Dick Gustafson
Valley Voices

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July 4, 2014
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Vail Daily column: This is leadership?

Well, Benghazi details are finally beginning to hit the fan.

The latest disclosures are just too enlightening to ignore. In his testimony, Brig. Gen. Lovell describes the rule of the military is to “follow the gunfire.” There are only two people who could choose to issue or to ignore the order to respond. One is the then-secretary of state, Hillary Clinton; the other was President Barack H. Obama. There were no orders given to honor that rule, however. The only order was to stand down.

A major issue is, who gave that order and under whose authority?

In politics, you “follow the stink.” That stink is now originating from the White House and the State Department. This odor is becoming overwhelming. Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi attempted to change the subject by downplaying the Benghazi scandal by accusing the Republicans of dragging out the investigation.

Pelosi carelessly ignores the White House’s delivery of only a small percent of the total requested documents. It appears that they have caused most of the delay. Pelosi always tries to change the subject whenever the heat is on and the Democrats have something to hide. This time it must be a whopper because “the lady doth protest too much.”

You surely know, from all the noise that is flying, that there is little point to reiterate the timeline here. That is certainly well documented. We already have a liar in the White House. His failing existing policies and the cover-up lies about the failures has shaken the people’s confidence in our country that has deteriorated to a point almost beyond repair, by any party.

Can we afford another four years of lies by a presidential candidate who is currently backing up a president’s terminological inexactitudes with equally offensive additional lies? What we need is a leader with a moral and an ethical backbone.

Why has the president felt he needed to tell lies? If he admits he knew about another scandal of the week in another governmental department, the question then becomes, if you knew about it, why haven’t you done something about it? Isn’t it easier to say, “I learned about it in the news”? It means no defensive replies about his priorities or lack of management skills. However, real leaders take the heat, such as Harry Truman’s desk sign, “The buck stops here.” The Veterans Affairs’ mismanagement of the medical treatment of vets is a classic example of such a scandal.

Here is a quick review of some of Obama’s other “management skills”:

• The Justice Department’s “Fast and Furious”: A poorly administered gun-running scheme for locating Mexican drug lords, sponsored by Attorney General Eric Holder.

• The IRS scandal: Where serious government employees succumbed to Sen. Levin’s (and others) pressure to crack down on organizations that see things differently. That is a clear violation of the laws of the land, the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights, the Congressional Code of Ethics and the U.S. Constitution.

IRS (continued): Members of the staff have $3 billion-plus of outstanding and unpaid taxes, while at the same time are receiving ridiculous “performance bonuses.”

• The NSA scandal: A surveillance of American citizens and media reporters for “improper activities” (in whose opinion?).

• Obamacare: A rushed, poorly contrived and executed attempt to socialize medical treatment in the U.S. This caused the loss of personal physicians, increased the cost of health insurance and was a financial disaster for insurance companies requiring a proposed taxpayer “bailout.”

Hundreds of new employees were hired to process the expected influx of applicants to Obamacare. One woman resigned out of boredom. She said that in December, she processed a total of six applications, the most of any entire month. She further said that most of the employees just sat around doing nothing while collecting a paycheck.

• Benghazi is still a mess while Obama continues to stonewall the investigating committee while Democrats joined the committee probably for the purpose of protecting their potential presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, even if they only interrupt the processes.

Most of the above, the president claims to have learned about on the scandals by watching the news. He then stands up and protests the culprits and how they will pay the consequences. To date, there have been no consequences and not one government employee fired or demoted as a result of any questionable behavior. There have been some re-assignments and even promotions, however.

Now “there’s a leader to be feared and respected.” What a definitive decision maker. What a leader. Is this the kind of leader we want to be on top of our country’s prestige and challenges? God knows, we can’t afford another one.

Dick Gustafson, of Vail, is a former Eagle County commissioner.


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The VailDaily Updated Jul 4, 2014 06:26PM Published Jul 4, 2014 12:03PM Copyright 2014 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.