7.25.2009

Executive (In)Experience


If it wasn't clear already, let's let our Secretary of Transportation spell it out for us again: "I think I’ve been very frank about the fact that the Administration does not want to raise the gas tax." And, Congress is doing all sorts of wonky gymnastics just to avoid simply eliminating the tax-exempt status of our health care benefits.

Oh bother. So now we've had a stimulus bill that hasn't stimulated, a cap and trade bill in which most of the permits have been given away, and a health care bill that bends the cost curve upwards. Meanwhile, the sensible, distortion-reducing ways of raising revenue have been summarily waved off in favor of clunky, "soak the rich" schemes that are bound to have advantage-canceling unintended consequences.

That John McCain made a tactical campaign error in selecting Sarah Palin as his running mate and therefore taking Barack Obama's main weakness - his lack of executive experience - off the table does not negate the fact that now-President Obama lacks executive experience. And it appears that it is showing: his signature policy priority is careening off the tracks, he hasn't yet realized that he can't just keep "campaigning" once he's been elected (lofty promises sound good during an election, but they don't get bills passed), and he's even gotten snagged in a racial-tinged tiff with a local policeman.

I can't quite remember this far back, but Barack Obama circa July 25, 2009 is looking frightening similar to George W. Bush circa September 10, 2009 - unable to translate his likability and his charisma into practical solutions navigated through the political process, and left to read "My Pet Goat" to a bunch of schoolkids. I'm getting a bad feeling that America should be bracing itself for another 9/11-level event, which will serve to jolt this presidency into some semblance of order and direction. Holding my breath until then . . .
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