…As democracy is perfected, the office (of the President) represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. (H L Mencken, 1920)
In announcing Obama’s selection of Ron Klain, a political operative of immense communication and office networking skills, but not a drop of medicine savvy of any kind, (in keeping with the Wharton School’s theory that corporate management is both interdisciplinary and interchangeable, regardless of the product being produced…I witnessed this first hand in the 1980s, as it bankrupted my Fortune 500 company…) the New York Times wrote yesterday, that Obama has seethed at what he sees as managerial sloth and mismanagement at the CDC. This Times article was written as an apologetic for Obama, who (they believe) actually knows what needs to be done, and has been frustrated at the inability of this agency (or half a dozen others, to be fair to CDC) to get it right. For the Times at least, Obama has struck the right tone as an impatient schoolmarm, standing at the doorway slapping a hard ruler in his hand, and who has had just about quite enough, Thank you, “Must I come over there and show you numbskulls how to do this myself?” – he mutters between clenched teeth.
Well, the seething part is correct, but I am certain Obama is seething because his bureaucracies, not just the CDC, but all of them, indeed, the world, are not as ordered and orderly as he always believed them to be. He didn’t build any of them, mind you. Someone else did, but he assumed they would stand for an eternity on their own. Obama came to office believing the government he had inherited was a fleet of perfectly-designed and finely-tuned Mercedes Benz cars, and all he had to do was to turn on the ignition and they would purr like a kitten. Then he could reach down into his bag of donors or Playskool friends, and choose any of them to pilot these babies, drivers whose only job would be to keep the car on the road, obey traffic signals, and only use turn signals when turning left. Running a standing government was supposed to be the least of Obama’s worries. The process was perfect and its high efficiency presumed, because he’d been told this at school. A big idea guy, Obama was only supposed to add layers to it.
For anyone who may have had any doubt that the man H L Mencken was prophesying about 90 years earlier was Barack Obama, they gave that notion up the first day of the Obamacare rollout. And it’s been a steady downhill slide ever since. But while this image of Obama’s arrogant naivete may be new to some, the natural laws of bureaucracies are not. Murphy’s Law, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong,” dates back to the 19th Century. And in the 1960s, a man named Lorenz explained it scientifically as Chaos Theory, also referred to as the “Butterfly effect.”
Chaos: When the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future.
You may remember this same notion from Michael Crichton’s novel, Jurassic Park, spoken by Dr Malcomb:
“They believed that prediction was just a function of keeping track of things. If you knew enough, you could predict anything. That’s been cherished scientific belief since Newton.’ And?’
Chaos theory throws it right out the window.”
So this idea has been around a long time, at least since the Johnson Administration, and which explains at least some of the failures and certainly the waste in Great Society programs. The problem we have today with Obama, which did not exist during the previous Clinton administration, is that now, per Mencken, our elected moron company don’t even know the problem exists, and are comfortable in this stupidity because they find compete agreement in at least two-thirds of all the faculty lounges in America. They know they are right, despite all the evidence, because they do not know anyone they respect who can tell them otherwise. A society of morons is now upon us.
Just eight short years before Obama came to office a lower degree of morons in the Clinton Administration at least could recognize the failures of their inherited bureaucracies, but didn’t know what to do about them, so used all their only known abilities just to disguise them, to some limited effect. Otherwise, they were clueless. But in just the fifteen short years that separate Bill Clinton and Barack Obama in age, the slow-growing cancer obureaucratism seen among the Clintons has metastasized into a fast growing, and dare I say it, mutating killer disease, ironically much worse than Ebola, but disguised by it. The Obamailis didn’t even know this cancer when they saw it.
So, what may have started out as a well-engineered Oldsmobile in 1967, if properly maintained, with regular oil changes, tires and new parts, has morphed into a combustible rocket car, with no steering wheel, no on-off ignition, no brakes, and which can only go in one direction. Fast.
And it is piloted by four levels of absolute children who got this job, because the people who hired them, just like themselves, believed the agency, any agency, could pilot itself. Neither Harvard, Yale nor the Wharton School have anything to be proud of with this bumper crop of blithering human idiots they’ve set on the world the past 25 years.
But neither can Ron Klain guide this pilotless bomb out of harm’s way, or the public’s eye, as other handlers were able to (partially) do with the VA, IRS, or State. This unguided missile is fully armed and the bureaucracies are in free-fall, and you have to go down below GS-10 in all of them just to find anyone who knows what the hell is going on there.