Which is worse, a false ideology that drives policy or total incompetence in carrying out the policy? Actually, the second might be our salvation, given that the first leads to doom. The Obama administration seems to have cornered the market on both. It doesn’t matter if you look at domestic policy or foreign policy—the wrong ideas and the inability to accomplish anything pervades both. At least we can say they are consistent.
Wrong beliefs led to a fiasco like the IRS targeting of conservative groups. Paranoid about any opposition to his policies, the president turned a blind eye (or may have pointed the direction) when the IRS trained its big guns on anyone who disagrees with their boss. Publicly, Obama decried the injustice, then blithely declared there wasn’t a smidgen of corruption in the incident. Congressional Republicans have tried to investigate but have run into the proverbial stonewall, as the administration refuses to cooperate. Yet they haven’t given up. The IRS may have to come under the microscope eventually. Should that happen, IRS officials will have a taste of their own medicine:
Foreign policy has been a disaster, no matter where one turns. One of Obama’s spokespersons in the State Department yesterday asserted that Obama doesn’t give himself enough credit for what he has accomplished in his dealings with other nations. When pressed by reporters (finally doing their job) to give an example, the spokesperson could only hem and haw. Laughter ensued. If not even your lapdog press believes you anymore, what does that mean?
The incompetence isn’t at the top only. When Obama did his photo op in Afghanistan (because that’s all it really was) earlier this week, the press release about it listed the name of the top CIA chief in the country, thereby making his identity known to the entire world. How could staffers make such a blunder? is it perhaps because they are as prepared for their jobs as the commander in chief was for his?
Further, the approach taken by this administration has become public image over substance. Our new social media, while a boon in many ways, can also become an avenue of trivialization of important matters:
Michelle Obama jumped on the trendy hashtag remedy for correcting the evils of the world. Somehow, that’s the perfect symbol for the Obama years. One can only speculate how the president would have handled earlier global challenges if he had been in charge at the time:
America has never been perceived as weaker in the world’s eyes. Obama tried to defend his foreign policy and the use of the military in a speech to West Point cadets the other day. Whenever a president has to declare he is not weak, that means he probably is. When the New York Times and the Washington Post, two of the president’s staunchest apologists, pan the speech as pointless and devoid of real meaning, that means it truly was pointless and devoid of meaning.
We’re in trouble. But you already know that.