It seems increasingly apparent, even to the most sympathetic observers, that Barack Obama has lost interest in his presidency. He’d rather play golf and continue campaigning at fundraisers with celebrities than deal with several simmering issues, some of which are serious enough to threaten the integrity of the United States. This sort of post-presidential attitude while still an incumbent is unprecedented in the modern history of the office. Meanwhile so many scandals and crises are simmering, their number is numbing to the point where the seriousness with which each one ought to be considered is degraded.
The president, at the very least, sets the tone, so we find subordinates as well in an obfuscatory haze, when they are not simply inept. In this atmosphere administration officials are not taken seriously, most disturbing when it comes to dealing with the rest of the world, particularly in the case of the pompous Secretary of State John Kerry. The US has been so diminished that if someone deliberately set out to ruin the country they could not have done much worse.
That anything is functioning is more a tribute to a semi-permanent bureaucracy composed of officials of former administrations. There is a limited pool of qualified people an administration can call upon, so swaths of this government are Clinton era retreads, just as Republican administrations have drawn upon personnel from earlier administrations. As a result some departments continue to function, notwithstanding the incompetence at the Veterans Administration, among others.
However, the people in the White House, closest to the president, are more like Obama; inexperienced, committed to being “transitional” and true believers in his cause. But a community organizer who has never run anything, and who is a believer in Rules for Radicals, proves yet again that radicals are incapable of running a government. They can agitate, campaign and advocate causes, but they are totally inept in attempting to implement anything. Thus we have witnessed failure after failure across a staggering array of issues, including the health care rollout, the VA, the IRS, Benghazi, spying on reporters, the invasion of our borders by “children” from Central America, the dubious release of Guantanamo prisoners, the Russian “reset,” Iraq, Syria, and the rest of the Middle East, etc., etc. They have been amazingly consistent in being wrong about virtually everything.
Then there are the might-have-beens. The economy continues to sputter along, in large measure due to the policies of this administration, where it could have been growing briskly at this point under a different regime. All the elements for an economic boom are in place except for the government. With a different set of policies America and the rest of the world could be experiencing rapid growth. The only upside to all of this is that hopefully more damage can be avoided, given how rudderless the government is currently. Not just the public, but the administration seems to have lost confidence in itself as well. The best we can hope for at this point is to get through the next two years without a truly major disaster, given the colossal ineptitude of this administration in managing just about everything. It simply proves once again that radicals cannot govern.