In the last 40 years there have been three Presidents whom I felt from the very beginning, from the very moment the election returns were in and we knew they had been elected, were complete jokes as President of the United States.
The first was Nixon in 1968 and while I was still a teenager I knew enough of his background to come to the conclusion that this guy as President of the United States would be nothing but a bad joke. The second was George W Bush in 2000. It took Al Gore, along with Donna Brazile as his campaign manager, to conduct the most incompetent Presidential campaign in history to get Bush, who Ralph Nader called at the time " a know nothing one term govenor of a state where the legislature only meets twice a year", elected President. Third of course is Barack Obama who, even now, two months after the election, cannot take the podium as the President elect without me laughing out loud at what I can't help but view as a Saturday Night Live sketch somehow magically transformed into real life.
I can't watch Obama disembarking from a plane, introducing a cabinet pick, smiling for a photo op, or having a statement issued in his name by a spokesman without laughing or at least breaking into a smile just short of laughter. This is not mean spirited snickering. It's not derisive laughter. I'm not laughing through my tears. I'm really laughing at the sight of Barack Obama as President of the United States. I swear that just writing it makes me laugh. It hits me as that much of a joke.
The first two members of the Presidential Three Stooges completely lived down to my expectations. Nixon became the first President to resign from office over Watergate and what his own Attorney General called "The White House Horrors". The second member, George W Bush, has been the most disastrous President in history, presiding over and in fact causing and being ultimately responsible for, four of the biggest disasters in the country's history-- the 911 attacks which were the result of his and Condoleeza Rice's gross negligence and incompetence, the unnecessary Iraq invasion, the response to Katrina, and the worst economic meltdown since the Depression.
Now Barack Obama joins my group as the most under-qualified, intellectually dishonest, integrity challenged Professor Harold Hill of a candidate for President in history. While his political dishonesty equals Nixon's at this stage in Nixon' political life, no one ever said Nixon didn't have the experience of qualification to be President, only the lack of integrity.
Obama hasn't even been sworn in yet and he is caught up in two brewing scandals, one from the sewer of Illinois politics embodied by Blagojevich and Rezko, and now Bill Richardson, as seedy and two faced a politician as there is in the Democratic Party,and one of Obama's political henchmen during the Democratic primary, having to withdraw his name as Commerce Secretary because an FBI investigation is coming uncomfortably close to his conduct as Governor of New Mexico.
Watching Richardson slink away and Obama's ridiculous statement that Richardson's withdrawing was Richardson "putting the country first", should be seen as another shot across the bow and a warning to the Democratic Party that there is going to be a more trouble ahead.
You know the Democrats are aware of this when you see the photo ops of Obama and Nancy Pelosi, the most inept Speaker of the House in history, sitting together for the cameras with Pelosi wearing that stupid painted on smile, looking like a character actress who just lost the Academy Award and is trying to pretend it doesn't matter.
I recently commented that Obama's cabinet picks, with a couple of exceptions, were relatively sound and showed that he is more than willing to play the part of Prime Minister more than President, letting key cabinet picks make the policy he will announce as his own. This will most certainly be true of foreign policy, something Obama has already demonstrated he knows nothing about, with Hillary Clinton at State. It is a certainty that it will be her foreign policy that will be formulated and carried out, not Obama's since he doesn't have a foreign policy,and this will be especially true in the Middle East where Bill Clinton came closer than anyone to brokering a deal for a Palestinian State.
And his recent pick of Leon Panetta to head the CIA confirms now with a degree of 100% certainty what I had thought from the beginning regarding his cabinet picks -- that Obama will really be nothing more than a puppet with Democratic insiders pulling the strings, making and formulating policy with Obama announcing them.
If you lean towards the Democrats in terms of both foreign and domestic policy that isn't necessarily a bad thing. But the choice of Panetta to head the CIA is so unexpected, and so unconventional, there is no doubt it was pushed by someone Obama has decided to rely on for advice. It never could have been Obama's idea. Given that Panetta was Bill Clinton's chief of staff, that advisor wouldn't happen to be named Clinton would it?
As for Obama himself, the real question is going to be, will he be another Teflon President as Reagan was, or will mismanaged scandals, mistakes, and missteps stick? He will have a lot to deal with once he takes office and unlike his 12 years of prior public service in which he did nothing and accomplished nothing, he is going to have to do something this time, even if its just to put his signature where Clinton, Daschle or Pelosi tell him.
I have a bold prediction to make. Obama will be a one term President. And not because he gets defeated in the next election. If scandal and saying the wrong thing at the wrong time doesn't get him, or listening to the wrong person, or, heaven forbid, he decides to actually wield the power he has himself and screws up royally, I really believe that the realities of the office will cause Obama to say, at least privately that he doesn't want it anymore and enough is enough.
Obama never accomplished anything in 12 years of elected office so accomplishing something isn't why he wanted to be President. He wanted to be President out of sheer ambition, an ambition that has been achieved. Once he actually takes office and has to fulfill the duties of the President and realizes he is not going to be able to vote "present", or get out from under the glare of the spotlight shinning on his every move and every word, he is going to come to the realization that this isn't for him.And he will find a way to announce he is not going to run for re-election.
There are only so many times he will be able to make a speech telling us he is going to take a 21st century approach to a problem. There are only so many speeches he will be able to make telling us the economy is in bad shape and needs fixing. With the Middle East exploding he has already damaged his credibility with both sides when, during the primary, he declared in front of an audience of American Jews that he supported Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. When the Palestinians went berserk over his comment he backed off the next day and tried to pretend he never said it, uniting both the Israelis and the Palestinians in their disdain for him. If there is any success in the Middle East it wont be because of Obama but because of Clinton.
If scandal doesn't cause him to unravel, either his lack of ability or his own realization that he is in over his head, will.That doesn't mean the policies that will be carried out wont work. Everyone hopes they will. But those policies will not be his but those around him. But as soon as something doesn't work, as soon as something goes wrong ,finger pointing will start since Obama will not sit quietly and take the blame even though he will be willing to take the credit for what works.
With Richardson's withdrawal, the Blagojevich scandal and Senate appointment getting headlines before he even takes office, with the economy in recession and the Middle East exploding, and based on what is known about Obama's 12 years of anemic public service and his lack of demonstrable ability ( which I am perfectly willing to be proved wrong about) the unraveling we are seeing now may get worse. And if it does, for the second time in a row we will have standing before the media and the country an emperor with no clothes, this time a Democratic one.
Kliff Notes. - Sarah Kliff at Vox gives us the break down of the Better Health Care Reconciliation Act or whatever the fuck the Republicans are calling it these days. Let...
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