Dems wonder: Why hasn’t Obama fired his advisers yet?

posted at 10:41 am on December 2, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Good question, especially concerning those whose jobs revolve primarily around keeping the President informed.  President Barack Obama would be less knowledgeable about what happens in his own administration than most low-information voters if not for the fact that he watches cable-TV news, never knowing about the IRS targeting his political opponents or the fact that his centerpiece legislative achievement was being programmed on TRS-80s in Kathleen Sebelius’ garage … at least to hear Jay Carney explain the lack of executive competence in the White House. After a year full of embarrassing scandals and costly political blunders, The Hill reports that Democrats want heads to roll — now:

Former administration officials and Democratic operatives say President Obama is ill-served by his current White House staff and must reboot his second term team following the disastrous ObamaCare rollout.

First-term insiders argue the White House’s weakness was defined by a lack of preparedness, messaging blunders and failure to keep the president informed.

They say Obama’s team lacks depth after the departures of longtime advisers David Axelrod, David Plouffe, Robert Gibbs and Patrick Gaspard, and suggest new people must be brought on.

This gets to the point Robert Gibbs made earlier, which is that the White House has destroyed its own credibility.  That, however, isn’t a problem with Obama’s advisers but with Obama himself.  How many people lost their jobs over Benghazi over the false narrative that it was just a demonstration over a YouTube video, not to mention the lack of preparation for trouble on the 11th anniversary of 9/11? Zero. How many people got fired in the IRS scandal? None.  The same people who lied to Congress about the NSA’s activities are still in charge of them.

ObamaCare is a special case, though, because it is (a) paradigmatic for big-government advocates that central planning produces better results, and (b) it is entirely a self-imposed measure of political competence.  It took 44 months before the White House could claim that they have achieved “private sector velocity and effectiveness,” which as Chuck Todd notes is a perfect rebuttal to (a), and no one has gotten fired over the failures or the supposed lack of a heads-up to Obama, which answers (b), too. Failure in this White House has no consequences, which means that the same incompetents continue working on the same failures and keep producing the failures we have seen all year.

A competent executive would have made examples of a few people long ago as a message to the rest to improve their work.  The problem is that we don’t have competent executives in this administration, starting at the top.  Obama won legislative achievements in his first term without any operational success, which went unnoticed because either the metrics for success ended up being far too foggy (the 2009 stimulus package), or the delivery dates went too far in the future.  The lack of competence is so obvious now that a few firings probably won’t help matters; it will take a house-cleaning now to prop up Obama as an executive. If that doesn’t happen, Democrats will pay the price in 2014, and they know it.

Update: Ron Fournier concurs:

President Obama needs to fire himself. Not literally, of course, but practically: He needs to shake up his team so thoroughly that the new blood imposes change on how he manages the federal bureaucracy and leads.

A series of self-inflicted wounds during his fifth year in office, capped by the botched launch of the Affordable Care Act, have Americans questioning the president’s competence and credibility. History suggests the second-term presidents rarely recover after their approval ratings fall as much as Obama’s have this year.

History also suggests there are two types of White House shakeups. The first is mostly cosmetic and aimed at sending a signal that the president is serious. He fires somebody, anybody, as a sacrificial lamb. The second is deep cleansing – that rare occasion when a president rebuilds his team to change himself.

This is what Obama must do.

It’s notable that after the months-long series of blunders and scandals, we haven’t seen either version of a White House shake-up.


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First-rate people want first-rate colleagues; third-rate people want fifth-rate colleagues.

Yasherka on December 2, 2013 at 5:24 PM

President Barack Obama would be less knowledgeable about what happens in his own administration than most low-information voters if not for the fact that he watches cable-TV news,

That’s only by mistake. He thought he was hitting the button for ESPN.

GarandFan on December 2, 2013 at 5:47 PM

First-rate people want first-rate colleagues; third-rate people want fifth-rate colleagues.

Yasherka on December 2, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Yup. He needs to find people at least dumb enough to not realize within hours that they work for an idiot. Considering that 2/3 go the general public know better than that, the potential pool is not looking promising.

The best part is, let’s say he finds some. How much good do you think people definitionally in the bottom intellectual 1/3 of the USA are going to do?

May as well shut it down, boys… It ain’t going anywhere.

Dirty Creature on December 2, 2013 at 6:23 PM

First-rate people want first-rate colleagues; third-rate people want fifth-rate colleagues.

Yasherka on December 2, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Fundamentally insecure people feel threatened by secure, competent, and capable people around them.

True leaders, who are confident, secure, competent, and capable aren’t threatened by good people – in fact, good people push them to do even better.

The management of this Administration, even if we look only at the Obamacare debacle, is going to be a case study in management, in psychology, in business, in disaster mitigation and PR, and in political science of how not to lead or manage a major project or initiative.

Athos on December 2, 2013 at 6:58 PM

Bambi’s ego won’t allow him to admit that he hired the wrong people in the first place.

PackerBronco on December 2, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Bambi’s ego won’t allow him to admit that he hired the wrong people in the first place.

PackerBronco on December 2, 2013 at 7:30 PM

It’s not just that (not that it wouldn’t be enough…) imagine the revenge of spurned formerly loyal toadies publicly fired for not telling him things that they of all people KNOW THEY ACTUALLY TOLD HIM (really – who really thinks he didn’t know a damn thing??) to sustain the lie that it’s their fault he knew nothing.

He can’t afford to cut them loose. He’d literally have to kill them. And with even the MSM giving up the defense, he can’t be sure enough they’d close ranks around the sudden suicide of multiple people involved in Zerocare, all at once.

Then again, maybe his hubris will convince him he COULD get away with such a thing…

Dirty Creature on December 2, 2013 at 8:02 PM

‘Toons of the Day: Scoamfapalooza!

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Resist We Much on December 2, 2013 at 8:34 PM

First-rate people want first-rate colleagues; third-rate people want fifth-rate colleagues.

Yasherka on December 2, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Fundamentally insecure people feel threatened by secure, competent, and capable people around them.

True leaders, who are confident, secure, competent, and capable aren’t threatened by good people – in fact, good people push them to do even better.

The management of this Administration, even if we look only at the Obamacare debacle, is going to be a case study in management, in psychology, in business, in disaster mitigation and PR, and in political science of how not to lead or manage a major project or initiative.

Athos on December 2, 2013 at 6:58 PM

YES, and stupid and ignorant people are incapable of determining intelligence in those they hire.

slickwillie2001 on December 2, 2013 at 8:34 PM

Dirty Creature on December 2, 2013 at 8:02 PM

You also have to consider that he has surrounded himself with like-minded “True Believers” (as per Eric Hoffer). Most of which came from academia just as he did.

As such, they are as convinced as he is that their dogmas are both morally and factually correct, and that they are incapable of error. If anything goes wrong, it’s not just “somebody else’s fault”, that “somebody else” must be engaged in deliberate sabotage, because mere incompetence could not possibly derail their perfect plan.

Reality tends to crash in on such people very hard indeed.

If he were to fire one, said “true believer” might very well turn on him out of sheer spite and lust for revenge.

In the foreign policy context, I’d have expected Hillary to do so by now, but then I suspect she’s biding her time and playing “good German” until the ’16 Democratic Convention.

Once the nomination is hers and she has a “reliable” running mate (say, Barbara Boxer or Dianne Feinstein), then she will feel free to throw The One under his own bus.

Then again, she may hold off until after she’s taken the Oath of Office- with her fingers crossed on the Bible.

Whichever way it happens, the Democratic civil war will probably start about five seconds later.

clear ether

eon

eon on December 2, 2013 at 8:35 PM

Err, what’s the point of providing free, quality advice to the Communist in the White House? Aren’t we better off with him totally messing everything up? I wanted him to screw up his website and everything he touches. The only way stupid Americans can learn about Communists is by directly and swiftly paying a price for handing them their freedom.

BillCarson on December 2, 2013 at 9:10 PM

Err, what’s the point of providing free, quality advice to the Communist in the White House? Aren’t we better off with him totally messing everything up?

BillCarson on December 2, 2013 at 9:10 PM

Well, suppose that Obama took our advice and announced tomorrow that he was going to do all he could to get rid of Obamacare.

The bad news is that would increase the likelihood that the Democrats would do well in the 2014 elections.

But the good news is that our country could get rid of Obamacare.

J.S.K. on December 2, 2013 at 10:09 PM

In barry’s eyes The only incompetance is getting caught

Why would he get rid of the acomplices who know where the bodies are buried

audiotom on December 2, 2013 at 11:41 PM

It’s a rare condition known in medical circles as NO BALLS.

hillbillyjim on December 3, 2013 at 1:03 AM

It’s notable that after the months-long series of blunders and scandals, we haven’t seen either version of a White House shake-up.


And we won’t. Obama has ridden past many scandals by simply being oblivious to them. Why change now? He obviously believes if he fires someone he will see seen by the general public as agreeing there really is a scandal, but, if he ignores the whole thing it will probably all just go away, like it has done so many times in the past. So what’s the upside to firing anyone?

Fred 2 on December 3, 2013 at 3:07 AM

The advisors are smarter than he is and agree with all his BS. Saddam shot the generals that didn’t agree with him.

mixplix on December 3, 2013 at 3:09 AM

There is nothing to ‘fix’ as they are doing exactly what they were supposed to do. Obama declared his support for and plan to force America to adopt the Single Payer Health Care system. VP Biden HIMSELF admitted several months ago that ‘Obamacare’ was ‘NEVER meant to make anything better’, explaining it was meant as a ‘stepping stone’ to the Single Payer system. Granted, I believe Obama KNEW this to be true; however, I do not believe he foresaw the disaster that was the Web Site Roll-Out that has possibly ‘expedited’ the collapse of ‘Obamacare’.

Liberals argue that Obama is a brilliant man and a Constitutional Scholar. If you actually believe that then you MUST believe that much of what Obama has done / does is on purpose and not a result of incompetence or miscalculation. Case in point – Obama promised to ‘fundamentally change the United States’ back in 2007-2008, prior to his election as President. His numerous documented Constitutional violations aside, consider the FACT that Obama KNEW beyond the shadow of a fact that what he promised in selling ‘Obamacare’ to the American people WAS A LIE. Either Obama is a ‘brilliant man’ or he is not – only an idiot would believe that any government program – especiall a health care program – would ‘not cost a dime’, would ‘pay for itself’, and would ‘REDUCE the deficit’, especially when no other government program in our nation’s history has ever done so. Obama told Americans ‘you can keep the health care you have if you like it…PERIOD’. We now KNOW that Obama, beyond the shadow of a doubt, LIED to the American people with this false promise because we have seen the PROOF that he knew before he ever pushed this plan that MILLIONS of Americans would LOSE their health care. Since the idea was to provide coverage for FEWER people who did not have health care to begin with, for Obama to accept a higher number of Americans than that to LOSE their health care as a result is almost unthinkable.

His treachery, his willingness to inflict pain on the American people (which we also saw during the govt shut-down) in order to obtain his personal/political agenda reveals just how much disdain and contempt he has for the nation and its people who do not embrace his Socialistic agenda and desire to ‘fundamentally change’ the Constitution and nation that has been the envy of the entire world for over 200 years.

easyt65 on December 3, 2013 at 8:37 AM

He has the staff he deserves. He is what he is.

steveracer on December 3, 2013 at 10:35 AM

‘He has the staff he deserves’? Such a statement seems to imply that Obama somehow ENDED UP with this staff…more by chance or error in his selection rather than what is, in reality, true.

Everyone of these guys are hand-picked. Every staff member, for however long they were hired / chosen, was selected for a reason.

For example, not much media attention was given to the fact that one of the former Weatherman Underground members participated in writing Obama’s ‘Stimulus’ bill. SENATOR Obama, as you will remember, announced his intent to run for the Presidency in the living room of Bill Ayers, a Weatherman Underground member who was arrested for conducting terrorist bombings within the US against 1st responders. He later said his only regret was not having had the opportunity to conduct more bombings. (Anyone notice how terrorists have flourished under Obama? From home-grown radical terrorists back in the 60s to being brought in to write parts of a nearly $1 trillion spending bill, Obama’s connections to this terrorist group reaches farther than back to Bil Ayer’s living room. Then you have both Al Qaida – the perpetrators of 9/11/01 – and the Muslim Brotherhood taking over their own nations with our help…after Bush promised terrorists would not even be allowed to acquire sanctuary in any country after 9/11.)

2 heads of the IRS who oversaw the targeting of Americans – Obama’s ‘political enemies’, the head of the Justice Department – responsible for pardoning terrorists in the closing days of the Clinton administration – was brought in to protect Obama’s back side and has been punished for 3 Felony counts of Perjury before Congress in the cover-up of Fast & Furious alone. That made him the 1st Atty General in our history to be Censured, only because his hand-picked Justice Dept refused to file those charges against him.

Obama is not stupid – every member of his staff was a calculated decision in an attempt to keep his 2007 promise to ‘fundamentally change the US.

easyt65 on December 3, 2013 at 12:23 PM

These folks know too much. They are immune from firing and discipline.

Mason on December 3, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Aside from the fact they know too much, they also know where the responsibility lies for this stuff. You can bet that Obama and Valerie have more to do with this failure than anyone. THe fact is, the first one fired will be the first one who just might demonstrate how in over his head Obama really is.

bflat879 on December 3, 2013 at 4:51 PM

‘Cause they keep advising him not to, duh.

WryTrvllr on December 4, 2013 at 1:35 AM

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