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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Hour by hour he gets smaller and smaller!

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Less than two years after voters gave President Barack Obama a strong mandate for a second term, the White House is struggling against perceptions that it is losing its grip.

At home, the bungled rollout of the Obamacare website and the shocking revelations about an entrenched culture of incompetence and fraud in the VA have undercut faith in the President’s managerial competency.

Abroad, a surging Russia, an aggressive China, a war torn Middle East and a resurgent terror network are putting his foreign policy credentials to the test. With the GOP hoping to seize control of the Senate in November’s midterm elections, and the inevitable decline in presidential power that occurs as second term presidents move toward lame-duck status, Obama risks being sidelined and marginalized for the remaining two years of his term.

Last week’s tempest over the Bergdahl exchange seemed to roll all the President’s troubles together into a single storm. The decision to free five Taliban fighters from Guantanamo in exchange for an American soldier with a complicated past energized the President’s opponents, befuddled and angered important Congressional allies, and renewed questions about the political instincts of the President and his closest aides. The White House apparently thought that the release would be a moment of national unity and celebration and arranged for Sgt. Bergdahl’s parents to meet Obama in a highly publicized Rose Garden ceremony that now looks like a huge political blunder.

The implementation of the ACA was problematic in ways that go far beyond the famously awful website. While a substantial number of people have gotten access to health insurance thanks to the law, the implementation challenges remain epic — and the public still isn’t fully behind the new system. Many of the law’s provisions have already been suspended, amended, and reinterpreted so many times that it is now probable the President will leave office without being able to roll the whole law out as projected. Even government accountants have given up figuring out what the law means or how it will work: this week, the CBO stated that it was henceforth impossible to score Obamacare.

Meanwhile, the problems at the Veterans Administration — problems candidate Obama vowed to fix back in 2008 — erupted last month in a scandal that 79% of Americans blame at least in part on Obama’s management. A shock poll in The Washington Post showed 48% of Americans now think that President George W. Bush was better at “getting things done” than his replacement-compared with 42% who think the opposite.

The implementation of the ACA was problematic in ways that go far beyond the famously awful website. While a substantial number of people have gotten access to health insurance thanks to the law, the implementation challenges remain epic — and the public still isn’t fully behind the new system. Many of the law’s provisions have already been suspended, amended, and reinterpreted so many times that it is now probable the President will leave office without being able to roll the whole law out as projected. Even government accountants have given up figuring out what the law means or how it will work: this week, the CBO stated that it was henceforth impossible to score Obamacare.

Meanwhile, the problems at the Veterans Administration — problems candidate Obama vowed to fix back in 2008 — erupted last month in a scandal that 79% of Americans blame at least in part on Obama’s management. A shock poll in The Washington Post showed 48% of Americans now think that President George W. Bush was better at “getting things done” than his replacement-compared with 42% who think the opposite. (Full Story)

1 comment:

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