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November 18, 2013

Obama Just Doesn't Like Hearing Bad News

"Leadership" -- fostering an environment in which underlings do not tell you the truth, because you're not capable of handling the truth.

As the story of the Obamacare website fiacso unfolds, senior administration aides tell me that the president is “mad, frustrated and angry.”

Mad that his signature legislative achievement is stuck at the gate, frustrated that he’s running out of time to fix it, and angry that he’s got a second term agenda now going nowhere. He’s so furious, in fact, that he stepped out of character to vent to an assembled group of top aides. “If I had known [about the website problems] ,” the steaming president reportedly said, according to the New York Times, “We could have delayed the website.”

All of which begs the real question: how could he not have known?

Gloria Borger is a reliable liberal spinner, so take this with a grain of salt:

This much is clear, after speaking with both past and present senior administration officials: no one was really in charge, so no one knew for sure how bad the overall picture was.

Yes that's the Administration's favored line when it comes to disasters -- "no one" was in charge. Which, conveniently enough, means no one can be blamed.

What’s more, and—perhaps most telling—no one wanted to even hint to the president that this techno-savvy administration possibly had a website stuck in, say, 1995. “People don’t like to tell him bad news,” says an ex-White House staffer. “Part of it is the no-drama culture.”

This may seem like a deadly indictment but in fact it's Obama's favored spin. Remember, he doesn't have many good options here-- he's either lying, or lazy, or completely incompetent. Claiming that he doesn't like "bad news" is in fact a knock on him -- but it's preferable to the alternatives.

After all, this particular spin suggests an easy remedy: The president can just announce he's going to deputize people as Official Truth Tellers to inform him properly. Problem solved!

Here's some evidence of my statement that Gloria Borger is a general transmission station for liberal memes:

And yet, as the dry-runs continued to produce red flags—over and over—the president remained in his steely cocoon. If this were the presidency of George W. Bush or Ronald Reagan, the obvious theories would abound: the chief executive is disengaged. Or incurious. Or worse. But since Obama is none of the above, what gives?

What evidence is there that Obama is "none of the above"? He is incurious as to how his Administration does business and completely disengaged from it -- something he's said, from his own mouth, a dozen times, frequently telling us he learned about all this when you did, from the morning papers, and always speaking as if he's not the President in charge of the Executive, but just a spectator sitting outside of it, critiquing it.

As if he's the National Ombudsman of the government: No actual responsibility for the Administration's functioning (or, more often, malfunctioning), but ready, willing, and able to criticize it as if he were an outsider whose only job it was to comment on the government's performance.

Sure, Gloria Borger could easily imagine theorizing that stupidity or incompetence or laziness (both in terms of industry and intellect) were the culprits in a Republican Administration, but in the case of Genius of the Republic Barack Obama? Why, it's inconceivable.



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posted by Ace at 03:22 PM

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