Not Incompetence; Planned Chaos

Over at The New Editor, Tom Elia has a a Michael Ramirez cartoon that depicts Obama dressed up in a super-hero costume, but unable to get out of the phone booth.

“Captain Incompetence.”

I dunno if he’s incompetent. He surely does do and say some very stupid things with nary a peep from the formerly gaffe-obsessed press, but then they only notice and hyperventilate over mistakes from the right. That’s old news.

But going back to the question of “competence.” I look at the headlines, and this is what I see:

Historic government spending; to the last nickel, ’til we’re broke. An administration determined not only to shut down access to our resources (and the job-creation that comes from drilling and refining) but actively depleting our reserves, leaving us vulnerable. A government flooding our farmlands in a precarious manner, (guess who may be buying up the flooded land?) and involved in smuggling arms toward a tinderbox.

Early in Obama’s presidency, in 2009, I wrote about his apparent liking for chaos:

With none of the wit or wisdom of Pride & Prejudice, Obama and Company are going to treat us to Chaos & Cajolery.

Basically, the theater production is 137 acts (presented without intermission) of Barack Obama and/or any one of his supporting players (from the veep, the speaker, the secstate, the sectreas and on down to the lowly press secretary) engaged in misdirection and keen sleights-of-hand by means of…well…chaos and cajolery.

This is more than Kabuki Theater. This is more than a burlesque three-step. This is a full-on assault on reality by the office of the Most Powerful Person in the World, fully supported by the pretend-press, and it is alternately tedious and terrifying.

The cajolery is almost over. One more election cycle is all it will take to wholly and forever “remake America” so the stage is being set for chaos. And when chaos comes (and it feels like we’re in rehearsals for it, right now) this administration will “do what it has to do” for the sake of America.

Which will probably have little-to-nothing to do with the constitution.

This imperial president has already demonstrated that he has no patience for process or for waiting for what he wants. He is quite competent at doing pretty much as he damn pleases.

But then, some of us knew from the start that Barack Obama saw himself more as a ruler than a leader. More of a prince than a president.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Teresa

    While Mrs. Obama was vacationing in Africa she told an audience that the Obamas are not finished remaking America yet. I believe she said they have not finished their work yet. It will take a sentient electorate to see that that never happens. I have been stocking up on light bulbs as well.

  • vanderleun

    Well in March there was this:

    Presence of Malice: Against the Conservative Portrait of the President

  • Liz

    “While Mrs. Obama was vacationing in Africa she told an audience that the Obamas are not finished remaking America yet.”

    That’s the problem I have with the left. I’ve always had the sense that they are withholding their love for their country until said country “deserves” it, as opposed to loving it, flaws and all. It’s not that they see problems and want to work to change it; it’s that they want the entire framework and all the people to c-h-a-n-g-e.

  • Black Flag

    There can be no question that Obama and the Liberals are doing everything they can to destroy the country. Evidence?
    - economy in shambles
    - raiding the public pension fund to avoid the debt ceiling
    - gas/food/clothing prices skyrocketing
    - record number of golf games for a detached President
    - foreign policy disasters
    - five wars, one with a record death toll
    - $14 trillion deficit
    - 44 million on food stamps
    - 1 in 4 mortgages under water
    and so on.

    The question is: When will we hear from the Republicans we elected last year? Where are they hiding and why have they done absolutely nothing?

  • RP Burke

    This is a full-on assault on reality by the office of the Most Powerful Person in the World, fully supported by the pretend-press, and it is alternately tedious and terrifying.

    There are millions of us who believe this exact sentence applies more neatly to the previous president, George the Lesser.

    [How funny, and since Obama has either continued or expanded George-the-Lesser's policies, what do you think of him? admin]

  • CV

    If not king, maybe he thinks he’s prime minister? Chris Christie says Obama is acting like a PM not a president.

    Christie was on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today talking about Obama’s failure to lead (re: the debt negotiations). He said the White House should “get Biden out of the room” and that it’s the president’s job to bring people into a room and force negotiation because people listen to the one in charge.

    If he can’t or won’t do that, said Christie, he shouldn’t be in the White House because “he is not Prime Minister, he is the president” and the president cannot come in after his “ministers” handle negotiations and simply “bless the deal.”

  • Kara

    As someone who doesn’t really identify with either major political party, I guess I don’t totally get this. I see many of the same criticisms you apply to President Obama to be similar to criticisms of President Bush. I don’t see much more reason for all the gloom and doom prophesy than the left leaning folks had when Bush was president.

  • Manny

    He is definitely incompetent. He is a terrible combination of incompetence (yeah, two years as a Senator and a life time as community organizer does not qualify for the Presidency) and having the wrong values, i.e. socialism. Here we are in his thrid year and there is no doubt he’s the pits. I was too young to know how bad Jimmy Carter was, but Obama is the worst of my adult life time.

  • Lawrence S. cunningham

    Ms Scalia’s loathing of our president reminds me of the Left’s loathing of Sarah Palin: uncharitable, judgmental, lacking in prudence, ignorant. One expects more from the mantilla wearing, nun’s soap selling, liturgy of the hours praying paradigm of Catholic living. Ugh! I have a very bad taste in my mouth.

    [I haven't worn the mantilla in a while, and I didn't think I was so rough on Obama. I didn't say he was going to end elections and declare himself dictator, as was charged to Bush, did I? admin]

  • Bob

    I for one believe that Obama and crew know exactly what they are doing. You cannot have all those people surrounding the President, and the President himself and find them ALL incompetent. No…I believe all or most of his actions and executive orders are planned chaos. Why? Think TSA, more spending when most financiers say it is suicide, flooding the administration with socialists…etc…there will come a point when the streets will protest…I mean really protest…riots and all against what he’s doing to America, then…think martial law…and suspension of elections….conspiracy? Nah….I just have my eyes open and this is what I’ve been seeing happening.

  • Ruth H

    Lawrence S. Cunningham should have a bad taste in his mouth. His words are foul and mean spirited. My take is we should all just pray for his redemption. She did not speak of “loathing” the president, and he just had to get Ms. Palin in there in some manner. I wonder why a person like that would even bother to read a blog post by a person so good spirited as the Anchoress.

  • SDN

    Anchoress, Jerry Pournelle has been pointing to this process, which he dubs Anarcho-Tyranny, for years.

    I’d say Jesus knew what he was about when he advised the Disciples to stock up on swords.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Yes, Lawrence, we know, we know;

    Any, and all, criticism of President Obama is just ignorant, judgmental, unhcharitable, not to mention just downright evil, and thoroughly naughty!

    Yes, we know—the One shall never, ever, be criticized.

    Meanwhile, your anti-Catholic bigotry leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.

    (Interesting, by the way, that, instead of actually trying to defend Obama, or his policies, Lawrence simply launches into an attack on the Anchoress; gotta love those Alinksy tactics!)

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    SDN, yes, I remember Jerry Pournelle did say something ab out this, years ago.

    (Yes, I know, I know—”uncharitable”, “Mean”, “Ignorant”, etc., etc., etc, not to mention downright mean-spirited, to say so! Just be quiet, and start paying off that trillion dollar debt we’re all saddled with!)

    /The above is Sarc.

  • Gordon Savage

    Prof Cunningham,
    I’m shocked by your crude and imprudent comment. “Ignorant”? I had considered you a “paradigm” of fair and moderate scholarship. Guess not. Ugly, ugly post.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Ruth H., I think it’s kinda obligatory for people like that, that you must work in a Palin reference somehwere—even if the post you’re commenting on is about the weather, or how to make doughnuts or the Sea of Cortez—no matter the subject, always work in a negative Palin reference!

    Maybe it’s a new Alinksy rule?

  • Clark

    I notice in the previous post, you discuss hysterical hatred of Bush and here you are arguing that Obama is intentionally destroying the country. You should work on your self-awareness.

  • LisaB

    The PJ Tatler had a great article the other day “Arguing with a Leftist”

    “…while deflecting the conversation away from Obama’s mistake. That’s a standard leftist tactic — when you score a direct hit on them or theirs, they don’t go into defense, but instead launch an attack on someone else. Because a leftist’s hero is never wrong…”

  • Logan

    Obama simply does not have the skill set to be a good president.

    George Will commented way back in ’08 (paraphrased) that Barak Obama couldn’t run a Dairy Queen.

    Oh, how right you were, George.

  • James

    (Lawrence S. cunningham said – “Ugh! I have a very bad taste in my mouth.”)

    That’s because you just vomited bile and venom upon a decent person.

    I pray that you find peace.

  • Will

    Hope that Obama bashing makes you all feel better.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Yes, Will, we know, we know. . .

    One must never, ever, criticize Obama! It’s just plain wrong!

    (Now let’s all get cracking and pay off that trilliion dollar debt! Being obedient will make us all feel better!)


  • Mutnodjmet

    Anchoress, My view of these times is this: It’s like the 1930′s met the 1970′s and had a LOVE CHILD!

    Chaos, indeed.

  • Will

    “One must never, ever, criticize Obama! It’s just plain wrong!

    (Now let’s all get cracking and pay off that trilliion dollar debt! Being obedient will make us all feel better!)”

    Criticize all that you want. How about suggestions to solve the problems of federal deficit, trade deficit, slow economy, etc.

  • DaveO


    I agree with you in your assessment that there is more than incompetence involved in our President’s actions and policies. He is using the tried and, forgive the pun, true method of doubt-denial-deception.

    The first step, doubt, plays to human weakness. Only conspiracy theorists would believe Mr. Obama is actively looting our great Nation while at the same time undermining it’s potential of recovering from his deeds. Folks had fun poking holes in the various theories of the 911 Truthers – who were encouraged by the Democrats in order to cast doubt on Bush-43.

    Today doubt is expressed by first accusing conservatives of crimes to which they are not connected, such as the shooting of Representative Giffords by the accused gunman Jared Loughner. The second way is by binding in close association whatever action is found out and judged wrong with Bush-43 or associated Republicans. Here we see Representative Weiner’s transgressions compared favorably to Senator Vitter’s. Or, we see the broadening of the FBI’s investigatory methods, which may violate several amendments in our Bill of Rights, tied to the Patriot Act originally signed into law by Bush-43 intended to pursue terrorists abroad through their enablers here in the US.
    Americans do want to believe that their choice for President, or any elected official, is a good, decent human being who would never do evil for its own sake.

    The second step, denial, takes the form of silence from two sources: the press, and appointed officials in the Executive Branch. More and smarter folks than me have noticed the dearth of reporting on Mr. Obama’s meeting or exceeding those metrics used to criticize Bush-43, or any conservative. The President tells soldiers he presented the Medal of Honor to live dead man (theology aside) – and the press is silent on the enormity of the mistake in protocol, staffwork, and presentation. We can’t know what Mr. Obama’s grades were in college, or how he got in to Harvard, or how his character was developed over time. But we hear hourly about Mrs. Bachmann’s error over John Wayne in Iowa; and of George Stephanopolous’s promise that each of the Bachmann’s 23 foster children will have their lives dissected and laid out before the world. This double-standard denies the American people of knowledge of the man, his personnel, policies, and deeds.

    The President did something that went mostly unremarked: he fired a lot of Inspectors General. He followed up by prosecuting many more whistleblowers. Taken in combination with excessive processing periods for FOIA requests and silence from appointed officials, these actions deny Americans knowledge of how their government is running. Sure, agencies are beholden to keep some information secret – Social Security Numbers and so on. But firing those that are our eyes, ears, and voice within government?

    The third step is deception. Because the American people lack the tools to gain true insight into Obama’s governance, deception is the easiest step where it should be the hardest. We were introduced to the deceptions on the campaign trail, but the first test as President came when Honduras ousted a man who was set to conduct a coup d’etat. Since then we’ve seen the President transform true, murderous and larcenous villains into Heroes, and ordinary citizens exercising the vote into villains to be confronted physically and violently. TEA Partiers were turned into tea____ers. Critics were and are named as racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-American, Christian, anti-semite, Islamophobe, slope-headed ignorant, and other useful labels. We see the deception today in the President’s unilateral prosecution of war in Libya and Yemen. We are told that the economy is improving, and yet every metric is sourly described as “unexpectedly” negative.

    Based on this method of doubt, denial and deception, which we first see in practice in Genesis 3: 1-4, it is fair and correct to believe what is happening today in America is guided by evil, and not through incompetence.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    I dunno, Will; why don’t you offer some suggestions, instead of sneers?

    (Now, now, let’s just be quiet, and start paying off that debt! After all, if we need more money, we can borrow it from China! And learn to love 9% unemployment!)


    (Since I agree with DaveO, and the Anchoress, that Obama’s programs seem to be motivated by malice, and not just ignorance, or lack of judgment, I suggest we vote him out of office, come the next election. I think that’s the best way to solve our current economic and foreign policy problems.)

  • Logan

    I agree. My solution Will (since you asked), is that we vote President Awesome out of office.

  • rural counsel

    Better to stock up on food and ammo than incandescent lightbulbs.

    The Obama Left has created damages and political deviations beyond correction at the ballot box. Besides the damage is so deep and widespread that electing someone else is unlikely to fix the problems. Presuming that the Left’s massive tinkering with the electoral system through voter fraud, intimidation, and gerrymandering hasn’t made our “democratic” voting system a complete sham.

    And yes, I believe it was all done with deliberatae malice.
    We’ve passed the tipping point.

  • Milwaukee

    I second what “rural counsel” said: stocking up on lightbulbs might be cathartic, but dried beans and rice might be more practical. (And practice actually cooking and eating those things, and store the necessary spices as well!)

    Don’t doubt for a minute that when lightbulb are outlawed, only outlaws will have lightbulbs! (I read that on a bumper sticker.) Actually, last week I read a very patronizing article that, hey, incandescent lightbulbs Have Not Been Outlawed! Just inefficient ones! We’re just not smart enough to appreciate the smart people who outlawed inefficient lightbulbs for our own good.

  • Logan

    rural counsel,

    I (of course) pray you’re wrong on passing the tipping point, but we’re close. I seriously (no hyperbole) believe this country will not survive 4 more years of Obama.

    If Greece isn’t a good enough example of where we’re headed, and we re-elect this incompetant neo-Marxist again, I will be stocking up on food and ammo.

    When it crashes, and I believe it will – could be 20 or 30 years hence, but it’s going to be ugly.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Speaking of Greece—howzabout that new, taxpayer funded bailout, we’re sending them?

    (Now, now, stop criticizing Obama and his policies, and get back to work! Your government needs your money!)


  • Doc

    You want suggestions, Will? How about eliminating entire federal departments. Let’s start with the ones which do more harm than good (EPA, anyone?, Dept of Labor?) and then proceed to those which, by their very existence, exceed federal constitutional authority (Education, for example).

  • Will

    How about the trade deficits?

  • Logan

    How about the trade deficits? – Will


    How about Drill Baby Drill.

    Oh, that’s just a silly slogan! Not like, oh, I dunno….”hope and change”!

    Reduce corporate tax rates to encourage more foreign money to come here.

    Reduce the power of the rogue EPA.

    forget about the fraud that is global warming,

    restrict the power of trial lawyers….etc. Sheesh, its not that tough!

    Will, unlike the Left, the right does have plenty of proven ideas for a stable dollar, fiscal responsibilty, and limited effective goverment. The Left’s solutions? Demonize the heartless GOP.

  • Will

    Nothing there to decrease the trade deficit.

  • Doc

    Gee whiz, Will, Logan just provided several suggestions that would, in fact, improve the American economy. Your immediate dismissal of his valid ideas tells me you’re just here for the sniping and are not serious at all. Enjoy the Daily Koz.

  • Will

    Seriously, the ideas do nothing to reduce imports (trade deficit) from China, South Korea, Japan, etc.

  • Logan

    Really Will? C’mon.

    Don’t you realize if America has a sound energy policy, good business climate, low taxes, unions that aren’t running amok, and reasonable regulations, etc….foreign investment will come to the US?

    Encouraging Hyundai and BMW building plants over here having American workers building their cars and shipping them overseas isn’t a good thing?

    Boeing is the biggest exporter. Do you think Obama’s agents in the NLRB aren’t making them think about moving their operations overseas after the South Carolina fiasco?

    What will that do to the trade deficit?

    Will, this isn’t rocket science.

    Obama doen’t give a rip about business or the trade deficit; he cares only about his union and trial lawyer special interest groups. The evidence is apparent.

  • Doc

    Will, this was your earlier comment:

    Criticize all that you want. How about suggestions to solve the problems of federal deficit, trade deficit, slow economy, etc.

    When sound ideas were introduced to reduce the deficit and improve the economy, you focused like a laser beam on the trade deficit, which is far less harmful to this economic crisis than the deficit, stagflation, and runaway federal government. This is why we doubt your sincerity in discussing how to improve this country’s economic situation. We have pointed out that Obama’s policies are harmful to this country and you feel compelled to defend your guy, regardless of the facts presented to you.