Ferguson, ISIS, Ebola, VA scandal, IRS misconduct, Texas border crisis, ObamaCare malfunctioning, White House intrusions? Is it any surprise that, according to a recent poll, 64% of voters think America is on the wrong track?
The very theme of the Obama presidency has been that government can do great things; that we need to hand over large chunks of our economy—from health care to carbon regulation to free contraception for all—to the central state.
But for 5-1/2 years, Americans have watched a president who shows little interest and even less aptitude in running our government. Instead of accountability, Mr. Obama resorts to angry surprise. How often have we read the president is very angry, frustrated and angry, very upset, seething?
“Obama has never managed anything before running for the biggest management job on earth. It shows,” writes Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post. Which is why we most often elect governors rather than senators to the presidency. As Charles notes here, what the nation expects from the White House is not miracles, but simple competence.
A poll conducted two weeks ago showed that 64 percent of likely voters (in competitive races) think that “things in the U.S. feel like they are out of control.” This is one degree of anxiety beyond thinking the country is on the wrong track. That’s been negative for years, and it’s a reflection of failed policies that in principle can be changed. Regaining control, on the other hand, is a far dicier proposition.
With events in the saddle and a sense of disorder growing — the summer border crisis, Ferguson, the rise of the Islamic State, Ebola — the nation expects from the White House not miracles but competence. At a minimum, mere presence. An observer presidency with its bewildered-bystander pose only adds to the unease.