Obama's Punk Presidency Kicks into High Gear

I’ve caught some heat since election night when I made my first reference to the person whom I expected would turn out to be our first punk president.

As I noted in a related February column, there was plenty of pre-election justification for concern that the most powerful elected office in the world was about to be occupied by, at the very minimum, a “a young, inexperienced person” who lacks major elements of maturity one would expect in someone about to take on such a serious responsibility. Normally, these traits would be acquired in one’s life as a result of running a business, working in the private sector, serving in the military, or occasionally through wide-ranging experience in political office. Barack Obama brought in none of these four attributes.

Evidence abounded during the campaign that trouble was brewing. There was the “subtle” bird-flipping of opponents -- twice. There were allusions to inflicting violence on rivals. There was gaffe after gaffe after gaffe, dutifully minimized by the lapdog media establishment. There were false narratives, ranging from self-aggrandizement to whitewashing family history to (despite a big set of ears and his thin-skinned sensitivity about them) completely implausible denials about having heard objectively racist, America-hating rhetoric from a pastor of almost 20 years. The tissue-thin resume, in combination with even a small sample of the items just described, should have been enough to disturb any objective observer concerned that we were about to elect the lightest of lightweights. And we did.

Obama’s ignorance and inexperience have been quite evident since Inauguration Day -- in fact, even on Inauguration Day. The gaffes have continued, from his “joke” about the Special Olympics to his (and his wife’s) Gerald Ford imitations to his “where have you been?” misstatements relating to basic culture and history. His advisers must cringe at the thought of any future teleprompter accidents.

Not that his advisers are particularly bright either; or maybe they’re fiendishly clever. Consider the garble they inserted into the beginning of the president’s primarily H1N1-related speech on Tuesday:

Before I say a few words about the meeting we just had I’d like to mention some good news that came out today about our economy. For the first time in 18 months, our manufacturing sector has expanded, and the statistics used to measure manufacturing output is the highest it’s been in over two years.

The statistic involved is the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index. ISM’s statistic did increase to a two-year high of 52.9% in August, and it was the first time in 19 months that the reading topped 50%, the minimum indicator of expansion. It was also the index’s highest reading since June 2007.