All throughout the election season of 2008, what did we hear from then candidate Obama? Well, it was all about the terrible economy, all about how congress was deadlocked and not doing the job Americans wanted them to do, he languished our ever diminished standing on the world stage and a host of other ills facing the country brought on by others in leadership of the government. We also heard of his ability to right these wrongs and bring the nation back from the abyss, from the impending doom should his opponent be elected. As a side note he failed to mention his role or lack thereof as a member of congress during the time all this malaise was being dished out and upon the citizenry. That is a discussion for another time.
So the eloquent speeches and promises of grandeur resulting in a utopian life in America worked to his benefit and catapulted him to the highest elected position in the land. He is now President of The United States. That title brings with it a host of duties, responsibilities, rights and privilege. Of those, the ability to manage a massive staff must be daunting. There are chiefs of staff to handle daily oversight of the varied departments and branches of government. Each agency is staffed with hundreds if not thousands. Some are career employees while others, generally those in supervisory capacities are appointees of the President. They are chosen because they share the same vision of government as their boss. With the key positions now filled and his hand on the levers of power, It is time for the “hope and change” to be delivered by “the one we’ve been waiting for.”
To briefly recant the inventory of items which would begin anew, we were poised to enjoy the fruits of a roaring economy, a joyous welcome around the globe, harmonious racial relationships at home, an equalization of ‘class’ and wealth structure between wall and main street, happy moms, a car and house, apple pie, lower sea levels and temperate climate for all. But that dream was far from fulfilled. An objective look at the promises versus the reality will show that, if one removes the political hyperbole from the equation. Once again, let’s add this to the next discussion. My concern today is not so much with the political spin of either side of the equation, but why there is a need for the spin.
Any chief executive will task his subordinates with the daily operations of his or her department. Even the minutia of those activities, are further delegated by the department head. It would not be unusual for the chief executive to be unaware of each and every rule infraction by any low or mid-level employee, in which their immediate supervisor addressed. At some point during a meeting however, the department head would certainly brief the chief of the transgressions and what if any measures were taken to correct the problems. The leader of any organization would demand and expect that to be standard practice. With solid operational policies and chains of command in place, the issue of holding one accountable for errors or misconduct is uncomplicated.
In matters of gross violation or those incidents which have the potential to alter the very nature of the business operation, whether in a positive or negative aspect, one would expect the person(s) in charge to have intimate knowledge of those particulars. Certainly the astute chief officer would demand such information as it is his reputation at stake based on the outcome of the situation. He would insist immediate action be taken to rectify any wrongdoing by whomever is responsible, or to publically acknowledge the individual(s) responsible for the organization’s success.
But in the case of the current Commander in Chief, President Obama, we find the converse to be true. Remember, in two campaigns for office, he asked for the job. He asked for the responsibilities which accompany the title of Chief Executive. He appointed department heads to oversee his desires and wishes to “fundamentally transform The United States of America.” So, now as the ‘transformation’ has begun, and it is not what he led those who believed the words to mean, he constantly runs from the responsibility of the position. He has become the president of shifting blame. For the better part of his first term the fault of all things wrong belonged to his predecessor and the miserable mess he inherited. After that began to wear thin, the fault was that of congress and their unwillingness to “help push the car out of the ditch after they drove into it”.
The second term has not brought any greater sense of leadership. With numerous scandals to address the President calls them “phony”, he says he is outraged by the notion of the American citizen being wronged by government and is determined to get to the bottom of things. The only problem is he says he “learned of the problems from the news reports on tv”. Has his subordinates done him a disservice, or is the chief officer of our government uninvolved and/or unprepared for the job? Again not every minor detail is known by any president in any administration, but these are not minor details. Ambassadors and others have been killed by an attack on U.S. property overseas, the IRS has unlawfully targeted political opponents of the President, our southern border is unprotected, a border agent was killed with a weapon from a suspected government sponsored gun running operation and our allies around the globe question our loyalty to them. There are other questions of import which are not being addressed by this administration in what seems to be a deliberate attempt to obstruct the truth being told to us the citizens. An administration which promised transparency is anything but when the chief law enforcer and other top level administrators are offered the cloak of executive privilege to shield perceived malfeasance. Surely plausibility deniability is a term all are familiar with, but in this case the denial of credible facts is brazen.