All of us recall our early tenure in a new employment position, the struggles that ensued as we grappled with the myriad duties while delicately negotiating our way through political mine fields. If the department we inherited was in disarray we found ourselves shaking our heads and casting a cold eye on our predecessor, while telling our supervisors about the mess he left.
But, if we're completely honest, we also recall that with the passage of time, we became progressively reticent to invoke the ghost of our predecessors because we intuitively--and correctly--sensed it would irritate our bosses. They understandably have little sympathy for our plight because we were being paid to do a job, so all they wanted was results.
If you've been paying attention to the narrative of Bush blaming emanating from the White House since President Obama's inauguration, you probably sense that it's wearing thin among the electorate. But when David Axelrod, Obama's senior adviser, protests that the newly minted administration isn't in fact, blaming Bush, that they're only cautioning the public that the profound nature of the problems will require time, that too has the ring of the querulous employee who still doesn't appreciate the nature of his charge.
But sinceresults are the measure of success, we might ask why unemployment is inching far higher than Obama said it would if Congress approved his so-called stimulus package. Politicians, for the untutored, have a remarkable knack for moving the goal posts down-field. Their deft, if conveniently self-serving reply is that the recession is deeper than first believed.
We can segue to foreign policy and discuss the curiously anti-American apology tour Obama began during the campaign and mysteriously continued since his election. Laced throughout his speeches and press conferences was a latently smug assertion that his administration would bring a deeply divergent approach to the problems we face, with renewed and more artful efforts in diplomacy, effectively supplanting eight years of impotence with unprecedented progress.
Therefore, we should look for Iran to acquiesce to Obama's insistence for a dialog without pre-conditions, and thence proceed to dismantle its nearly completed nuclear program. Kim Jong Il, the recalcitrant tyrant of Pyongyang, will cave to U.S. led sanctions, and blithely cease its nuclear testing and allow U.N. inspectors to resume their verification program. Afghanistan and Pakistan, the new theater of regional instability, will succumb to Obama's strategic genius, with the Taliban abandoning its designs for absolute dominance.
What's becoming apparent, even at this early stage in his presidency, is that Obama's Ivy League acumen is no match for the problems America faces. Pure intelligence, as so many leaders in history have demonstrated, some unwittingly, is a poor proxy for success in civic matters or victory on the battlefield.
It's because Obama seems so utterly behind the comprehension curve, focused as he instinctively is on himself, that conservatives should regroup, co-opt Independents and like-minded conservative Democrats, and make this man a one-term president.