Politics Is Easy, Governing Is Hard
This has to have been the longest, yet least relaxing Independence Day ever.
As you know, the 4th was on a Thursday so here, in Our Nation's Capital, almost everyone I know pretended they had been sequestered out of having to work on Friday and made it a four day weekend.
While wondering why we choose to end 4th of July fireworks displays with the playing of The 1812 Overture by a Russian composer celebrating a victory over France, this happened:
-- The U.S. Government announced that the Employer Mandate part of ObamaCare could just wait until January 1, 2015 instead of its scheduled launch on January 1, 2014.
It would have taken less time (3 years, 7 months) to defeat Japan in World War II than to implement ObamaCare (3 years, 9 months). And Obama will still miss it.
-- Venezuela officially announced it would grant asylum to America's Traitor, Edward Snowden.
We may soon witness a bidding war for Mr. Snowden's presence between Venezuela, Boliva, and Nicaragua each of which wants the honor of embarrassing the United States generally and President Obama in particular.
-- A Korean airliner (a Boeing 777) crashed on landing at San Francisco International Airport. Two passengers were killed on impact, 181 were injured seriously enough to be taken to hospitals, leaving 108 passengers to walk away.
-- The June unemployment rate was stuck at 7.6 percent even with the addition of 195,000 new jobs. The bad news was Bloomberg reporting that "Retailers, professional and business services, health care, and leisure and hospitality businesses led the gains" meaning relatively low-paying jobs may have been leading the rise.
Oh. And ..
-- The Egyptian military took control of the government, replacing (and arresting) the elected President Mohammed Morsi, and suspending the Egyptian constitution.
The LA Times ran a devastating piece on how the Obama foreign policy has been so successful that America is despised by both the pro- and anti-Morsi factions.
Let's give Mr. Obama a break in the afterglow of our nation's birthday party.
Running for office is easy. It might be exhausting, but the choices are straightforward: I'm for (or against) Immigration Reform. I'm against (or for) new gun laws. I believe (or don't believe) in Global Warming. And so on.
As soon as you begin serving in office, issues that had been simple choices during the campaign become, not black and white, but way more than 50 shades of grey in complexity.
You quickly realize that Newton's Third Law (for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction) applies to government policies as much as for a maneuvering thruster on the International Space Station.
Just days after his inauguration in 2009, President Obama convened a bi-partisan meeting to discuss the best path forward for a economic stimulus plan.
According to the Wall Street Journal: "Challenged by one Republican senator over the contents of the package, the new president, according to participants, replied: 'I won.'
Thus, the first shot fired in the Partisan Wars in Washington was by Barack Obama. The Tea Party, remember, had not yet been invented.
Politics is to entrepreneurship as governing is to management. It is very rare to find someone who is good at both.
Again and again there are examples of the board of a publicly held company inviting the founder (and often largest shareholder) to spend more time on his boat and less time in the executive suite because he (or she) might have been great at inventing the business, but has no concept of how to run it, and is driving everyone nuts.
Mohammed Morsi found out that running for office (he won the Egyptian Presidency with 51 percent of the vote) is a lot easier than running the country. Street violence was on the rise, job creation was falling, there were food, electricity, and fuel shortages, and the heavy-handed nature of his leadership (the Arabic equivalent of "I won") made it impossible for him to avoid the blame.
In its report on growing anti-American sentiment in Egypt (the State Department has urged all 70,000 Americans there to leave Egypt ASAP) the Los Angeles Times wrote:
"Each side accuses the United States of backing the other and alleges conspiracies in which the Obama administration is secretly fostering dissent in an attempt to weaken Egypt."
Pro-Morsi protesters believe the U.S. was unhappy with the level of Islamic influence over the new government in what had been a largely secular nation; while anti-Morsi protesters accused the U.S. of not speaking out against Morsi's "cracking down on political opponents, journalists, and judges."
How far America's - and Obama's - standing has fallen since the president's "New Beginning Speech" in Cairo in June 2009.
That was when Obama still thought governing was as easy as politics.
On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Great links. To the 1812 Overture, to the June unemployment stats, to the LA Times piece, and to coverage of Obama's "New Beginning" speech in Cairo in 2009. Also, a mildly amusing Mullfoto from 19th Street in Your Nation's Capital last week.