Barack Edsel Obama

Not good news for Democrats:

Earlier this month, Resurgent Republic — an independent public-opinion-research group headed by former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie — conducted focus groups in five key House districts, measuring how independent voters and, separately, self-identified tea-party members felt about the direction of the country.

Bad news for President Obama and congressional Democrats is common these days, but these results unveiled Tuesday are simply dismal. Asked to compare Obama to a car, one Iowan chose an Edsel: “Something that had a lot of hype, but failed to live up to expectations.” Another older man described Obama as “a wrecked Ferrari, something that looked great to many people, but was now ruined.”

There is ever so much more, please go read it all. Why is the bloom off Obama’s rose for independents? Oh, little things like this:

According to state disaster relief officials, Alabama conceived a plan — early on — to erect huge booms offshore to shield the approximately 200 miles of the state’s coastline from oil. Rather than install the relatively light and shallow booms in use elsewhere, the state (with assistance from the Coast Guard) canvassed the world and located enough huge, heavy booms — some weighing tons and seven meters high — to guard their coast.

But … no sooner were the booms in place than the Coast Guard, perhaps under pressure from the public comments of James Carville, uprooted them and moved them to guard the Louisiana coastline instead.

So Alabama decided on a backup plan. It would buy snare booms to catch the oil as it began to wash up on the beaches.

But … the Fish and Wildlife Administration vetoed the plan, saying it would endanger sea turtles that nest on the beaches.

So Alabama — ever resourceful — decided to hire 400 workers to patrol the beaches in person, scooping up oil that had washed ashore.

But … OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) refused to allow them to work more than 20 minutes out of every hour and required an hourlong break after 40 minutes of work, so the cleanup proceeded at a very slow pace.

The short answer is that every agency — each with its own particular bureaucratic agenda — was able to veto each aspect of any plan to fight the spill, with the unintended consequence that nothing stopped the oil from destroying hundreds of miles of wetlands, habitats, beaches, fisheries and recreational facilities.

So each agency looked to its own special, limited interests and lost the big picture. Which is to stop the damned oil from hitting the beaches. There is no unified command, no central authority, no executive.

Especially not in the Oval Office.

There is only an endless campaigner with no executive experience and no executive ability whatsoever. Worse yet, he does not even really believe in anything but bureaucracy and the government.

We can see how well that strategy is working out. Most importantly, independent voters can see it. As I said, Not good news for Democrats.

Links via Real Clear Politics.

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3 Responses to Barack Edsel Obama

  1. bob sykes says:

    This is typical of bureaucratic systems. Each department focuses on its own routines and eschews cooperation with people outside the department regardless of emergency conditions.

    This was the problem at Pearl Harbor, where the Army and Navy refused to share information. To show how deep the problem runs, we have had 70 years of “reforming” the intelligence agencies, and they still don’t work together, even after 9/11.

    It’s hopeless. It’s just instinctive human behavior. It requires an extremely aggressive CEO to enforce cooperation (eg Speer) backed by dire threats and examples of severe punishment to get separate agencies to cooperate. Obama is a disengaged playboy who cannot be bothered. And anyway we don’t have death camps.

    By the way, in case anyone thinks this is merely a government problem, there were many psychological experiments on groups sometime ago that showed that all you had to do to create group enmity was to define who was in which group. Brain circuitry then took over.

    This may well explain way nearly all societies and corporations fail–the various internal groups cannot respond to external threats.

    Of course, then there is the anomaly of the Catholic Church. Considering all the screw-ups who have and still run it, its survival must surely be due to God’s active and ongoing intervention.

  2. martian says:

    A lot of what you say, Bob, about bureacracies and the inherent inertia can be overcome fairly quickly by an active and engaged executive that knows what they are doing. Unfortunately, as you point out, we don’t have one of those. Instead we have the Wizard of O, who got elected for a combination of his skin color and his ability to read a speech written by someone else from a teleprompter.

    To see the difference just look at the two examples of Gov. Jindall of Louisiana who has been engaged in the crisis since day 1, working to get past the federally imposed red tape and road blocks. He hasn’t been seen on a golf course or at any parties for celebrities or having state dinners. He has been on the scene every day leading, pushing, working doing his best. Then look at the example of Obama who has been doing everything BUT leading. The contrast is clear and prominent.

  3. ropelight says:

    While attention was focused on Obama’s right hand, his left hand was busy, very busy.

    “EPA overturns 16-year-old Texas permit program”
    By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI, Associated Press Writer June 30, 2010

    Breaking News: Obama’s EPA has just shut down today 33% of the country’s refining capacity.

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