Thursday, June 24, 2010

Flunking Klown Kollege

Leo X, a Medici pope, upon his election said, “God has seen fit to give us the papacy. Let us enjoy it.”

Enjoy it he did. While not as dissolute as Alexander VI, my favorite bad pope and the father of Lucrezia and Cesare Borgia, he did manage to neglect the Church. In an effort to raise money to pay for St. Peter’s he sent guys into the hinterlands to raise case by trading in the only goods that the Church really has, spiritual goods, in the form of indulgences. This angered a German monk, who already suffered, as most Germans do, from the insanity brought on by having to speak what has rightly been called “the awful German language.” When the monk was further incensed by a visit to Rome, and saw… the Renaissance, he started the fracas known as the Protestant Reformation.
Obama’s presidency has been marked by his extensive use of the perks of office for date nights with Michelle and golf games with anybody. I think he’s played over 20 games of golf in the year and a half of his presidency. The reviled George W. Bush played two games in his eight years in office. So God has seen fit to give Obama the presidency, and he’s enjoying it. In the meantime his sophomore year has been marked by:
  1. The McChrystal flap. Why a four star general would talk to a reporter from Rolling Stone, which is arrogantly and ignorantly liberal, is beyond me. McChrystal was evidently indiscreet enough to voice negative opinions about Obama’s policies. Now I’ve never said anything nice about the man, but, like it or not, he is the president, and military guys should keep their opinions to themselves. So I don’t much care for Obama, and I think McChrystal’s negative assessment was probably right. Obama could have tolerated him, as Lincoln did Joe Hooker, but given his character it wasn’t likely.
  2. The oil spill. My first reaction was to think “Reichstag fire,” but while I don’t doubt his malevolence his handling of the crisis was so inept that I had to dismiss the idea. I once asked “What Would Machiavelli Do?”

The problem in the Gulf is an engineering problem to a large degree, and Obama is a lawyer and a community organizer and a politician, so he’s trained to argue and agitate and not to actually do anything. Engineers are trained to transform ideas into concrete reality, and the more concrete the better. So if this were playing out in a novel, such as a Heinlein sci-fi novel, what would a competent leader do?

  1. Find out if there is a federal role. What is the statutory authority for assistance.
  2. Contact the people at the well. Identify the extent of the problem, ask what they need, and set up channels for assistance.
  3. Contact the company involved. Same thing. Identify assistance needed, and provide channels.
  4. Contact state and local authorities. Same iteration.
  5. Contact appropriate agencies. Are there silly bills, such as the Jones Act, that prohibit other countries from assisting. Institute procedures for waiving. Direct agencies to render assistance upon request.
  6. Is foreign assistance needed, or is it possible? If some foreign country has ships that can assist, waive the Jones act.
I’m sure that I haven’t listed all of the necessary steps, but then I’m not president, I don’t have any responsibility beyond my immediate family. Obama can call upon the resources of 300,000,000 people, and all he can find to do is play golf?

A lady once said to me that Sarah Palin would have problems because Trig requires special handling. My reaction was that she’d be vice-president, she’d have staff. If Trig’s diaper needed changing surely someone in that vast bureaucracy could handle it. The president has even more staff. His servants are even more dedicated. He can have his staff handle the actual details, what he has to do is give direction and appear compassionate, whether he is or not.

What you don’t do is issue contradictory statements, you don’t hinder the cleanup people from doing their job, you don’t make a bad situation worse by banning drilling, and throwing more people out of work.

I graded Obama’s first year as an F. I’m afraid that this is year is no better. Bozo, who graces the top of the page, at least won the hearts and minds of millions of children. Obama is losing both their parents and them.