Media begins to wonder who’s running the show in the White House

posted at 12:41 pm on October 31, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

That question is no longer limited to the conservative media.  A week ago, I wrote about the Ida Know administration.  Now, Joe Klein at Time laments Barack Obama as a “buckpasser,” and the results of electing someone with no executive experience to the most complicated executive office in the nation:

Firing for cause doesn’t seem to exist in the Obama Administration, either. The most high-profile government officials who were removed from their positions over the past five years were the two Air Force generals who were responsible for the sloppy handling of nuclear weapons; Secretary of Defense Robert Gates–perhaps the best cabinet officer in both the George W. Bush and Obama Administrations–ordered both firings.

There may have been other high-profile dismissals over the past five years, but I can’t remember them. …

And I certainly expected more from the Affordable Care Act, since it is the most significant piece of social welfare legislation since the 1960s, and an absolutely crucial piece of our social safety net going forward. It is early days for the ACA and we should reserve judgment about whether this legislation was just too big and complicated a mess to implement. But, surely, SOMEONE–maybe many people–should be fired for these opening pratfalls. And we should also be able to get some of our money back from the private contractors who failed to implement the exchanges.

NBC News political analyst Michael O’Brien reports that the questions are tougher than Klein’s in Washington DC.  They’re not questioning Obama’s reluctance to fire anyone, but whether he’s in charge at all.  The parade of Ida Knows and lack of response to the pratfalls of the past six months makes it appear that the person isn’t President Obama:

Claims by the administration and other Democrats that Obama didn’t know about sensitive matters in his own administration — such as problems with the health care website and revelations of National Security Agency surveillance on foreign leaders — have many in Washington scratching their heads.

“It all fits as part of a pattern. Who is in control? Who is running things? There are a lot of questions,” said Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who helps conduct the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, which Wednesday showed Obama’s approval rating dropping to an all-time low.

Obama has been hammered for being unaware of potential glitches that disrupted the launch of the online marketplace for Americans to browse and purchase health plans. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told CNN last week that Obama wasn’t aware of the we problems until “the first couple of days” after its launch.

Even Democratic allies of the administration question why Obama didn’t know about the serious problems, and express concern about his personal response.

In my column for The Fiscal Times today, I write that the political danger for Obama is no longer just the Ida Knows.  The exposure of five years of “keep your plan” lies, perhaps combined with evasions on surveillance and espionage, will kick the struts of credibility out from under the Obama administration for the rest of his term, if the history of presidential prevarications gives us any guide at all:

Americans might be more willing to forgive the latter lie as part of statecraft and “plausible deniability.” Obama has to work one-on-one with these leaders, and admitting knowledge will make that more difficult to the detriment of American interests.

Even with suspicion running high over the NSA’s activities regarding domestic surveillance, relatively few think the US should stop collecting intelligence at all, even at the expense of allies. The programs that collected intelligence on Angela Merkel and other foreign leaders began well before Obama took office, and a face-saving dodge would be understandable in these circumstances, if no less embarrassing.

That won’t hold on Obamacare, however, especially with the litany of buck-passing disclaimers issued by Obama and his team over the other debacles in the Obamacare rollout. The Affordable Care Act started with Obama, was forced through Congress over the objections of a united Republican minority, and has been the central project of Obama’s presidency.

The President was elected and then re-elected to office on the basis of this particular claim, as well as his insistence that voters could trust his word. With the ACA exchanges a disaster and the promise of honesty and expertise demolished, what else is left for Obama to move his agenda forward?

Obama won office by amplifying voter disdain for political dishonesty and incompetence.  He may spend the next three years being hoist with his own petard as the lamest of lame ducks.

I wrote that before the WSJ/NBC poll showed Obama losing significant ground this month.  Andrew Malcolm reached the same conclusion afterward:

The new poll found Americans’ confidence about their system of government has sunk to 30%, the lowest in four decades since the scandal-plagued latter days of the Nixon presidency. The NBC/Wall Street Journal findings also confirm trends reported here three weeks ago in an Obama report card.

Typically, a second-term president’s ineffective lame-duck status commences after the midterm elections.

But these sagging Obama numbers, which will inevitably prompt congressional Democrats to look out more for themselves than obeying Obama, offer encouragement that this president’s lame-duckness in radically transforming America has already begun.

The White House thinks they can spin their way out of this.  Unfortunately, Obama and Democrats completely own ObamaCare, and not even using insurers as a scapegoat will get them off the hook for the skyrocketing premiums that Obama promised to cut by $2500 a year.  The incompetence and prevarications have caught up with and eclipsed Hope and Change, and now everyone’s noticing it.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Urkel?

Tsar of Earth on October 31, 2013 at 3:23 PM

“And we should also be able to get some of our money back from the private contractors who failed to implement the exchanges.”

Uh, before you do that: You may want to check and see if the gov met its end of the bargain: There is talk that details were not provided to contractors in a timely manner as to hide them during the election.

Check that one, Mr. Journalist.

Tsar of Earth on October 31, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Great comment over on Townhall on the South Park thread, by someone named clarityseeker2:

Bob: “Did you hear about the Obama administration scandal?
Jim: “You mean the Mexican gun running?”
Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean SEAL Team 6?”
Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean the State Dept. Lying about Benghazi ?”
Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean the voter fraud?”
Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean the military not getting their votes counted?”
Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean when 3 or 4 of Obama’s GAY friends were mysteriously MURDERED when they came forward with claims he was gay too?”
Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The NSA monitoring our phone calls, emails and everything else?”
Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean the drones in our own country without the benefit of law?”
Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Giving 1-2-3 Technologies $300 Million, just before it declared bankruptcy and was sold to the Chinese?”
Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean the president arming the Muslim Brotherhood?”
Bob: “No the other one:.
Jim: “The IRS targeting conservatives?”
Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The DOJ spying on the press?”
Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Sebelius shaking down health insurance executives?”
Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Giving SOLYNDRA $500 MILLION DOLLARS just 3 months before they declared bankruptcy and then was sold to the Chinese?”
Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The president’s ordering the release of nearly 10,000 illegal immigrants from jails and prisons, and falsely blaming the sequester?”
Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The president’s threat to impose gun control by Executive Order in order to bypass Congress?”
Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The president’s repeated violation of the law requiring him to submit a budget no later than the first Monday in February?”
Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The 2012 vote where 115% of all registered voters in some counties voted 100% for Obama?”
Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The president’s unconstitutional recess appointments in an attempt to circumvent the Senate’s advise-and-consent role?”
Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The State Department interfering with the Inspector General’s investigation on departmental sexual misconduct?”
Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Clinton, the IRS, Clapper and Holder all lying to Congress?”
Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “I give up! … Oh wait, I think I got it!…

dentarthurdent on October 31, 2013 at 3:36 PM

clarityseeker2 wins the internet today!

LooseCannon on October 31, 2013 at 4:13 PM

And we should also be able to get some of our money back from the private contractors who failed to implement the exchanges.

Sure, go ahead and blame the contractors–they only do what the government tells them to do no matter how stupid it is. It is either that or find other employment.

zoyclem on October 31, 2013 at 4:22 PM

Truly – remember the story….

“and suddenly from crowd came a voice… THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES

the shock of the crowd could be heard

“what did he say?” – “oh my,, he is right – no clothes”

jake-the-goose on October 31, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Obama fires Generals, but not radicals.

faraway on October 31, 2013 at 5:04 PM

dentarthurdent on October 31, 2013 at 3:36 PM

That was great. I loved that one and will be sure to share.

Freed0m28 on October 31, 2013 at 5:24 PM

jake-the-goose on October 31, 2013 at 4:56 PM

“Kathleen, abort that child immediately!”

slickwillie2001 on October 31, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Obama won office by amplifying voter disdain for political dishonesty and incompetence. He may spend the next three years being hoist with his own petard as the lamest of lame ducks.

He threw so many rhetorical boomerangs back then. The media increased the distance on them, however, they are all coming back around and smacking him in the back of the head.

truth hurts, champ…

ted c on October 31, 2013 at 5:32 PM

The Press is Crininally Liable…

period…

going2mars on October 31, 2013 at 1:17 PM

You are probably right seeing that is how Obama finds out what is going on. The media is running the WH

Wade on October 31, 2013 at 5:43 PM

So people are just now figuring out the O is a lazy, no good, irresponsible piece of garbage. So much for that Magic Negro act…

Pest on October 31, 2013 at 6:01 PM

Unfortunately, Obama and Democrats completely own ObamaCare

What’s unfortunate for Obama and the Democrats is fortunate for me and the rest of the U.S. half of whom have their heads up their tuchuses.

kscheuller on October 31, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Coming to the USA

Schadenfreude on October 31, 2013 at 12:52 PM

..we already have turkeys in Congress.

The War Planner on October 31, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Gal. Pal. Val. Period.

marybel on October 31, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Gal. Pal. Val. Period.

marybel on October 31, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Valsputin al-Jarrett.

slickwillie2001 on October 31, 2013 at 6:26 PM

The devil’s greatest trick is to make you think he doesn’t exist.

kcewa on October 31, 2013 at 6:41 PM

BREAKING NEWS!!!!!!!!

Media clueless.

BacaDog on October 31, 2013 at 6:49 PM

“He’s like a god!” Wait, what?

txhsmom on October 31, 2013 at 7:21 PM

By asking the question the media are still giving Obama a pass.
They are afraid to attack Obama directly so they are saying
that perhaps someone else is running things.

I can guarantee that the media will never determine who that someone(s) is/are.

Amjean on October 31, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Urkel?

Tsar of Earth on October 31, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Urkel would have been a much better president. At least he is honest and well-meaning.
Barky is dishonest as the day is long, and means us harm – great harm.

maryo on October 31, 2013 at 8:01 PM

Don’t worry, Barry.
If you like your head, you can keep your head.

justltl on October 31, 2013 at 8:18 PM

That sub-standard body’s gotta go however.
Sorry, chief.
Check out the internet to see if there’s an exchange.

justltl on October 31, 2013 at 8:27 PM

Urkel?

Tsar of Earth on October 31, 2013 at 3:23 PM

…first thing I saw…so yes I did laugh!

KOOLAID2 on October 31, 2013 at 9:37 PM

Obama: a total affirmative-action hack.

BuckeyeSam on October 31, 2013 at 9:58 PM

By asking the question the media are still giving Obama a pass.
They are afraid to attack Obama directly so they are saying
that perhaps someone else is running things.

I can guarantee that the media will never determine who that someone(s) is/are.

Amjean on October 31, 2013 at 7:30 PM

They’d do Obama a big favor of determining who that person is so Obama can seem a sliver more credible when he blames them for what a guileless, terrible administration he ran.

The Nerve on November 1, 2013 at 4:36 AM

I’m a white Tea Party member and we’ve questioned for over 4 years—who in the hell is in charge. My guess would be that nobody knows. Just look at how screwed up this country has become the last 4 1/2 years. Liberalism has never worked and never will.

tmgrant on November 1, 2013 at 11:17 AM

That was great. I loved that one and will be sure to share.

Freed0m28 on October 31, 2013 at 5:24 PM

All credit goes to clarityseeker2 on Townhall.
I just copied it over here because it was so good.

dentarthurdent on November 1, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Coming to the USA

Schadenfreude on October 31, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Strangely enough, the problem in this country has never been that our ‘MP’s/congress creatures enter the House/Senate wearing something on their heads (headscarves or other religious symbols), but that they enter it wearing nothing in their heads…they elevated ‘empty-headed’ to a whole new level…

jimver on November 1, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Beginning to wonder?

claudius on November 1, 2013 at 8:54 PM

Comment pages: 1 2