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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Examining the Fruit of the Presidency

For John, BLUFWho is President Obama?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I know that there is a small group of Citizens who think President Obama is doing a bad job.  Most of those who I know think that the President is a crooked political manipulator (e.g., he runs against opponents who are divorced and their sealed divorce records somehow pop into the open).  I have been arguing that he is feckless and uninvolved.  I am apparently in the minority.  Now I have some support.

Law Professor and Blogger Ann Althouse points us to an OpEd by Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, from yesterday.  The Althouse Blog title (and Mr Milbank's lede) is "President Passerby needs urgently to become a participant in his presidency."

Reuters correspondent Jeff Mason asked [White House Press Secretary Jay Carney] how Obama felt about “being compared to President Nixon on this.”

The press secretary laughed.  “People who make those kinds of comparisons need to check their history,” he said.

Carney had a point there.  Nixon was a control freak.  Obama seems to be the opposite:  He wants no control over the actions of his administration.  As the president distances himself from the actions of “independent” figures within his administration, he’s creating a power vacuum in which lower officials behave as though anything goes.  Certainly, a president can’t know what everybody in his administration is up to — but he can take responsibility, he can fire people and he can call a stop to foolish actions such as wholesale snooping into reporters’ phone calls.

It isn't just Columnist Dana Milbank and myself.  Here is a clip from Downfall, showing the German Chancellor being not so enthralled.

How do you see it? free polls 

Regards  —  Cliff

  That is to say, the inmates (staffers) have been running the asylum (Executive Office).


Renee said...

" As the president distances himself from the actions of “independent” figures within his administration, he’s creating a power vacuum in which lower officials behave as though anything goes. "

And to think he taught Constitutional Law???

Neal said...

His disengagement from the mundane process of government and governing is a classic if not preeminent symptom of his pathological narcissism and acute megalomania. The accusations of his constant campaigning while in a sense well targeted, miss the REASON for that behavior. Obama LOVES...CRAVES.....
REQUIRES constant adoration...the rush he gets from being on stage....and that is what he demands and pursues.....the intellectual part of the office is anathema to him. He doesn't want to be bothered with details....only the glory of being The One. That is why he brought on all the Czars and a fresh infusion of Administration do the work while he does the "marketing."

And that is why nothing "sticks" to him. It can't. The doers are lost in the adoring crowd that he has assembled...people who will sign loyalty oaths and fall on their swords for failing him. He says he is unaware of this or that scandal..because he IS unaware...and really isn't very interested in BECOMING aware...unless it threatens his glory.

Jack Mitchell said...

Obama is definitely NOT one of The Authoritarians.

Is he stepping in the footprints of the "Imperial President?" Yes. Unfortunately.

I wish Congress worked better.

Neal said...

I just wish Congress worked. Not to sound naive, but there is too much partisanship today and not enough that I mean...seeking answers to critical questions and doing something about those answers. Instead we have silly king of the mountain games and a race to make everything bigger..instead of just making what we have work better. The best example I can think of is the constant quest to legislate...make more laws...instead of simply insisting on using the ones we have. Today, Federal law has become so convoluted and gargantuan that I doubt anyone has an "understanding" of it.

C R Krieger said...

I too wish Congress worked better.

Regards  —  Cliff