By Alan Caruba


On Thanksgiving 2013, it may seem that the nation has little to be thankful for, but if you pull back from the headlines and other news, it is clear that Obama’s presidency is seriously damaged and will remain so until and after he is gone. That’s worth celebrating.


I must confess I am luxuriating in the knowledge of Obama’s present misery. I am enjoying it as someone who predicted he would fail—and fail spectacularly—and yet I know, despite his present unhappiness, he has no idea why it is happening.


The German word for taking pleasure in another’s failure or ill fortune is “schadenfreude.” Since this is generally regarded as unseemly, one usually keeps it to himself, but there is no need for that in Obama’s case. A small legion of conservative pundits has been warning about the consequences of Obamacare since Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law in 2010.


The bill is so badly flawed that, even with three years to prepare for its rollout, the administration made a mess of that. Those who know more about it than I predict that it will simply implode for lack of people—mostly the young and healthy—who will not participate in the exchanges. The horror stories will begin to mount as we learn of those who lost their insurance coverage, were unable to pay huge, increased premiums, and die as a result.


In October, Daniel Henniger, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, described it this way: “Let us try to understand what is happening now with the Obama presidency. On display to everyone watching this week is not merely the failure of a federal website or a software program or Ms. Sebelius’s management skills. This is the failure of the very idea of progressive government. Not liberal government. Progressive government.”


That’s an important difference. Henniger is talking about communism because “progressive” is the term that has been adopted to disguise communism. In the 1950s, when I was growing up, communism was called communism because people knew the Soviet Union was communist and that it was the enemy,  It is still the enemy, most particularly of freedom and, beyond that, of free market capitalism that facilitates better lives for those who live in nations that exercise it.


The problem for America has been the way it has moved to the left since the dawn of the last century, adopting all manner of “entitlement” programs, but both Social Security and Medicare will be insolvent soon unless they are reformed to reflect the changing demographics of a growing, aging population. The move to the left increased the size and scope of the federal government in ways the Founders would never have imagined or wanted.


Our present miseries are rooted in the failure of communism aka progressive government. In perfect synch with the failure of his “signature” legislation is its living embodiment, the failed presidency of Barack Obama. He is an example of those people who, despite their limited skills, continue to be hired for jobs higher up on the ladder until their failures are catastrophic.


This is now commonly called “the Peter Principle”, formulated by Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull in a 1969 book of the same name. They postulated that the members of an organization where promotion is based on achievement, success, and merit will eventually be promoted to positions beyond their abilities; what they identified as “their level of incompetence.”


It’s worth noting that Obama’s college records have been sealed, so we only know that he attended Occidental College from the fall of 1979 through the spring of 1981. He then transferred to Columbia University. He graduated in 1983, spent about a year in Chicago as a “community organizer” before attending Harvard Law School. There is no need to examine his “career” after that except to note that he surrounded himself with radical friends and made his way up the Chicago political ladder until becoming a junior Senator from Illinois, He served from January 2005 until he was elected President in 2008. None of this demonstrates much preparation to be President and none of this suggests a level of competence for the job.


In 2012, a Washington Times editorial noted that “Since Mr. Obama took office, the opinion of the United States generally has declined in every country surveyed by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, according to a report released in June.” Especially in Middle Eastern nations, his favorability ratings were below what they were when he took office. The Times concluded that “There’s a reason Mr. Obama has not been a strong leader internationally. He never set out to be one because he never believed in the exceptional mission of the United States…He would rather bow to foreign leaders than stand up for America.”


In sum, Obama has displayed a talent for campaigning for office, but has proven to lack all the attributes necessary to act effectively in office. This wouldn’t be a problem if he had remained an obscure junior Senator from Illinois, but has failed to solve the problems that come with any presidency.


Fouad Adjami, a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, recently noted that “Valerie Jarrett, the president’s most trusted, probably most powerful, aide, once said in admiration that Mr. Obama has been bored his whole life. The implication was that he is above things, a man alone, and anointed. Perhaps this moment—a presidency coming apart, the incompetent social engineering of an entire healthcare system—will now claim Mr. Obama’s attention.”


He has taken notice of the debacle. He began by lying about it and has progressed to lying about his lies. With three years to go, we are witnessing and being victimized by the election of a man who, in the parlance of Washington, D.C., has been “failing up” his whole life. He is the ultimate example of an “empty suit.”


Democrats up for election and re-election in 2014 will not want to be seen on the same stage with Obama. Those in Congress are already voting for any kind of band-aide to “fix” Obamacare, but no one is fooled by that.  It can’t be fixed. It can only be repealed.


I am surprised that it took this long for the voters to realize the mistake they made, but America has a Constitution that enables them to overcome such errors and the economy is robust enough to resist much of the damage he has inflicted on it. We’ve had presidents in the past that were not up to the job. They were replaced. The nation moved on. It will do so again.


© Alan Caruba, 2013

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Comment by Jeff Dover on November 28, 2013 at 10:06am

Interesting stuff, Alan.  If logic has anything to do with liberalism or communism, I suppose the term "progressive" would be the only one I can think of.

 Marx viewed history as being those events which led to "the end of history".  The end of history, for Marx, was the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.  With that in mind, anything which advanced the march to the Dictatorship of the Proletariat could logically be termed "progressive" in that it represented "progress" toward that end.

 Of course, the US Constitution embodies no notion whatever of "progress".  It assumes that people will live their lives as they see fit, defining "progress" or the lack of it, in their own terms while unified under a government of strictly and well-defined limited powers over the people.  The constitution, unlike the hideous ruse of communism, does not seek to direct human behavior, least of all in those ways unnatural to humanity embodied in socialist schemes.

 Most of today's "progressives" are ignorant of that meaning and think it's merely a trendy, marketable term which dignifies their ignorance somehow and elevates them in their own opinion.  The ones who understand it are the ones to look out for...

Comment by Virginia Daly on November 28, 2013 at 9:37am

To me, there is no second chance for any of these legislators that voted for Obamacare.  We hired them to do the right thing and go to Washington to preserve our freedom and liberty.  Most of them did not do that.  If they didn't read the bill, that is no excuse.  They still are not doing the right thing and think we are all  stupid.  Business is not as usual and cannot be as usual.  We have no time left and they ALL need to be fired.  I think they are getting the message, but it is too late and they have almost brought us into the liberal world of communism. 

I believe they all should go to Europe and live the life of socialism//communism that they are imposing on us.  That should be their punishment.  As for their tyranny, they should be thrown out of this country. 

You should goggle Iceland and how they dealt with their legislators.  Most of you don't know this, but their economy was collapsing in 2008 as ours was.  The people (ladies with their brooms) went to the capital.  The legislators were running down the steps and people were running after them.  They were sweeping the place clean.  They took over the country and ran the country until elections could be held.  They said they were not responsible for the debt.  Many of them left the country.  Why didn't we hear about this???  Could it be censorship of the news?   The dopes running this country are afraid we may do the same thing.  I would love to do it.  They have taken much from us and our children and grandchildren and there will be no pity or forgiveness coming from me. 

Can you see Chuck Schumer running down the steps?  It's just a visual.  What would make it even better would be me running after him with my broom.

Enjoy.  Happy Thanksgiving to all.



Comment by Gail E. Engelhardt on November 28, 2013 at 7:44am

The good news which we all can be thankful for is, he can and will be replaced.  We are  up to the job, and we will survive this horrible presidency.  Obamacare must be repealed, and finally most legislatures (even those that voted for this doomed to fail piece of garbage called Obamacare) are finally seeing the light of day.  They now want to be divorced from the Obama regime and from his failed policies that they helped to vote into office and enact into law.  I guess it is better late than never.  This Nation will move on after Obama is gone.  It will survive.  Thank the Lord for that, and thank the Lord for all our blessings today.

Comment by Thomas on November 28, 2013 at 6:23am

Even if all of the young and supposedly healthy sign up for Obamacare, it is still destined to collapse under its own unsupportable mass.  It will result in a condition of imposed poverty that must be borne by those whose real inflation adjusted lifestyles and standards of living are already declining well below those that were provided by their parents' and grandparents' incomes.  In a way, Obamacare is little more than a "red herring" that obscures the true depths of the economic condition of the nation.  ADEQUATE MEDICAL CARE AVAILABILITY IS FAR FROM BEING OUR PRINCIPLE PROBLEM!!   

Comment by catherine deanni on November 28, 2013 at 4:45am

Obama is not running the country, he is only the salesman for the left. You need to see who his given him the talking points. Valeria Jarrett she was born in Iran & am sure is a Muslin, George Soros a Jew, who worked for the Nazi in WW2 turning in Jews and become a billionaire pushing many nations left by destroying there economy making billions for himself. His childhood was filled with many left wing family & friends who taught him that people need to be controlled by redistributing wealth and only a small group of leaders can make sure that everyone get what they determine is a fair share for each of us. Then there are the people who enable him thru there own greed. The only thing that I see is that because of Obamacare people are waking up to the power grab of this President and the destruction of our economy, so only a few hand pick groups have control of  all our wealth. People need to remember what JFK said: Don't ask what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country. This is the only way we will get our country back.

Comment by Virginia Daly on November 28, 2013 at 12:10am

Your posting makes me feel that there is some hope for us.  Even though at times I feel almost desperate because I can't imagine leaving this world  to my children and grandchildren in this way, there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel.  Good always prevail and this entire administration is evil.  We must keep moving forward and keep God in our hearts and prayers.

Comment by Ted Kornblum on November 27, 2013 at 8:14pm

Thank you Alan for a good posting. These are words we all need to hear and digest.

Thanksgiving is only one day. Then we plunge into Black Friday.some women due

, most males would beg to forget.  Your words should propell all Americans. Give

Thanks  to GOD for all he has bestowed upon this country of ours. Let us enter

2014 knowing what we have to do for him. Most of which is keeping his name strong

and fore most..in all our lives. This country can not, will not fail Keeping him at the

fore front of everything we do.. Every man and woman take up a cause, and give it

and demand of all others 150%..Amen.

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