December 13 2013
President Obama takes the cake as the most sheltered world leader of our era. Even Queen Elizabeth has been taking a regular train lately. She looks worldly by contrast to Barack Obama.
Charles Krauthammer addresses our pampered president’s strange detachment from every day life this morning in a column headlined "Obama the Oblivious:"
In explaining the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, President Obama told Chris Matthews he had discovered that “we have these big agencies, some of which are outdated, some of which are not designed properly.”
An interesting discovery to make after having consigned the vast universe of American medicine, one-sixth of the U.S. economy, to the tender mercies of the agency bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Services and the Internal Revenue Service.
Most people become aware of the hopeless inefficiency of sclerotic government by, oh, age 17 at the department of motor vehicles. Obama’s late discovery is especially remarkable considering that he built his entire political philosophy on the rock of Big Government, on the fervent belief in the state as the very engine of collective action and the ultimate source of national greatness. (Indeed, of individual success as well, as in “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”)
This blinding revelation of the ponderous incompetence of bureaucratic government came just a few weeks after Obama confessed that “what we’re also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy.”
In a normal situation—say, you hadn’t been elected to run the country without actual managerial experience on your thinnish resume—somebody who keeps having these epiphanies might be inspired to dip into some heretofore unread books on economics and maybe encounter new ideas. But this isn't the way our president operates.
As Krauthammer notes, President Obama is responding by launching a cross-country tour to talk up ObamaCare. I can’t help thinking that President Obama’s mishap with a selfie at Nelson Mandela’s memorial showed some of the same sort of detachment from reality—and from himself—that we are now seeing in everything he touches. (Of course, the selfie moment also boded ill for the U.K. and Denmark, whose elected officials also revealed themselves to be adolescent jerks.)