Barack Obama, Derelict

Derelict:  (‘derəˌlikt/) neglectful of duty, delinquent; a person guilty of neglect of  duty; a bum. SYNONYM-see Obama, Barack.

A  thought experiment can be useful to explain why America is in a mess.


Let’s  take Barack Obama at his word — a stretch certainly for anyone who would lie  about his own mother’s death to score partisan points will lie about…well,  anything.  But let’s put the most positive spin on what President Obama has  been conveying to his fellow Americans. One can try to be optimistic even in  these perilous times — it is one of the great traits of being  American.

Barack Obama and those who serve at his whim have  declared that he knew nothing about the IRS witch-hunt of Republicans, spying by  the NSA on Americans and foreign leaders, Fast and Furious, ObamaCare website  problems, that he actually set red lines regarding Syria (though he denied it  later), security problems at the Benghazi consulate, and spying on the  Associated Press. When asked, Obama has asserted that he learned about all these  problems only after reading about them in the media. Who knew our presidents  would model themselves after Sergeant Schultz on the old Hogan Heroes television  series (Obama has admitted he watched a lot of television when he was younger —  and some with reason believe he  still does).


What  conclusions can be drawn from these excuses? One is immediately apparent: the  sequester did not go far and deep enough. After all, we are spending hundreds of  billions of dollars and the president of the United States has to rely on newspapers to be informed of  what is happening in his own administration. Time to outsource everything to  people who work for peanuts — such as bloggers (yours truly, for one example —  I would like to see a return on, or of, my taxes).

 But  the second conclusion is more pointed: we have elected (twice!) a derelict as  president.

 Years  ago I questioned  Barack Obama’s work ethic. Quite simply, I found there was none. My  conclusion was based on viewing his entire record — not just the many examples  of “voting present” while serving as a state legislator in Springfield. These  are part-time positions (thankfully) as was his part-time gig as a  constitutional law lecturer. Come to think of it, Obama specializes in a  part-time approach towards all his “jobs” and that is fitting since he is  turning millions of Americans into part-time workers. Who knew? He is one of us  after all.

 Barack  Obama is not a policy wonk as was Bill Clinton. Nor is he a decider-in-chief, as  was George Bush. Now one could argue that that Clinton had wrong policies and  Bush made wrong decisions — but they were both hard-working  presidents.

 Compare  and contrast them to Barack Obama.

 Obama  had almost no role in a lot of initiatives associated with him — the boondoggle  stimulus, the green energy schemes, the Affordable Care Act. This legislation  was crafted by the usual suspects — all Democrats (Reid, Baucus, and Pelosi).   He was relegated to being a mere cheerleader when it came to the stimulus  — to such an extent that Speaker of the House Pelosi muted  him on a conference call so he would not interfere with the real work being  done by others . If only all Americans could have such a  button.

 Obamacare  has become the short-handed way of referring to the work done by others — not  the first time nor the last time Barack Obama has claimed credit for the labors  of others (after all, he “got” Bin Laden, right? While others were risking their  lives, he was playing  cards with his “body man.”)

 Even  the Washington  Post noted early on that Senator Obama had a habit of “embellishing” his  role in major pieces of legislation. This practice followed him to the White  House when there was any success to be claimed. But what has also followed him  has been his lack of a work ethic.

 He  has consistently failed to submit budgets  on time, an “unprecedented disrespect for the law.” He has punted on just  about every foreign and defense policy that has presented itself during his five  years as president, a non-policy that one of his aides has triumphantly declared  as “leading from behind” — as in behind Russia, China, Assad, jihadists, and  Iranian mad mullahs. We are way behind them so I guess that is just defining  success down.  If being behind is a mark of success, Obama has succeeded  beyond Vladimir Putin’s wildest dreams, destroying alliances and America’s  leadership of the world.

 While  Americans serving their nation were being murdered in Libya, he was sleeping  comfortably before jetting off in Air Force One for yet another fundraising  jaunt.

 Barack  Obama has failed to fill numerous very important Inspectors  Generals positions, perhaps because they are the best friends taxpayers have  in Washington since they ferret out waste  and corruption in government-and are thus, enemies of Obama’s. His laxity has  elicited numerous editorials in the Washington Post and elsewhere. He grandly  announced the formation of a Jobs Council to focus on getting people back to  work but, like his Atrocities Prevention Board and numerous other boards,  councils, and the like, they were dead on arrival, right after the speech ended  and the cameras moved on.

 He  has completely marginalized his cabinet, as a recent Politico expose has revealed. He does not meet with them as a group or individually,  beyond an occasional photo-op. Perhaps this would not be so damaging if he  picked officials with talent instead of basing his choices based on politics and  their willingness to idolize him, as even liberal New  York Times columnist Roger  Cohen has perceptively noted . But, nevertheless, someone has to be in  charge, no? Actually, no; the inmates seem to be in charge of the  asylum.

 Early  on his tenure he stopped  attending daily economic briefings, despite endless public relation pivots  to the economy and declarations from his wife and others that he works  tirelessly to boost jobs and growth

 He  has skipped  most daily intelligence briefings (one could crack a joke about lack of  intelligence if the consequences were not so damaging, possibly including the  tragic deaths of Americans in Benghazi); and, despite Benghazi and other  terror-related attacks in America, over 40% of the Department of Homeland  Security senior leadership positions are vacant because Barack Obama has not  bothered to nominate people to fill them, so writes Michael  McCaul in “Nobody’s Home at Homeland Security”.

 Meanwhile,  the Department of Defense budget is being slashed.

 What  a Commander-in-Chief!  Apparently, endless praise of Islam and befriending  the Muslim Brotherhood is enough to protect America.

 His  dereliction of duty is manifest and appalling. His refusal to fulfill his duties  displays itself in ways that have led to increasing descriptions of his  leadership as being incompetent. Give credit where credit is due: liberal  Washington Post columnist Ruth  Marcus noted in early 2011 “Obama’s Where’s Waldo Presidency” observing  Obama’s habit of being AWOL — passive if not inert; unable or unwilling to make  decisions or successfully implement policies.

 The  decision-making process in the White House is so dysfunctional (see How  Obama Makes Decisions) that the courtiers that surround him have simplified  the process for him to a grade-school level: multiple choice check off boxes .  Even this procedure may be too taxing for the man who cannot tax us enough: he  ordered his first Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, and every Chief of Staff that  has followed him to “cut  down the number of decisions I have to make” In other words, he will vote  present.

 Maybe  Clint Eastwood had a valid point. Some presidents have symbols associated with  them: log cabin, Lincoln; D-Day, Eisenhower; PT boat, Kennedy, empty chair,  Obama.

 This  dereliction of the duties of the presidency is appalling considering what we  were promised by his supporters in and out of the media, as well as by Barack  Obama himself.

 He  declared upon winning the Democratic nomination to be president in 2008 that that was the  moment “when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal”  — Moses without the staff — he would lead the world, or at least America, to  a better place. How has that worked out? Not too well, according to polls  indicating Americans think we are headed in the wrong direction, despite the  trillions in debt (one  more thing he knows nothing about) he has imposed on Americans to get  there.

 Valerie  Jarrett, the power beyond the throne, “Rasputin” to some on Capitol Hill and the  worst presidential adviser ever serves as his ego-protector in the White House  (see Ed Klein’s The Amateur), and offered this worshipful description  of Barack Obama:


I  think Barack knew that he had God-given talents that were extraordinary. He  knows exactly how smart he is. . . . He knows how perceptive he is. He knows  what a good reader of people he is. And he knows that he has the ability — the  extraordinary, uncanny ability — to take a thousand different perspectives,  digest them and make sense out of them, and I think that he has never really  been challenged intellectually. . . . So what I sensed in him was not just a  restless spirit but somebody with such extraordinary talents that had to be  really taxed in order for him to be happy. . . . He’s been bored to death his  whole life. He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people  do.”


“He’s  just too talented to do what ordinary people do” (such as work and tell the  truth?). Now we know why Jarrett has special Secret Service protection:  self-abasement and adoration to that extreme is a rare and precious  quality.

 Barack  Obama showers that adoration on himself, course. Five years ago, before he was  even elected president, he had the audacity to boast:


“I  think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about  policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you  right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political  director.”

 So  should we be surprised that a man of such prodigious talents would not waste his  precious time talking with subordinates and experts, let alone anyone from  across the aisle unless there presents a chance to publicly  humiliate them?  He is a notorious  loner  and insulated from the views of others. He is especially  insulated from news that might distract him from whatever he does during the  day. One former White House staffer has said “People  don’t like to tell him bad news.”  “Nobody is trying to create drama,  angst and anxiety. And it’s hard  to go in there and say, ‘well, I don’t think this is going to  work.'”


So  there truly is “no there, there” since a leader is responsible for finding and  fixing problems before they develop into disasters.

 This  is one more reason to lop off entire levels of the federal government. What good  are all those staffers when we have Barack at the top? If he doesn’t listen to  them, why have them on the payroll?


Conversely,  there are other activities that don’t bore him and that he will devote time and  energy towards:  giving partisan speeches, attending fundraisers where his  ring can be kissed, playing hoops with NBA stars, watching a lot of television,  especially  sports, and is faithful watcher of SportsCenter (he can spend time on that  show’s minutiae but not on, say, the status of  Affordable Care Act  implementation?), enjoying private concerts in the East Room, vacationing in  deluxe resorts, hanging out with Hollywood celebrities.

 And  when the weather is nice and the yearning begins, Barack Obama can run the  presidency from the golf course.

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