American Elephants

Eddie Haskell — All Grown Up! by The Elephant's Child

Is he always the last to know? Or is it more the Eddie Haskell syndrome?  Kathleen Sebelius has confirmed that President Obama was totally unaware that the initial rollout of ObamaCare was a major catastrophe until it happened. This was the president’s signature project, and clearly no one with the right technology experience was in charge. The company hired to do the work was the only bid, and Canada had fired them earlier for incompetence.

And he didn’t know anything about the NSA tapping the phones and email of German Chancellor Angela Merkel until after an internal review he ordered earlier this year, even though a German weekly reported that Army Gen. Keith Alexander, the NSA chief, briefed Obama on the Merkel wiretaps back in 2010.

Officials said that the president was briefed on and approved of broad intelligence gathering priorities, but those below him made the decisions about specific targets

He is remarkably ignorant of all the scandals that have cropped up in his administration, at least until they make the papers. Then he is just as angry as the rest of us about the slip-up. Remember how angry he said he was about the IRS’ efforts to hold up tax exemption applications from Tea Party groups in the period before the 2012 election, an effort that coincidentally changed the outcome of the election. And nevermind that the IRS inspector general issued a report that documented IRS abuse. Obama said “I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this, I think it was on Friday.”

Obama also didn’t know anything about his administration releasing hundreds of illegal immigrants — blaming the sequester cuts. Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security Secretary at the time, said even she was surprised to learn about the action.

The ongoing crisis in the Middle East, and now tensions between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have grown sharply in recent months. The president authorized the CIA to provide limited arms to carefully vetted Syrian rebels, but it took months for the program to even begin.

Even as the debate about arming the rebels took on a new urgency, Mr. Obama rarely voiced strong opinions during senior staff meetings. But current and former officials said his body language was telling: he often appeared impatient and disengaged while listening to the debate, sometimes scrolling through messages on his BlackBerry or slouching and chewing gum.

The Government Accountability Institute examined President Obama’s schedule from the day he took office until mid-June to see how often he attended his Presidential Daily Briefing, which seems to be about 43.8 percent of the time. President Bush held meetings six days a week with the Vice President, the Chief of Staff, Homeland Security, the FBI director and other Homeland Security officials.

Now NBC News is reporting that the Obama administration knew in advance that their catastrophic takeover of the health care industry would throw millions of their existing plans. Millions of Americans are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under ObamaCare, say experts, and the Obama administration has know that for at least three years.
Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act told NB that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect a “cancellation” letter or the equivalent over the next year, and that number could reach as high as 80 percent.

I think it’s Eddie Haskell all the way down. But we never saw Eddie Haskell all grown-up. I wold assume that he always has an excuse, nothing is ever his fault, and he’s really irritated about it now that he found out with the rest of us.


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But remember, “no one” is more frustrated about the Obamacare roll-out than him (except maybe all those that are losing their insurance that Obama said they could keep). Just like “no one” was angrier about the IRS scandal (angrier, even, than the people who were targeted).

This is the last card Obama has to play – ignorance about everything (“they never told me what was happening!”) and superlative anger. And like all the other excuses, he’ll overuse this one… badly. Even liberal friends of mine (yes, I have them… I’m kind of an optimist that they’ll eventually get it) have started wondering what all those “advisers” are supposedly “advising” him about (“keep your arm straight on the downswing” is the general consensus here). I understand that one man can’t know, or even be aware of, everything, but we’re headed into the land of the ridiculous here, especially for an individual who claimed to “know more about policy than my policy advisers”.

I remain firmly convinced that Obama didn’t ever really want the JOB of being president… just the perks. He wants the adulation, not the blame. And you’ll never, ever, be able to persuade me that the hard work of governing isn’t completely beyond his capabilities.


Comment by Lon Mead

It is interesting trying to figure out why he behaves as he does. He has received a lot of adulation for nothing much (Noble Peace Prize) and the adulation of his first election. Whole countries fell for it. And it went far, far beyond reason and sensibility. Ever been to the website Really extraordinary. I can’t remember any other historical mass-infatuation, and many on the left remain infatuated.

Quite contrary to the Democrats insistence, it has nothing to do with his race. I’m not impressed with the idea of “first African American President,” though I can certainly see how that would be meaningful to blacks. Nor does the idea of “first woman”mean much of anything. I care about competence, character and policy. Remember, in the first year of Obama’s presidency Michelle kept complaining about how hard he worked.

He seems unusually aware of the customs and history of the office. Remember when he notably told Harry Reid that “I have a gift,”I think he meant that when he spoke, people would believe him, no matter what he said. In other words, it didn’t matter what he said — the suckers would fall for it. And he has their great and good friend Valerie Jarrett to advise him, and the ‘Chicago Way’ to guide. What could possibly go wrong?

No, he doesn’t want the job, but cannot give up any of the perks, no matter how crass it appears. The excess of privilege of the office — flying the dog and the basketballs to Martha’s Vineyard on an Osprey would certainly seem to qualify. Lots of opulence that was a slap in the face to an unemployed America.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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