Earlier in 2013, MSNBC host Mika Brezinski was clearly upset by a montage of people, including the president himself, saying Obama didn’t know about NSA spying and other scandals plaguing his administration. It was striking in the nonchalant way media persons, White House officials, and others pronounced with a straight face that President Obama just didn’t know. He didn’t know about the IRS persecuting Tea Party orgs. He didn’t know about Fast and Furious. He didn’t know that Obamacare’s healthcare.gov website was gonna bust a Fail Whale.
This was a defining moment because of who Mr. Obama is; presumably the leader of the free world. Yet, Obama hasn’t been aware of much of anything. He has even said so himself – repeatedly. This strains the limits of credulity. No CEO of a major corporation or non-profit would ever permit themselves to be on the record deferring responsibility in this way.
Finding out about the Fast and Furious scandal on the news, hearing of the NSA eavesdropping on the private calls of allies and world leaders on the news. What executive would be proud to be kept in the dark this way? What board of directors would ever find this acceptable? Looking back over the years, a clear pattern emerges: NSA spying and overreach; Obama knew nothing. On Bengazi; he found out just before the American people did. On IRS Tea Party persecution; he was as shocked as we were! Fast and Furious; “whew! Wasn’t that something?” The Green Energy debacle of Solyndra; Obama wasn’t sure he’d ever heard of it until the news media started reporting on it. Even though there are pictures of him visiting the headquarters. And don’t forget healthcare.gov. He never even saw that debacle coming.
Our President should never again present himself to Americans touting the idea that he gets his news from the same channels we do. Doesn’t his position afford him a level of significant early notification? It does if he can get off the golf course long enough to attend a briefing.
Here’s hoping that 2014 is the start of a new trend for him; demanding he is briefed and kept up to speed on pressing national and international issues by his cabinet and staff. The American people deserve much more from our elected leader. Five years in, it’s time the president delivered.