fascism, wrapped up to look like something else or to be a fill-in-the-blank promise of “change”, implementing it not only requires eventually revealing the dishonesty, but also confronting the reality of the marketplace.
            I don’t think anyone who attains national office can be “pure” in any form of “conservatism” or individualism, just by the nature of democracy. But if we take your statement to be a general one, to include private sector management, I would emphatically disagree. A leader steeped in principles of individualism, personal responsibility, honesty, integrity, etc. who demands the same of his employees can succeed quite well, so long as he has the personal skills to motivate and inspire.
            Obama not only faces problems due to his policies being in direct contradiction to reality in so many instances, but apparently he lacks the personal skills of meeting with people in small groups. He’s been portrayed as an oddball loner in many circumstances.

            “Reagan is about as good as it will get, frankly.”

            Sorry, but Reagan mythology doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. He’s the archetype of the leader who gives lip service to noble ideals. He not only failed to deliver on smaller, less intrusive government, he was responsible for directly violating much of what he ostensibly represented.

        • That whole MARKET choice allusion flew right over your head….

          Yep, guilty as charged.

          as you scrambled to diss our Republic again.

          Is that what you really meant to say?  Want to think that one over a little more?

          Dole = McAnus = Romney…???  Really…???  No difference there?

          You’re the one inserting the “no difference” straw man.  I’m saying that when the only viable alternative to a lying, corrupt Democrat is from that list, we’re f*cked.
          Do I want to have my legs crushed by a steamroller or smashed by hammers, or next time around shredded by glass shards?  Gosh, since I have a choice, I mustn’t complain!

      • Say what you want about Romney (and he did deserve to lose), but he *WAS* right about plenty of things during that election that deserve an “I told you so” moment

        • He was eloquent, especially compared to Obama. His experience actually running things showed through.

          But, as with both Bushes, he had no philosophical core that I could detect. Without that, he would have “pragmatically” sailed along, fighting at best a delaying action against big government. While being blamed for everything that went wrong as our “what can’t go on forever will stop” problems start coming to the meltdown stage, thereby poisoning the well for anyone in the GOP to have a chance at dealing with those problems.

          • While being blamed for everything that went wrong as our “what can’t go on forever will stop” problems start coming to the meltdown stage, thereby poisoning the well for anyone in the GOP to have a chance at dealing with those problems.
            >>>> You’re right of course about all but this last part. Nobody in the GOP will ever deal with these problems. The establishment will see to that.

          • Bush attempted to deal with SS reform. It was killed by public opinion. There are indeed Republicans who are willing to deal with these issues, but they need a big hammer. Reforming something like SS is a scary concept for a GOP that is on the wrong side of the media, and which has a starting point where about 40% of the people think they want to push grandma off the cliff. We are in this position because of popular opinion and an activist media. GOP beltway types like McCain are part of the problem, but only one small part.

          • I’ll also add that I would like to find a solution that didn’t include letting the whole thing break first. Personally I wouldn’t mind giving the “just walk away” speech, but it isn’t what I want for my children.

      • The Republican plan of succession requires that defference be given to Paul Ryan, who doesn’t have an abundance of executive experience, but what may be better, is the only person in Washington who seems to truly understand the budget and the economic mess this government has gotten itself in.

        • Lack of executive experience is a big problem for him (he had potential as Romney’s VP), although what I’ve seen of him suggests he would have a fast learning curve for some aspects of leadership at least . . . I don’t like his tendency to push “immigration reform”.

    • “I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me”

      I really don’t see a glorious path forward for a President who basically echo those words from Otter in Animal House … “You f*cked up, you trusted us !”

    • President Barack Obama told a conference-call audience of 200,000 progressive volunteers on Monday evening that ‘more than 100 million Americans’ – in a nation of less than 314 million – have successfully signed up for health insurance via the Affordable Care Act.

      At best, the man is delusional .. at worst, incapable of telling the truth

  • As long as the liar in chief abuses executive orders, he will proceed along just as usual.

    He’ll cut a deal with Iran that will lead to bloodshed and tears down the road. He will continue to abuse the bureaucracy to hamstring his enemies. And he will change alter swap or edit Obamacare as needed without permission, consent or oversight.

     

  • hmmmmm.

    I confess, the train isn’t plunging into the gorge quite fast enough to suit me.
    Maybe at the end of the month when the ‘web site is fixed’.

    Still, I look forward with anticipation to the coming year of lies, “corrections” and general tale tale story spinning to secure the Senate for the mid-terms.

  • Just another phony scandal, right Jay?

  • Wait, wait, wait. What is Hillary’s executive experience again?  Secretary of State?
    Reset button and Benghazi. No actual treaties signed.
    Yawn. More than Liawatha though.

    • Hey, she’s a WHIZ at futures trading and rain-making (if her husband is in the executive mansion).

      Oh, AND there is NOBODY more qualified when it comes to enabling REALLY bad men in high office.  She’s done that for decades…quite successfully!

  • The reason Obama has to react to political events has been covered over and over on this blog.  The man is not a leader.

  • http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/364281/mccarthy-obamacares-fading-grandfather-provision-about-insidious-it-gets-nro-staff


    That thar seems pretty “smoking gun-ish”…

    Watch the video.  This WILL be the next shoe to drop.  And there is an Imelda Marcos shit-pile MORE shoes behind that.

     

  • Bambi the Man-child, PostTurtle, SockPuppet et al. should have never made it past Chicago Community Agitator, someone propelled this empty suit at warp speeds into the reins of power. Nobody is asking the all-important question: Who? The Malfeasant Media is complicit only in laying down cover-fire, even in this small treason, they are not calling the shots or opening the doors.

  • Now census jobs data turns out faked. The bureaucracy has turned into an overt enemy.  Census. IRS etc

    Time to make this type of sh-t a death penalty offense. Betcha they’d fall into line right quickly, no?

  • They told me if I voted for John McCain that we would be indefinitely at war .. and they were right …

    KABUL – While many Americans have been led to believe the war in Afghanistan will soon be over, a draft of a key US-Afghan security deal obtained by NBC News shows the United States is prepared to maintain military outposts in Afghanistan for many years to come, and pay to support hundreds of thousands of Afghan security forces.
    The wide-ranging document, still unsigned by the United States and Afghanistan, has the potential to commit thousands of American troops to Afghanistan and spend billions of US taxpayer dollars.
    The document outlines what appears to be the start of a new, open-ended military commitment in Afghanistan in the name of training and continuing to fight al-Qaeda. The war in Afghanistan doesn’t seem to be ending, but renewed under new, scaled-down US-Afghan terms.