The PJ Tatler

When it Comes to Scandals, Barack Obama Turns Into Paul Simon

President Barack Obama admitted a couple of things this week. Through a spokesman, he claimed that he is “madder than hell” about the Veterans Administration scandal. Through spokesmen again, he also admitted that he actually doesn’t give a damn about veterans. He learns about the secret wait lists and poor treatment they’re dealing with on the evening news, a quaint excuse. No one really watches the evening news anymore, least of all a guy who hangs out with celebrities and surely watches more sports than anything else. Don’t you know that the NBA conference finals are on? Besides, how much actual news does the mainstream news media really report?

If Obama was actually angry, he would come out and say something about it himself. Then, he would actually do something about it. He would fire people. He would assure the American people that he’s on it, and something will be done. So far, he hasn’t done any of that. But I bet he has a strong opinion on whether the Pacers or the Heat will take the East.

Barack Obama’s handling of the VA scandal, which has now spread to at least seven government-run hospitals, has stuck to his usual script so far. Like Simon & Garfunkel (they used to be celebrities), he’s fakin’ it.

Richard J. Epstein catalogs Obama’s resume of fakery (h/t Jim Garaghty):

October 2013: “Nobody’s madder than me about the fact that the website isn’t working as well as it should.”

The IRS scandal, May 2013: “Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it.”

April 2012, the Secret Service prostitution scandal: “If it turns out that some of the allegations that have been made in the press are confirmed, then of course I’ll be angry.”

May 2010, the BP oil spill: “And I know that doesn’t lessen the enormous sense of anger and frustration felt by people on the Gulf and so many Americans. Every day I see this leak continue I am angry and frustrated as well.”

March 2009, the AIG bonuses guaranteed in TARP:  “I don’t want to quell anger,” he said. “I think people are right to be angry. I’m angry.”

Fakin’ It:

I’m such a dubious soul
And a walk in the garden wears me down
Tangled in the fallen vines
Pickin’ up the punch lines

I’ve just been fakin’ it
Not really makin’ it

A dubious soul, seems to be worn down every time he has to do something useful, just pickin’ up the punch lines — “Nobody is more outraged,” I’m madder than hell,” “I am angry and frustrated.” “What’s on SportsCenter?”

Expressing false emotions is not just Barack Obama’s first action. It’s usually his last. The expression of outrage/anger/frustration is followed by fake firing — tossing up a bureaucrat no one has ever heard of, who is already on his way to retirement — and no remedy for the bureaucrats who are left behind to continue in their misbehavior, or their innocent victims.

Six years ago, Obama declared that we can measure our patriotism by how we treat our veterans. He said that in the context of slamming President George W. Bush for problems in the VA at that time. Obama then proceeded to win the 2008 election and then do nothing about the problems in the VA. But don’t measure his patriotism by that, if you know what’s good for you.

Harry Truman ran against a “do-nothing Congress” so many decades ago that it might as well have happened in ancient Greece. In Barack Obama, when a scandal erupts, and when the Russians get on the march to conquer their neighbors, we have a do-nothing president.