Almost definitely not. But since he probably doesn’t, this is an interesting coincidence.
Krauthammer has a piece making the point that Obama’s current “anger” over the CDC’s scattershot handling of the Ebola mess seems feigned — and ignores that he is in charge of the government that is making him so angry. Krauthammer cites historical examples of Obama supposedly being angry about various matters, in this order:
- Secret Service incompetence
Thing is, I already wrote that post. And cited those four examples, in that same order.
I’ll go ahead and quote liberally from Krauthammer’s post and mine. I’m not accusing him of anything; these are pretty obvious examples, and a great pundit would know the most effective order to put them in. (And a not-so-great blogger might stumble into it.) Here’s Krauthammer:
The president is upset. Very upset. Frustrated and angry. Seething about the government’s handling of Ebola, said the front-page headline in the New York Times last Saturday.
There’s only one problem with this pose, so obligingly transcribed for him by the Times. It’s his government. He’s president. Has been for six years. Yet Barack Obama reflexively insists on playing the shocked outsider when something goes wrong within his own administration.
The IRS? “It’s inexcusable, and Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it,” he thundered in May 2013 when the story broke of the agency targeting conservative groups. “I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency, but especially in the IRS.”
Except that within nine months, Obama had grown far more tolerant, retroactively declaring this to be a phony scandal without “a smidgen of corruption.”
Obamacare rollout? “Nobody is more frustrated by that than I am,” said an aggrieved Obama about the botching of the central element of his signature legislative achievement. “Nobody is madder than me.”
Veterans Affairs scandal? Presidential chief of staff Denis McDonough explained: “Secretary [Eric] Shinseki said yesterday . . . that he’s mad as hell and the president is madder than hell.” A nice touch — taking anger to the next level.
The president himself declared: “I will not stand for it.” But since the administration itself said the problem was long-standing, indeed predating Obama, this means he had stood for it for 5½ years.
The one scandal where you could credit the president with genuine anger and obliviousness involves the recent breaches of White House Secret Service protection. The Washington Post described the first lady and president as “angry and upset,” and no doubt they were. But the first Secret Service scandal — the hookers of Cartagena — evinced this from the president: “If it turns out that some of the allegations that have been made in the press are confirmed, then of course I’ll be angry.” An innovation in ostentatious distancing: future conditional indignation.
These shows of calculated outrage — and thus distance — are becoming not just unconvincing but unamusing. In our system, the president is both head of state and head of government.
And here is Patterico from five days ago:
We saw recently that Obama is mad about how the feds are handling Ebola:
“It’s not tight,” a visibly angry Mr. Obama said of the response, according to people briefed on the meeting. He told aides they needed to get ahead of events and demanded a more hands-on approach, particularly from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “He was not satisfied with the response,” a senior official said.
I thought I would review some other stuff he’s been mad about.
He was mad about the IRS Scandal:
“Americans have a right to be angry about it, and I’m angry about it,” Obama said.
“It should not matter what political stripe you’re from. The fact of the matter is, the IRS has to operate with absolute integrity,” the president said.
He was mad about the ObamaCare rollout:
“Nobody’s madder than me that the website isn’t working as it should , which means it’s going to get fixed,” he said.
He was mad about the VA scandal:
President Barack Obama is “madder than hell” about the problems facing the Department of Veterans Affairs but still supports its embattled chief, Secretary Eric Shinseki, according to the president’s chief of staff.
“Nobody is more outraged about this problem right now” than the president, said White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough in a Friday interview that aired Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
He was mad about the Secret Service fumbling on security:
The first lady was still upset when her husband arrived home five days later from Australia. The president was fuming, too, former aides said. Not only had their aides failed to immediately alert the first lady, but the Secret Service had stumbled in its response.
“When the president came back . . . then the s— really hit the fan,” said one former aide.
All these examples share one characteristic: they are screw-ups in the executive branch — for which Obama is responsible. If he wants to get mad, he should start with himself.
This is one of those cases of: Great Minds Think Alike — And Sometimes, So Does Mine.