Obama’s Empty Suit

March 9, 2010

In yesterday’s post, I described how American has become “an Economic Wasteland”.  While much of the causes come from a variety of policies of past Presidents (Clinton’s relaxing of home mortgage standards and Bush’s war spending), blame now rests squarely on the shoulders of the free-wheeling spending by the Democrat-controlled Congress.  And sitting on the sidelines, adding nothing to stop the slide, is a President inexperienced at governing.

Three years ago, Barack Obama was a Freshman Senator, elected after only one term in the Illinois House.  He had had no executive experience and very little insider political experience.  Coming from a career as a community organizer, his job had been to act the outsider and stir up enough discontent to get the government to do something.  In other words, he created messes that others cleaned up.

Suddenly, he announced he was going to run for President.  Out of a field of life-long politicians, he was the youngest, and the only Black man in the group, though he had not actually grown up Black in America.  (His mother and grandparents were white, and his dads were generally absent.)  He wasn’t even educated in Western ideas, having spent much of elementry school in Indonesia.  And in college he was unremarkable.  So for a country tired of old white men, there was great excitement of a young black man making it to the White House.

In Hefler’s UK Telegraph article, he notes how excited American blacks were at Mr Obama’s inaguration.  “Weeping men and women celebrated his victory.”  The dreams of Dr King seemed about to be fulfilled.  They had the audacity to hope.

Now that weeping is for different reasons.  And their champion seems incapable to do anything about it.  “The slickness of the campaign … does not inevitable translate into an ability to govern.” He lacks “the sophistication and the will to turn [hope] into action.”  As Hefler describes it:

His lack of experience, his dependence on rhetoric rather than action, his disconnection from the lives of many millions of Americans all handicap him heavily. … He wasted the first year … The country’s multi-trillion dollar debt is barely being addressed.

Just as Jimmy Carter had lost the right to govern by the end of his second year in office,  Barack Obama seems never to have had the skills.  America elected an idea, but it was a vapor, a slickly packaged but empty suit.