No Leader? No Problem

Ann Althouse has here one of the odder criticisms of President Obama I've heard, in response to yesterday's attempted plane bombing:

"President Barack Obama’s Christmas Day began with a briefing about a botched attack on an airliner in Detroit and ended with a visit to a dining hall for members of the military. His holiday vacation was designed to be an island respite from the pressures of the White House."

Well, tough. Whoever puts himself forward to become President is asking to be on call constantly for the next 4 years — every day of the year, around the clock.

"Obama and first lady Michelle Obama made a quick trip to Marine Corps Base Hawaii after a private day exchanging gifts and eating a holiday meal of roast beef at their rented home in Kailua — between briefings on the disrupted plot of suspected terrorism."

Why, exactly, are they in Hawaii — over 5,000 miles* from the White House? I'm not criticizing Obama in particular for going on vacations. I mean to criticize all the Presidents who go far away from Washington.

But what, precisely, do we expect presidents to do? She admits that there was essentially nothing Obama could do about this but that it is a "a reminder of what can happen".

OK, then, think back to 9/11, which is what "can" happen. What, in a precise way, did Bush do that day? What could he have done? I don't mean that as a criticism of him in any way. When you have a functioning organization, the fact that the top leader is momentarily out of the loop is of little consequence. I admit my memory is a little fuzzy, but I remember great acts of heroism, but little in the way of federal government action. And that is OK.

Presidents matter. They help set policy at a broad, macro level. But what they do not do, and cannot do, is run the government as a micro level. Even in a "crisis" situation, ordinary people, government functionaries, police, doctors, etc. will do their jobs, and it doesn't make a damn bit of difference if Obama, McCain, Clinton, or Kucinich is "in charge".

Obama was in Hawaii? Irrelevant. There were people on the plane who subdued the attempted bomber. Ordinary citizens, being heroes, with no government orders from On High.

The greatest President in American history was inaugurated on August 2, 1923. He was woken up after the death of his predecessor, strolled downstairs, took the oath of office, and went back to bed. Would that we understood today how to behave as the chief bureaucrat of the central public goods administration.

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We might as well abandon the

We might as well abandon the archaic term "President" and just start calling the head of the Executive Branch "National Daddy" instead.

I prefer...

I prefer the title Dear Leader. Just like good old North Korea.


Does this lady realize that in the 21st century the POTUS is available from anywhere on Earth? Obama could've been on the North Pole wrapping gifts yesterday, and he'd still be in reach of the White House.

This lady is obviously a child.

Somebody give her a blanket and tell her she'll be safe.

5/18/08 Obama said: "We


Obama said: "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK."

The Althouse Woman is just pointing out the hypocracy of the man. It just isn't Air Force One that is involved, but a lot of airplanes and probably 100s of support personnel. Obviously, he can keep his communication lines open no matter where he is, like, say in Copenhagen or Norway to pick up his peace prize. Obama is leaving a big carbon footprint.