Barack Obama just had his worst week in a deeply flawed presidency.
It’s not as bad as Jimmy Carter’s presidency, but it’s still one that can make even the most right-wing conservative long for Democrat Bill Clinton.
What Barack Obama has lacked from the beginning is humility, and what he has displayed consistently is arrogance.
He could have nipped the Benghazi fiasco in the bud, but Obama apparently decided that since only Fox News was beating the drums for the truth, he could finesse the ugly matter. Instead of coming clean from the get-go, that this was an act of terrorism, Obama stone-walled. Now, he has a bonafide scandal on his hands.
It still is not clear how far up the chain of command it went, possibly to Obama himself, but there was an order for our troops to “stand down” when the Benghazi consulate was under attack. Who gave that order? How much did the president know, when did he know it, and what did he do about it?
We know for certain the “talking points” following the attack corrupted the truth. We were told Benghazi was a spontaneous mob protest over a video rather than a planned act of terrorism.
It was sheer arrogance that turned a tragedy into a scandal.
This same arrogance bled into an Internal Revenue Service politically motivated witch hunt on Obama’s watch.
That the IRS would be targeting conservative groups could only germinate in an atmosphere where those conservatives were seen as bitter rivals, sure, but not co-participants in a democratic process. Rather, those opposition voices were seen worthy of being silenced.
Vice President Joe Biden even acknowledged such disregard publicly, asserting that, the tea party Republicans “acted like terrorists,” without even a shred of self-awareness as to what this charge really means.
The Justice Department “spying” on The Associated Press is but another example of this toxic “we know what’s best” approach that thrives under Obama.
The Obama administration has had a chilling zeal for investigating leaks and punishing leakers and now perfectly in character has failed to offer any credible justification for the Justice Department secretly combing through the phone records of reporters and editors at The Associated Press. This looks like the Justice Department was on a fishing expedition for sources in an effort to frighten off whistle-blowers.
But as bad as these examples look, the poster child for arrogance is, appropriately enough, Obamacare.
It was obvious almost from day one, when Obama rammed through Obamacare — a 2,000-page law with now 20,000 pages of regulations — that he would ignore anyone who disagreed with him, whether non-partisan experts or partisan critics. Only he knew the truth, and everyone else was either on board or misguided.
Already, we are starting to see the predictably bloated effects. Take a few examples: St Luke’s Health System and Liberty Hospital have already announced they are laying off hundreds of employees as a result of Obamacare. And that is just the beginning of the bad news.
Just getting an appointment with your doctor is bound to become more challenging when Obamacare takes full effect in 2014, and, meanwhile, the cost of health care will skyrocket, not decline, as Obama predicted.
Had Bill Clinton been president (never mind his total lack of character) and succeeded in passing “Hillarycare,” we might have had broad-based health care reform but never would have ended up with the Obamacare monster. I’ll bet it even makes Bill shiver a little in private.
Obama bashes heads with Republicans. Clinton would negotiate and compromise and, in the end, usually find common ground with Republicans. We probably would have ended up with comprehensive tax reform, not the meat-ax cuts from the sequestion, had Clinton been president.
Perhaps these recent jolts — from Benghazi, to the IRS, to the AP — will bring the president down to earth, where he will become less aloof and less arrogant.
At least, we can hope.