As the hours stretch into years Peggy Noonan writes, “There was the open-mic conversation with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in which Mr. Obama pleaded for “space” and said he will have “more flexibility” in his negotiations once the election is over and those pesky voters have done their thing. On tape it looked so bush-league, so faux-sophisticated. When he knew he’d been caught, the president tried to laugh it off by comically covering a mic in a following meeting. It was all so . . . creepy.”
Bush league, as in amateur – not as the previous President Bush would have done. For all his faults, and there were many recognized even by his supporters including me, George W. Bush and his administration were at least professionals. They didn’t just read about it in a book or lecture about it to an auditorium filled with hungover undergrads, they understood power and how to use it. Bush himself may have had a light resume, although not as light as his successor who hadn’t been the governor of one of America’s largest states, but at least his administration was full of experienced people.
“From the day Mr. Obama was sworn in, what was on the mind of the American people was financial calamity—unemployment, declining home values, foreclosures. These issues came within a context of some overarching questions: Can America survive its spending, its taxing, its regulating, is America over, can we turn it around?
That’s what the American people were thinking about.
But the new president wasn’t thinking about that. All the books written about the creation of economic policy within his administration make clear the president and his aides didn’t know it was so bad, didn’t understand the depth of the crisis, didn’t have a sense of how long it would last. They didn’t have their mind on what the American people had their mind on.
As a former Democrat and currently registered Republican I’m torn by the incompetence of the administration. I suppose I should be happy that it is so unqualified that its policies can be easily reversed when a Republican administration takes over. At the same time I’m scared that we have given the reins of the country to such a band of incompetents, feeling like a passenger in a car driven at high speed on a mountain road by a teenage driver.