Obama Treads Water
by Deacon Blues
It hasn’t been a good day or week for the president. First, you take way too long to deal with the Veterans’ Administration problems, and in the end you don’t really deal with it at all; you simply let the man walk away when it could have been handled with more class and effectiveness earlier. (Did White House staffers really think they were helping things by saying on background that Shinseki was on thin ice?)
You give a major foreign policy speech that is panned by many, especially because there is an obvious lack of clarity or vision in whatever is the Obama Doctrine. Yes, foreign policy is not black and white, but it isn’t pudding either.
Then, suddenly, your press secretary announces he’s leaving, at a time when his departure will only invite more speculation as to "why now"?
After more than five years, I am still dumbfounded at how poorly Barack Obama actually manages the levers of government. Of course the GOP owns a part of the VA problem, and of course they were going to unfairly politicize it. That was a given, and it was a certainty that General Shinseki was going to be scapegoated, although he and Obama cannot escape blame after being in charge these five years. But those realities made it clear that Obama needed to act ahead of the curve here instead of what he ended up doing, which was look way too slow-footed and image-conscious.
A savvy president operating in such a toxic environment would have acted quickly, and made the GOP own a part of this. How? By selecting an outgoing GOP senator from a red state to come in and take over the VA, someone like Tom Coburn, and let him have free reign to fix the VA. Suddenly, the VA "scandal" disappears.
Instead Obama dithers and looks lost with more than two years still left in this listless second term.
Get a clue, dude.