At a government legal ethics seminar a week ago, one of my attendees told me of the nightmare he and his family were going through because all of his personal data, including confidential information from his FBI background check,and his fingerprints, were now available to those hostile to the US, and potentially hostile to him. He was furious. He trusted his government, and it proved incompetent…as usual, under this President
The data stolen from the Office of Personnel Management affected 22 million Americans directly, and indirectly many more, through their now imperiled families. It took an almost unimaginable amount of pure gall, as well as a complicity and incompetent news media, for President Obama and his supporters to be claiming status a transformational leader because of a Supreme Court decision that was inevitable and that he had no hand in at all, while two more federal agencies run by his appointees—Homeland Security is supposed to prevent such attacks— had failed the American people in epic fashion.
President Obama’s primary job is to make the government work. That is the obligation leaders accept when they presume to seek responsibility and power, and they must be held responsible and accountable when the organization they lead fails its stakeholders, the public. I just listened to a brief segment on the OPM breach on CNN that didn’t mention the President at all, as if he wasn’t involved in any way. He hasn’t make any public statements about the attack, though it is a an act of hostility from a foreign power. Nor has Obama discussed the murder of a young woman at the hands of a criminal illegal immigrant that his INS failed to deport, though the non-criminal death of Trayvon Martin in a matter having no connection to his responsibilities was deemed worthy of solemn commentary—perhaps because victim Kate Steinle didn’t look like she could be his son.( Is that unfair of me? Tell me why.)
Obama’s entire administration has been an exercise in taking credit for positive developments—same-sex marriage, Osama Bin Laden’s death, the slooooow economic recovery, the fact that the incompetently drafted health care law he championed wasn’t brought down by Democrat ineptitude–he had minimal effect on, and ducking responsibility for horrific fiascoes and outrageous incompetence that it is his duty to prevent. (No, I don’t have the energy to start the list. Try randomly typing the name of any Federal agency or cabinet department into the Ethics Alarms SEARCH window.)
The news media’s reporting has made this easy, and worse, the public appears to have no idea any more what the President is responsible for, or why actual ability, character and governing skills are relevant to the job they elected him to do. They seem to think he’s a kind of spokesman, like the Burger King.
There is a reason President Harry Truman had that sign “The Buck Stops Here” sitting on his desk: it accurately and concisely describes what a leader is, and how he should be judged. I means that he has to be trustworthy and competent. President Obama has spent 7/8 of his administration denying that message, which is also the essence of management.
The head of OPM resigned, by the way, following the paths of recent incompetents who were allowed to stay in their jobs until maximum damage had been done: the heads of the TSA, the Secret Service, and the VA. In fact, she, like so many others, was chosen by the President not because of her competence for the job, but because of the administration’s obsession, diversity and group identification. She was more concerned with demographics than national security. She is gone, but many others of equally proven ineptitude remain: I wonder if Obama even knows about them yet? He certainly doesn’t care, and why should he? Nobody holds him accountable.
After all, in for this alleged leader, the buck stops where it’s politically advantageous for it to stop.