October 23, 2013

OBAMACARE AND THE Absentee Presidency. “He and his close-knit advisers insist on a bad-news-ban around the Oval Office. Obama operates in a world without critical information — and that is his defense to two debacles. Critics understate the reluctance and inability of this president to lead and to govern. . . . This is a president who set up a system in which he imagines he is relieved of responsibility.”

Related: “He often appeared impatient or disengaged while listening to the debate, sometimes scrolling through messages on his BlackBerry or slouching and chewing gum.” Plus: “If the story were about a conservative GOP President, one suspects the Times editors would have used stronger language and done much more to bang readers over the head with the clear inference that the man in the Oval Office engineered what the story calls a worst case scenario in Syria (maximum bloodbath, maximum danger of al-Qaeda gains, maximum chance of ugly Assad survival, maximum chance of Iranian victory, maximum danger for Jordan, maximum damage to prestige, interests and alliances of the United States) through a mix of empty and unrestrained rhetoric, awkward flip flops and half measures.”

UPDATE: Obama Disassociates From Reality. “The president spoke about ObamaCare as if it were a work of art, one or two brushstrokes away from being a masterpiece. Which created the impression that the president is living in a make believe world. . . . Mr. Obama, who at this point in his presidency has developed certain stale and unhealthy rhetorical habits, mocked Republicans and said it’s time for them to ‘stop rooting for [ObamaCare’s] failures.’ But the problem the president faces isn’t Republicans rooting for its failures; it’s that the program is collapsing on its own. The GOP had nothing to do with its development. The president desperately wishes he could share the blame for what has gone wrong. Except that every Republican in Congress opposed the Affordable Care Act. This is Barack Obama’s signature achievement; he and his party are joined at the hip to it. They are as inseparable as salt and water in the ocean.”

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