29 May 2014

President Passive

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Ed Laskey, at American Thinker, compares Barack Obama to Chance the Gardener in the 1979 film “Being There.” The gardener’s simple-minded utterances are mistaken for gnomic profundity when he blunders into contact with the rich and powerful, and the gardener gets promoted to the presidency. How prophetic art can sometimes be!

He is a notorious loner who does not like people, according to a former aide; he has a chronic work ethic problem; he is protected by bad news and problems by his small entourage of ego-protectors; he does the barest of minimum in terms of presidential duties — that have been dumbed down for him to a check-the-box style of presidential leadership; he has a lot of fun enjoying his luxe lifestyle; and, as previously noted, he does watch a lot of TV. …

Television-watching induces passivity – ask any parent of a toddler. …

Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus commented on Obama’s presidency back in 2011:

    For a man who won office talking about change we can believe in, Barack Obama can be a strangely passive president…

    …there are a startling number of occasions in which the president has been missing in action — unwilling, reluctant or late to weigh in on the issue of the moment. He is, too often, more reactive than inspirational, more cautious than forceful. The dots connect to form an unsettling portrait of a ‘Where’s Waldo?’ presidency.”

Where is Waldo? He is probably in front of the Boob Tube. And that would also answer the increasing number of critics, such as National Review’s Jim Geraghty who ask (rhetorically?) “So…just what is it that you do here, Mr. President”?

The scandals and self-inflicted man-made disasters (among them a wasted trillion-dollar stimulus, the wreckage of Obamacare) all reinforce the image that he may be a skilled speechmaker-if one likes messages the length of Tweets-but a lousy manager and terrible leader. Also, President Passive just doesn’t seem to care when people suffer.


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