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Jewish World Review
August 27, 2009
/ 7 Elul 5769
Obama's Carousel of Incompetence
According to the Gallup Poll, the Prophet Obama's
job approval is now at its lowest since his coronation. It began at 70
percent. Now it is at 51 percent. Equally glum, his disapproval rating has
climbed from 11 percent to 42 percent. So what about his golf game up there
at Martha's Vineyard? From all I have been able to ascertain, it is
mediocre. In other words, Mr. Obama, you are no Dan Quayle. Former Vice
President Quayle was a really superb golfer. Moreover, he ran a competent
staff. Naturally, it was smaller than Mr. Obama's, but it was run
My belief, based on reports in the news and from my private
network of seasoned agents and provocateurs, is that this White House is a
carousel of incompetence. How else do we explain the ravening push on all
fronts health care, the environment, fiscal reform, intelligence reform
and a foreign policy of humility and apology? Unsurprisingly, on every
front, the president is in trouble. Remember chief of staff Rahm Emanuel's
callous enjoiner "you never want a serious crisis to go to waste"? This
White House is a serious crisis.
According to sources with whom I confer, the Obama White House
is the most tightly controlled White House in years, with the president,
Emanuel and David Axelrod micromanaging practically everything. They
constitute what is called "the Politburo," and the news story waiting to be
written is that their control is as stultifying as was Jimmy Carter's
control of his White House. Stupendous failure is in the cards.
The Politburo follows no organizational flowcharts. A source
deeply rooted in official Washington tells me that when the president and
his fellows want information from the National Security Council, they may go
to its head, Gen. James L. Jones, or they may not. They may just call in one
or two of his subordinates. If they do this with Jones, they probably do it
with other government heads. That cannot be good for morale, to say nothing
of orderly decision-making. Slowly some news stories are appearing that
convey the harum-scarum state of things in the Obama government. Burnout
afflicts staffers. The president has fewer than half his appointments in
place to advance his historically unprecedented agenda. Mr. Emanuel, your
crisis is shaping up nicely.
Some months back, Sidney Blumenthal then a loyal Democrat
expecting an appointment over at the State Department, where he could serve
with his idol Hillary Clinton inadvertently told a reporter that the
Chicagoans coming in with Mr. Obama were even greener than the Arkansans who
came in with the Clintons. By "greener," he was not referring to their
environmental bona fides. He was referring to their governmental experience.
They were provincials, though coming from a large and sophisticated city,
they were much less aware of what they did not know than were the Arkansans.
Remember that Blumenthal is from Chicago and that he was very close to the
Clintons. His revelation is well-grounded.
Blumenthal did not get the appointment the Clintons wanted for
him. That brings me to still more evidence of the Politburo's incompetence,
to wit, bringing a Clinton into the Cabinet. Last year, Mr. Obama beat
Hillary Clinton in an acrimonious competition for the nomination. She was
beaten and out of the limelight. Her husband was discredited as a campaigner
and revealed as a cad. The Clintons should have been history. But the
geniuses in what we now call the Politburo brought Hillary back to center
stage and installed her at State. Then they attempted to hem her in by
appointing nearly 20 special envoys and ambassadors, who constitute what The
Washington Times reports is "a confusing patchwork of policy fiefdoms inside
the administration that lacks clearly defined lines of command and has the
potential for miscommunication on a grand scale." So they brought to the
State Department the kind of confusion they brought to the White House, and
they did it at a time when foreign policy has to contend with international
terror, nuclear proliferation, two wars and a dollar in decline. Moreover,
they have antagonized the Clintons.
During the 1990s, such incompetence was not particularly
dangerous. The economy was sound. The Cold War was over. We could sit back
and enjoy the show as Bill and Newt entertained us. It was, as a gifted
phrasemaker put it, The End of History. Now history has begun again. Nuclear
arms could fall into the hands of the kind of barbarians who attacked New
York and Washington on 9/11. Other nations are prospering with modern
conceptions of economic growth, while here at home, the economy is weak and
overseen by reactionaries with a 1930s grasp of governance and economics.
Over at the White House, we see three amateurs and a carousel of
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© 2008, Creators Syndicate