Monday, May 26, 2014

I'm Better Than You ... Except at Finding People to Hire

Abuses at the VA have been a problem for years. As a candidate in 2007, Obama claimed that 400,000 veterans were “stuck on a waiting list,” and he promised “a new sense of urgency” to “make sure that our disabled vets receive the benefits they deserve.” But that urgency never materialized. In a letter to Obama a year ago, the chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee detailed some of the “serious and significant patient care issues” in the VA system, imploring him to address the worsening problems before more veterans died. Yet nothing happened.  The president showed no interest in the matter, and seemed to have no grasp of the scandal’s magnitude, until he learned about it on the news.

Obama came to the White House with a carefully cultivated image for almost preternatural competence — an image no one esteemed more highly than he did. “I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,”he had told his campaign staff. “I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that . . . I’m a better political director than my political director.”

Of course, many top dogs feel this way, but in his case - what would make him want to say that?  Needed to puff up his competence?  Needed to chastise the pretenders?  Weird.  It could be argued that it was incompetence on display to speak thusly about his competence.  It also may make a case for a leader who cannot pick good subordinates.

In any event, he could be as competent as he believes and still be made to look a food by the gargantuan, too big too succeed leviathan that is the federal government.

An easy prediction - every president will be made to look like a fool in the same way.

The VA issue is tragic.  Much like medicare/medicaid, each president promises to fight fraud waste and abuse, but the rate of these continues at something like 10-40% every time someone checks.

Competence?  People, we are talking about the federal government, they ain't got time for dat.

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