If there’s a phrase you can use to easily sum up Barack Obama’s Presidential career, it might be, “He’s as skilled at politics as he is unskilled at leadership.” The first black President of the United States promised “hope and change” at the outset before going on to disappoint even his most fervent supporters with six years of terrible administrating. That he was able to secure re-election after four of those years is a testament to how devastatingly well he plays the game. Make no mistake about it, if the Republicans could find a few politicians with Obama’s charisma and combine it with some sensible, follow-through policies, the Dems wouldn’t see the White House again for two decades.
If there’s anything we can learn from the Veteran Affairs scandals, it’s that Obama’s leadership skills are more than just lackluster; they are downright harmful. Now it turns out that the VA troubles are about more than long wait times. A report on June 24<sup>th</sup>, 2014 shows that poor healthcare provided by the department has been to blame for the deaths of more than 1,000 veterans while delivering a tax bill of almost $1 billion in malpractice settlements. No American expects the President to be involved at every level of bureaucracy, but this kind of mismanagement is inexcusable under any Chief’s reign.
The report comes courtesy of Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, and the details within bring a shiver to anyone who cares about the health and well being of our brave military men and women. One case reported by the Washington Times involved the former security chief at a New York VA hospital who was arrested by the FBI on rape, kidnapping, and murder plotting charges. What?
These reports, especially when taken in context of the IRS scandals, the Benghazi debacle, the quick pull-out of Iraq, and the administration’s hesitant responses to the Snowden revelations depict a President who is worse than incompetent. It’s early to speculate on what post-Presidency investigations might turn up, but it wouldn’t surprise this observer if there was evidence of wrongdoing at the highest levels. Certainly, all of the warning signs were there from the start. Obama comes from a rich history of foul-dealing Chicago politics. While I don’t believe that the President wanted hundreds of veterans to die from lack of care, this kind of thing happens when you have a guy more concerned with image than substance. That, indeed, has been the hallmark of the last two terms.
What’s sadder is that this is the same administration that has made public healthcare the number one goal. There are plenty of moderate “conservatives” that point to countries like England and Canada and wonder if universal healthcare might work in America. It only takes one look at the VA debacle to see how that would pan out. If that’s not enough, look at the public school system. Look at the DMV. Look at the abominable rollout of Obamacare. Being conservative means fighting for small government, a fact that has been lost in American politics for far too long. Maybe it’s not charisma we need in our next candidate but rather someone who remembers that principle.