Is President Obama Ineffective?
It was either do a post asking “Is President Obama ineffective?” as a vlog for Friday, or review Kelly Rowland’s new song as a blog post today. Kelly’s going on the vlog because Obama won for today’s blog post about the scandals that are socking him in a record amount of time.
I speak, of course, of the IRS scandal, the AP scandal, and the Benghazi scandal. I mean, all these scandals this week and Scandal‘s season finale is tonight. We can’t even make it to Thursday night at 10 p.m. EDT this week before the bottom falls out of Washington! I prefer my DC scandals as part of an addictive fictitious show, thankyouverymuch.
President Obama…man…my dude is having a rough week (and second term)! Everything that’s happening is happening under his watch. While it is nice to see some people note that everything isn’t necessarily Obama’s fault (and things are largely out of his control), as Peter Baker noted in this New York Times article, it does raise questions about the office of the President of the United States and how much control he actually has over the federal government.
I don’t think we’re as far-gone as the Warren G. Harding Presidency with corruption (Harding’s outrageously corrupt cabinet basically ran the country as Harding didn’t really want to be President), nor are we reaching Nixon levels of scandal and corruption. However, there is “something” here with the only scandal that is passably, potentially, possibly, theoretically a real scandal – the IRS scandal. That “something” is that a Bush appointee, Douglas Shulman, the former IRS commissioner sat back and let the investigation and pegging of Tea Party/conservative groups begin in 2010. Many of these groups, rightfully, don’t have 501(c)4 status today. (THAT part might be like Nixon and Watergate – using the IRS to persecute political opponents.) I don’t know why a Republican would allow a partisan investigation like that (liberal groups were given passes) unless he didn’t like the idea of the Tea Party or maybe, you know, he represents the government-sanctioned agency charged with collecting taxes in America and those groups are in favor of overthrowing the government and not paying taxes.
“I don’t know much about algebuh, but…” – Beyoncé
Even though that has nothing to do with President Obama, it’s still under his watch. I wonder why he had Secretary Lew ask for the resignation of Steven Miller, the acting commissioner for the IRS, when nothing is being done about Shulman, who testified to Congress that there was no wrongdoing, when one of his top people in charge of non-profits (Lois Lerner) was aware of what was going on and improperly tagging new conservative groups. Why not call Lerner and Shulman to the carpet instead?
The AP “scandal” is probably not a real scandal. The Department of Justice is more than likely 100% legal in what they did in the interest of protecting Americans (in this case CIA agents). The Benghazi “scandal” is just noise. The White House released emails that show their emails were tampered with after being sent, probably by GOP operatives trying to make the story fit their narrative. (Source: Joe Klein for Time Magazine.)
All that aside, Obama is still being blamed even though he and his White House have been hands-off. Is this good? Peter Baker says no. It gives the perception that Obama is ineffective at managing government even though none of this is really on him, per se. He appears as a “bystander” when he’s arguably the most powerful man in the world. He’s can’t even get his adversaries to agree on financial policy and job creation when other (white, Democratic) Presidents were able to do so with other (white, Republican) opponents. (Seriously, are they forgetting Obama’s white mother? It would seem so. You’d think they’d at least work with him half of the time. Get it? Because he’s half…never mind.)
ANYway…Obama needs help, man. He’s not combative, confrontational, or easily angered. I would love to see him pee on every opponent at a State of the Union address until they cower in submission, but he can’t do that. I would love to see him form an independent task force to investigate the real and purported wrongdoings going on now. I would love it if these scandals wouldn’t plague him as they’re doing now, preventing him from shining as President. I would love to know who leaked these stories to the press. Obama can’t catch break for long! From opposition to health care reform, Republicans intransigence to any idea offered by Obama to better America, and all the slander from pundits and fame-whores like Donald Trump to dealing with timid conservative Democrats who operate according to however the wind blows that day and the media not being friendly to him (except for MSNBC 75% of the time) after his election in 2008, Obama has just about hit every loose branch, jagged edge, crack, and crevice falling down the rough side of the mountain. I’m tired of it for him, so I know he has to be tired of it too. This too shall pass, but getting there sucks.
When will President Obama be allowed to govern again? We’re only months into his second term and this is already a crappy start. How do you show control and strength as the leader of your government even when the problems with your government are beyond your control? I wish I knew. I’m hoping that he knows.