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John Brock: Americans face poor choice between stupidity and incompetence

  • Tuesday, May 21, 2013

  • Updated Monday, September 23, 2013 11:12 am

Wow! What a startling chain of events that continues to plague the Obama Administration as one scandal after another raises its ugly head. One must wonder where it will all lead.

As I have watched events unfold, my thoughts have vacillated between thinking the present administration is either corrupt or incompetent. I find no solace in either eventuality. I have even begun to wonder if we should send city officials from Atlantic Beach, S.C. to advise our leaders in Washington – they seem to have a lot in common. Neither group appears to have any clue of effective leadership or management.

The last couple of weeks have seen a bevy of Congressional hearings and media attention focused on what is becoming a real problem for President Obama and his cohorts. Of course there are those who proclaim that there is nothing amiss and that it’s just politics as usual. I disagree.

BUSINESS AS USUAL?

It’s not business as usual – whenever:

(1) President Obama says he didn’t know of government misconduct until he heard or saw news media reports. Is he so busy campaigning that he doesn’t have time to find out what his own underlings are doing to Americans?

(2) It becomes more and more apparent that cries for help were ignored when our foreign diplomats were under siege in Benghazi.

(3) Conservative groups, including some church related endeavors, were being denied tax exempt status by the IRS while liberal entities were being approved in record time during the election year cycle.

(4) The US Justice Department, under the cunning leadership of Eric Holder, confiscated the telephone records of several hundred individual reporters and editors at the Associated Press.

Does the word “Gestapo” ring any bells?

Any one of these scandals is bad enough but could they be merely surface problems? How many more misdeeds lie in wait to be uncovered? Time will tell.

In the meantime, as we watched the administration’s reaction to the unfolding events, one could not help but find some similarity in the former television episodes of “Hogan’s Heroes” and its co-star — intellectually challenged German prison guard, Sgt. Shultz. Whenever the guard was confronted with information he did not want to acknowledge, he would say, “I see nothing, I know no-o-o-thing.”

Similarly, we are seeing the eruption of a “Know nothing” administration.

KNOW NOTHING ?

That is precisely the way the White House Administration has responded to the three errant events presently under scrutiny. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claims she knew nothing of the ambassador’s pleas for beefed-up security at his foreign post of duty. As you recall, he and three other Americans lost their lives because help was not in place or forthcoming.

Attorney General Eric Holder claimed that he could not answer questions posed by congressional interrogators in a congressional hearing. He repeatedly said, “I don’t know” or “I can’t answer that question.”

And the disgraced IRS director who is being removed from office said repeatedly that he was unaware of any targeting of conservative groups by the IRS until he heard about it long after the fact. To add insult to injury, the IRS administrator, who was in charge of the division that was discriminating against conservative applicants for tax exemption status, has been named to head the new IRS department overseeing several dozen stipulations of Obamacare. Do we really want her or the IRS in charge of any portion of our health care? How will conservatives expect to be accommodated in such a scenario? It’s frightening.

I think in her case we are seeing a possible political movement unfolding in which culprits are promoted to higher positions in exchange for keeping their mouths shut.

If the president of the United States and his top officials do not know what’s going on, then, who is minding the store?

SMART OR SHREWD?

I have had close contact with many brilliant people during my university and newspaper experiences and by comparison, I have never thought that President Obama was all that smart even though we are constantly being told how brilliant he is. He won’t even release his college records. However, I give him a big A-plus in shrewdness. I truly think that he is the “Eddie Haskell” of today’s generation. He seeks universal approval and tells any audience what they want to hear. And, he is always going to “get to the bottom” of troubling situations but rarely ever does. I had held high hopes for a much better performance but I think the president is a failed leader and that Americans and historians in the near future will also conclude likewise.

I find it incredible that top elected and appointed officials sworn to run this country in the best interests of all citizens would either lie or admit that they are incompetent in the management of their duties.

Where will it all lead? I don’t know but for the sake of this nation and its citizens, I hope truth finds its way to the surface and we can once and for all rid ourselves of this Mickey Mouse functioning of our nation’s leadership.


John Brock is a retired newspaper editor/publisher and college professor. He can be reached by mail at this newspaper or by Email at: brock@johnbrock.com.

Opinions that appear on this page in Letters to the Editor or in columns do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.

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