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The Passive President

By February 25, 2011Blog
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Granted, President Obama is facing multiple issues on numerous fronts — state budget crises in Wisconsin and Indiana, the threat of a government shutdown, violence in several countries of the Middle East, oil prices escalating, the looming debt ceiling crisis, and violence in Africa and other nations.  Take your pick of any of these crises and you’ll find a president who is painfully inept, emotionally disengaged, dangerously detached, and inexplicably passive.  There is growing speculation that the president is in way over his head and that his silence is because he doesn’t know what to do — that he doesn’t have a personal compass directing his policy decisions.  The end result is that America seems powerless and without influence, both at home and in world affairs.

To make matters worse, the First Lady just returned from an expensive skiing vacation, and the White House just had a huge and loud party celebrating “all things Motown.”  Earlier, the White House hosted a workshop in the State Dining Room for teenagers to study the history of the Motown genre.  As the First Lady put it, Motown music was the “color-barrier-shattering music” that transcended soundtracks to become a “heartbeat.”  In the White House’s recounting, Motown not only was the foundation for modern music, it was a “force for change” that prepared the way for racial harmony, peace, and goodwill around the world.

We could certainly use a little of that kind of influence and leadership today.

We need White House leadership in articulating clear and consistent U.S. policy both at home and abroad; instead, we have an administration that focuses on its radical agenda while crises are erupting all around and an administration that enjoys its personal (and expensive) fun while the rest of its citizens have to tighten their belts.  Reminds me … Nero fiddled while Rome burned.