Our Smartest President?

Bruce Bialosky

1/26/2014 12:01:00 AM - Bruce Bialosky

It all kind of started to fall apart when he said “… no such thing as shovel-ready projects.” That was of course after he committed more than $800 billion to government expenditures that would supposedly stimulate the private economy after the 2008 financial crunch. The fact that President Obama was so blindly ignorant about what it takes to get any construction project done in this country -- with the burdensome laws in place -- was foretelling of the avalanche of examples deflating the moniker foisted upon us that our latest and greatest President was “our smartest President.”

Recently we were promised certain things by incoming administrations. Bill Clinton promised the most “ethical administration,” and we all know that lasted about three minutes give or take a few seconds. Obama promised us and then continued telling us “We are the most transparent and ethical administration in history.” We can say no one has gotten shot as happened in the Clinton Administration, but certainly this is the least transparent administration since William Henry Harrison. Even his allies complain about not having access to info. The press corps photographers have been cut out of participating in photo sessions and then are promised by press secretary Jay Carney that the White House is working on it. But the boast of Obama being “Our Smartest President” was endorsed by Obama’s followers and embraced by the Obamas.

The question of the President’s aptitude revolves principally around operation of the government. It would be different if he were anti-government, wanting to slash and burn operations. One would think that he would know about how government operates and then proceed to speak intelligently about how it does. He often seems befuddled.

As was stated to Chris Matthews, “The challenge, I think, that we have going forward is not so much my personal management style or particular issues around White House organization,” Obama said. “It actually has to do with what I referred to earlier, which is we have these big agencies, some of which are outdated, some of which are not designed properly.” This is something you would expect to be said by Ronald Reagan in the first year of his presidency, not by Barack Obama after five years of being president -- especially after no previous comments regarding the inefficiency of the gargantuan federal government.

The list of times he has pled ignorance staggers the imagination. Chief among them are the AP records incident, the IRS targeting scandal -- and the list goes on and on – after which and about which our President steps up to a microphone and tells people that he had no idea. Of course, then there are his many foreign policy issues that could be delineated. The fact that he receives an intelligence briefing daily and then pleads no knowledge of events makes one wonder what is being conveyed during those meetings. One might think that there would be a discussion around September 4th or 5th that the anniversary of 9/11 is coming up, and what is being done to protect our personnel in foreign countries plus stopping attacks on the Homeland. But our President was severely unprepared for what happened in Benghazi and the aftermath. He did not even seem to know much once things were happening, and then went to bed while our Ambassador was being murdered.

My personal favorite that questions the aptitude of our President is his professed lack of knowledge that the NSA was listening in on phone calls of foreign leaders. Some may say he was just denying the truth, but I don’t believe so. The argument can be made that denying he knew makes him look stupid, but not as stupid as if he knew of the program. And I do not believe it was willful ignorance. Our President did not think to ask whether the NSA was not just spying on foreign governments but spying on foreign leaders, especially ones that are our friends. It just rankles the imagination that Obama could be overseeing this program and not think to ask that question.

In the end those who attempted to convince us Obama is such a smart guy have been betrayed by their own naiveté. It is characterized by the column in New York Times detailing how Obama’s most loyal followers (New York liberals) have been caught in the Obamacare debacle with cancelled policies and soaring premiums. One of the intelligentsia who attempted to convince us how brilliant our President is was quoted as saying this about Obamacare – “I’m for it, but what is the reality of it?” Enough said.