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When Administrations Implode
Townhall.com ^ | April 19, 2012 | Victor Davis Hanson

Posted on 04/19/2012 1:07:45 PM PDT by Kaslin

Administration meltdowns are hardly novel. In almost every presidency there comes a moment when sheer chaos takes hold, whether self-induced or as a result of an outside crisis.

Vietnam had effectively destroyed Lyndon Johnson by 1967. Watergate unraveled the Richard Nixon administration, as the disgraced president resigned in the face of certain impeachment. Gerald Ford could not whip inflation and was not re-elected. One-termer Jimmy Carter was undone by the Iranian hostage crisis and skyrocketing oil prices.

For a time, it seemed that Ronald Reagan's second term might not survive the Iran-Contra scandal. George H.W. Bush could not be re-elected after he broke his promise not to raise taxes and Ross Perot entered the 1992 race. The popular Bill Clinton was impeached over the Monica Lewinsky affair and limped out of office tainted. The insurgency in Iraq and the fallout from Hurricane Katrina crashed for good the once-high poll ratings of George W. Bush.

The Obama administration over the last month has seemed on the verge of one of these presidential meltdowns.

An open mic caught the president promising Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would be more flexible after the election -- as if Obama might grant concessions that would be unpalatable if known to the general public before November. That embarrassment followed an earlier hot-mic put-down of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year.

The president also unwisely attacked the Supreme Court as it deliberated the constitutionality of Obamacare. He needlessly referred to the justices as "unelected" and wrongly claimed that that they had little precedent to overturn laws that dealt with commerce. The gaffe about the court and its history was doubly embarrassing because Obama has often reminded the public that he used to teach constitutional law.

Democrats unwisely went after the Catholic Church and religious conservatives on the grounds that they did not support federal subsidies for contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs. Another gratuitous scrap soon escalated into an unnecessary fight with Catholic bishops. To widen the controversy further, Vice President Joe Biden and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz alleged that the contraceptive fight was part of a wider Republican "war on women."

But that new psychodrama also blew up in the administration's face when a zealous Democratic consultant, Hilary Rosen, claimed that Ann Romney, wife of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, had "never worked a day in her life." In fact, the affable Mrs. Romney had raised five children and had survived both multiple sclerosis and breast cancer.

That silly offensive got worse when, at almost the same time, news leaked that women working at the Obama White House, on average, made 18 percent less than their male counterparts there. Meanwhile, 11 Secret Service agents assigned to the president's trip to Colombia were sent home for soliciting prostitutes -- and then haggling over the cost. Not long before, the General Services Administration was caught wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars on a junket in Las Vegas -- leading to the resignation of the GSA administrator, a political appointee.

Then there was the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting. After Obama's disastrous 2009 commentary about the detention of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates -- when the president alleged that police acted "stupidly" -- he might have been wise to keep quiet about another explosive racial controversy. Instead, he foolishly plunged in with a puzzling comment that if he had a son, he would have looked like the deceased Trayvon Martin. That editorializing served no purpose except to remind the nation of the racial tensions simmering around the shooting.

The president also went after the rich with the "Buffett Rule," which would ensure that millionaires like his friend Warren Buffett paid at least 30 percent in income taxes. But Obama and his wife Michelle paid just over 20 percent in federal taxes on the $790,000 they earned in 2011. And even if the bill passed, the Obama Treasury would only get new revenue amounting to less than half of 1 percent of what it borrows every year.

The effect of all these unnecessary missteps was to make the Obama administration appear inept -- at precisely the time Republicans were unifying around Romney and ending their long, suicidal primary fights. Some polls even showed Romney suddenly ahead in the presidential race.

So why is the president rashly picking these stupid fights?

Apparently his team wishes to divert attention from generally bleak economic news. The economy still suffers from a dramatic spike in gas prices, chronically high 8 percent plus unemployment, sluggish growth, and serial $1 trillion annual deficits that have sent the debt soaring to $16 trillion.

These perfect storms often either destroy presidents or turn them into unpopular lame ducks. Obama should learn from the fates of his predecessors: There are enough forces in the world to destroy a presidency without needlessly creating more on his own.


TOPICS: Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: obamagaffe; ssscandal; waronwomen

1 posted on 04/19/2012 1:07:57 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

0bama is the only president to be an avowed enemy of the United States.

May he be overwhelmed by chaos and confusion.


2 posted on 04/19/2012 1:13:44 PM PDT by unkus (Silence Is Consent)
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To: Kaslin

If I worked in the White House I would start updating my resume.


3 posted on 04/19/2012 1:19:18 PM PDT by hflynn
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To: Kaslin

“Apparently his team wishes to divert attention from generally bleak economic news.”

And this too will overwhelm and consume them.


4 posted on 04/19/2012 1:23:37 PM PDT by DarthVader (Politicians govern out of self interest, Statesmen govern for a Vision greater than themselves)
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To: hflynn

“If I worked in the White House I would start updating my resume.”

i cannot even invision that scenario for me.


5 posted on 04/19/2012 11:30:31 AM PDT by bravo whiskey (If the little things really bother you, maybe it's because the big things are going well.)
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To: Kaslin

VDH is usually on target. But Ford was done in by his pardon of Nixon, not by the WIN Buttons, silly though they were.

And Reagan was never going to resign over Iran-Contra. Nor were they ever going to impeach him. As it is Ollie North nearly put the Congressional Hearings scam out of business forever.


6 posted on 04/19/2012 11:34:46 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: unkus

“0bama is the only president to be an avowed enemy of the United States.”

But Romney is worse!


7 posted on 04/19/2012 11:34:56 AM PDT by brownsfan (Aldous Huxley and Mike Judge were right.)
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To: Kaslin
As the administration lurches from gaffe to blunder Obama is likely to become increasingly desperate and with desperation comes the temptation for the October Surprise.


8 posted on 04/19/2012 11:40:27 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: DarthVader
“Apparently his team wishes to divert attention from generally bleak economic news.”

Pay no attention to the latest unemployment figures. Instead have a look at the rioting and the burning buildings down in Florida.

Yeah, that'll work /sarc

9 posted on 04/19/2012 11:43:18 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: nathanbedford
As the administration lurches from gaffe to blunder Obama is likely to become increasingly desperate and with desperation comes the temptation for the October Surprise

Given his most recent string of gaffes, I really don't think Obama is smart enough to pull that off either. He is proving to be every inch a man made by Affirmative Action.

If he were really the Sooooooper Genius the media makes him out to be, we'd already be a Communist Dictatorship by now.

10 posted on 04/19/2012 11:45:56 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: nathanbedford

I think you got something there. Now it depends October surprise for what side?


11 posted on 04/19/2012 11:53:05 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin
Stimulus
12 posted on 04/19/2012 11:54:39 AM PDT by butterbean
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To: Buckeye McFrog
I agree that Obama's intelligence has been universally exaggerated but I submit that it is equally off the mark to underestimate his cunning.

Although he is lazy, arrogant, had media behind him, and a wave of anti-Bush resentment carefully cultivated by the media over eight years as well as melatonin on his side, Obama contrived a substantial victory. He was ruthless in doing so just as he was ruthless in winning his Senate seat in Illinois Senate and his Senate seat the United States Senate. It would be naïve in the extreme to believe that Obama will suddenly become benign when he faces the loss of the most powerful position in the world.

Do not underestimate Obama, his ambition, his ruthlessness or his absolute certitude that is ideology is infallible. He will do whatever he can to stay in power. So far he has not shrunk from playing the race, class, sex, and anti-religious cards, all at the expense of the unity of the nation. He will not shrink from bombing Iran even at the cost of the security of the nation.


13 posted on 04/19/2012 11:59:19 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: brownsfan

“0bama is the only president to be an avowed enemy of the United States.”

But Romney is worse!


We’re not talking Romney. Kiss my ass.


14 posted on 04/19/2012 11:59:46 AM PDT by unkus (Silence Is Consent)
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To: brownsfan

I thought this site was evolving from that defeatist and ridiculous point of view.

I guess not with everyone.


15 posted on 04/19/2012 12:09:53 PM PDT by altura
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To: nathanbedford
Repost because it's worth the read ....as usual Nathan...you are right on the money.

......"I agree that Obama's intelligence has been universally exaggerated but I submit that it is equally off the mark to underestimate his 'cunning'.

Although he is lazy, arrogant, had media behind him, and a wave of anti-Bush resentment carefully cultivated by the media over eight years as well as melatonin on his side,... Obama contrived a substantial victory...... He was ruthless in doing so just as he was ruthless in winning his Senate seat in Illinois Senate and his Senate seat the United States Senate.... It would be naïve in the extreme to believe that Obama will suddenly become benign when he faces the loss of the most powerful position in the world.

Do not underestimate Obama, his ambition, his ruthlessness or his absolute certitude that is ideology is infallible.... He will do whatever he can to stay in power.... So far he has not shrunk from playing the race, class, sex, and anti-religious cards, all at the expense of the unity of the nation..... He will not shrink from bombing Iran even at the cost of the security of the nation.".....

16 posted on 04/19/2012 12:14:37 PM PDT by caww
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To: altura

“I guess not with everyone.”

JimRob told me No Obama, No Romney.

Vote 3rd party, that will lead to an Obama victory.

So, I figure Romney is worse.


17 posted on 04/19/2012 12:15:16 PM PDT by brownsfan (Aldous Huxley and Mike Judge were right.)
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To: Kaslin

I am not sure I agree with VDH.

I do not believe the latest string of Obama-gaffes are a sign of implosion.

Instead, the latest gaffes are just a continuation of the hundreds that preceded the ones we saw or heard in the past month.

Since the media hides these gaffes, it is easy to forget how many there have been.


18 posted on 04/19/2012 12:19:32 PM PDT by Presbyterian Reporter
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To: nathanbedford
He will not shrink from bombing Iran even at the cost of the security of the nation.

He's willing to do a lot worse than that. Look at Fast and Furious. He was willing to be complicit in the murders of hundreds of Mexican citizens to further his anti-2nd Amendment agenda "under the radar".

He won't hesitate one second to start killing Americans if he thinks that will help his election chances.

19 posted on 04/19/2012 12:21:15 PM PDT by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: nathanbedford
"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other........ War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.....

.... In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended;... its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied;... and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people.....

..... The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud,... 'growing out of a state of war',... and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals, engendered by both...... No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."...... "source: "Political Observations" April 20, 1795......JAmes Madison

20 posted on 04/19/2012 12:21:20 PM PDT by caww
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To: brownsfan

“I guess not with everyone.”

JimRob told me No Obama, No Romney.

Vote 3rd party, that will lead to an Obama victory.

So, I figure Romney is worse.


I apologize for telling you to ki$$ my a$$. I now see your point.


21 posted on 04/19/2012 1:34:54 PM PDT by unkus (Silence Is Consent)
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To: nathanbedford
Obama won because McCain the RINO suspended his campaign to travel back to DC to sign an emergency funding bill that the vast majority of Americans did not want. And there was also the threat of race riots if Obama was not elected. When a modern US president gets elected under such circumstances, the end result can only be, world war. That is where they are taking us. Obama will light the fuse, followed by Romney swinging the big stick. That is why all the MSM attacked any true conservative in the nomination process. The RINO/DINO party has fiscally failed and war is their only option for continued survival.

If Obama was really smart, why so many Present votes when he was a Senator ? He just voted present (neutral) in the Argentina/English conflict over the Falklands. End result of voting present ? War between England and Argentina. He is lighting fuses all over the world.

22 posted on 04/19/2012 1:45:00 PM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: Kaslin
Ross Perot,a little man with a big ego, shafted GW Bush out of a second term, of course Clinton won, but the truth of the matter is, under the same conditions, sharpton, jackson or calypso louie would have succeeded. Lets hope and pray we don't get some other jerk with an oversize ego jump in a mess things up again.
23 posted on 04/19/2012 1:45:44 PM PDT by Gertie
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To: unkus
0bama is the only president to be an avowed enemy of the United States.

John Tyler?

24 posted on 04/19/2012 1:50:39 PM PDT by x
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To: brownsfan

gotcha.


25 posted on 04/19/2012 2:32:26 PM PDT by altura
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To: x

0bama is the only president to be an avowed enemy of the United States.

John Tyler?


I don’t understand.


26 posted on 04/19/2012 2:34:18 PM PDT by unkus (Silence Is Consent)
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To: unkus
John Tyler (President 1841-1845) was in the Confederate Congress when he died.

The Internet says he was declared a "sworn enemy of the United States," though it's hard to say what that means or how you get the title.

Tyler, who was born in 1790, is best known now for having a grandson still alive (he and his son both married and had children when they were over 60 years old).

27 posted on 04/19/2012 2:42:09 PM PDT by x
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To: x

Thanks, but cannot begin to compare to the evil bastard called 0bama.


28 posted on 04/19/2012 3:23:01 PM PDT by unkus (Silence Is Consent)
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To: Kaslin
When your opponent is busy making a fool of himself it would be impolite to interrupt him.

Regards,
GtG

29 posted on 04/19/2012 5:07:37 PM PDT by Gandalf_The_Gray (I live in my own little world, I like it 'cuz they know me here.)
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