Monday, June 9, 2014

Obama's "Moment" Has Arrived

There was an interesting article in the Financial Times the other day. To sum up the article, here is the money quote: “When leadership fails, people stop following. It appears in the sixth year of the Barack Obama presidency, that moment has arrived.” Yep.

According to the author, the American public has now had a long, hard look at the “talent” inside the White House and they have begun to “despair for real leadership and competence.” This is based on a recent CNN poll which found that Obama doesn’t gain a majority of support any of twelve issues surveyed. In fact, the closest he comes to having public support is on environmentalism, which is normally an overwhelming Democratic issue. Here that's his best issue because his disapproval only leads by 4% -- 49% to 45%. Interestingly, when it comes to healthcare, Obama’s key issue, his disapproval swamps his approval 63% to 36%. Similarly, on economic issues, his disapproval crushes his approval 61% to 38%.

Even more to the point, the author cites to an analysis by the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, who says that Obama’s polling problems are the result of a lack of competence. He notes that “the core of Obama’s appeal [in 2008] was the idea that he would restore competence back to the White House after President George W. Bush’s eight years.” But as the scandals keep piling up (the real ones, not the talk radio ones), it has become glaringly apparent that Obama is just as incompetent as Bush, if not worse. In support of this analysis, Cillizza cites to a Pew poll which asked the public about Obama’s “executive competence.” In February of 2009, the poll found that Obama was overwhelmingly seen as competent by 70% to 15%. By December 2013, this number had fallen to base-support level of 43% to 51%. In other words, the only people who still see Obama as competent are base Democrats.

According to the Financial Times, this is the result of three specific scandals. First is Obamacare, where the rollout of the website was a disaster even after 42 months and $400 million spent. Moreover, Obama promised everyone they could keep their plans, and yet millions got cancelled and millions more lost their doctors. And how did Obama respond? Did he fix anything? Did he fire those responsible? No. He proclaimed himself madder than anyone else and then said Sebelius had done a great job.

Then you have the VA scandal. This is an issue Obama himself campaigned on. He demanded more money and called Bush incompetent and uncaring. Congress then gave Obama $235 billion more over the next five years and what did that get us? Even worse incompetence... plus lies. Whistleblowers showed up to say that the VA was lying about waiting lists (an internal investigation found that 64% of facilities had engaged in wait-list fraud and 13% of schedulers had actually been trained in how to commit it), had falsified records to hide the truth, and that dozen of veterans died while being denied medical attention.

Obama responded by declaring himself madder than anyone else and did nothing until Secretary Shinseki decided he couldn’t take the heat anymore and resigned.

The third they identify is a national security catchall, which is basically the trade of five Taliban commanders for this dipsh*t deserter. As this story unfolded, Obama kept denying the truth, offering new reasons why this trade had to be made, and swearing he would do it again and again. Yet, at every phase, the White House story has fallen apart. And Obama’s attempt to defend himself by attacking the critics have blowup on him since the critics are the soldiers who did their best to save this skunk. Even the Democrats are freaking out about this one.

The key thread in each of these instances is that Obama appears clueless. Obama makes some claim about something being important to him. He appoints incompetent people to handle the issue. He makes some unicorn-like speech that fails to address reality and makes promises he can’t keep. Everything blows up when reality strikes. Then Obama acts indignant, does his “tell me whose ass to kick” routine, and attacks everyone else for somethingsomethingpoliticizedsomethingsomething, and he promptly retreats from the camera and responsibility.

That’s not competent leadership, not by any stretch.

Now, I would add a few other things that have gone wrong for Obama. Let’s start with Russia. Obama made political hay throughout his administration by accusing the Republicans of being hopelessly lost in the past when it comes to Russia. To much fanfare and self-congratulations, he pushed the reset button and ushered in a new age of friendship. But not only have recent events proven that to have been foolish and delusional, but Putin has gotten away with waving his tiny Russian pecker in Obama’s face for months.

Obama’s economic policy is impotent. He’s fired trillions of dollars in stimulus at the economy and all he’s gotten for it was grief, like when everyone mocked him for claiming that he “saved or created” jobs. There was an announcement this week that we’ve finally recovered all the jobs lost since 2008 this week. So it took Obama’s vaunted economic policy six years to get back to zero – and even then, this isn’t zero because these jobs have lower income and no jobs were created for all the people who came of age over the past six years. Add to this that millions of Americans are still upside down on their home mortgages. Consumer debt is at record levels. Unemployment is still higher than at any point under Bush. And work force participation is at the lowest level in history. Yet, Obama has stopped talking about his plan because he doesn’t have one. Basically, he tried one thing in 2009... it didn’t work... and he quit.

Consider his political timing too. Obama’s timing is so bad that it almost seems like he’s trying to undermine his own party during the elections. His release of his coal-killing rules came out the day after Mitch McConnell won the primary in Kentucky and liberal news sites are screaming that Obama just handed the Republicans that seat. He's done similar things repeatedly because he just doesn't think about the effects of his actions on others, even his friends.

This is all bad for Obama because this is where his legacy is being written. And what his legacy is morphing into is our first “lazy quitter” President. What you have is a President who has demonstrated that he doesn’t hire competent people, he doesn’t monitor them, he makes unrealistic promises, he never admits mistakes, he never learns from his mistakes, he doesn’t think about the consequences of his actions, he’s impotent when faced with someone of equal stature who won’t surrender, and he walks away when things go wrong. There’s not much there to love. And the polls are reflecting that.


Rustbelt said...

The only thing sadder than the info about Obumbler in this article is the fact that it took 6 years for all these people to realize what guys like us already knew about His Anointedness in 2008. And, as Bev reminded us, we've still got 2 1/2 more years of this crap remaining. Okay, altogether...

99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer...oh, wait. Wait. Hold on. We're gonna need a lot more booze than that.

AndrewPrice said...

Rustbelt, Humans are notoriously slow at seeing through con men, and Obama is the biggest con ever tried on the American people.

Note however, that Larry and I were warning people from day one of the blog that Obama was no genius. Even as guys like Rush were calling him an all-powerful evil Genius who was the embodiment of Alynsky's dead hand and would remake America according to some perfect evil plan, we were pointing out that he was an unaccomplished moron destined to fail.

Rustbelt said...

Andrew, I do remember those days in 2008. Laughing my butt off at people who said we needed 'leadership' mixed in with 'hope and change.' I'd jump in and note how Senator Obama hadn't led a thing in his life. Of course, they just brushed me off and switched the conversation to what a party his campaign was and seemed to justify their support of him on that alone. To continue my beer theme, I can only imagine the hangover these people are waking up from.
To be honest, I was kind of on the side of talk radio and the 'evil genius' persona at the time. (I'd still call some of his aides very Alinsky-esque.) Shortly thereafter, however, the incompetence became glaringly clear.

And interestingly, I was re-reading some of the older articles at the film site this evening and it brought a smile to my face to see some of LawHawk's comments. He is definitely missed, but will never be forgotten.

AndrewPrice said...

Rustbelt, It was amazing to me how many people (left and right) at the time just simply overlooked what struck me as so obvious -- this was a man who had never done anything and whose own words made it clear he had no realistic idea how to problem solve.

We are now seeing that full bore.

Yeah, I miss LawHawk too.

Kit said...


I am ashamed to admit I sort of fell for the "evil genius" canard. I'm going to play the "dumb 18-year old college kid" card.
I've since grown up. :-)

I wasn't at this site long enough to actually know Lawhawk but I've read a few older articles and seen some of his comments. He seemed like a great guy.

Anthony said...

Great article. Unless Obama has a sudden, uncharacteristic attack of competence, its all downhill from here for the Democrats.

I confess I said that in 2012 (I also went through some Lawhawk posts and threads this morning) but winning office is a different thing than running an administration and Obama has shown he is capable of the first but not the second.

tryanmax said...

A lot of my right-wing friends and relatives still cling to the "evil genius" meme, so nobody here should feel bad for ever falling for it. My bet: just as the base Dems still think Obama is competent, the base Tea Partiers still think he is an evil genius.

I won't vouch for what I did or did not fall for 7 years ago. All I can remember is that I was simultaneously impressed and dismayed by his ultra-slick marketing campaign. Since he's taken office, it's almost become mantra with me to remind folks: "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

I did find all the Alinsky stuff very interesting when Beck et al were frothing about it, but the thing that still continues to elude them is that Alinsky tactics only work in asymmetrical politics for the weaker side. Instead of continuing to disparage the tactics, Beck et al should be adopting them.

Anang said...

Obama's playing out the third act of his greek tragedy like political career. John Podhoretz called him President Bartleby: he would prefer not to. VDH compared him to Oedipus Rex "I have nothing to hide from the athenians!". Even his decline was predictable. It's gonna be a long 2 years until President Hillary.

Critch said...

All I can say is that I wouldn't follow Obama into a house of ill repute. He's just a talking head with lots of allies in the media. His handling of Benghazi, the border, this Army deserter (and that's what the little bastard is), and so many other things is pathetic. It's actually dawned on some of my lefty friends that Obama has done nothing for them at all...he's just hot air.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Most people did. At least people are seeing the truth now!

Lawhawk was always fun to read. He was witty and funny with an interesting perspective.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Thanks! And I agree. Nice way to put it, by the way, "a sudden, uncharacteristic attack of competence." LOL!

On 2012, I'm convinced that wasn't an Obama win-- it was a GOP forfeit. He lost 9 million votes. The GOP should have crushed him. The problem was that the GOP splintered and made themselves even less attractive to the public.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I still hear the same evil genius impulse at times, at least among people prone to conspiracy theories. If you listen to some of the local talk radio guys, for example, you still hear lots of talk about his horrible performance being intentionally so that things go wrong and people turn to him to fix it. It's positively nuts... but they believe it.

His marketing was excellent, but the problem was that he couldn't hide behind it forever. And every time he came out from behind the marketing, there was a disconnect. He came across as unknowledgeable, inexperienced, and arrogant, and that's a horrible combination. To me, he came across as a guy who thinks he's a genius but he's never done anything and he doesn't have a clue what he doesn't know yet... but he was so arrogant that he was sure the rest of the world would bend to his will. I see that a lot in young lawyers and they always get their asses handed to them. Enter Obama.

On Beck, the reason he won't adopt Alinsky's methods is because he can't separate methods from ends and he believes that by adopting his methods, he would be simultaneously adopting his goals.

AndrewPrice said...

AM, I don't see Obama having the ability to turn any of this around either. He doesn't even realize that he's done anything wrong, so he will just chug on ahead until he retires and then he'll wait for his deification.

As for Hillary, I'm not so sure she's even going to make it through the primaries.

AndrewPrice said...

Critch, That's the biggest joke of them all -- he's done nothing for the left. He's discredited all of their causes and turned off the public to further leftism, yet he got them nothing. I think they started realizing this in 2010, but they haven't been able to do anything about it.

BevfromNYC said...

If only Obama WERE an evil genius! Like I keep saying to my liberal friends who voted for him twice...well, they only have themselves to blame - not me, because I tried to warn them. It is so predictable that the left continues to blame the Republicans for all the ills of the Obama administration. That is it weren't for the Republicans, Obamacare would be great, but THEY just didn't fix it! And the VA - if only the Republicans had fixed the problem. Benghazi - if only the Republicans had not turned down Hillary when she asked for more money to defend our Embassies! It is as if all the liberals and Democrats in Congress and otherwise have been jailed or in some forced exile for last 70 years.

At least they have dropped the "Bush did it too" and "It's Bush's fault". They tried with the VA, except Obama made a big deal during his 2008 campaign about fixing the VA. So that fell flat.

It is what we have always known. He is a community organizer and this is where his true genius lies. The main job of which is always been to pit one group against another. And that always includes demeaning and bullying the opposition to embarrass them into complying with his demands. So he has never had to convince or compromise with his opponents to come together for a solution. Which is why he just cannot find a way to work with Congress to get what he wants. I am really surprised at what a poor politician he is. He is not an executive. He is not a leader. And not one person can actually tell me what he organized in Chicago or what his accomplishments have been in his life...except being an excellent speaker.

Kit said...


You just had to keep digging, didn't you? You've finally figured it out.

Obama is a Republican agent. We knew after the disasters during the Bush administration that the GOP was going to have trouble so we picked a man who could ruin the Dems reputation. But we felt 4 years would not be enough so we had to keep him going for 8, that meant setting up Sarah Palin and a few others to divide the party and thus keep him in power for another 4 years. 4 more years of incompetence and stupidity to hammer in the message that Dems cannot be trusted with governance. So far, its been successful.

Unfortunately, we made one major miscalculation: Who do we run in 2016?

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I hear almost no one believe the "Bush did" it argument anymore. I know Pelosi still tries to make it, but people seem to ignore it out of hand.

You are absolutely right about him not being able to work with Congress because he's never done anything that requires him to work with (rather than against) other people. Where I am a little surprised is that he seemed to have a competent election team in 2008, but they ended up completely incapable of running the White House. I wonder if he believed his own press and took over once he won?

One correction though, he's a good reader. He's a horrible speaker.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, He's certainly been the best thing to happen to conservatism. If he had been the least bit competent and moderate, conservatism would be dead today.

Who do we run? Arg. I still think Bush will be the nominee.

Kit said...


"I still think Bush will be the nominee."

Dammit! You figured it out! We had to use Obama to wash the bad taste out of the mouth from George W. Bush.

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - His election team are only competent enough to run his campaign, and none of them see that once the election was won, the gears needed to change to governance.. That is very clear since it appears that all he does is make "campaign" appearances before staged audiences to promote something or another. And anytime he has to account for a major blunder, he takes to the late night talk shows rather than engage with actual journalist or, say, explaining directly to the American people. They have no clue what actually do to get pass bills. And Obama, being Obama just defaults to Nero mode and calling out anyone as a racist who disagrees with him (old news...).

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, It wouldn't surprise me if this was all some Bush family plot. The Clintons are probably in on it too.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, That's true. Nice observation. They were fine as a campaign team, but they never managed to switch over to a governing team because they couldn't get out of campaign mode.

And you're right, he has no clue what it takes to pass a law. Even with Democrats in charge, he was clueless. Wow.

Kit said...

I remember hearing that Rahm Emmanuel was opposed to Obamacare, thinking it to ambitious and too far-left for the country to take and that, if passed/pushed through, the country would push back. His advice was ignored.

AndrewPrice said...

I remember that. He was right. Too bad for the country he wasn't listened too.

Rustbelt said...

Wait. The country would've been better off if only we'd listened to advice from Rahm Emmanuel!?!

37 bottles of beer on the wall. 37 bottles of beer...

Rustbelt said...

Also, I know Bev beat me to the obvious, but she's right that the Obama campaign people couldn't be expected to just take those skills to the White House as governance is different from campaigning. I came up with this analogy.
I've been studying organized crime a lot over the past year. One thing that keeps coming up is people saying, "if only they put such energy towards work in the private/legal sector, the good things they (mobsters) could accomplish." This statement is incredibly naive. It ignores the fact that gangsters/mobsters are successful in illegal activity. Most aren't very smart and end up in the life because they're unable to make a living in decent society. Sure, there are exceptions, such as bosses like Frank Costello or Paul Castellano. But for the vast majority, this isn't true. Being a successful criminal means acquiring ill-gotten gains through any means necessary. ANY means necessary. Comparing this to the legit world is apples to oranges.

Also, on the issue of 2016, I think it's still an open field. Jeb Bush will be hindered by his name. (Ironically, he's actually got the best skills and record of anyone in his family. Go figure.) I'm not sure how much he'll be embraced, even if the leadership favors him. (But hey, at least Chris Christie's falling off the radar. It could be worse!)
Truth is, we've got several people who'd make a great president- Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley, Condoleeza Rice...
The problem is, while they'd be great chief executives, when it comes to being candidates, they're straight out of the "Mitt Romney Mold." In other words, they're mostly stiff and lack the sexy charisma that tends to garner support in today's elections. How our candidate comes across and handles modern cyber media will be just as important as their resume.

AM said...

Jeb may be content to play kingmaker in favor of rubio. Or for a political appointment in the rubio govt. rubio would be the perfect opponent to a hillary run. It would be the non-white young guy against a feeble crusty old white woman.

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