Obama’s Thuggery Is Useless in Fighting Spill

Obama’s Thuggery Is Useless in Fighting Spill

June 21st, 2010

By Michael Barone, National Review Online

The Obamos The Obama Administration reacts to spill using Thuggery

Thuggery is unattractive, ineffective thuggery even more so. Which may be one reason so many Americans have been reacting negatively to the response of Pres. Barack Obama and his administration to BP’s gulf oil spill.

Take Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s remark that he would keep his “boot on the neck” of BP, which brings to mind George Orwell’s definition of totalitarianism as “a boot stamping on a human face — forever.” Except that Salazar’s boot hasn’t gotten much in the way of results yet.

Or consider Obama’s undoubtedly carefully considered statement to Matt Lauer that he was consulting with experts “so I know whose ass to kick.” Attacking others is a standard campaign tactic when you’re in political trouble, and certainly BP, which appears to have taken unwise shortcuts in the gulf, is an attractive target. But you don’t always win arguments that way: The Obama White House gleefully took on Dick Cheney on the issue of terrorist interrogations, but turned out that more Americans agreed with Cheney’s stand, despite his low poll numbers, than Obama’s.

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Obama: An Incompetent Executive

Obama: An Incompetent Executive

June 15th, 2010

By Dick Morris

Contrary to what the Constitution says, the president does not run the executive branch of the federal government. It runs itself. Following Newton’s Laws of Motion, it is “a body in motion that tends to remain in motion in the same direction and at the same speed unless acted upon by an outside force.” The bureaucracy keeps doing what it is programmed to do unless someone intervenes.

And that intervention is the proper job of the president. He has to step in, ask the right questions, get inside and outside advice, and decide how to intervene to move the bureaucracy one way or the other. President Clinton had an excellent sense of how to do this and when to get involved. President Obama does not.

When the spill started, he and his campaign staff – now transplanted to the White House – reacted the way a Senator or a candidate would, blaming British Petroleum, framing an issue against the oil company, and holding it accountable. But what he needed to do was to review the plans for coping with the disaster and intervene to move the bureaucracy in untraditional but more appropriate directions. Instead, he let business as usual and inertia move the process.

The president’s tardy requests for international assistance and his government’s bureaucratic response to their offers demonstrates his lack of command and control…

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