NEW ORLEANS, June 6, 2013 – The Obama Administration has a legacy of passing the buck. It has not taken responsibility for the myriad problems plaguing the United States of America, nor for some real disasters.
In professional sports, a team’s existence and livelihood are dependent on the support of its fan base, so there is a low threshold of tolerance for ineptness and poor performance. While even the best franchises have disappointing seasons, the most successful ones (with a tradition of winning) have very solid and stable leadership to complement their consistent performance.
The track record of this administration is one of failure, if performance is to be measured in terms of economic performance, government debt, protection of Constitutional rights and values, and voter confidence that the nation is moving in the right direction.
The mantra of the Obama Administration during its first term was “we inherited these problems; they’re Bush’s fault.” They blamed the George W. Bush Administration for handing down a bad economy, leaving the the nation in shambles, and for the international situation.
As Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces, President Obama may be surprised to learn that the military standard for taking full responsibility for everything under a commander’s purview is 90 days.
Once the 90-day threshold is reached, the buck stops with that commander, without exception. It would take over 16 consecutive 90-day periods to equal a president’s term. Again, the military standard for taking full responsibility is just one 90-day period.
If a team has a bad season, you take a hard look at the leadership, starting with the head coach. If the head coach of a losing team holds press conferences to say that he hates it when the team loses, that he will not tolerate mistakes on the field, to explain that “if only this or that,” or “woulda, coulda, shoulda” played into the team’s losing record, it’s time to fire the coach.
The New Orleans Saints’ 2005 season was plagued by Hurricane Katrina, and its football team finished with a 3-13 record. There was serious talk that the team’s owner (Tom Benson) would have the team relocated to San Antonio, Texas.
But thanks to intervention by the NFL and a groundswell of support from its loyal fan base, the Saints remained in New Orleans. However, it faced the daunting task of turning its record of failure into one of success.
The Saints franchise brought in a new head coach (Sean Payton) who assembled a competent staff, brought in new veteran players, and gained key acquisitions through the NFL draft and undrafted free agents. The result: The Saints became the first NFL team to make the playoffs and have a first round bye following a season in which they had 13 losses.
In fact, since Sean Payton’s arrival, the team (in seven seasons) has had four playoff appearances, two Conference Championship game appearances, and won Super Bowl XLIV (in Feb 2010). It would have been easy for the head coach to complain of the mess he inherited. But instead, he led the Saints in one season to build a winning tradition. The Saints have averaged two wins in every three games since 2006.
That record didn’t come by accident, it certainly wasn’t due to complaining about the disastrous 2005 season, nor did it happen because the other 31 NFL teams felt sorry for the Saints.
You may answer: “Being President of the United States is far more daunting than being a head coach in the NFL.” And you would be correct. But the sobering truth is that in order to reap the benefits of great conditions, you have to apply tried and true principles that yield such results.
This administration has taken actions that countermand the clarion call to embrace economic and leadership principles that would have long ago put America on the road to true recovery. A few of the things that have tarnished the integrity of government, infringed on basic Constitutional liberties, exacerbated America’s economic woes and stymied entrepreneurial efforts are:
- The horrific, oxymoronic “Affordable Care Act” (AKA: ObamaCare), which has singly opened the door for bureaucratic takeover of one-sixth of our nation’s economy. The bill is laden with a multitude of tax disincentives that penalize the private sector, and has forced many firms to go out of business. The hypocrisy is that many groups historically supportive of the Democratic party (unions, Liberal organizations, government agencies) have received exemptions that waive their requirement to incorporate provisions in ObamaCare.
- Restricting the opportunity for exploration of fossil fuels (petroleum, natural gas, coal) on public lands, while providing tax dollars to foreign nations who used the money to accomplish the same.
- Divisive policy documents and antagonistic actions taken by the Department of Homeland Security to treat ordinary citizens, veterans and patriotic organizations as potential domestic terrorists.
- Actions by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), which include challenging the state of Arizona in its efforts to protect its citizens from the real threat of the ingress of illegal aliens.
- Unprecedented action by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to restrict Boeing from running a manufacturing plant in South Carolina because its workers were not unionized; the effort failed, but it risked preventing thousands of new jobs from being created.
- Preferential targeting of conservatives and conservative organizations by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), while the head of the IRS had nearly 150 documented visits to the Oval Office during the President’s first term. Yet the president adamantly states that he was first made aware of the unconstitutional targeting of those groups through regular news reports released to the general public.
- The Obama Administration’s apparent decision to withhold assistance to the American Ambassador to Libya, even though a plethora of military options were available that might have saved the lives of our citizens in harm’s way. This was followed by a shameful coverup of this episode, abetted by media who refused to report the facts of this case prior to the 2012 election.
These items barely scratch the surface of the problematic actions taken by this administration. Yet, to this day, Obama has yet to declare that the buck stops with him. Instead, like the head coach who denounces the poor play of his team while declaring that the fans should be patient and “wait until next year,” the president is hoping that his image and Mr. Clean persona will endure, and that the fans will boo at the team and continue to give him positive approval ratings.
That Teflon “non-stick” coating is rapidly wearing off, Mr. President. And just as exposure of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme brought him down, once the American people finally get wise to what has happened in these past four-and-a-half years, the political tide will turn rapidly.
“Once the American people have all the facts, they’ll never make a mistake.” (Ronald Reagan)
We the People have not (collectively) been given all of the facts. But when courageous patriots arise and continue to press and challenge the apparent corruption rampant in this administration, they will not be able to hold back the rising flood that has started pushing through the first cracks in the dyke.
Many hope that such a flood of truth will translate into an resurgence of principled leadership in both chambers of Congress, starting with the mid-term elections in 2014, which is certainly this writer’s hope as well.
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