LOS ANGELES, March 9, 2015 — With world events and crises piling up around him, President Obama seems unable to solve problems. Indeed, he often makes matters worse. After six years of growing activity by Islamic terrorists, Iran moving ever closer to getting a nuke, Russia acting as if the U.S. were of no consequence, the economy failing to take off, and Americans retreating from the labor force, it is long past time to ask the question many dare not broach.
Is Barack Obama up to the tasks of his office? Is he smart enough to be President?
The question seems rude and disrespectful, but liberals spent eight years asking it about President Reagan, and another eight asking it about President George W. Bush. They can’t credibly play the race card to evade the question. The precedent is firmly established.
The question was asked about Reagan regardless of his success as president. “An amiable dunce” was the withering liberal verdict of a man whose presidency saw the West surge ahead of a failing USSR while American economic, military, and political might grew.
The question was asked about Bush in spite of his successful governorship of Texas. But liberals, and especially academic liberals, confuse academic credentials with intelligence and achievement, and skin pigmentation with virtue. Bush’s advanced degree from an Ivy League university can be ignored because it was in business, a discipline for which liberals feel disdain; Obama’s law degree is celebrated as proof of his eternal genius.
Bush’s alleged but never proven use of cocaine was often cited as a factor in concluding that his brain was fried. Obama’s admitted use of cocaine and marijuana, described in his best-selling Dreams of my Father, was a youthful expression of countercultural zeal, thus not dangerous, perhaps even admirable.
So let us ask the question again: Is Obama too dumb to be President?
Look at the most recent scandal in a lifetime of Clinton drama. Hillary Clinton was caught using a private email server to conduct official government business while she was Secretary of State. Whether Hillary is Mother Theresa or Lady MacBeth is for another conversation. What matters here is that Obama claimed he had no knowledge of Hillary’s secret email setup. He first learned about it by hearing it in the news.
Obama had no idea that former IRS honcho Lois Lerner was using her position to target political opponents of the Obama White House. He heard about it on the news. He had no idea about the Fast and Furious gunrunning sting that got an American border agent and over 200 innocent Mexicans killed. Attorney General Eric Holder was in charge of the program. Obama heard about it on the news.
He learned about long wait times at the VA and consequent deaths of American veterans on the news. He learned about Justice Department spying on the news. And at a Democratic fundraiser in Seattle last year, he told supporters that he doesn’t watch the news. “Whatever they’re reporting about, usually I know.”
Either Obama has learned about his administration’s scandals from the news, or he has not. If he has not, he is a liar, a scoundrel, and morally unfit to hold public office. He did lie when he told Americans that if they liked their doctors and health plans, they could keep them. Credibility is not his strong suit.
But one big lie does not make a chronic liar. Perhaps he really, truly did not know what was going on.
If he has learned everything from the news, he’s incompetent and an idiot. It is his government. He is in charge.
It is one thing not to know what every undersecretary is up to at every moment. If an unpaid intern in an assistant deputy undersecretary of agriculture’s office is looking at naughty websites on the job, that’s not Obama’s fault. Hillary, Lerner and Holder, on the other hand, were among his top lieutenants. If he had no idea what they are doing, then we have to ask: Is Obama too dumb to be President?
Would Obama sycophants tolerate this level of incompetence anywhere or from anyone else?
Would they trust a general who learned that men in his command were torturing prisoners on the news?
Would they trust a bank president who learned that his bank had bought hundreds of billions of dollars in junk securities on the news?
Would they hire a plumber just because they liked his degree and his smile, with no evidence that he’d ever fixed even a leaky faucet?
We routinely verify the qualifications of professionals we do business with. We check recommendations, we ask pointed questions to test their knowledge, we look at records of complaints.
Republican malfeasance inevitably leads to media and congressional inquiries. In fact, lack of evidence of malfeasance has itself been taken as a reason for launching an inquiry. In Obama’s case, however, a plea of ignorance is a perfect defense.
Obama is either corrupt or blithely leading a government in which the buck has stopped several pay-grades below him. Perhaps he sees no evil and hears no evil because he is incapable of recognizing evil. Maybe he isn’t smart enough to connect dots or analyze empirical evidence. Something can be plain as day to a bright person but unclear as the fog at night to someone of lesser intelligence.
Obama sat idly by as his subordinates broke every rule in the book. No sentient human being could be so clueless about what was transpiring. The most powerful man in the world should not have to learn about events involving his own administration in the news.
Maybe Obama is being truthful. Maybe the job is just too big for him. Maybe he really is that unaware.
If so, Barack Obama is just too dumb to be President.