No president of the United States ever inherited the successes or the failures of their administration. Each was the eventual product of their ability to lead.
In essence, they were applying for the job by means of the electoral process. They stood before the American people as candidates voluntarily, claiming to have solutions, and asking for their votes. The day they took office was the day they stated publicly they were ready to lead, ready for the awesome responsibility of the presidency. A president does not own nor inherit the failures of the past administration, but does own the solutions to whatever problems they face.
Fifty-four percent of Americans disapprove of President Obama’s job performance (RCP average). Only 26 percent of likely voters think the country is heading in the right direction (Rasmussen). Fifty-three percent of those polled did not trust Obama (CNN). Our country is in crisis and President Obama is failing in every regard except with diehard loyalists.
The Obama administration is without a doubt the worst in modern history and historians will most likely rate this as a failed presidency in many regards. As defenders of the president write in and blame Bush, or falsely claim Republican obstructionism, or repeat the hollow words of Hillary Clinton about some “vast right-wing conspiracy,” the rest of America is left with the realization that President Obama is a failure based on his own words and actions.
“I will also hold myself as president to a new standard of openness. … Let me say it as simply as I can: Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.”
— President Obama
In this new age of presidential transparency (or lack thereof), let’s focus on some shocking examples that destroy the myth of an open and transparent administration.
EPA. The EPA was not only permitted to create fake e-mail accounts, but to purchase computer equipment to create a subnet to keep policy discussions out of the public domain. This act is not only unethical and lacking in transparency, but illegal. The then head of the EPA, Lisa Jackson, who used a non-government e-mail (under the name of Richard Windsor), was permitted to resign. To date, President Obama’s administration has fought every attempt for accountability and no one was held responsible. In his silence and lack of action, President Obama condoned and sent a clear message that he was incapable or unwilling to control his subordinates and the agencies they worked for.
IRS. The brazen failure to address the EPA scandal would be repeated tenfold within the IRS. President Obama first described the IRS scandal as “intolerable and inexcusable,” and promised to “hold those responsible for these failures accountable.” A short time later, IRS Executive Lois Lerner pleaded the 5th and retired with benefits. The president would later change his tune, claiming there wasn’t even a “smidgen” of corruption.
Now we have learned that two years’ worth of e-mails have been mysteriously destroyed and official government hard drives have been wiped clean. This does not happen within a transparent presidential administration. This happens within an administration that believes it is above the law and considers the American people stupid enough to believe that the very source of the corruption has “disappeared.” This may be convenient for those seeking to hide the truth, but it is also illegal. For those who would defend this administration and either ignore or make excuses for these blatant violations of the law, you are either cowards or you possess an ideology you claim only exists within the Republican Party.
The absolute lack of transparency within the Obama administration is so bad that it prompted New York Times Washington correspondent David Sanger to write about the Obama administration: “This is the most closed, control freak administration I’ve ever covered.” The Associated Press analysis showed the government under Obama is either censoring materials it makes accessible, or has fully denied access to materials, in 244,675 cases (36 percent of all requests). On 196,034 other occasions, the government said it could not find records, a person refused to pay for copies or the government determined the request to be unreasonable or improper.
The VA, EPA, IRS, Fish & Game, Obamacare, bailout, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, and many more were all attached to scandals related to a pure lack of promised transparency. Obama promised that transparency and the people trusted him. Leadership is not about the promises you make, but the integrity that stands behind those promises.