It is very frustrating when we repeatedly hear from President Obama that he is ¨mad as hell¨ at the latest scandal and that he plans to get to the bottom of it.
An important role for good leaders is to fire people when they are not doing their job.
Abraham Lincoln was famous for firing his top generals for failing to do their jobs. Before settling on a winner in Ulysses Grant, Lincoln fired Irvin Mcdowell, George McClelland (twice), John Pope, Ambrose Burnside, and Joseph Hooker.
During World War II, General Dwight Eisenhower fired generals on a regular basis. Officers who could not do their job were not acceptable. The success of the mission demanded that they leave.
When George Bush was president, he let Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld go for bungling the war in Iraq. He let FEMA Director Michael Brown go for bungling the Hurricane Katrina response.
President Obama seems incapable of finding anyone responsible (starting with himself) when things go wrong.
- Operation Fast and Furious gun walking scandal - Nobody was fired, even though Attorney General Eric Holder was found in contempt of congress
- Spying on AP reporter phone calls - Nobody was fired
- Kathleen Sebelius violated the Hatch Act - Cabinet secretaries are not allowed by law to make partisan speeches when acting in their official capacity. Nobody was fired
- IRS tea party profiling - Nobody was fired
- Benghazi deception - Nobody was fired
- Obamacare website fiasco - Nobody was fired
- Veteran Affairs failure to provide life saving health care to veterans - Nobody was fired.
The problem is not just the quality of federal workers but also the quantity of federal workers.
Lincoln ran his White House with two secretaries. By the time Franklin Roosevelt was president, he had 100 White House employees to run a global war involving over 16 million Americans in the military.
With the population now about three times as much in the 1940s, you would expect the White House to have 300 employees, but it has over 1,700. All of the federal government has grown bloated with out-of-control hiring.
Obama is incapable of firing anyone. He has missed his chance to make a bold step. Staunch anti-communist Richard Nixon opened relations with communist China. Old school liberal Bill Clinton signed the law to reduce excessive welfare. At a time when private industry and state and local governments learned to cut back workers to stay solvent, Obama has made no effort to cut fat and pork.
Real leaders make hard choices based on what is best. They don't whine. They don't pass the blame. They don't avoid responsibility.
How sad. It could have been a great legacy.
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