The Obama Doctrine: "I know nothing"

When the blame game went lame President Obama created the Photo: AP

CHICAGO, May 15, 2013 — The new Obama doctrine is “I know nothing.” He is held captive in Stalag 13 by ego stroking kindergarten kids in the White House telling him knowing nothing is better than the blame game. Escape is impossible.   

Recently David Axelrod claimed that the government was too big for the president to know everything that goes on. On the one hand, Axelrod is right. The government is too big. On the other hand, there is a difference between not knowing what’s going on in the administration and not accepting responsibility for it. Sending Propaganda Minister Jay Carney out to deny there is no there, there, is not acting responsibly. 

He knows nothing! (CBS)

He knows nothing! (CBS)

The presidency is called the Executive Branch. Executives manage and lead. They set the tone for the operation. If they are honest and dignified, expect honesty and dignity from those around them; if they are lazy and arrogant, expect lazy arrogance as the organizational culture. Executives are responsible and take responsibility. They take the heat. The buck stops at their desk.

Executives must be willing and able to throw people under the bus, no matter how close they are. Sometimes they have to run over them twice just to be sure. Executives do not blame others for their failings. They better know something or find out quickly. 

The blame game was lame, but  “I don’t know” is worse. It demonstrates a lack of competence and responsibility. When any person is given a great deal of authority and responsibility, the cloak of accountability is theirs alone to wear. When things go wrong, as they inevitably will, decisive action is mandated. Heads must role. Note the plural. 


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The president foolishly surrounded himself with people who do not know how things work. His childish advisors are as blissfully ignorant and clueless. They only know how politics and campaigns work. The president and his White House coterie also do not know how to make friends and influence people. It is easier to make enemies and alienate people. Now the chickens have come home to roost. 

The president’s biggest mistake was getting rid of or letting Rahm Emanuel go. Emanuel is a down to earth pragmatist. He paid his dues in the legislature and the business world. He is decisive, quick, and knows how to handle the proverbial knife. People around the president did not have to like Emanuel, but they should have listened to him. He rubbed too many children in the White House the wrong way. Poor babies. 

Then Obama pushed William Daley out. Daley was another pragmatist. Daley and Emanuel had one talent lacking in the White House day care center. They knew with certainty when to tell the president, his appointees, or high level, bungling bureaucrats no, you are making a big mistake, or fire people. They knew how to make quick decisions and act on them. They are experienced operators. 

There is no excuse for so many controversies, scandals, cover-ups, and stonewalling swamping this administration. It is not the size of government. It is the lack of executive leadership, responsibility, quick decisiveness, decision-making, action, and transparency. The Obama administration is not transparent. It is not even translucent. It is opaque. 


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Even if we gave the president the benefit of the doubt, the cover-ups and stonewalling erase it. This is political malpractice and malfeasance at the highest levels of government. 

There is a vast difference between being popular and being competent. President Obama has not bridged that gap. Everything his administration touches turns to ashes. Supercilious sycophants who cater to his every whim surround him, heaping flattery. Childish, immature people who do nothing but feed his ego are holding him captive. They use the president’s number of Twitter followers to prove how great he is. 

The media and editorial pundits are defecting. Presidential credibility is sinking. Worse, members of his party are defecting. Soon, only the ego-building children will surround the president, tweeting their kindergarten jibes. His people are very competent tweeters. They believe in the power of the fingers. 

The worst member of this administration is Eric Holder. Holder turned the Department of Justice into a political operation designed to protect and defend the President of the United States instead of the Constitution. Holder will go down as the worst Attorney General in modern history. Instead of prosecuting criminals, his Department of Justice is persecuting political enemies. Instead of holding government miscreants criminally responsible, he covers up and stone walls. 

When questioned by congress over his lapses, Holder’s response is to counter punch by referring to the questioners as disgraceful and insulting the dignity of his office. It would be nice if he just answered a question. Holder and his office have no dignity. Eric Holder does not have a scintilla of credibility left. It is time for him to go. But, the feckless president will not fire his old pal. They think alike which means neither one is thinking. 

If President Obama wants to get his mojo back he needs to stop distracting the public with entertainment issues like illegal immigration, gay rights, gun control, climate change, and other soft fuzzy matters. He needs to focus on cutting the size and scope of a behemoth government, tax reform, creating an economic environment that is friendly to all businesses and will create jobs, and establishing a foreign and national security policy. His passerby observer status has to end. 

Once and for all, President Obama must participate. 

He needs to burn the midnight oil instead of the jet fuel of Air Force One. He needs to walk the halls if government instead of the golf course. He needs to vacate positions instead of vacation. The president should stop worrying about polls or his love rating. 

Executives and their decisions are not supposed to be popular, loved or hated. They are supposed to lead. They are supposed to accept responsibility for their underlings. They are not only supposed to be in the loop, they are the loop. 

One other thing. Tin foil hats and tea party idiots are demanding the president resign or be impeached. A word of caution. If, and it is a very big hypothetical if, the president has committed acts worthy of impeachment or resignation, does anyone possessing only a single brain cell really want Joe Biden to be the leader of the free world? Think about that, if you can.

 


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Peter Bella

Peter Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance photographer, freelance writer, budding videographer, and passionate cook.  He aims to be the sharp stick that pokes and annoys.  The Middle Class Guy is a political column written from a center-right point of view.  While concentrating mainly on politics he will stray into culture, entertainment, sports, cooking, and humor from time to time, along with Memories of things Pabst.  All from a middle class perspective.

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