Many in the media are warning that President Donald Trump is incompetent and doesn’t know what he’s doing. His ignorance, they say, will mean the downfall of the republic. The hysteria is unwarranted and merely part of a Democratic Party campaign to oust the president and derail his agenda.
This isn’t the first president to face claims of incompetence. Sometimes they’re right and sometimes not. Such charges were made against Barack Obama, and most were warranted, coming not only from Republicans but Democrats. In November 2010, Joe Scarborough reported that several Democratic senators had told him they thought Obama was out of his league.
“Democrats in Washington have been horrified by this president’s handling of things for a year and a half now,” Scarborough said. “The top Democrats in the United States Senate have all told me individually, ‘This guy has no idea what he’s doing.’”
We Also Saw an Employee Exodus
The Guardian also lamented during the same period that the exodus of employees from the Obama administration was a bad sign.
Political analysts attribute the attrition rate to exhaustion, but Republican opponents blame disarray inside the White House, with an insular team responsible for too many policy failures.
In a blog on the Politico website, Alvin Felzenberg, the presidential historian and author of The Leaders We Deserved, writes: ‘These departures are a reflection of Obama’s leadership style. Why he has such a difficult time earning and retaining the loyalties of people outside his circle of intimates is anyone’s guess.’
So Trump isn’t the only president with a trusted inner circle. The difference is, however, that Trump has stepped outside that circle, meeting with people from all stripes and political parties, industries, and interests. Obama didn’t do that. Yet Trump is the bungling idiot? I don’t think so.