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The pernicious myth of Obama’s “incompetence”
Salong ^ | October 30, 2013 | Joan Walsh

Posted on 10/30/2013 1:03:36 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

Excuse me if I sit out this round of hyperventilating over President Obama’s alleged “incompetence” on matters ranging from the Affordable Care Act rollout to the NSA spying scandal. Because we just played this game last spring.

Five months ago cable news and the Web were aflame with charges that the Obama White House had reached either a new level of tyranny or ineptitude after supposed “new” revelations about Benghazi, the IRS non-scandal and the administration’s spying on journalists. In fact, the heavy-handed investigation of leaks targeting journalists in creepy new ways was the only story that merited serious coverage (and of course it faded more quickly than the other two). Likewise, the revelations that the NSA is listening in on the cellphone calls of our allies, and reports that Obama didn’t know about it, is the story that really matters. But we’ve got wall-to-wall coverage of hearings on the ACA, with the NSA stuff thrown in to make all of the “Has Obama lost control of government?” (an actual chyron on CNN yesterday) hyperventilating more defensible.

So Richard Cohen hysterically declares the latest mess “a question of competence” (Obama’s, of course). If that sounds familiar, it’s because the National Journal’s Josh Krashaar wrote about “Obama’s crisis of competence” in the wake of the Benghazi/IRS/reporter-spying “scandals.” Declaring the president incompetent may be a new symptom of false equivalence and journalistic balance – OK, the right says Obama is evil (and a Kenyan Muslim usurper ineligible to be president), and we won’t go that far. The left says he’s being sabotaged by an extremist Republican Party that won’t accept his legitimacy; well, that’s a little shrill. Let’s find something in the middle; how about “incompetent”?

Over at CBS, conservative favorite Sharyl Attkisson told us in May that even her White House sources admitted to “incompetence” on Benghazi. “We’re portrayed by Republicans as either being lying or idiots,” said one Obama administration official. “It’s actually closer to us being idiots.” On USNews.com, Lara Brown derided “a clueless White House” while USA Today asked “Is Obama under siege?” and advanced the story line that the administration was guilty of “incompetence” if not malice in the trifecta of alleged scandals.

On the right, of course, the story line was uglier. Half-term Sarah Palin declared on Twitter that Obama was “either a liar or incompetent,” while the Daily Caller’s Jim Treacher insisted Obama knew all about the deep, dark IRS, Benghazi and Holder scandals. “The only alternative is that he’s utterly, criminally incompetent. Either way, he’s unfit for office.” Well, that’s not news on the right. They impeached the last Democratic president, remember? But even Democrat Bob Shrum declared the IRS scandal was evidence of “incompetence on par with Jimmy Carter’s.”

That much of the world of punditry, including some liberals, was wrong about the substance and symbolism of the IRS and Benghazi non-scandals (while concern-trolling the White House, though not genuinely caring, about its spying and secrecy) ought to give some people pause. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re wrong about problems with the ACA or NSA; it just means a lot of them have a credibility problem when it comes to assessing the president’s “competence” or lack thereof.

Personally, I’m not without concern about it all. Last week I defended the administration when it came to the ACA website rollout; this week, I’m finding myself less forgiving of the fact that the president and Democrats continued to use the line “if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan” even though they knew how much new ACA regulations would increase churn in the private insurance market. Jason Linkins and Jonathan Chait unpack what was fair and maybe not so fair about that claim.

Still, the House GOP has perfected its method of paralyzing the country, and the Obama administration, even though it controls only one-half of one-third of the government (and that minority is controlled by an even smaller, wingnut fringe): Hold endless hearings that reporters are forced to both cover and lazily use as “evidence” that the administration is in big trouble.

It would be nice if the two parties worked together on solutions to these problems, like they did with Medicare Part D’s troubles, but the Republican Party is no longer interested in governing. Instead we have endless hearings and phony grandstanding – and much of the media playing along. Wake me when it’s over.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; Health/Medicine; Politics
KEYWORDS: cic; failure; obama; presidency
The Left hates the growing chorus that Obama is INCOMPETENT because it FITS!
1 posted on 10/30/2013 1:03:36 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Half of Obama’s incompetence is Intentional as Isurance against the other half of his imcomprence which is not...

Ie. he only find stuff out from the news like every other slub...


2 posted on 10/30/2013 1:07:08 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I’m still trying to figure out what part of the IRS deliberately abusing its power to help leftist organizations and harm TEA party organizations in order to get Zero re-elected is a “non-scandal.” They lost me there.


3 posted on 10/30/2013 1:11:39 PM PDT by FateAmenableToChange
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Obama measures success in terms of how much disruption and damage he can cause. That’s all there is too it.


4 posted on 10/30/2013 1:12:08 PM PDT by equaviator (There's nothing like the universe to bring you down to earth.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
. . , you know you're over the target. .
5 posted on 10/30/2013 1:14:01 PM PDT by Art in Idaho (Conservatism is the only Hope for Western Civilization.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

MSNBC political correspondent....nuff said, just another co-conspirator


6 posted on 10/30/2013 1:15:50 PM PDT by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

If you looked at where our Country was 5 years ago and where it is now and you fail to see incompetent leadership, you need serious help!


7 posted on 10/30/2013 1:17:37 PM PDT by SECURE AMERICA (Where can I go to sign for the American Revolution 2013 and the Crusades 2013?)
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To: Art in Idaho
. . , you know you're over the target. .

BUMP!

8 posted on 10/30/2013 1:19:17 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
This schlock counts as journalism? Somebody PLEASE yank her card....
9 posted on 10/30/2013 1:20:23 PM PDT by liberalh8ter (The only difference between flash mob 'urban yutes' and U.S. politicians is the hoodies.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

What is this publication - Schlong?


10 posted on 10/30/2013 1:20:44 PM PDT by Sgt_Schultze (A half-truth is a complete lie)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
It would be nice if the two parties worked together on solutions to these problems, like they did with Medicare Part D’s troubles...

Yeah, maybe we could have won the Iraq war, too.

With Medicare Part D, nobody was kicked off of their existing status quo while waiting for the new entitlement to begin.

-PJ

11 posted on 10/30/2013 1:21:38 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
He is not incompetent.

Every day he sees increasing chaos in this formerly great nation, He is happy.

12 posted on 10/30/2013 1:22:09 PM PDT by elkfersupper
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Awright, Joanie, you got me.

Obama certainly isn’t competent. On that we can all agree (dontcha love bipartisanship?).

But neither is he incompetent. For to be incompetent one must understand one’s duties and at least make an attempt, however futile, erroneous or disastrous, at doing one’s job.

Shannon Faulkner was incompetent. Wrong Way Corrigan was incompetent. The 1978 Tampa Bay Buccaneers were incompetent. But all of these people tried.

But Obama hasn’t even made such an attempt. By his closest advisers’ own admission, this president does not participate in a wide variety of important meetings, does not view important documents lest he be exposed to their contents and possibly recall later that which he read or heard, and does not make decisions or pronouncements based on knowledge or experience he may have acquired in half a decade as the nation’s chief executive.

He now claims to be strangers with his ‘signature’ legislation, the quasi-official title which bears his name and for which he engaged in a standoff with Congress only weeks ago.

His best and only defense is the most preposterous one - he has held the office but avoided the duties and responsibilities at all costs.

Incompetent? Insufficient data. Absent, distracted, disinterested, willfully ignorant? Absolutely - and stipulated by his own administration in a desperate bid to protect his bone china-brittle ego.


13 posted on 10/30/2013 1:23:13 PM PDT by relictele ("An elective despotism was not the government we fought for..." - James Madison)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

14 posted on 10/30/2013 1:24:06 PM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

2nd post - Walsh spends several paragraphs sniffing at those using the term incompetence and declares it a myth.......she then neglects to disprove the ‘myth.’


15 posted on 10/30/2013 1:24:46 PM PDT by relictele ("An elective despotism was not the government we fought for..." - James Madison)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Not incompetence, as such, but very willful ignorance.

Gives him “plausible deniability”, doncha know.

Except that excuse is wearing very thin, about now. Richard Nixon “didn’t know”, either.

Still, not everything can be counted as “not knowing”. Misapprehending the problem, and applying an entirely ineffective and inappropriate “fix” LOOKS a lot like incompetence.


16 posted on 10/30/2013 1:27:19 PM PDT by alloysteel (Men may not always be capable of evil, but they are always capable of incompetence.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife; a fool in paradise

Incompetence vs ‘fundamental transformation’ that he promised. Well folks, has he delivered on that promise?

People don’t want to remember such promises, dismissing them, I suppose, as election talk. But lookie here! You should of lissened!


17 posted on 10/30/2013 1:28:59 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: FateAmenableToChange

It’s a non-scandal because Joan says it is, and she supported it anyway.


18 posted on 10/30/2013 1:44:56 PM PDT by Steve_Seattle
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

“On the right, of course, the story line was uglier. Half-term Sarah Palin declared on.....”

So she would be like part-term Senatard Obama?


19 posted on 10/30/2013 1:52:58 PM PDT by VanDeKoik
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To: FateAmenableToChange

If the SRM didn’t report it, is it really a scandal in the eyes of the low info voter?


20 posted on 10/30/2013 2:15:45 PM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (The Second Amendment is NOT about the right to hunt. It IS a right to shoot tyrants.)
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To: Arrowhead1952

Good point.


21 posted on 10/30/2013 2:18:43 PM PDT by FateAmenableToChange
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

It’s like the progressives are having a contest. Awards give for the biggest, most, and most in your face lies.


22 posted on 10/30/2013 2:20:54 PM PDT by DManA
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Obama is dumber than donuts.


23 posted on 10/30/2013 2:43:27 PM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

October 26,2012 Greg Gutfield “Charm is an evolutionary practice to mask incompetence”
Irregardless of any perceived charm the incompetent lable fits the won and he continues to excel in idiocracy with each utterance.


24 posted on 10/30/2013 3:36:31 PM PDT by Recompennation (Constitutional protection for all not just selectively for Democrats.)
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To: Doogle

Right.

Author used an awful lot of very thoughtful words to say absolutely nothing.

A windbag.


25 posted on 10/30/2013 3:41:55 PM PDT by old curmudgeon
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Pernicious because it is true.


26 posted on 10/30/2013 3:55:49 PM PDT by GeronL
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

There is another theory

http://asspos.blogspot.com/2013/10/exclusive-obama-has-total-amnesia.html

Obama has total amnesia


27 posted on 10/30/2013 3:57:42 PM PDT by GeronL
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To: GeronL

By the Incompetent, For the Incompetent, Of the Incompetent


28 posted on 10/30/2013 4:04:06 PM PDT by GeronL
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