The case for not appointing an Attorney General or Defense Secretary
LOS ANGELES, December 14, 2014 — On the surface it may seem crazy to leave two of the most important cabinet positions, Attorney General and Defense Secretary vacant. But there is no justification for hiring a person if the hiring is truly symbolic.
A real appointment requires that the individual be allowed to do the job they are being hired to do, which is contrary to how President Obama works. Obama is a micromanager. He can deny this, but he is who he is.
A quote of his in November of 2008 defines this:
“I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.”
The breathtaking arrogance of this statement is matched only by its utter falseness. Governing is hard work. A majority of Americans in 2014 believe he is not successfully accomplishing much of anything positive that matters.
The President of the United States is the CEO of the American government. Good CEOs know when to be hands-on, when to delegate, and the strength of having contradictory opinions when necessary. While the president should have a cabinet that reflects his vision and philosophy, it should not be a place for toadies, shills, lackeys, flunkies, and their management cousins.
A strong, capable and effective leader is secure enough to know when they are wrong. Private challenges to the conventional thinking should be rewarded, not punished.
Barack Obama is an inflexible ideologue. He and his supporters can describe him as “reasonable” and his political opponents as “intransigent obstructionists,” but wishing does not make it so. Obama starts with predetermined conclusions based on his long-held opinions and consults with people who agree with him.
When people disagree with him, he explains why they are wrong. Sometimes he questions their motives. Republicans are deemed evil. Other times he questions their intelligence. Anyone who does not grasp what he understands must be a dunderhead.
When people do stand up and offer him honest advice that contradicts his desires, he just dismisses them. Hagel gave him honest advice and was fired for it. Holder escaped such scrutiny because he and Obama are ideological soulmates. It is easy telling the boss what he wants to hear when the opinions are formed together in harmony.
What is the point of hiring a Defense Secretary? They will be a symbolic figurehead with no meaningful power? We already have the Secretary of State position and all the useless symbolism it comes with. One John Kerry is enough. The Secretary of Defense does not have the luxury of sipping tea with despots and issuing non-binding proclamations.
The Secretary of Defense has to actually do serious things. Lives are at risk. How can anyone keep the confidence of the soldiers when they know that all foreign policy is directed from the White House?
Why bother having an Attorney General? Obama unilaterally changes laws whenever the moment suits him. The Attorney General is supposed to work for the people. If they are just a rubber stamp for the White House, the position itself is redundant.
President Obama will be leaving office on January 20th, 2017. By the time somebody is confirmed, they will have enough time to decorate their office and then take everything down and box it up. Any original ideas will be rejected. The DoD and DoJ are micromanaged by Obama. Most people do not wake up and aspire to be a placeholder puppet.
Obama is the boss. He has every right to tell his subordinates to just be quiet, do what he says, and think independently only when, and if, he tells them to think independently. Having this right does not alter the fact that this approach is ineffective and counter-productive.
Obama’s being convinced of his moral certitude and intellectual correctness before issues have been discussed renders discussions meaningless. Seeing and obeying his moral certitude and intellectual correctness renders his employees meaningless.
Obama liberalism relies on the belief that the intellectual government elites know what is best. They are far more capable than ordinary people to run every aspect of our lives, from out healthcare to our jobs. As the top faculty lounge professor in chief, he believes that he is the best person to communicate, disseminate and legislate every aspect of every issue of every job.
President Obama should just be his own Attorney General and his own Defense Secretary. This would save time on bruising confirmation fights to fulfill positions where the only responsibility is telling the boss what he wants to hear rather than what he needs to hear.