Posts Tagged ‘Failure’

The Failure of the Affirmative Action Presidency

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

Hopelessly Unprepared

Barack Obama has been President for nearly five years.  With all the promises of “hope and change,”  one might have expected a bit more from the nation’s forty-fourth president.  Instead, we have now the lowest labor participation rate since Jimmy Carter, and the most rapidly spiraling debt in our nation’s history.  We have a health-care debacle that is threatening to ruin what remains of the entire nation’s economy, and a foreign policy that appears to have been concocted on the fly by a session of fourth-grade group-think. We have escalating violence in our cities, where people of all colors have become all too familiar with blood in the streets, of children, and racial tensions are at their highest in at least a generation.  Barack Obama was never really qualified for the job, and dismissing all the flowery rhetoric, what the litany of failures demonstrates is that affirmative action even in politics is a failure.  The good wishes and good will of the American people who elected him in part precisely because of his race could not overcome an unpreparedness for the job.  Like so many promoted more quickly merely on the basis of race as a matter of affirmative action, Barack Obama is an unrivaled failure.

Through the course of my working life, I have seen any number of instances in which an individual had been promoted solely on the basis of some affirmative action formula.  It was true even in the Army, and while results did vary, on average, the results would generally be considered failures.  This is because affirmative action often causes pressure to promote individuals who may not be ready, yet, and at a pace that exceeds the merit of their records.  Some proponents of the scheme will argue that a given individual “just needs a chance,” but too often what the beneficiaries of this program really need is more experience and seasoning.  Instead, dropped into a position for which they are not entirely prepared, errors in judgment and immaturity for the role often surface, sometimes in the form of disaster.

In 2008, a majority of Americans made a decision that it was time that America had its first black President, the claims of Bill Clinton to that title notwithstanding.  Polling results at the time indicated that there was a significant proportion of voters who had cast their votes simply as part of a notion about the historic implications of electing a black man to the office.  Sadly, five years later, what we find is what one often finds when following up on affirmative action hires: Failure.  The good intentions of those doing the hiring cannot overcome the lack of actual qualifications of the applicant, and bad things will happen.

Barack Obama had been a state senator from Illinois, and then elected to the United States Senate from his home state.  His scant state legislative record didn’t justify his rapid elevation to the federal body, and his even lighter federal record didn’t begin to justify his rapid ascent to the presidency.  In short, he had been only slightly more qualified to be president by virtue of his record than a person picked at random off the street.  The American people, reaching into the well of their vast compassion and good will, elected a man who had no business becoming President of the United States at least in part simply to further an affirmative action motive, and this decision has led to utter disaster.

In the presidency, Barack Obama has demonstrated at times a petulance about the job.  When the American people don’t respond favorably to something he has done or said, it is assumed that they did not get the message.  When the American people voice their disapproval, it’s “reactionary” opposition, and in too many cases, the President’s political allies have resorted to the claim that he’s met such resistance “only because he’s black.” That’s balderdash, of course, but what makes it more galling is when one recognizes that a fair proportion of the reason he is in office at all is precisely because he is black.  The American people elected him with respect to that particular trait virtually without regard to any other, including his preparedness for the job.

Barack Obama’s ideology is such that I would never find myself in agreement with him.  His notions about law and government are virulent expressions of statism from which this nation will not soon or easily recover.  All of that aside, he might have been a better president if he had been even slightly ready for the job.  Another decade of seasoning might have tempered some of his greatest errors, miscalculations, and simple bad policy with a greater respect for the scope of the job to which he had been elected.  Instead, having obtained the job too easily, and frankly unjustifiably early in his career, he seems not to have any sense of the gravity of the office.  This leads inevitably to the instances in which he has made absurdly foolish statements, from “the Cambridge police acted stupidly,” to “if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.”   A decade of greater experience, perhaps seeking gubernatorial election in his home state, or otherwise tempering his tone with a broader contextual experience might have made it possible to avoid such spectacles.

Instead, in a rapid process of affirmative action promotions through the political system, Barack Obama went from community organizer to President of the United States much too rapidly.  Thomas Sowell has observed the effects of affirmative action in college admissions, and the great pain it inflicts on the objects of this alleged benevolence, because they stroll onto a campus for which they are entirely unprepared, simply on the basis that they are part of some favored group, class, or race.  What we have in the person of Barack Obama is somebody who has jumped up a ladder, skipping rungs, many rungs at a time, because affirmative action born of a sense of compassion or fairness demanded it.  What we have as a result is a president who is wrecking the nation in stubborn indifference to the fact that he had been unprepared for the job, and who did not have the perspective or temperament to understand his own experiential shortcomings.

He wasn’t qualified.  No summation of the good intentions of the American people could overcome that simple fact.  No number of well-wishes or aspirational hopes could arrest the almost inevitable disasters that are accumulating. When a people who claim to be color blind use their racial motivations to select their leader, nothing good can result, because it permits a sort of self-blinding foolishness to predominate.  Those who elected him out of a sense of racial solidarity will overlook virtually anything he does.  Those who elected him from a notion of affirmative action will likewise try to look past his failures, no matter how severe.  None of these motives centering around his race will begin to repair the damage that has been done, either to the country, or to the man.  One could almost be tempted to feel badly for Barack Obama because he was thrust into an office for which he had neither the training nor the temperament, and in the end, it’s destroying him.  Viewing his treatment by Vladimir Putin, it is impossible to believe that Obama feels anything but contempt for the office he now occupies.  He’s been played for a fool on the global stage in scandalously bad fashion, and with him, the entire country is diminished.

There is a silver lining in all of this, if you’re willing to find it.  One could hope that the American people would recognize the error of their way, taking greater care in future elections to select leaders on the basis of factors excluding race, sex, and age.  There are any number of qualified men and women of every conceivable racial background who are much more qualified to the office than Barack Obama had been, and it is my hope that America is able to recover from its bad choices.  Let us refrain from making electoral decisions on the basis of superficial characteristics that have no relevance to the job, instead focusing on the question of a candidate’s suitability, temperament, and experience for it.  Being a color-blind society means refusing to consider race, either to the detriment or the benefit of those under evaluation.  Infusing a choice with these sorts of notions will always come out wrong, whichever direction the motives might have been leaning.

There is still a great deal of damage that will be done by Barack Obama’s intransigent inexperience.  Even a decade later, the added wisdom might have provided a buffer between his most radical views and the reality of the world in which he operates.  Instead, Obama’s central flaw is the belief that he is somehow entitled to the job, or that he is infallibly capable of executing it without counsel from more experienced people. The full measure of the tragedy of this presidency will never be calculated, because there are so many moving parts, and so many imperceptible tiny effects, but what must be known and measured is the catastrophic large-scale result: We are again a nation beleaguered by a leadership that is intractably fixed upon the worst of all worlds in policy and temperament because we elected a man who was not ready to govern, whatever one thinks of his particular worldview.  This presidency is the living evidence of the failure of affirmative action taken to its logical limits, and the results are breathtakingly and painfully clear.  Good intentions have once again paved the road to Hell, and once more, we are marching silently down its smoldering surface, paying the price in wasted human potential in every field for the sake of an ideal that had remained impossibly flawed.

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Note to Obama: America Hasn’t Fallen Short – You Have

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

Blaming America First

This President possesses a peculiar penchant for knocking his own country and countrymen.  In his statement during a joint press conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, he explained how America had fallen short of its ideals in Afghanistan, but I wonder about the meaning and the relevance of this claim.  After all, who has been at the helm of American efforts in Afghanistan (or anywhere else) these last four year?  The other problem with his statement is that he references ideals.  I have serious doubts that he’s acquainted with the ideals of America, as evidenced by his repeated attacks on liberty.  No, when he says America has “fallen short,” what he means is that you and I have fallen short, or that our troops have fallen short, but the punishing truth is that the only manner in which the American people may have fallen short had been in missing the opportunity to eject him from office.  To the degree America may have failed in its engagements anywhere around the globe, the truth is quite easy to observe:  Mr. Obama, America has not fallen short.  You have!

To suggest that our oft-deployed troops who spend more time in foreign pest-holes than they do at home have in any measure failed is to ignore both the scale of their mission and the limitations placed upon them by their Commander-in-Chief.  In Afghanistan particularly, our troops are saddled with the grim task of pacifying a region that is inherently unsuited to that end, while looking nervously over their shoulders to see if our alleged ‘friends’ and ‘allies’ in the Afghan Army will open fire on them from behind.  The Chain of Command has created rules of engagement that are so patently absurd that our soldiers must now fear both to follow them or not follow them, because to follow them can be a suicidal act, and to not follow them can result in punitive legal action against them.

Of course, before we descend even to the nuts-and-bolts of a particular policy, we must examine what Mr. Obama considers the “ideal.”  For most Americans, the ideal in Afghanistan is to exterminate the terrorists, and to gain victory by totally annihilating the people who together with al Qaeda fashioned the capacity to attack the United States on 9/11, and in other places and times.  That’s the American ideal.  Obama’s ideal in Afghanistan is something else altogether, and it’s patently clear that it’s an end never to be achieved:  To make peace with an intractable enemy whose only wish and desire is to kill us, even if they must strap bombs on their own children to do so.  Obama’s notion of the ideal is in conflict with what America is and has been all through its nearly two-and-one-half centuries long history, requiring America to volunteer as a sacrificial lamb for those who want to kill it anyway.

To make friends of enemies that hate you is an impossibility.  We did not seek to make friends of the Germans or the Italians or Japanese in WWII.  Only after pounding them into complete submission did we seek to make peace, but even then, we did not make peace with those who had been conducting the ideology driving the conflict on their side.  We merely asserted that they would now be in full compliance with our will, or we would pummel them into dust, resuming the combat against them.  This is the American ideal of how a war is to be conducted, because the American ideal recognizes the sad realities of war, and the sickening aggregation of human frailties that leads inevitably to them.

Mr. Obama does not adopt the American ideal for war-making, or near as this writer can discern, much of anything else.  If America has fallen short of his ideals, that may be just as well because his ideals are not attainable on this Earth.  His ideals lead to the construction of walls, and the building of gulags, and to the unemployment and welfare lines.  His ideals end with an unarmed citizenry unable to oppose a growing, oppressive state.  Those will be your choices if you are to be governed by the ideals of Mr. Obama and his henchmen.  It is not possible to attain the Utopia he has imagined in his narrow mind, but he doesn’t care how great will be the human carnage left in his wake because he sees those things as “bumps in the road,” much as Mayor Bloomberg now suggests that if his new pain medication regulations in New York cause some unnecessary pain to patients, they must simply suck it up.

Imagine living your entire life dominated by these people, who disregard the torments they inflict on your lives with a shrug.  Given a chance, that will be the nature of our existence, but for our soldiers toiling away in kill-zones like Afghanistan, this is already the case.  There, Obama’s ideals have obtained the condition to which we might all look forward under the next four years of his so-called “leadership.”  There is death everywhere, and behind every corner lurks another killer who is sheltered by rules of engagement that permit him to slip away again, unharmed, and free to work his terror against you.  Famine and human need are monumental, but no amount of distributing goods and services can satisfy the want.  Afghanistan is a grim disaster in human terms, on all sides of the battle, and all is being directed and managed from the office of the “idealist” at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, in Washington DC.

For the President of the United States to stand before the world and proclaim that America has “fallen short” of ideals that he has constructed within the narrow confines of his skull is not to impeach America, but instead to admit that his own ideals are unattainable on this Earth.  Our soldiers have not failed this President, but he has failed them, and awfully so.  Soon, this same despotic mind will tell us, the American people, how we have failed to live up to the twisted ideals with which he has been inculcated and indoctrinated by such thoroughly bent minds as those of Bill Ayers and Frank Marshall Davis. The truth is that on our current course, America will soon resemble Afghanistan in both imitation and mockery of Obama’s bloody “ideal.”

The American people are as fallible as any other, but it takes a peculiarly wretched mind to lead us to the disasters we now endure both at home and abroad.  In this moment, and in this speech lies a grave confession for all those with the courage to recognize it: Barack Obama has established a bizarre and twisted ideal that is unattainable, but he now blames America for failing to reach it.  You see, in his view, the ideal is wonderful, but it is only your human failings that prevent you from meeting the challenge.  As a narcissist, in his view, there is nothing wrong with the ideal to which he adheres, but only with you (and America) for failing to approach it.  In his view, it is you who fail to perfect yourselves, but not his failure for expecting compliance with an ideal that would require you to drink his preferred flavor of the same deadly koolaid.  This false attribution of guilt is the hallmark of statists, seeking always to blame their victims for the vast failures they have initiated.  The truth is something else, and it’s simply this:  Barack Obama’s vision has fallen short of America’s ideals, and the sooner we re-establish them, the sooner our long national nightmare will come to an end, because unlike his, they are attainable on this Earth.

It’s not America, Mr. Obama.  It’s you.

Tingle Up Matthews’ Leg Replaced By Tingle Up Spine?

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

Shell-Shocked?

Chris Matthews, who’s out pushing his new book on JFK, had an interview that was absolutely stunning given his previous support of Barack Obama.  The RNC will undoubtedly draft this interview into service for campaigns throughout 2012.  What it really speaks to is the complete disconnect between this White House and the people, even in his own party.  It speaks to an increasingly isolated, insular Presidency that is in bunker mode.  The truth may be that Obama is shell-shocked.  None of his ideas are working out, and truthfully, he was foolish if he believed that they could.  For his part, Matthews lapses into a moment of candor fairly unique among all the pro-Obama drivel he usually spews.  His real complaint seems to be that Obama isn’t talking to the wizards of the party, presumably including Matthews, and he’s angry about it.   If our national situation wasn’t so dire, it would almost be comical.

H/T Breitbart:

Given that Obama is turning out to have been precisely the sort of empty suit we expected him to be, but Matthews had thought would be ingenious, it’s hard to feel any sympathy for his position.  Given a few days, somebody from the White House will give Matthews a call, he’ll come down, and get back aboard the Obama Express to Nowhere in short order.  That’s the problem for Matthews and his ilk:  They have nowhere else to turn.  For them, it’s Obama or Bust, and since they’re hardcore lefties, you know that before this is all over, they’ll link arms around their chosen champion, and try to whisk him past voters into a second term.  It’s really that predictable:  Failed leftist ideas, failed presidency, and failed journalistic objectivity.  It’s the hat-trick of tingly feelings up one’s leg.