Inertia and momentum are two predictable forces in nature. Objects traveling in a given direction are difficult to diverge and/or stop. The greater the force, mass and velocity, the more difficult is change.
Politics often ask in similar ways as physics. The trajectory of Barack Obama’s popularity since running for president is an example. Before elected, Obama was nothing short of a rock star. Young Americans and the mainstream media fawned over him, even though he had no executive experience or track record. His main attributes included writing two books and the ability to present glorious, although scripted, speeches.
The near idle worship of Obama continued after the 2008 election. He received crowds of hundreds of thousands during international visits and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace before implementing one significant foreign policy. While his first term offered questionable results, his approval and support; i.e. inertia and momentum, enabled his election to a second term.
Since 2012, Obama inertia and momentum radically modified spurred on by opposing forces, realities on the ground. On the economic front, while the unemployment rate dropped, the more significant workforce participation rate is at a 40 year high. The world is in significant turmoil. In Nigeria, Islamic radicals persecute and kidnapping nonbelievers. Pakistan is unstable. The Taliban’s violence in Afghanistan rose. Libya has become a failed state. In Syria, over hundred 150,000 are dead in the Civil War and an Al Qaeda offshoot, ISIS, controls significant portions of the country and Iraq. Iraq has also become a failed state. Iran continues the march down the path to produce nuclear weapons.
Now, the world faces a new crisis, Ebola, a disease that the President promised would not reach the United States, but has. The CDC’s response to the potential crisis has been incompetent with the infection of two healthcare workers in Dallas, with one incredibly traveling on an airplane after being infected. While the President is not directly responsible for these failings, as the Country’s chief executive, “the buck stops there”.
With Obama’s inertia change, on a nearly a daily basis, another part of the mainstream media questions the Administration’s competence. Yesterday, the New York Daily News, who endorsed Obama 2008 and Romney in 2012, went on the attack with its front page headline posted below. Inertia now works against the President and the Democrat Party.
The President’s inability to manage crisis is disappointing, but not surprising. Book writing and speeches do not offer managerial experience, especially at the executive level. It is remarkable how many Americans demand credentials in so many professions, but none of the person they would vote for as president. It would be instructive for the New York Daily News to share how they got it so wrong with their 2008 endorsement.