Michael Barone

But that was accomplished by men who knew that the Commander-in-Chief, Franklin Roosevelt, expected results. Roosevelt could be an inspiring orator. But he also showed a gift for selecting the right men (and, occasionally, women) to reach goals that he thought were really important.

Barack Obama seems to lack that knack. He has advanced to the highest position in government without having demonstrated the ability to get results outside a political campaign.

He is the product, as the Hoover Institution's Peter Berkowitz writes, "of the same progressive version of higher education that simultaneously excises politics from the study of government and public policy while politicizing education."

"This higher education," Berkowitz continues, "denigrates experience; exalts rational administration; reveres abstract moral reasoning; confidently counts on the mainstream press to play for the progressive political team; accords to words fabulous abilities to remake reality; and believes itself to speak for the people while haughtily despising their way of life."

Or to put it more pithily, Obama knows how to use words well. But he doesn't seem to understand how the world works. "We're also discovering," he said at that press conference, "that insurance is complicated to buy." Yup.

There is a reason public policy in industrial age America (and other democratic countries) moved toward greater regimentation and standardization. Centralized command and control was a good way to run assembly lines.

There is a reason also that public policy in the information age, elsewhere and here until 2008, moved toward more market mechanisms. Central planners have a hard time anticipating how IT systems and consumers will respond.

That's especially true when chief executive doesn't want to hear -- and perhaps cannot imagine that there will be -- bad news. Welcome to the kludgeocracy.


Michael Barone

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2011 THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM