Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Had Enough

When Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008 Peggy Noonan was one of the most loyal of the loyal opposition. She was willing to give the new president the benefit of every doubt, but after three years she seems to have had enough.

Her column deserves to be read in its entirety but here are some excerpts:
[I]t still matters that the president doesn't have a coherent agenda, or a political philosophy that is really clear to people. To the extent he has a philosophy it tends to pop up furtively in stray comments and then go away.

I listen to him closely and find myself daydreaming: This is the best-tailored president since JFK. His suits, shirts and ties are beautifully cut from fine material. This is an elegant man. But I shouldn't be thinking about that, I should be thinking about what a powerful case he's making for his leadership. I'm not because he's not.

There is a growing air of incompetence around Mr. Obama's White House. It was seen again this week in Supreme Court arguments over the administration's challenge to Arizona's attempted crackdown on illegal immigration. As Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News wrote, the court seemed to be disagreeing with the administration's understanding of federal power: "Solicitor General Donald Verrilli . . . met resistance across ideological lines. . . . Even Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the court's only Hispanic and an Obama appointee, told Verrilli his argument is 'not selling very well.' " This follows last month's embarrassing showing over the constitutionality of parts of ObamaCare.

All of this looks so bush league, so scattered. Add it to the General Services Administration, to Solyndra, to the other scandals, and you get a growing sense that no one's in charge, that the administration is paying attention to politics but not day-to-day governance.

The two most public cabinet members are Eric Holder at Justice and Janet Napolitano at Homeland Security. He is overseeing the administration's Supreme Court cases. She is in charge of being unmoved by the daily stories of Transportation Security Administration incompetence and even cruelty at our airports.
It will be interesting over the next several months to see how the president's reelection campaign unfolds. Will he try to make the case that he deserves to be given four more years, or will his team, perhaps feeling they have little in the way of accomplishments to tout, amp up attempts to destroy Mr. Romney?