Wednesday, February 18, 2015

President Obama and The Right Stuff

The idea was to prove at every foot of the way up that you were one of the elected and appointed ones who had the right stuff and could move higher and higher and even –ultimately, God willing, one – that you might be able to join that special few at the very top, that elite who had the capacity to bring tears to men’s eyes, the very Brotherhood of the Right Stuff itself.

Tom Wolfe (born 1931), The Right Stuff

Is President Obama made up of the right stuff? What will his legacy be?

If today’s news that a Texas federal blocked his immigration amnesty decree, and tomorrow’s potential news – that this climate bill and federal hhealth exchanges may not pass legal muster, pan out, it just might be that the courts, not Obama, will decide what the right stuff is.

Obama’s legacy rests in the hands of federal judges. There’s a certain irony in all of this. Obama is a lawyer. He taught constitutional law at the University Chicago. He knows the 3 branches of government are there to assure checks and balances. Yet here is Obama is, stranded and swinging in the wind on the end of his limb, placed there by strokes of his own executive pen and abut to plunge into limbo.

Where did this learned man, this graduate of Harvard Law, this gifted politician, go wrong? Or has he? Has he overestimated his power? Is he doing the right stuff? Or is this the stuff of hubris?

I suppose his fate will depend on his definition of “stuff” and “right stuff.” You won’t find the answers in the dictionary. My dictionary contains 28 different definitions of “stuff.” It says nothing about the "right stuff".

The “right stuff” resides in his head.

To President Obama the "right stuff" is the “big stuff”:

Thw "big stuff" is:

One, controlling the earth’s climate so the seas don’t rise, coastal cities don’t flood, weather extremes don’t parch the land, and pollutants don’t poison the planet.

Two, offering universal coverage to the disadvantaged to maintain health, prevent and cure disease among the huddled masses and minorities by raising taxes, imposing mandates, and redistributing wealth.

Three, withdrawing from U.S. responsibilities around the globe, avoiding war at all costs, not arming your allies, assuring your enemies it’s not their fault but our fault, appeasing and pleasing them by not offending them, and giving them the benefit of doubt, and temporizing when strong actions are required.

The president says he will not do “stupid stuff,” compromising with political opponents, offending foreign enemies by calling them what they are, putting soldiers in harm’s way.

And he definitely does not like to sweat the “small stuff” – overseeing or other government programs before they launch, listening to the advice or warning of his Secretaries of Defense or his generals, auditing the bureaucratic activities of the Veteran’s Administration or the political activities of the Internal Revenue Service, or paying attention to the adverse effects of ObamaCare on the economy, small businesses, and middle class health consumers.

President Obama no doubt knows his stuff. His problem is the small stuff and the dumb stuff keeps getting in the way of the big stuff and , the right stuff.

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