I suppose after 20 years of running my company, I’ve developed the notion that for most jobs in this country you really can learn “on the job.” I’ve also realized that the one thing you should never learn “on the job” is whether you are going to like the job, or whether you ultimately will want to keep that job. I think back over the years to the recent law school graduates I’ve hired who, after three years of law school and $100,000 in debt suddenly discover that they don’t like practicing law. Seems like a waste.
Equally, I don’t think anyone can jump from being a worker bee to being a chief executive officer of the United States. For a guy who supposedly practiced constitutional law, I got the feeling in 2008 that Obama didn’t know what the president of the united states actually did. Even a quick reading of Jimmy Carters memoirs (which, by the way, are the best presidential memoirs ever written) should have given Obama the heads up that the job is not simply to be America’s comforter in chief, but most of the time it is the same job as that performed by every chief executive officers–endless hours dealing with mind numbing accounting, endless hours spent resolving petty disputes between employees, endless hours minding the store in terms of knowing what your people are doing, all the while strategizing, marketing, long and pointless meetings, and client relations, all of which makes you wonder why there is only 24 hours in the day.
If you like to play golf, visit disaster scenes and comfort the bereaved, America has a great job. It’s called “vice president,” and it truly requires nothing but a beating heart.
Rick and I have spent endless hours discussing my dislike of Obama. My sense from 2008 on is that he wanted to be president, but he didn’t know what the job entailed, he didn’t know how to do the job, and he didn’t know what he would do when he got it. Since 2008, he has demonstrated that he really enjoys the job of Vice President, but he shies away from the hard work that is the bane of a chief executive officer. its also clear that, like Reagan, he has allowed his fear of having no legacy, or leaving a Carteresque legacy, has driven him to conduct that is contradictory to his responsibilities. Like Reagan, he seems disassociated with the practice of government, the work of government, the challenges of government. Like Reagan, the net result has been an administration that, if rudderless, drifts without any attempt at control. I’m not sure what is worse–the notion that Obama knowingly committed high crimes and misdemeanors, or the idea that he has no idea what his government has been doing for the past five years.
The inevitable result of a rudderless administration is Iran/Contra, or the kind of sleaze that is starting to ooze out of the White House. Its the attempts at damage control in the past week that have become worrisome–that Obama is outraged at what is happening. That he didn’t know what was happening. That what was happening wasn’t so bad. Well, that’s why Congress has an oversight role, and that’s why that role is going to come to the forefront. Maybe the problem is that the job has become too big and too awful for anyone to actually do the job. What better reason for smaller government? Maybe the idea of power is now just more important than management of power. Maybe no one would be better. Maybe no one would be worse. Maybe we need to move toward a single six year term, so that every president does not become a lame duck in year five of a second term. But too many questions about the inner workings of this corrupt administration now exist for them to be ignored. The only people who seem surprised by the growing Obama scandals are those who were duped by him, and their growing clamor that maybe high crimes and misdemeanors are just “political” are, perhaps, now actually getting the point.