Obama: A Study in Presidential Arrogance
By: Warner Todd Huston
The whole world was supposed to fall at his feet. He was supposed to spend the next four to eight years (or four to ten as he once said during the late campaign) just making airy pronouncements while everyone danced lemming-like to his tune of hope-n-change. It was supposed to be easy. Heck, The One himself even pronounced that he enjoyed being president. “And it turns out I’m very good at it,” he assured everyone during a luncheon with TV anchors a few weeks ago.
Obama simply didn’t imagine that he had to worry too much about those nagging details like making sure his nominees were vetted and had paid their taxes. He didn’t think that those silly 8,500 earmarks in his omnibus budget needed eliminating like he kept talking about in the campaign. For that matter, he didn’t even realize he was supposed to become involved in creating that stimulus bill. And foreign policy? Why our enemies were supposed to want him to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony while our allies were supposed to simply take it all on faith that we still love them like bosom buddies. Move along. Nothing to see here.
You see, Obama is a campaigner. And, him being the Obammessiah and all, he thinks that all he has to do is be there, his God-like presence healing all rifts, fixing all errors, causing the sun to shine. He is the change he has been waiting for, after all. I mean, he didn’t imagine he’d actually have to do anything once he got to the White House, to be sure.
Sadly, he’s more like Chauncey Gardner than Jesus Christ, quite despite the constant religious iconography lovingly bestowed upon him by the lapdog media.
But the bill is soon coming to be paid.
Washington’s Newest Reality Show: Taxes Paid or No Taxes Paid
So, Obama started off with his nominees for various government positions. Vetting? Don’t worry. He won, remember? Whoever he announces, the Senate will confirm. It’s a done deal, a piece of cake. We all loves us some Barack.
Then came Geithner, Daschel and a host of others that didn’t pay their taxes. Some nominees even had to drop out of consideration over this tiny, insignificant, uninteresting error. A black eye for team Obama? How could it be? But does Obama blame himself? Sort of. He pretends at saying “I goofed” but never really says what he goofed up on. The real blaming from team Obama is for the Senate, Obamsters saying it has been far harder for him to get nominees confirmed because three years of tax records demanded of nominees is excessive.
Turns out, the truth is a tad different. According to Charles Grassley (R, Iowa), the Senate hasn’t changed a thing. The requirements are the same for Obama’s nominees as they had been for Bushâ€™s.
Regardless Obama pushed nominees that he knew had tax troubles anyway. Why? Byron York addresses that:
I asked a Senate source close to the nominating process why the troubled nominations kept coming, in spite of the tax problems. â€œI think it was the administration underestimating what the grassroots folks who elected President Obama were going to object to,â€ the source told me. With the out-of-touch White House firmly behind the nominees, Senate Democrats got the message that they, too, needed to line up in support. So they did — until they started hearing from outside the Washington bubble. â€œIf you look at Daschleâ€™s experience, he came out of a meeting with members of the committee, and the Democratic members said they supported him,â€ the insider pointed out. â€œBut on the next day he withdrew.â€
It was arrogance. Obama assumed that because “I won” he’d be able to get anyone he wanted in any position whatsoever.
LOOK, Nuthinâ€™ up My Sleeveâ€¦ What Earmarks?
The stimulus bill was also a surprise hit against team Obama. The president didn’t waste any time involving himself in crafting the legislation, leaving the whole thing to Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) and her wild spending House cronies. The Democratic House leadership excluded Republican input, but Obama had drinks with some Republicans, so everything was cool. And, then the GOP began to win on the earmark issue causing public opinion to turn against the stimulus at least on that issue. Still, he got his stimulus if only begrudgingly.
Now, can anyone say that his economic plan has met with approval by the markets, though? Since he took office things have gotten far worse it must be noted.
What happened? Hadn’t The One made his proclamation that this was an emergency? He had spoken, dang it all! Without it NOW we are doomed, he told us… on the other hand the economy is “fundamentally sound.” I seem to recall Obama ridiculing McCain for the very same statement back in 2008 when the economy wasn’t in nearly as bad a shape as it is now.
Yes, a head spinning about face in a matter of days, that.
Ally, Ally, Whose Got The Ally?
Obama is making also making major mistakes with foreign policy. His arrogance is costing us precious time lost with allies and enemies alike. In fact, he can’t seem to make up his mind which is which. Are enemies allies or are allies enemies? Is he ambivalent to allies, keen to make friends with enemies, and ignorant of security all at the same time? The Eight Ball says “yes.” He is being seen as weak to enemies and entirely unconcerned with allies — a dangerous combination. And enemies are rushing in to fill the void during Obama’s foreign policy dithering.
In an effort to distance himself from Bush policy, Obama has sent signals to America’s Middle Eastern allies that they are on hold or not as important as they once were. Leaders in Israel, Iraq and Afghanistan went weeks without being contacted by Obama’s foreign policy team (or Obama himself, for that matter) and when they were they were treated coldly.
According to Amir Taheri, this has emboldened our enemies many of whom are rushing in to claim a newfound sense of power over American interests in the Mid East.
Taheri says that Obama’s disinterested treatment of allies, his aloofness, has caused “concern that the US may be abandoning its allies” and that this “has led to a number of panic moves” in the region. In most cases, our allies are being targeted for political destruction since it appears that the US is no longer strongly backing them.
And why is Obama doing this? Because he is holding out for those famous “no preconditions” summits he ballyhooed during the campaign. As he waits to see who bites on his diplomatic cotton candy first, he’s allowing allies to lose stature every day. Apparently, he assumes that they will still be there once he deigns to pay attention to them. On top of that, those enemies he is trying to buddy up to are putting him off as long as possible while they solidify their newfound power right under Obamaâ€™s upturned nose.
And Obamaâ€™s mishandling isn’t only with Mid East allies as we saw with his many diplomatic blunders with the British last week and now the Mexicans this week.
It’s all born of arrogance. He doesn’t have to work on anything, you see? He’s The One, don’t you know? Success should be showered upon him like it always has. Work is what other people do.
Obama better get his house in order and soon. As Fred Barnes said recently, “at some point, reality will intrude, followed by accountability.” But how much damage will occur before that political bill, that accountability comes due?