Verdict Is In: Barack Obama Is A Bad President

Obama 2014—it ain't a happy image for the USA. All you can say for this guy is "not as bad as Bush", and that's just not good enough—nor is it even true in too many cases. Impeachment? Sure, if you impeach the Congress too, but that isn't happening, so no, we have to suffer a while more with the choice of the people. In 2014, however, the main thing to remember is that it isn't going to make things better to vote in a lot of GOP brontosaurs. That's just throwing some very nasty old white salt into the gaping wound of the USA.
The VA scandal may be the last nail in the coffin burying the notion Obama can salvage his presidency. And it should be.

There was always something really arrogant about the stupid American people thinking Barack Obama was going to change anything.

After all, the stupid American voters had sat and watched eight years of the unmitigated disaster of George W. Bush—largely supporting him and his unbelievably dimwitted and destructive policies.

Democracy can only take so much doltish arrogance, before it starts crumbling, before it starts moving towards a far more efficient management scheme: dictatorship. The fall of numerous short-lived empires in history shouts out the same message: all it takes for greatness to fail is a run of a few bad leaders in a row.

The US has had more than a few now. Even allowing for the notion that Clinton, with all his flaws as a human being, was at least a competent manager, most of his success was based on a fluke economic development, a stock market and tech bubble, that produced a once in a lifetime worker shortage.

Speaking of arrogance, the generation that is beginning its entry into middle age now, Generation X, was during the Clinton Boom, just starting its experience in the work force, and it started out gangbusters, commanding huge amounts of money and work-perks, right out of college, an abundance of everything that seemed as if it would go on forever. Gen-Xers tended to look down on earlier generations, who had struggled—poor things.

Of course, the party did not go on forever, but just a few years, until the tech bubble blew to pieces, sinking an entire generation into an economic and psychic depression from which it has never recovered. Part of that depression came from the sheer shock of realizing that what people viewed as the inevitable march of market-driven progress, leading us into a new world of capitalist utopia, was a bunch of bullshit. Well, if you weren’t a capitalist anyway.

That generation, “X”, and its successors commanding the “Young and Dumb” club, have never been able to get over the feeling that somewhere, out there lurking in a political arc that the youth of America just had to be bold enough to write with their votes (and their vanity), was the great change dude—or dudette.

Maybe that explains the long, hapless, hope amongst Obama’s supporters that at some point he was going to get his shit together and learn how to be president.

But, as Doyle McManus points out in the Los Angeles Times today, there is now an established pattern to the governing habits of Barack Obama, which can be summed up: “skilled politician, lousy manager.”

McManus explains:
“The biggest problems Obama has faced in the White House—aside from unrelenting opposition from Republicans in Congress—have come not from making policy but from trying to implement it.”
In other words, from trying to manage the policies once they were put in motion.

And McManus then makes this damning assessment of Obama:
“Obama has never paid as much attention to the nitty-gritty of management as he has to making policy and campaigning for votes.”
This is not a new criticism. It began much earlier, especially after the 2010 midterm election debacle for the Democrats, when it became evident there was something important missing in Obama’s style of governance—management skills.

As Matthew Yglesias explained back in November, 2011:
“I have this sense that when history looks back on 2009-2010 in American political history, it’s going to come away with the conclusion that a larger-than-currently-understood share of the problems had to do with poor handling of routine managerial issues.”
Yglesias did note:
“Management is a difficult task and any new president will inevitably face a learning curve.”
That was one of the key points Obama’s defenders hoped would come into greater play as Obama’s presidency developed—that he would get better at doing his job. But, as Edward Luce wrote in the Financial Times just the day before Yglesias’ article:
“It has been almost three years, and frustrated allies say that Mr Obama shows few signs of finding a learning curve. He still fails to consult widely and dislikes “reaching out” when he has to. Many Democrats have given up trying. “He doesn’t want to listen,” said one senator. “I don’t think the leopard is going to change his spots.” The plain fact is that Mr Obama prefers to campaign than govern. With the entrenched inner circle that he has, no one should be surprised by this. Whether or not Mr Obama can eke out a victory next year, it would be optimistic to expect things to change radically in a second term.”
Well, in fairness, things have changed in the second term, but only in the sense that Obama’s management style flaws have led to even worse disasters than in his first term. One thing Yglesias had indicated was a positive feature of Obama’s style was a focus on avoiding scandals:
“I think it’s important to concede that this relatively inexperienced Obama/Rahm duo really succeeded in making sure there were no huge blowups with congressional Democrats and no big scandals.”
Yeah, well, that didn’t last.

The bottom line is that there is something fundamentally flawed in Obama’s approach to governing the USA. Whether it’s because he is bored with the job, which many people sense is the case, or he just never had what it takes, which many conservative critics—and Hillary Clinton—have argued for years, the President is simply failing in too many areas for Americans to tolerate him and his excessive ineptitude in office.

So, then what can they do?

If the answer is: give the Senate to the GOP, then the answer might as well be cut off their noses to spite their faces.

The Republican Party is an anachronistic dinosaur, stumbling towards extinction. It is not so much a political alternative as a convenient wastebasket into which Americans can toss all its collective loons and nuts—from science-hating religious fanatics to rich maniacs seeking to justify their wealth by demonizing poor and working class Americans, to gun-loving (and I do mean loving) racist animals, stocking up for the war of extermination they expect the mongrel majority to fight against the good, white, people.

That is not a proper alternative response to this deeply dreadful mess.

What seems reasonable, is to continue to elect Democrats, even more Democrats, until the power of the GOP, and the power of this hopelessly weak and deficient president, is neutralized. Then we can focus on the 2016 election, and start trying, seriously,, to save the nation from decline into dictatorship.

As with the melting of Antarctica—it may already be too late.

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