The president has gotten off to a rocky second term.
This seems as sound a take as any I have seen lately on the Obama administration’s competency deficit:
Obamacare will fail if he doesn’t start paying more attention to the details of implementation, if he doesn’t start demanding action. And, in a larger sense, the notion of activist government will be in peril — despite the demographics flowing the Democrats’ way — if institutions like the VA and Obamacare don’t deliver the goods. Sooner or later, the Republican Party may come to understand that its best argument isn’t about tearing down the government we have, but making it run more efficiently.
Yuval Levin? Gov. Scott Walker? Nope, that’s uber-liberal columnist Joe Klein, who has — to his credit — discovered and is willing to admit to the serious absence of administrative competence and effort endemic in this administration.
It is much more than just Obamacare, as we have witnessed the president bounce like a ping-pong ball in a wind tunnel from crisis to crisis. Sequestration. North Korean saber-rattling. Failure of his anti-gun agenda. There is not an initiative he’s begun either foreign or domestic that has been well conceived, introduced and implemented. Add in Fast and Furious and the series of green-energy crony capitalism flops and you have an extraordinary record of ineptitude. (Klein supplies examples of less-discussed failures: “There has also been the studied inattention to the myriad ineffective job-training programs scattered through the bureaucracy. There have been the oblique and belated efforts to reform Head Start, a $7 billion program that a study conducted by its own bureaucracy — the Department of Health and Human Services — has found nearly worthless. The list is endless.”)
This is precisely why effective GOP governors offer such an inviting contrast to Obama. In Virginia, Wisconsin, New Jersey, New Mexico and other states with GOP governors, budgets get passed, education is reformed, health care is modernized and bureaucracy is tamed.
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