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A Recipe for Chaos and In-fighting

by | Mar 10, 2011

By Dave Andrusko

President Barack Obama

Let’s tie three very revealing quotes together, the first from Monday, the second from Tuesday, and the third from today, and see what they tell us about our pro-abortion President.

”Members of Congress, including Democrats, have urged the Obama administration to search for another Medicare chief after concluding that the Senate is unlikely to confirm President Obama’s temporary appointee, Dr. Donald M. Berwick.”  — From “Rising Calls to Replace Top Man at Medicare,” by Robert Pear of the New York Times.

“President Barack Obama averaged 46% job approval the week of Feb. 28-March 6, his lowest weekly average since mid-December. Obama’s weekly approval rating had steadily improved from mid-December to late January, peaking at 50% during the final two weeks in January, before dropping below that mark in February. Obama is now essentially back to where he was in the immediate post-election phase of 2010.”

From Obama’s Weekly Job Approval Retreats to 46%:Lowest weekly average since mid-December,” by Gallup’s Jeffrey M. Jones.

“News this week of the first departure of a Cabinet secretary [Commerce Secretary Gary Locke] from the Obama administration comes amid a wide-ranging effort under the new chief of staff, William M. Daley, to repair badly frayed relations between the White House and the Cabinet.”

From “White House moving to repair troubled relationship with Cabinet,” by Anne E. Komblut of the Washington Post.

Having read all three accounts let me try to look objectively at what they reveal about President Obama.

Few appointees better illustrated Obama’s temperament and his style than Dr. Berwick. An unabashed admirer of the British National Health Service, Berwick’s resume is filled with controversial statements, including incontrovertible evidence that he believes with all his heart in rationing. With that as a backdrop, it is hardly surprising  that Obama  appointed Berwick when the Senate was in recess last July.

But not to worry. Last month when he testified before House Ways and Means Committee, Dr. Berwick flatly stated, “I abhor rationing.” The jaws of Senate Republicans, who  already opposed his nomination, must have dropped so fast they hit their desks.

The President, of course, knows that a recess appointment means Dr. Berwick can serve to the end of this year and that he does not have 60 votes in the Senate to confirm him. Thus names are being floated as Berwick’s successor.

As for Gallup, we all know that poll numbers wax and wane. But we also know that there a big to-do made when Obama’s numbers moved up after a disastrous November election cycle  for Democrats.

“The seven-week period from mid-December through the end of January was the longest stretch Obama has had of stable or improving ratings,” Jones wrote.  “Prior to that, there were several periods when his ratings either held steady or improved four weeks in a row, including a stretch from April to May 2009 that saw his approval ratings improve by a total of five percentage points.”

It seems clear that Obama’s  approval ratings will be in the mid-40s (at best) when he runs for re-election next year.

Even if you were neither a White House insider nor had your ear to the wall, the Post story should come as no surprise. There is an inverse relationship between President Obama’s executive experience—none—and his confidence in himself—limitless.

As you know the President has a preference for “czars”—whom the Post gently dubs “issue specialists” who “manage matters on the environment and the economy within the West Wing .” They are not subject to Senate confirmation (notice a pattern here?) and are not beholden to others with official-sounding titles.

The results? We read in Komblut’s story, “The White House loops people out. The czars keep people from getting in,” said one senior Democratic official who has fielded such complaints from three agency heads. “The level of frustration is pretty high.”

It is a recipe for chaos and in-fighting.

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