Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Mess He'll Inherit

In regard to the expression "the buck stops here," the Oval Office isn't just the place where decisions are made, it is an expression of the simple fact that the worst problems we face go there. That's the job description.

So when President Obama continues to whine that he inherited messes too great for him to handle in a single term, I want to bang my head in the wall in frustration while yelling into the ether that I wish to God that our president would just man the eff up, just a bit:

The fact is, we don't wrap up our presidencies in neat packages like a movie that ties up loose ends after 120 minutes. Or is President Obama implicitly promising that he'll leave a clean slate for his successor in 3 or 7 years?

President Obama's whine that blames anger against him on broadcasters leads to the question of who we can blame for the Bush Derangement Syndrome that afflicted Bush 43?

Bush didn't whine about hostility toward him or even seem to be affected by it. Nor did Reagan. Heck, Clinton didn't whine, either, and let it get to him.

But now our president wants to whine that he isn't universally loved? Did the Greek columns get to him? Did he really believe that revisions to Mount Rushmore would start within a week of his coronation?

This is a big country. Even if President Obama proves to be a good president, many will not like him for what he does. That's the way it is. And whining about talk show hosts and claiming the son got in your eyes as a reason for your problems are not very presidential. This seems like a shocking revelation to our president.

Man up, for Pete's sake. You're the only president we have. We need you to at least act like you have a handle on your office. Allies, neutrals, and enemies are still making judgments about how resolute you are in order to guide their policies.

Do you really think this latest excuse-fest bit helps you at all?

But rather than trying to saddle up and get the job done, our president has refined the whine into a campaign strategy (tip to Instapundit):

So… other presidents have faced 9/11, the Cold War, WWII, the Great Depression, WWI, the various other recessions of the 20th century, and etcetera… but we’re to understand that few presidents have faced challenges on par with those “inherited” by The One. Huh. That doesn’t reek of hubris at all.

Exactly. What exactly did the president think his job would be? Golf and adoring Obama girls feeding him peeled grapes while he did his NCAA brackets in the spring?

The funnies thing is that the central part of the president's fine whine isn't completely accurate: President Bush reacted to the initial financial crisis to stabilize the economy, and by the time President Obama was sworn in, the economy--while still bad--had stopped the free fall and was ready to go back up (also tip to Instapundit):

Yes, folks, the economy had already started to turn around in the quarter before President Obama took office. The healing had begun before the Stimulus package, and before he started propping the economy up with huge deficit spending.

And by the time his policies did kick in? The economy braked like the President passing a golf course.*

The president's "stimulus"--really just a grab bag of liberal Congressional projects slapped together under the title of an "economic recovery package"--was too late (remember when the president admitted that there were few "shovel-ready projects"?) to have an effect on the economy starting to go up. What the president and his policies did was to keep the economy from going up as much as it could have if left alone unshackled by regulations and uncertainty.

The president just had to walk in front of the economic parade to look like he was leading it. And now he's doubling down on the idea that nobody could have done that.

If President Obama wins reelection, I can hardly wait for his 2013 State of the Union address where he will blame the inept doofus of the prior four years who left President Obama with such a rotten economy and unsafe world.

Because I've given up on the man-up hope.