[Another comment made tonight at Belmont Club.]
“Obama is…a figurehead”
No, short answer: Obama is in power.
Longer answer: Obama could care less about what we call “competency.”
This is something that we had to know yesterday, or two years ago. Obama has no interest in any bourgeois performance standards. For instance, worse is better for him. He did everything he could to stall economic recovery. He added, for instance, a suffocating health care program on top of what he himself calls the worst economic conditions in our lifetime. But he didn’t just add that program; he stood outside the process and used that process to create wrenching uncertainty. He attacked business, even as he cultivated key business rentseekers. He moved so quickly to inflict damage that the most astute critic could barely call it what it was.