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Obama: All Hat, No Cattle

The ethereal expectations of Obama supporters are colliding with the reality of the incredibly shallow efforts of the nascent Obama administration as many voters observe that this politician does indeed have feet of clay. Obama is looking a lot less like the second coming of (insert Democrat icon here) and a lot more like Howard Dean.

The fiasco of the failed Daschle nomination was but the latest in a series of very avoidable embarrassments and lapses of judgment (how can a former Senate Minority and Majority Leader not be properly vetted?). President Obama cannot explain this away by simply saying "I screwed up," and asking everyone to move on. If a demonstrated proficiency in executing the small things is a marker of one's ability to tackle the big issues then we are all in for a long four years.

President Obama, during the last approximately six weeks, has bungled four appointments to cabinet positions (including Treasury Secretary Geithner, who is apparently still on the job owing to a tax statute of limitations excuse), allowed his Democrat Speaker of the House to roll him on an increasingly unpopular spending bill, and declared to the nation that he knows people think he's cool as he yukked it up with Matt Lauer on Super Bowl Sunday while folks in my state were freezing to death in an ice storm, driving hundreds of miles to find generators and chainsaws and generally trying to fend for themselves in this post Katrina, hope and change era of good time liberal rock and roll politics (to say nothing of the Guantánamo closing that lacks an actual plan and the promise of more open FOIA disclosure that lacks actual results).

This is a not a good start. In fact, it's embarrassing and reminds most of us of the worst of the Carter years with the added insult of monumental hubris and arrogance.


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Comments (48)

Cool, eh? I think he is Ur... (Below threshold)
Kat:

Cool, eh? I think he is Urkel, a dweeby geekster. Weak minds were fooled by the snake oil salesman.

It was easy for Obama to ma... (Below threshold)
hermie:

It was easy for Obama to make promises for which a fawning press made no attempt to question him on, since he was parroting their own positions anyway.

Now however, he has to actually do his job; something which he wasn't inclined to do even when he was first elected to the US Senate.

The man to whom was attributed such intelligence, organization and honesty, has proven to be just another Chicago politician.

Individually, none of these... (Below threshold)
sam:

Individually, none of these setbacks amount to much. But these embarrassments, coupled with his buckling down under pressure from foreign countries, are starting to resonate as a second coming of Jimmy Carter.

Currently, he is being pushed around by:

Democrats in Congress
Iran
North Korea
Pakistan
India
Canada
UK
France

He has no control over his agenda. The Congress controls the stimulus bill, his main priority, and is shaping it against his wishes. He is reduced to pleading with Republicans to salvage something useful.

His foreign policy is being shaped by Iran and Russia. His trade stance is being shaped by EU and Canada.

Folks that need to deal with him (Congress, foreign leaders) have realized that he is weak. In fact, a "wimp".

Here are some indications o... (Below threshold)
sam:

Here are some indications of how the Obama leadership story is playing out:

"EU warns Obama on protectionism in stimulus bill" - AP

"Obama backs down on 'Buy American' after EU trade war threat" - Times of London

"European Union Plans WTO Complaint" - Wall Street Journal

"India warns Obama over Kashmir: 'Obama is barking up the wrong tree'" - Financial Times

"As Nominee Trips, Health Care Drive Suffers a Setback" - Washington Post

"Senate Lacks Votes to Pass Stimulus" - Washington Post

"Administration Is Described as Being at a Loss " - Washington Post

"Obama's Vietnam" - Newsweek

It's early days yet, but everybody senses weakness.

And Sarah Palin wasn't expe... (Below threshold)
plainslow:

And Sarah Palin wasn't experienced enough? I'm experienced enough to do this so far.

One of the main attractions... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

One of the main attractions of Obama, as I recall, was that he wasn't a Washington Insider - that he wasn't part of the Beltway culture. (Instead, he was a part of the Chicago political culture, where results weren't so important as who's wallet you filled along the way...) There was hope for change - and people pinned that hope on him.

The real problem is that he's NEVER been held accountable for the results of his decisions. He failed in his community organizing, he failed as a state senator (unless you count Grove Parc as a success...) and hadn't had a chance to fail yet as a US Senator.

He managed (along with his speechwriters) to get to the White House. Now he's in the most responsible position he's ever had - and he's not prepared for it.

He's like a movie star who's been coddled and praised for his looks and what people project on to him. He's been given 'awards' for mouthing the words others have written, but he's done it so well that people believe that what's been projected is the real person.

Now we're seeing the man, not the projection. There's no script to play from, no way to shield himself from the mistakes he makes, there's no opponent to be automatically contrary against to pick up votes and blamed for the misttakes he makes - he's at the top of the food chain and it's all HIS.

In the past he's managed to project an 'everything to everybody' vibe. And it got him to where he is today.... but that's NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

I sincerely hope he manages to get his head on straight, and figure out how to lead. Because right now, he's not even a weathervane, he's being tossed about like a leaf on the wind. He may end up making Carter look like a paragon of decisive virtue - and God help us if that happens...

Yup......that's why he has ... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Yup......that's why he has a 75% approval rating. Oh, my bad. I forgot that the only people who know everything about everything are the denizen wingnuts of Wizbang.
depp=true

That WaPo story has some go... (Below threshold)

That WaPo story has some good stuff in it - like the Democrats conceding that their "economic stimulus package" really is nothing but a pork-laden special interest and campaign favor payback spending spree:

Senate Democratic leaders conceded yesterday that they do not have the votes to pass the stimulus bill as currently written and said that to gain bipartisan support, they will seek to cut provisions that would not provide an immediate boost to the economy.

and:

It also remains unclear whether Democrats are willing to tamper with measures that are considered high priorities for Obama, but that tackle longer-term challenges such as health-care reform and alternative energy development, rather than providing the quick jolt of expanded unemployment and food-stamp benefits and individual tax relief.

and:

Then, on a 52 to 45 vote, the chamber stripped $246 million in tax breaks for Hollywood production companies, a measure offered by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.)..."This is a gift," he said of the Hollywood provision. "It's not going to stimulate the economy at all."

Clinton was popular and hav... (Below threshold)

Clinton was popular and having adulterous sex with the hired help in the workplace. Does that mean that he shouldn't be criticized for things he screwed up? Popularity trumps all? Back to your bridge, the sun is coming up.

Why is anyone surprised? Th... (Below threshold)
David:

Why is anyone surprised? This is a guy who has spent his entire political career campaigning and voting "present". His indecisiveness is going to be his downfall; his hubris and belief in is own bull**** are going to cost this nation in the long run. I bet Putin, Ahmadinejab, Kim Jong-Il and all the rest are salivating at the thought of dealing with this guy.

Hmmm.... I seem to recall ... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Hmmm.... I seem to recall that a certain Republican presidential contender predicted that Obama would be the second term of a Carter Administration. Guess he got one thing right.

Obama was never a leader in... (Below threshold)
hermie:

Obama was never a leader in Illinois politics. Oh, he got himself placed on important committees, or on a significant piece of legislation. But that was done not because of his 'leadership' but as a part of the Dem party leadership (Primarily Emil Jones) sponsoring him for being such a good follower.

Where was he in the US Senate? He did nothing of any significance in 2 years, yet he was lauded for his 'quiet leadership' by the MSM. Leadership for doing what? Well, they never really elaborated on that. They gave him credit for his leadership for the TARP legislation. (Which turned out to be such a mess that they don't bother to mention it again.) They oohed and ahhed over his command of his campaign, which he was supposedly responsible for every aspect, and his attention to detail.

In short, the MSM promoted him and did what they could to get him the Presidency, no matter if he actually had those qualities they projected on him or not.

Yup......that's why he h... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Yup......that's why he has a 75% approval rating.

Wishful thinking on your part, buddy. Fact is, his approval rte is dropping faster than your old nemesis, Dubya. To be exact his rating has dropped a precipitous 15 points since that fateful inauguration day in January, so very long ago. He best get it together soon, for his sake as well as ours.

BTW, you were snookered and I toldja so.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0109/17902.html

Awwww....damn I was 7 point... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Awwww....damn I was 7 points off.

The author says: "....monum... (Below threshold)
JFO:

The author says: "....monumental hubris and arrogance."

That was a Freudian slip right? You meant the man who NEVER made a mistake don't you? Not the one who just owned it?

My apologies to the scallyw... (Below threshold)

My apologies to the scallywag John Dean for inadvertently naming him instead of the esteemed Vermonter Howard Dean. I've corrected the post.

Approval ratings mean diddl... (Below threshold)
sam:

Approval ratings mean diddly squat in terms of accomplishments.

Bill Clinton had astronomical approval ratings in his second term, and produced zero. Couldn't even get his VP elected.

George Bush had abysmal approval ratings, and yet he accomplished most of what he campaigned on - school accountability and vouchers; HSAs; FBI; homelessness reform; Welfare Reform reauthorization; subprime home-buying; tax cuts; free trade expansion; liberalization in the Middle East; alliance with India, Brazil, and Indonesia.

Approval ratings have never substituted for ideas, action and leadership.

JFO lying again. GW never s... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

JFO lying again. GW never said he didn't make mistakes Putz. He just didn't think it was our business. I agree. Anyone in leadership knows focusing on solutions is productive, focusing on blame is counter productive. You would probably need a job to understand that.

Barry is failing. I am not surprised. ww

Yesterday, under the cumula... (Below threshold)

Yesterday, under the cumulative pressure of two weeks on the job, Obama left the White House on short notice to chill out with second-graders. It's apparently a great way for presidents to decompress, but if we learned only one thing from 9/11, it's that world leaders don't sit around reading storybooks with grade schoolers when there's important work to be done. Obama, are you going to be okay?
http://www.rightklik.net/

Awwww....damn I was 7 po... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Awwww....damn I was 7 points off.

You're a friggin' idiot, JFO. Obama is just the symptom of your disease. You should be held personally responsible for your idiocy.

You must be the dumbest person here today. But, you can tak solace in knowing that McCain wouldn't have been better. I will grant you that.

WeeWillieYou ought... (Below threshold)
JFO:

WeeWillie

You ought to read what you write before you post it you moron. It's not our "business" to know when our president makes a mistake?

We can then depend on you not ever writing a word about Obama's mistakes, correct?

Now here the screamer from your idiocy above:

"...focusing on blame is counter productive."

Followed immediately by:

"Barry is failing. I am not surprised. ww"

Are you just a fool or really just stupid?

'At Thursday night's board ... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

'At Thursday night's board meeting, the Hempstead School District voted to rename Ludlum Elementary School, "Barack Obama Elementary." '

[ . . . ]

http://wcbstv.com/local/barack.obama.elementary.2.870347.html


All I can say is, welcome t... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

All I can say is, welcome to the world of George W. Bush, Mr. Obama -- where every damn thing you do is criticised, picked apart and anal-ized (yep), and you're damned if you do, damned if you don't.

A very good article ... (Below threshold)
MPR:


A very good article at Americanthinker this morning I read before checking Wizbang. I would disagree with the author on the title though. Obamalala IS a disaster.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/02/obama_may_become_a_disaster.html

"Barry is failing. I am ... (Below threshold)
Clay:

"Barry is failing. I am not surprised. ww"

Are you just a fool or really just stupid?

Awright, Einstein. You tell us. What the hell is he doing, if not that? When will you become an adult and start recognizing things for what they are, instead of being Just For Obama? It's insane to think that you elected an inexperienced, ideological boob and you expect different results.

I see you have at least one constant in your life. You will always be the dumbest person in the room.

However, if anyone thinks t... (Below threshold)
Clay:

However, if anyone thinks that McCain would've been less of a bumbling idiot, you're just as nuts as JFO.

The Dems need to find their brains...but, the GOP needs to find its soul. Both parties are terminal.

'At Thursday night's boa... (Below threshold)
Clay:

'At Thursday night's board meeting, the Hempstead School District voted to rename Ludlum Elementary School, "Barack Obama Elementary." '

Well, gosh Adrian. There's an accomplishment, huh? He has something to put on his resume now.

It's appropriate that the named a public school after him. Liberalism is a disease. The cure is education, not the Left's indoctrination. I wonder when was the last time the Constitution was read in a classroom at Barack Obama Elementary? You'll see that we've fallen farther than Barry.

Remember that the Democrats... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Remember that the Democrats got control of Congress in 2006 by claiming that they would end the war in Iraq if people would only vote for them but then they were cowards and they didn't and instead complained that it was the fault of the Republicans.

They're going to do the same thing with the Economy. There's no downside politically for the Democrats.

Awwww, give the po' widdle ... (Below threshold)

Awwww, give the po' widdle Obamassiah a break, will ya? This is his first elective office where he's actually had to do anything besides cash his paycheck and keep running for (another) office. Actually doing stuff is hard, folks! Especially when a guy's never had to before...

Obama needs to realize that... (Below threshold)
btenney:

Obama needs to realize that he is not even close to being the smartest Guy in the country. He could benefit from soliciting Opinions not from his Peers but from his Betters.
Wonder if he could accept the reality that maybe Rush has something of value to offer?

Hmmm...oh, look! Obama is s... (Below threshold)
Jimini:

Hmmm...oh, look! Obama is still President, and will be for the next four years!

Foam at the mouth. This man's in office for two weeks. You sound ridiculous.

...and he is still President whether you like it or not, not that the wingnuts here have a voice anymore.

One thing I would add that ... (Below threshold)
John:

One thing I would add that may have been missed, because it's an addition to what he has already "accomplished" in two weeks.

Anyone remember Obama mentioning how one of his Secret Service agents has a son, playing football for the Gators? I mean to give an opening to kidnappers or other evil-doers that may be looking to breach security, it was just incredible. As, my father said, while shaking his head, "He doesn't know any better."

Big Mo gets it. JF... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Big Mo gets it.

JFO, I would think Barry's biggest mistake was having a superbowl party while people in Kentucky were freezing to death. ww

JFO, I would think Barry... (Below threshold)
Clay:

JFO, I would think Barry's biggest mistake was having a superbowl party while people in Kentucky were freezing to death.

You keep saying that, and I still say it isn't fair. May I remind you that W got a pass on Katrina because it was the local government that was responsible. Don't you remember how New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was vilified in the press and W was praised? Dontcha remember?

It's the local government that is responsible for natural emergencies, not the federal government. Remember the Dems saying that in the Katrina aftermath? Man, I got sick of hearing that.

Brian Williams asked Presid... (Below threshold)
Angellight:

Brian Williams asked President Obama is change too hard, which is ludicrous. Of course change is hard and difficult. This President Obama has always said. However, the seeds of change are being sowed. The Obama Administration's plan to cap executive salaries and his willingness to say "I screwed up", is change we can believe in, don't let the GOP tell you otherwise, as they do not want change!

The GOP pretend to care so deeply about the stimulus, when it is patently obvious and a derelict of their duty to the public, that the GOP are working furiously for the next elections and not the peoples' economic crisis looming so large at this time. Some Republican Pundits charged with this task, call the Stimulus a stinking corpse, before it is even born, instead of what it is -- a valuable work in progress for this country.

Like any creation, in the early stages, it is chaos and not fully formed, such as a fetus, a painting, any work of art, and yet the artist ploughs on knowing the beauty to be eventually created. Why in the world, would some Pundits criticize the early form instead of giving support, is beyond the pale, especially when they know to publically criticize it is to get the ball rolling to derail it. May be they do not love this country more than their party affiliation! These pundits sit in their high-paying jobs, so lofty, and pick apart every little thing someone says or does, Wears...., with nothing good to say, like their word is God or gold -- as they no longer report the news but give their Opinions about the news. There was a time when we were taught as Americans, if you have nothing good to say about anyone, say nothing at all. We have lost that. These Pundits are a part of the problem and not the solution.

At this critical stage in our rapidly-crumbling economy, it would seem that the Republican Senators would do everything they can to do something, to tell the American people, I am on your side, and not always to quickly say no to the middle class and the little people; no to schools, education, infra structure, green jobs, all of which have too long been denied and neglected and Yet, always yes to the Special Interest Groups, to wars, to big oil and their tax breaks.

It is a sad fact that for average American citizens, the GOP is becoming the party of NO! For Gosh Sake, they turn to Joe the Plumber for advice and direction!!! We can not depend on the GOP to help us, or to be honest and ethical. They cry out for "instant" change from a dogmatic beauracray set in its own ways by men who do not want to lose their power. President Obama is well aware that change will not come easy. Does one get a college degree in a week, a month or a year? Does a seed develop into a plant overnight? President Obama has been in office a little over two weeks and they pretend they want miracles. Did the Wright Broters perfect the airplane in a day, a month, or a year? But they had a dream and a vision, and they did not give up.

It has been over 2000 years since Jesus Christ asked us to love one another, to do good to one another, to be our brother's/sister's keeper, and where are we today? Grounds have been made, yet we have a long way to go, for change does not come easy.

In 2010, we will know what to do! Vote Democratic....

In 2010, we will know wh... (Below threshold)
Clay:

In 2010, we will know what to do! Vote Democratic....

Look. Another carrier.

Hope!Change!... (Below threshold)
Aye Chihuahua:

Hope!

Change!

The Short Road to Disappointment!

It is a sad fact that fo... (Below threshold)
Clay:

It is a sad fact that for average American citizens, the GOP is becoming the party of NO!

Ohmigawd, you're right. We should say yes to printing up $900 billion of our fiat cash to fund $400 million for researching sexually transmit­ted diseases, $200 million for bike and pedestrian trails and off-road vehicle routes, $200 million to force the military to buy envi­ronmentally friendly electric cars, $34 million to renovate the Department of Commerce headquarters, and $75 million for a program to end smoking, which if successful will bankrupt the children's health program Democrats are about to pass.

At this critical stage in our rapidly-crumbling economy, it would seem that the Republican Senators would do everything they can to do something, to tell the American people, I am on your side, and not always to quickly say no to the middle class and the little people; no to schools, education, infra structure, green jobs

The fact is that there is a plan that sounds a helluva lot better at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Economy/hl1108.cfm

To further simplify and improve the code, our plan would also:
permanently repeal the alternative minimum tax once and for all;
permanently maintain the capital gains and divi­dends taxes at 15 percent;
permanently kill the Death Tax for estates under $5 million, and cut the tax rate to 15 percent for those above;
permanently extend the $1,000-per-child tax credit;
permanently repeal the marriage tax penalty;
permanently limit itemized deductions to home mortgage interest and charitable contributions.

It's projected that this plan would create nearly 500,000 jobs this year, 1.3 million next year, 7.5 million by 2013, and a total of nearly 18 million jobs over the next decade.

The Democrats are forced to rely on hope to save or create just 3 million jobs as a result of their plan. When pressed, they refuse to stand behind these numbers. But with the American Option plan long-term, broad-based tax cuts will spur the American economy to create 7.5 million jobs in five years and nearly 18 million jobs in just ten years. That is an average of over 2 million new jobs a year.

Let me think. Which plan sounds better? Do I believe in the government creating jobs or business creating jobs? I'm betting on American business.

jfo:Awwww....damn... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

jfo:
Awwww....damn I was 7 points off.

Actually, looking at the RCP average, you're actually off even more.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_obama_job_approval-1044.html

The RCP average is down

The pre-election claim was that Obama's judgment was his strength. Given the number of tax cheats he's hiring, he's either got very poor judgment or he's got nothing but tax cheats from which to pick. Perhaps the 'new' is starting to wear off for the American public...

Using a 'The RCP avera... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Using a '

The RCP average is down to under 62 %.

Funny how those who got suc... (Below threshold)
hermie:

Funny how those who got suckered into 'hopeand change' now feel the need to defend Obama's bumbling as taking 'baby steps'. He selects the very people who got the financial industry in a mess; chooses lobbyists although at the same time says he won't; orders the closing of Gitmo and withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, then says he will have to have someone study what to do with the prisoners he may have to release... on the same day that it is revealed that some of those previously 'innocent' detainees were in fact, Al Queda terrorists. He gets rolled by the Iranians, the Soviets and heck, even the French (You got to be a real loser to get smacked around by the French). One hand of his Cabinet doesn't know what the other is doing (the Zinni 'appointment') and when people freeze and die in Kentucky all he can do is have a Super Bowl party with steak and cocktails.

Clay, every time you hear ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Clay, every time you hear about Katrina you hear about how GW failed and is inept. No spin here. Barry should not do anything but focus on Kentucky. ww

Gotta give Clay a lot of cr... (Below threshold)
Hank:

Gotta give Clay a lot of credit for the 12:42 reply.
The entry by Angellight left me absolutely speechless.

Clay, every time you hea... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Clay, every time you hear about Katrina you hear about how GW failed and is inept.

Did I need a disclaimer stating that I was being sarcastic?

Sorry then. I thought I was obvious.

They're going to do the ... (Below threshold)
Clay:

They're going to do the same thing with the Economy. There's no downside politically for the Democrats.

Keep whistling that tune as you pass the cemetery. The Dem's current trajectory will place them right about here ------> sh*thole

We'll see how popular Obama is once the dems in Congress realize he's ruining their chances in 2010.

BTW, Angellight? Do me a favor and download a copy of that porky stimulus bill and you'll understand why I'm laughing hysterically at your words:

the GOP are working furiously for the next elections and not the peoples' economic crisis looming so large at this time.

LMAO!

...and he is still Presi... (Below threshold)
Clay:

...and he is still President whether you like it or not,

Oh Jimini. Don't get me wrong. I'm loving the fact that he's president. I'm giggling uncontrollably at every single gaffe, stumble, and misstep. The sad thing is that I had to pay before seeing Laurel & Hardy. In Obama's case will have to pay after the laughs are over.

Clay, apologies. Under the ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Clay, apologies. Under the weather and not as sharp as usual. Carry on buddy. ww

JFO is hanging all his hope... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

JFO is hanging all his hopes still on Obama. He went from 83% to 68% percent, that's true. But look what they're basing this approval ratings on too; the transition and interviews respectively. That transition had more players in it than Obama. There was a guy named Bush and his team involved in the transition that got Obama that 83%. Then after interviews, after his first three full days in office, Obama (without "transition help") dives 15 points.

Even the 68% is laughable: Geithner, Killefer, Daschle, Patterson, Lynn, Richardson. Have I left anyone out?

I just dropped by Gallup and oops, he's dropped 3 more points. I guess the euphoria is wearing off. JFO, take a couple aspirin and drink lots of water. That's a 4 year hangover you're lookin' at.




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