Washington Post: Obama needs a substitute president

Is it kookdom added to kookdom, or a genuine expression of Democratic angst at the thought that Obama is not up to the job? Writing in the Washington Post, former U.S. senator and New School president Bob Kerrey, a hopeless oddball to begin with, along with two co-authors, urges that Obama appoint a chief operating officer to run the government for him. Furthermore, they propose for this office none other than Michael Bloomberg. Read Allahpundit’s summary and response. In his amazement, Allahpundit realizes that Kerrey is not just playing with a hypothetical; he really means it. He is saying that Obama is incompetent in the job of president, and needs someone else to do it for him. If you want to get further into the strangeness, read the original article in the Post.

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N. writes:

Bob Kerrey’s article is an amazing thing, in terms of what it says about Obama, and thus about those who unconditionally supported him in 2008 while shouting down any questions about his competence.

Alan Levine writes:

I got a good laugh out of the suggestion that Barry the Magnificient should have Bloomberg run the government. Kerrey seems to be unaware, although he lives and works in NYC, that Bloomberg has long since worn out his welcome as mayor, and is oblivious to the man’s long record of double dealing in politics.

He reminded me, however, of two similar brilliant suggestions by liberals in the past:

(1) Senator Fulbright’s suggestion, in 1947 or 1948, that since Truman could “obviously” never win reelection, the President should appoint Senator Vandenberg Secretary of State and then resign office, making Vandenberg President under the then law of succession.

2) Some liberals, unbelievable as it may sound, thought in 1958 that Ike was so obviously spent, and the situation after Sputnik so threatening, that Ike should resign so Nixon could become President.

James P. writes:

Alan Levine noted two past liberal efforts to find substitute Presidents to seemingly inadequate ones. I will add another one. In July 1980, even before the Republican convention, the liberals tried to convince Reagan to let them coopt his Presidency before it even started. The liberal scheme was to have former President Ford, as Vice President, be the “CEO” to Reagan’s “Chairman of the Board”. Ford would control OMB, the NSC, and the State Department (with Henry Kissinger reprising his role as Secretary of State), leaving Reagan largely ceremonial duties. Fortunately Reagan balked at the “co-Presidency” idea that would have left him a mere titular figure with no real power.

Alexis Zarkov writes:

This Kerrey- Alderman proposal for a presidential Chief Operating Officer (COO) betrays their ignorance of how the office of the president actually works. The U.S. president gets followed around constantly by someone needing his signature. It turns out the the president himself, and only the president, must personally sign off on hundreds of items every day. I recall a story about Ronald Reagan talking to a group of CEOs who told him that they had to make several super important decisions per year. Important in the sense that the decision had existential consequences for the company. Reagan replied that he had to do that every day. Attending to these governmental functions is exactly the job of the president, and yes it’s a big strain. If you don’t have the energy to attend to these functions then don’t run for the office. Evidently Kerrey and Alderman think the presidency is some kind of purely political office. They’re wrong. The president is supposed to be the chief executive first and a politician second. They probably do understand this, but they recognize that Obama is not a detail man—he likes to just give speeches and take trips. To Obama, the presidency is all about ceremony, not making decisions. Unfortunately for Obama, he can’t delegate the presidency, the Constitution won’t let him do that.

There’s another more important message here: the federal government is too big. It has expanded so far beyond what the framers had in mind, it’s become unworkable. They put in limitations, and those limitations now severely conflict with the federal power grab we have experienced since the New Deal. The solution is not a COO for the president, but shrinking the federal government and returning power to the states. The state legislatures have plenary powers, by design, the Congress does not. To the liberals such a notion smacks of “states rights” meaning racism, and they will attack any kind of return to federalism. Another reminder of the big price we pay for the civil rights movement.

LA replies:

I’d say it’s a reminder of the big price we pay for slavery.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 06, 2010 10:26 AM | Send

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