Obama administration’s bungling is by design


CHEWED UP: President Obama seems unconcerned by the scandals his administration is involved in. Might as well chew gum.

By Steve Wilson | Mississippi Watchdog

To the untrained eye, the Obama administration seems like a crew of bunglers.

They seemingly stumble from scandal to scandal, always caught without a plan of action. Guess that’s what happens when you first read it in the newspapers or see it on TV.

The embodiment of the administration’s Alfred E. Neuman “What? Me Worry?” approach was the president’s appearance at the 70th anniversary of the Normandy invasion, better known as D-Day. In one of the most solemn occasions where thousands of Allied troops shed blood to free Europe from Hitler’s tyranny, the president smacked on his gum, seemingly oblivious, as he waited to deliver yet another monotonous speech.

His administration has given the nation plenty to chew upon lately.

First, there was the Veterans Administration scandal that broke April 30. Veterans had to wait weeks for medical appointments while administrators used game theory to manipulate the numbers to appear they were meeting goals. According to the VA, 23 veterans died waiting for appointments and 69 facilities are being investigated by the VA Inspector General for falsifying records on wait times.

The administration had known about the problems with the VA since 2008 and did little or nothing. With the story consuming the headlines of mainstream media, the administration bumbled its response. They needed an out. One that would show the administration “cared” about troops and veterans issues.

They played a card that had long been lying in wait since 2011. On May 31, they secured an agreement with the Taliban for the release of a captured Army soldier, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who’d been held prisoner since 2009. Even though the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 forbid the transfer of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay without notifying Congress 30 days in advance, the administration claimed the swap of five Taliban for Bergdahl was legal and proper.

Then the trade started to sour by revelations Bergdahl walked away from his unit and wanted to renounce his citizenship. The deal to secure Bergdahl had apparently been on the table for years. Why now? The administration’s excuse was his life was in danger.

His father’s strange and now deleted tweet said “I am still working to free all Guantanamo prisoners. God will repay for the death of every Afghan child, ameen” magnified the folly of the administration’s claim Bergdahl’s release was a simple “prisoner exchange.”

The administration later tried to blame the deal on Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. Tuesday, they reversed field, claiming the president was responsible.

On June 2, the administration detonated an economic electromagnetic pulse device on the economy as the Environmental Protection Agency released its new rules governing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The rules will force utilities to reduce carbon emissions 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. With the United States receiving 39 percent of its electrical generation capacity from coal-fired power plants, ratepayers can expect huge jumps in their utility bills and to pay more for every good and service as businesses pass on higher costs to consumers.

Got all of that? From the outside, it seems like bumbling on an epic scale. But in reality, it’s all part of the administration’s crisis management strategy. Instead of being upfront and honest about mistakes, it hides constantly behind a new smokescreen to get past the daily news cycle. The staff understand the citizenry is placated with the bread and circuses of celebrity worship, sports and their electronic gadgets and has the attention span of a mayfly. They know that rage, like a candle, can’t burn forever. When the conversation gets ugly, change the subject.

Distract and deflect. Repeat again. With a leader who appears already enjoying his post-presidency with plenty of fancy parties to be thrown, “date nights” and foreign trips to make all on the taxpayer dime Obama is content to fiddle while Rome burns.

No, scratch that. He’s content to just chew gum.

Contact Steve Wilson at swilson@watchdog.org
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