Friday, June 1, 2012

Presidential Qualifications

The U.S. economy currently sucks. There's no way around it. The so-called "recovery" has been worse that pathetic, from the get-go. The National Debt has more than doubled in three years and the Social Security Administration has recently--for the first time since its inception--begun paying out more than it takes in on a month-to-month basis.

The European economy sucks even worse, with Greece in flames, a number of nations teetering on the brink, and angst-ridden Germany wondering why it should continue to hold the EU together. The euro is falling against the dollar--a weak dollar, bear in mind--and European investors actually think guaranteed losses sound better than anything else, at the moment.

The news out there is so bad, so disheartening, it's almost Biblical in nature.


Well, the current Administration--the Obama Administration--would like to blame the previous one--the Bush Administration--for all that ails the nation, indeed that ails the world. Forget for a moment whether or not this is fair (in some ways, it is; in some ways it is not). Remember, instead, what was promised back in June of 2008, when Senator Obama was laying out the case for why he would be a better choice to lead the nation than McCain:
America, this is our moment. This is our time, our time to turn the page on the policies of the past, our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face, our time to offer a new direction for this country that we love. The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge...I face this challenge with profound humility and knowledge of my own limitations, but I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that, generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless, this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal, this was the moment when we ended a war, and secured our nation, and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.
Obama of course defeated McCain, in a large part thanks to Obama's oratory prowess, as evidenced in the above speech. But within all of his grandiose speeches are actual ideas and promises. In this one, Obama very clearly indicates that his Presidency will create jobs, "good jobs for the jobless." And with over three years of that Presidency gone, we know that he's failed to deliver on this.

But hey, could anyone else have done better? Obama's supporters and the President himself insist that the answer is a resounding "no," that if nothing else, the President's economic policies have staved off an even worse collapse, have essentially kept the economy going, as opposed to going off a cliff. But going where? Nowhere, it would seem, to anyone but the most hard-core Obama sycophant.

Now, with the 2012 Election on the horizon, the Obama Campaign has shown its hand, with regard to strategy, Romney, and the economy: hammer Romney on his history at Bain Capital and argue that Romney's "businessman" persona doesn't qualify him to be President.

With regard to the former--Bain Capital--an article at the Economist (hardly a conservative think tank) makes it pretty damn clear that the Obama's Campaigns narrative on the matter is ill-informed and nonsensical:
Mr Romney is fond of saying that Mr Obama has no idea how the economy works and how jobs are created. The way the Obama campaign talks about Bain Capital suggests that his criticism is correct. Mr Obama, as noted above, likes to insinuate that there is a conflict between pursuing profits and creating jobs. In the long run, however, in a competitive economy, that is nonsense. Only profitable firms can sustain any jobs, and the more profitable they are, the more money they have to invest in new ventures with new workers. Mr Obama is guilty not of rhetorical excess but of economic muddle. That is far more worrying.
So, given that Obama claimed he would "fix" the economy, and given that he claims Romney's experiences don't qualify him to be President, we have to wonder what qualifies Obama to be President, especially as concerns economic policy.

Recall that one of the chief criticisms of Obama--especially by his Democrat opponents during the primaries--was that he wasn't ready to be President, that he lacked the needed experience, the needed qualifications. Personally, I'm of a mind to ignore such things. The qualifications to be President are laid out in the Constitution. Beyond that, the ability to win the Presidential Election requires a candidate to prove he or she can lead, first and foremost. And frankly, Obama--then--and his supporters echoed these same ideas: Obama was qualified to be President because he would be a great leader (and was really, really smart).

But now, the Obama campaign is singing a different tune. Because apparently, the specifics of Romney's past disqualify him from being President. Somehow.

This is, I think, a foolish gambit by Obama. It will eventually come back to bit him on his Presidential rear-end. Because if one's resume really is as critical as he would now have us believe, his--when he ran for office--is rather pathetic, compared to Romney's. In fact, nothing on Obama's suggests he knows the first thing about business or economics (a point driven home by current economic realities). His resume has been enhanced by his years as the President, of course. But when it comes to the economy, that doesn't do him much good since--again--the economy has sucked and continues to suck under his watch. And at some point, the electorate is going to realize all of this, if the President and his Campaign keep talking about qualifications needed for the Oval Office in the same manner as is now the case.

To paraphrase Major Reisman from The Dirty Dozen, since I have to assume the Obama campaign is in this race to win it, it doesn't pay to advertise that the man they're working for is a raving lunatic (at about 51 seconds):

Cheers, all.

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