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Amateur Hour at the White House

Barack Obama was neither qualified nor prepared for the presidency, and it's showing.

by
Chris Salcedo

Bio

June 22, 2012 - 12:01 am

One of President Obama’s biggest boosters, Joe Scarborough at MSNBC, lamented hearing from Democratic senators that President Obama didn’t know what he was doing:

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Recent events seem to reinforce that view. Mr. Obama’s economy is failing. Our country’s secrets are being leaked onto the front pages of left-wing papers. And our esteemed president either doesn’t have a firm grasp of the limits of his power as outlined in the Constitution even after three years in office, or doesn’t care that he is violating those limits.

President Obama just decided he has the power to rewrite U.S. immigration policy all by himself. But a couple of years back, the president claimed he didn’t have that authority: “I just have to continue to say, this notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true. We are doing everything we can administratively. But the fact of the matter is there are laws on the books that I have to enforce.”

It’s an astonishing but well-timed discovery of executive power as it just so happens this is an election year. And the president needs the fastest growing demographic in the U.S. to turn out and pull the lever for him in November. I fear that some Hispanics, so eager to believe Mr. Obama has their best interests at heart, will buy this obvious tactic. As fellow Latino columnist Ruben Navarrette Jr. put it in a radio interview: “Whenever he throws them a bone, they call it a steak dinner.” The president wrongly assumes that all we brown-skinned folks care about is immigration. I can assure him we’re deeper than that.

The president’s campaign is giddy that the country is focused on his immigration power grab — any time the press has an excuse to cover something other than the sagging economy or treasonous intelligence leaks, it’s a win for Team Obama. But American Latinos are very concerned about the security of America being traded for an election year bump in the polls. The New York Times’ revelation that David Axelrod, President Obama’s most senior campaign advisor, was present during top-level security meetings should send a chill up any American’s spine.

The White House and Axelrod deny he was there. Still, Americans are left with a couple of conundrums. First: We have to decide who has lied to us least, Mr. Obama or the New York Times. It’s a hell of a choice, but on balance the Times has done some accurate reporting from time to time. That’s more than can be said for team Obama.  That leads to our second problem: How can we trust that President Obama knows what he’s doing, if he thought it was appropriate to have a campaign hack like Axelrod anywhere near top-secret information? Again, the president’s lack of experience comes shining through.

Any fifth-grader knows that public sector jobs, needed as they are, do not create anything. They do not expand the economy. They don’t help the private sector grow. And adding more government workers certainly does not bring down our ballooning deficit.  But these elementary facts seem lost on President Obama. Recently, the president showed the country his lack of understanding of how the economy works when he declared the private sector was “doing fine.” He also went a step further, insisting that government spending on jobs is the best way to stimulate the economy.

Our workforce participation rate is at 30-year lows. (Welcome back, Carter.) Wages are down. The housing market is in the toilet. And unemployment is heading in the wrong direction once again. Lost on our Harvard-educated president: When a public sector worker is hired, someone in the private sector has to pay for that job through taxes. Any child knows that if one wants to pay for something, one must work for it. The problem is fewer people are working. We already borrow forty cents of every dollar our government spends, but Mr. Obama wants to borrow more to give the illusion that America is working. They’ll be working alright — working to drive America’s debt to levels seen in Greece.  It’s ironic that a kid in school should be able to grasp these concepts, but our president can’t.  At the end of the day, it will be that school kid who is left to pay for Mr. Obama’s lack of experience.

The right-wing political punditry has taken to calling our president a man-child. I think that’s too gracious. Even children have basic understanding of fundamental fairness, rule of law, and how to keep a secret. America really did screw up in electing a man who had no qualification to be president. A community organizer voting present in the Illinois Senate and then for two years as a U.S. senator hardly seems adequate preparation for running the world’s largest economy.

President Barack Obama was the wrong man at the wrong time for America. We needed an experienced leader with a knowledge and understanding of how the world truly works to rescue America and the globe from economic ruin. Instead, we got amateur hour at the White House.

Chris Salcedo is an experienced Hispanic journalist who has worked in the local and national media, in print, radio and television. He is also Executive Director of the Conservative Hispanic Society.
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