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The ineffectual, inept, excuse-making executive

by George LandrithObama Smirk

Barack Obama is the world’s most inept and feckless leader. This is not merely my opinion. Any serious review of the facts reveals inescapably that the official, yet unspoken, position of the Obama White House is that Barack Obama is completely incompetent.

Of course, Barack Obama didn’t hold a press conference and explicitly admit that he is an incapable bungler. But if you believe Obama’s and his Administration’s explanation for everything from the Benghazi attacks, to the related cover-up and whistleblower threats, to the recent IRS scandal, they are implicitly admitting that Obama is the weakest, most ineffectual president ever.

UPDATE:  CBS News is now reporting that Obama administration officials say that mistakes made in responding to the Benghazi incident reflect “incompetence rather than malice or cover up.” “We’re portrayed … as either being liars or idiots,” an anonymous Obama Administration official said and then admitted, “It’s actually closer to us being idiots.” How bad do things have to be before an Obama official is willing to cop a plea to being “idiots?” 

According to Obama and his team, absolutely no part of the Benghazi scandal is Obama’s fault. He blames the lack of security at the Benghazi compound on the State Department and Republicans. He blames the lack of any military support during the attack on the military. The President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief blames the military and his own State Department as if he is an unrelated bystander.

Obama blames the misleading nature of the talking points on the CIA (even though it was his Administration that radically altered the talking points and removed anything that might embarrass Obama). The CIA’s original version of the talking points was accurate. The talking points written and revised by Obama political operatives were almost completely false and entirely misleading. Their only virtue was that they conveniently supported Obama’s campaign themes.

Obama blames partisans and the media for creating a “sideshow” over the falsified talking points and states that “there is no ‘there’ there.” This is, of course, entirely fanciful thinking. At this point, not even Obama’s allies at the New York Times or the Washington Post or even ABC News believe that absurd line.

Obama denied knowing anything about State Department employees who were threatened and told not to testify about Benghazi. He said he had heard nothing about at least one employee being demoted because he spoke up and told what he knew. It was all news to him. Does he really expect us to believe that?

Even my school-aged children had heard about the State Department “whistleblowers” and the Obama Administrations threats of retaliation to silence them. Does he really expect us to believe that the President of the United States – at a planned press conference – was unaware of evidence that his Administration threatened whistleblowers? It had been headlining the news the day before.

I am going to call this the “I’m less informed than elementary school children” defense. Presidents of the United States do not generally invoke this one for obvious reasons. But the Obama administration invokes it regularly.

But even worse, Obama acts as if threats of retaliation made by high ranking officials in his administration – to people who will tell the truth and contradict the fabrications that he has been telling – isn’t his problem because it happened at the State Department. But the State Department pursues his policies, and is headed by his appointees, who serve at his pleasure.

The IRS abusing its power to subject conservatives to discriminatory review isn’t Obama’s fault either. White House spokesman Jay Carney, actually blamed Bush. What a surprise!

Obama said that if the allegations are true, “than that’s outrageous.” Mr. President, the IRS has publicly admitted that it targeted conservatives. The only question left to be answered is how high up does the scandal go. But we do know this – the hard evidence shows it goes up pretty high and is not merely a few rogue low level employees at a satellite office as the IRS tried to suggest.

But Obama still acts as if it isn’t clear whether the IRS did anything wrong. And not surprisingly, Obama doesn’t believe he bears any responsibility. He isn’t the slightest bit embarrassed that he has spoken frequently and openly about punishing political enemies or that his administration has labeled conservatives as terrorist threats, while calling an actual terrorist attack “workplace” violence. In Obama’s mind, that the IRS would treat conservatives as a threat or as enemies has nothing to do with him.

And it isn’t good news when your campaign manager, in this case David Axelrod, says that all the scandals aren’t Obama’s fault because the government has grown so big that no one can expect Obama to actually know what his Administration is doing. Obama’s former advisor and campaign chief gave America an excellent reason to oppose Obama’s big government initiatives. If part of big government is being unaccountable – which it clearly is – why would anyone support it? Unaccountable government by its very nature dangerous and corrupt.

All of this illustrates one very important point – Obama believes he is never accountable. In his mind, there is always a reason why someone or something else should be blamed. This isn’t the attitude of a leader, or even a grown up.

Mr. President, the buck stops with you. If you are upset with how some at the State Department or the Pentagon acted, fire them. If the CIA let you down, fire someone. Fire the people at the IRS who were involved in using the tax code to punish political adversaries. But stop blaming others, while holding no one accountable.

In all honesty, the media is partly to blame. When the Bush Administration did something, it was always reported as Bush’s responsibility. The media did not go to any great lengths to separate Bush from his administration. But with Obama, great pains are taken to establish a separation between Obama and his administration as if he has nothing to do with it.

Barack Obama is no longer a community organizer. He is the President of the United States. He is in charge. If the Department of State, Defense or Justice screw up, it is his Administration that screwed up. He isn’t some disinterested bystander. Obama and his appointees and allies are running these Departments. They work for him – at his pleasure. He must fire someone or do something to fix the problem or accept that he is responsible.

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” Sadly, that sums up Barack Obama and his presidency.

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George Landrith is the president of Frontiers of Freedom, a public policy think tank devoted to promoting a strong national defense, free markets, individual liberty, and constitutionally limited government. Mr. Landrith is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was Business Editor of the Virginia Journal of Law and Politics. Mr. Landrith was a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia. You can follow George on Twitter @GLandrith.