Our Know-Nothing President

October 28, 2013

Scandal: In recent days, President Obama has claimed ignorance about spying on allies and the ObamaCare meltdown. How can it be this president is always the last to know whenever anything goes wrong in his administration?

Even though the NSA tapped the phones of German Chancellor Angela Merkel some time ago, President Obama claims he didn't know anything about it until after an internal review he ordered earlier this year.

Why should he? After all, "the president doesn't sign off on this stuff," one official said.

If Obama's ignorance of this seems dubious, consider that a German weekly reports that Army Gen. Keith Alexander, the NSA chief, briefed Obama on the Merkel wiretaps back in 2010.

Ridiculous or not, pleading ignorance has become routine for Obama whenever a scandal arises.

Just last week, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Obama had no idea there were any problems with the ObamaCare exchange before it went live on Oct. 1.

"I think it became clear fairly early on, the first couple of days," she told CNN.

Now, ObamaCare just happens to be Obama's biggest and most important domestic program. He's said so himself. So the idea that no one bothered to tell him the exchange website crashed in low-volume tests just days before launch strains credulity.

As does Obama's plea of ignorance earlier this year about the IRS' efforts to hold up tax-exempt applications from Tea Party groups in the run-up to the 2012 election. "I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this," Obama said in mid-May. "I think it was on Friday."

Never mind that White House staffers were briefed in April about an inspector general report documenting the IRS abuse. Somehow this explosive news never made it into the Oval Office.

Is it any more believable that Obama knew nothing about the Justice Department's snooping on the Associated Press? Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney claimed that "other than press reports, we have no knowledge of any attempt by the Justice Department to seek phone records of the Associated Press."

And how about Fast and Furious, the gun-running scandal that left one border patrol agent dead? "Everyone knows the president did not know about this tactic until he heard about it through the media," Carney said.

And when the administration released hundreds of illegal immigrants, blaming sequester cuts? Borrowing from Obama's well-worn playbook, Janet Napolitano, who was Homeland Security at the time, said even she was surprised to learn about the action.

The problem is that Obama's desperate attempts to avoid taking blame only make him look dangerously inept. Can we really trust a leader who is so utterly clueless about what's happening right under his nose?

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