Lately I have been reflecting on why the Obama Presidency is so long on academic credentials yet so short on accomplishments. It has to do with the difference between doers and thinkers. The president has surrounded himself with stars of academia and political strategists who have an agenda to push in the process of governing but little in the way of management experience. Note that I distinguish between managing and governing. A governor, as described in the mechanical sense, guides a system that is already operational but requires minor adjustments to function optimally. A manager modifies that system to a greater or lesser degree to achieve a goal.
President Obama is barely able to govern, let alone manage when the need arises. A manager would have set up new guidelines for say, a national oil policy, instead of simply badmouthing fossil fuels and browbeating the corporate world into product reformulations that re-labeled existing technologies as new or green. A manager would have immediately set up a consortium of interests who had tangible experience with oil drilling and the attendant problems associated with it and not filled a room with academics and called it 'expert.' And lastly, a competent manager would not have ignored the whole mess for two months and lied about creating a panel that hadn't met nor had the expertise to deal with such a protracted problem a mile under water.
Even a governor who was worth his salt would have caught on, albeit late in the game, that you have to bring together people with real experience to deal with a developing environmental crisis. It may close beaches in four states for years. It may put a hold on a fishing industry whose workers already live hand to mouth. That BP decided to pay out unlimited funds, and we know that that is what it will come to barring bankruptcy, is small comfort to those who labored by the sea they are now barred from even dipping a toe into. Why the president waited two months to take control and even now is barring equipment and manpower from aiding the cleanup effort is secondary to the result of such incompetence: his neglect has resulted in a monumental environmental catastrophe.
You may say that the President needed time to formulate a plan or cull information from experts to engage in such a large scale enterprise, but there is little evidence that he paid any attention to the situation at all. His experts are accomplished authors and may even have received a Nobel Prize (of which he never tires of reminding us), but they live in pristine, oil-free ivory towers. They could no more stop a leak a mile down in the sea than I could convince liberals that budgeting helps you bounce fewer checks. No matter: President Obama can take time out from his various sporting activities to proclaim the spill solved while simultaneously giving a shout out to his intellectual 'soul brothers' in the New Black Panthers or some such nonsense.
I used to think that we were experiencing a sort of Jimmy Carter Redux: an incompetent president who enjoyed cloying press coverage while shaming the country for its superpower status and pontificating on our need to lower expectations. No more. I now feel that the far left splinter group of the Democrat Party is in fleeting control of the levers of power and will die on their collective swords to accomplish a fraction of the socialist agenda they have been advocating for a century. You've got to give them kudos for staying true to an ideology. They truly believe that most people need a government to care for them and protect them from themselves - even though history tells us otherwise. But I digress.
All agendas aside, and that is a big aside because I believe this catastrophe could have been avoided, the White House governs like a blindfolded sufferer of Parkinson's Disease serving high tea. It tramples the spirit of the Constitution while happily proclaiming the benefits of its high-minded efforts to grant the same 'rights' to Americans enjoyed by the Europeans. Those rights include a legal requirement to pay 60%+ taxes, the right to be free of moral restrictions like the rule of law or the maintenance of borders, the right to stay home and be provided for by 'evil rich people' and the right to limit the free speech of anybody who disagrees with them through the implementation of various 'Fairness Doctrines.'
Who can bemoan the loss of a few thousand acres of shore-front property in the effort to save us from Global Warming through legislation that restricts the use of fossil fuels. After all, oil is poisoning the environment, whether in crude form or as an oxidized greenhouse gas. This mentality is exactly the same as banning guns because they kill people. Or banning SUVs because they burn too much fuel. Assuming the human race is unable to control its lusts is key to understanding the Democrats' tendency to over-legislate and -regulate.
But I fear in the case of the oil spill the White House is simply in over its head. Yes, an environmental disaster might make unconstitutional bans on drilling more palatable to a skeptical public. And yes the argument for alternate energy sources is buttressed by our inability to guarantee flawless drilling a mile or ten undersea. And yes, the environmental calamity fits well with that sex-crazed poodle Al Gore's scenario of fossil fuels destroying the planet, if only it were true...
There is no excuse for incompetency in the White House. That's why the press is so adamant about blaming an oil company and not the regulators who are charged with ensuring safe drilling practices. And all the better if you can blame a past president of the 'evil' party. But the claims of the press can no longer shield the Democrats' inattentiveness and often brutal arrogance from public view. The liberal apologists who mouth approval every minute and with every printed word no longer protect its favored party. Perhaps they still believe that incompetence can be ignored by the public so long as it serves their chosen agenda.
I could mention our porous borders hemorrhaging illegals while the scandalously incompetent Janet Napolitano declares them as secure as ever. Or the financial condition of our economy, with Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd insisting the housing market is sound after they effectively bankrupted the entire world through their criminal undersight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But Janet Napalitano was incompetent before President Obama came along; he just put her in charge of homeland security, a grave mistake indeed. And as for Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd, they have systematically planned for the ruination of the housing industry for decades. Yes, for decades. Under the guise of forcing banks to write mortgages for minorities, Messrs. Frank And Dodd have undermined the financial underpinnings for the entire world. They knew this would happen: they didn't care.
So when you refer to Obama as incompetent, you might want to think of it as, 'incompetent as a fox.' For even thought there is no management experience in the White House, there are many academics and failed revolutionaries who want to see our country burn. And they have until November 2nd to achieve their goals. After that, they will melt back into academia and become consultants and lobbyists. Think Harry Reid is worried about what he'll be doing on November 3rd? He's already got a lobbying gig lined up. Nancy Pelosi will be re-elected by the most liberal district in the union, or simply return to the Republic of California to mismanage her winery and hotel.
Management experience speaks volumes about style, substance and ethics. If President Obama had ever served as a Governor he would not now be President. But, as the press did not cover his wildly socialist stint in academia or his populist votes while in office, I wonder if experience would have mattered in his case. Incompetent like a fox: now there's a phrase.
Victor The Contractor
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Victor the Contractor: Incompetent Like a Fox
By Victor the Contractor