One of the very few mistakes the Founding Fathers made in 1777 is failing to include in the U.S. Constitution some protections against electing an incompetent president.
Early 20th-century journalist H.L. Mencken warned about such problems when he wrote for the Baltimore Evening Sun in 1920, “As democracy is perfected, … on some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
Barack Obama is not a moron, but evidence mounts from several compass points that he is not up to the task of running the country.
For starters, Obama has never run anything in his life. The closest he came was conducting local voter registration campaigns for Project Vote, which included ACORN, according to The Wall Street Journal. He’s never managed or run an organization, even a small one. This man offers a thin resume, with near-zero experience in practical leadership abilities or big-picture wisdom. Obama doesn’t have a clue how to run the most powerful organization in history, a monster with an all-powerful military and stupendous bureaucracy.
In the 19th century, the men who were successful in the White House were mostly military men who thought strategically and knew how to run complex operations. In the past century, the better presidents were most often former governors with experience as state chief executives.
More worrisome in Obama’s case is that the man has no experience or skills in hiring managers or executives to run things for him. Such shortcomings are starkly evident in the people he has appointed or hired.
It would be comforting to find among Obama’s czars and department heads anyone with executive skills from the private sector, or people with business experience running complex organizations. Search hard, but what you’ll find are mostly political types and people from government or academia who believe in wishy-washy sanctions against America’s geo-enemies and who develop government programs that fail or are ineffective.
In fact, Obama is in last place among the past 19 U.S. presidents in terms of the percentage of major appointees with prior private-sector experience.
Debacles abound, including:
- The Obamacare rollout, which became a calamity because Obama managed it like a rookie, not a seasoned executive;
- The Benghazi tragedy, another example of a bungled operation, with deadly consequences;
- An IRS scandal that targeted conservative groups. An oblivious Obama said he learned about it from news reports. Apparently, the commander in chief was the bystander in chief;
- The National Security Agency scandal, when an aloof and insulated president again said he knew nothing about the revelations that the agency was spying on both Americans and foreign leaders. There appears to be no managerial chain of command in the Obama administration;
- Obama’s Cash-for-Clunkers program, which slaughtered the used-car market and cost taxpayers millions. Or the $800 billion stimulus package for shovel-ready projects that Obama said he had but didn’t;
- Failed financial due diligence on companies like Solyndra, which promptly went bankrupt after receiving taxpayer money;
- The Obama administration’s foreign-policy-that-isn’t, such as abandoning the missile defense system in Poland without telling America’s allies;
- The failed projects of Obama’s “Green Energy Policy” and the more recent management failures of the nation’s veteran’s hospitals, resulting in deaths;
- The Justice Department’s incompetent Fast & Furious “gun-walking” decision that put 1,400 firearms into the hands of criminals.
Incompetence in a president does not violate the law of the land, and neither does ruling by personal charisma. But as CEO, Obama failed on multiple occasions to implement adequate controls and to monitor the actions of his departments, while imposing no limits on his managers’ behavior. There’s a good argument that the incompetence of Obama and his appointees is directly connected to his failure to recruit managers and executives trained in business decision-making.
Instead, as we now see the full bloom of the imperial presidency, the administration’s level of incompetence is frightening.
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