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The Obama Administration: Where
Ideology Meets Incompetence

May 13, 2010

One of the problems with electing a young, inexperienced leftist as president is that he’s likely to bring fellow classroom commies into his administration with him. These presidential appointees — some 92 percent of Obama’s team have never so much as held a job in the private sector, let alone met a payroll — are turning out to be the administrative equivalent of functionally illiterate. To judge by their actions and pronouncements, they not only don’t know what laws are on the books, they wouldn’t know what to do to uphold them if they did. Throw in a strong anti-American bias, an apparent need by several Obama appointees to abdicate responsibility in the service of a subversive agenda, and you get a sense of how the Obama administration operates.

The growing number of terrorist attacks on our own soil is one example of the effects of the administration’s ideology-based incompetence. First, it seems likely that the jihadists out to destroy America are viewing the President’s meeker-than-thou national security policies and pronouncements as signs of weakness. They may also see closet allies to the Islamist cause in both Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, given that in every case of terror-linked murders (Nidal Hasan) or failed bombings (Christmas Day, Times Square) the first words out of the mouths of administration spokespeople were along the lines of “Let’s not jump to conclusions.”

It’s difficult to say, in other words, whether Holder’s insistence on Mirandizing Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab within minutes after his arrest was a sign that Holder wasn’t aware that he was authorized to delay giving the would-be bomber the rights of an American citizen under the public safety exception to the Miranda rule, or whether it’s because Holder is a Secret Sympathizer with the jihadist cause. Both seem likely, especially in light of the fact that the administration, one of the most secretive regarding legislative debate in the history of the country, is more than willing to reveal to the world pretty much everything these terrorists say in their interrogations after they’ve been Mirandized, this to demonstrate that the policy of not doing everything possible to protect America’s interests is actually working.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano seems cut from the same cloth. Napolitano looked the other way when both reducing spending and protecting her state’s southern border were discussed during her tenure as Arizona governor, and things haven’t changed since she moved to Washington. It’s a sweet irony that Jan Brewer, the woman who replaced Napolitano as Governor of Arizona when Napolitano took the Homeland Security post, was the one who actually took real steps toward protecting Arizona’s border with Mexico after Napolitano froze funding for the border fence mandated by federal law.

The administration’s response to the Arizona anti-illegal immigration law was as swift as it was uninformed and ideologically “correct”: Before it had even been signed into law, Barack Obama described the bill as “misguided,” and shortly thereafter, following the President’s promise to instruct administration lawyers to “examine the civil rights and other implications” of the law, Eric Holder made it a priority to assemble a group of lawyers from the Justice and Homeland Security Departments to mount a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the legislation. Both Obama and Holder failed to note that the law was essentially a restatement of existing federal law which the current administration had failed to uphold. Once again, the willful misapprehension of what was in the law itself, bolstered by a misguided commitment not to violate the “civil rights” of those in this country illegally marked another milestone in the administration’s furtherance of ideological incompetence.

Things didn’t change with the administration’s handling of the next crisis it faced. ABC News’s Jake Tapper was among the first to report that Department of the Interior Chief of Staff Tom Strickland, the man whose responsibility it was to coordinate the administration’s response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, was with his wife in the Grand Canyon and apparently didn’t see the necessity of cutting his trip short to go to the site of the disaster. In fact, Strickland began his Grand Canyon white-water rafting adventure three days after the Gulf oil rig explosion, and spent three more days on his trip before even considering carrying out his job duties. The administration, for its part, didn’t deem it necessary to even dispatch key administration personnel to the site of the massive spill until nine days after the event.

Nor, apparently, was the administration aware of the fact that in 1994 an “In-Situ Burn Plan” was developed by federal agencies that authorized the government to use fire booms to capture and burn oil released into the ocean, a tactic which can burn up to 75,000 gallons of spilled oil an hour and which might well have kept the spilled oil miles from shore, likely preventing it from coming ashore at all. Now while it’s not necessarily this administration’s fault that fire booms were not in place or at least available immediately as they should have been, it does appear that the Obama administration was not aware that this strategy was even a possibility to combat the spill. Nor, in this case, is it likely that the administration’s disregard of the danger posed by the spill likely has an ideological basis, although it’s not out of the question to suppose that the spill advances the environmental left’s anti-drilling agenda and that Obama is not one to let a good crisis go unexploited.

As it is, the one fire boom in stock at the manufacturer’s warehouse has apparently been dispatched, and others are set to be borrowed temporarily from their owners in foreign countries. In the meantime, some four million barrels of oil have spewed into the Gulf of Mexico and have begun washing up on shorelines. Given the way it’s handled serious emergencies and issues to this point, it’s not unfair to say that with this administration, we’ve got the perfect storm of ideology meeting incompetence.

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