In recent weeks, a lot has been said and written about Obama's ineptness and complete lack of management skills. But, the lack of experience and expertise in addressing the problems that currently face this country go well beyond the President. It goes deep into the cabinet members that he has selected.
Obama has completely surrounded himself with a bunch of cabinet officers who have no management experience. Instead, he has created a cabinet that is completely theoretical and professorial. Worse yet, almost all of these people are anti-capitalists and pro-environmentalists. This, at a time, when we're trying to recover from a recession and when we are now faced with one of the worst environmental disasters that the world has every seen. Most of his appointees have spent their entire lives fighting Wall Street, the banks, big business, and the oil, coal, and gas industries. Yet, these are the industries that they are being asked to work with in their various cabinet positions.
This complete lack of experience and understanding has manifested itself in a variety of ways since Obama took office.
First, we have the failed stimulus package because it was too pro-government, too socialist, too anti-business, and completely ignored the vital elements that would actually help drive this economy and create jobs.
Then, take, for example, John Morton, the Assistant Secretary who is in charge of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). Recently, he told a newspaper interviewer that he had no intention of working with Arizona if illegal immigrants are handed over to any of his agents. So, in effect, he was saying the he would no longer fulfill the responsibilities of his own job because of his ideological attitude towards the newly passed Arizona law on illegal immigration. Obviously this man doesn't take seriously the "Enforcement" responsibilities that are clearly spelled out and included in the very title of the agency that he manages. After all, it isn't the Immigration and Customs "Non-Enforcement" agency!
The same, too, is true of the massive BP oil spill. There is no coordination among cabinet members and no centralized control from Obama. For example, one agency has directed BP to use dispersants to break up the oil. Days later, another agency, the EPA, says no to dispersants. Then, for whatever reason, the EPA suddenly changes saying its ok to use them. Then, because dispersants have been used, OSHA says workers involved in cleanup procedures have to take breaks every 15 minutes to avoid getting ill. All along, Bobby Jindal had requested permission to build sand berms to provide protection from the ravages of the oil, however the EPA and the Army Corp of Engineers ate up valuable time because they were "programmed" (as in non-emergency times) to conduct an environmental impact study before giving approval.
Thursday, there was another perfect example of why these people that Obama has surrounded himself with should have never been allowed to be in charge of anything. Some days after it was finally recognized that the spill could be a serious environmental disaster, Obama convened a panel of experts to review the situation and come up with recommendations for addressing it. This panel actually reported up to Obama through Ken Salazar; his Secretary of the Interior. Following a review, the panel wrote up their recommendations in a report. But, unbeknownst to the panel, Ken Salazaar, at the direction of the White House (?), wrote into the report, a non-scientific and politically motivated opinion that all new and unfinished offshore drilling should be stopped; and, Obama acted on it. Now, we find out that the panel would have never made such a recommendation because to stop the drilling and idle these platforms could literally be dangerous (Click here to See Story: Experts Say White House 'Misrepresented' Views to Justify Drilling Moratorium). At the very least, thousands of rig workers and support personnel are now without jobs because of Salazar's personal recommendation. Additionally, those rigs, if idled too long, will be towed elsewhere in the world. They contain some highly sensitive technologies that were developed by the United States and, as a result, could result in the loss of any competitive edge that these afford in deep water drilling.
The Salazar (maybe Carole Browner) stunt shows what can happen when you have an agency headed up by an individual who has had an axe to grind with an industry that he/she is responsible for overseeing. This kind of mindset shows why Obama had never met with or even talked to BP's CEO prior to next week's hurriedly scheduled meeting that only resulted out of public outrage.
Watching this mess unfold, one can't help but get the feeling that we have given the keys to this country, to an immature President and a group of children. As a result, I think that history will record this administration's cabinet as being the worst possible to meet the challenges of our time.