Impeachment, a Bridge Too Far

IMPEACHMENT: A BRIDGE TOO FAR

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Increasingly, across this city, the “I” word is being heard.

Impeachment is being brought up by Republicans outraged over Barack Obama’s usurpations of power and unilateral rewriting of laws. And Obama is taunting John Boehner and the GOP: “So sue me.”

Democrats are talking impeachment to rally a lethargic base to come out and vote this fall to prevent Republicans from taking control of the Senate, and with it the power to convict an impeached president.

Still, Republicans should drop the talk of impeachment.

For the GOP would gain nothing and risk everything if the people began to take seriously their threats to do to Barack Obama what Newt Gingrich’s House did to Bill Clinton.

The charges for which a president can be impeached and removed from office, are “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

With Bill Clinton, the impeachers had a solid case of perjury.

With Richard Nixon, they had a preponderance of evidence that, at least for a time, he had sought to obstruct justice in the investigation of the Watergate break-in.

Article II of the impeachment of Richard Nixon was for misuse of the IRS in what turned out to be futile and failed attempts to have the agency harass political enemies by having them audited.

As yet there is no evidence Obama knew of the IRS plot to delay and deny tax exemptions to Tea Party groups, which would be an abuse of power and a trampling upon the constitutional rights of Tea Partiers, who were denied the equal protection of the laws.

The GOP response to the lost emails of Lois Lerner and crashed computers that went missing should be a drumbeat of demands for the appointment of an independent counsel, not an impeachment committee in the House.

Obama claims he did not learn of the IRS abuse until years after it began, and weeks after his White House staff learned of it.

In the absence of those emails, the claim cannot be refuted.

In the Benghazi scandal, the president’s defense is the same.

He had no idea what was going on. And cluelessness appears here to be a credible defense. Two weeks after the Benghazi atrocity, Obama was at the U.N. still parroting the Susan Rice line about an anti-Muslim video having been the cause of it all.

Has the president unilaterally rewritten the Obamacare law, while ignoring the Congress that wrote it? Indeed, he has.

But would a Republican Party that failed and folded when it tried to use its legitimate power of the purse to defund Obamacare really stand firm in an Antietam battle to impeach a president of the United States?

Or is this just “beer talk”?

Impeachment is in the last analysis a political act.

The impeachment of Nixon was a coup d’etat by liberal enemies who, though repudiated and routed by the electorate in 1972, still retained the institutional power to break him and destroy his presidency.

And, undeniably, he gave them the tools.

In the case of Nixon, political enemies controlled both houses of the Congress. Washington was a hostile city. Though he had swept 49 states, Nixon lost D.C. 3-to-1. The bureaucracy built up in the New Deal and Great Society was deep-dyed Democratic.

Most crucially, the Big Media whose liberal bias had been exposed by Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew were hell-bent on revenge.

All three power centers — the bureaucracy, Congress, the Big Media — worked in harness to bring Nixon down.

No such powerful and hostile coalition exists today with Obama.

In 2008, Obama carried D.C. 24-to-1 over John McCain. The White House Correspondents Association has at times behaved like an Obama super PAC. Liberal Democrats dominate the bureaucracy and control the Senate.

Any Republican attempt at impeachment would go up against a stacked deck. And the GOP would be throwing away a winning hand for a losing one.

For while the American people have shown no interest in impeaching Obama, they are coming to believe they elected an incompetent executive and compulsive speechmaker who does not know what the presidency requires and who equates talk with action.

With the economy shrinking 3 percent in the first quarter, with Obama sinking in public approval, and with the IRS, NSA and VA scandals bubbling, why would Republicans change the subject to impeachment?

The effect would be to enrage and energize the Democratic base, bring out the African-American vote in force and cause the major media to charge the GOP with a racist scheme to discredit and destroy our first black president.

Does the GOP really want a fight on that turf, when they currently hold the high ground? If you are winning an argument, why change the subject?

If the nation is led to believe Republicans seek to gain the Senate so they can remove Barack Obama from office after a GOP-led impeachment, then Republicans are not likely to win the Senate.

Maybe that is why the Democrats are wailing about impeachment.

Republicans should take away the football.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

Is Democracy Another God that Failed?

Is Democracy Another God that Failed

By Patrick J. Buchanan

On Memorial Day weekend, scores of thousands of bikers arrived here for their annual Rolling Thunder tribute to America’s veterans, especially those lost in our wars or left behind.

But this year the tribute has been sullied by a squalid scandal in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Sick vets seeking medical care at the Phoenix VA hospital were put on waiting lists, but never got to see a doctor. Dozens died. Then waiting lists were altered to make it appear that VA staffers had not failed in their duty to provide the vets access to care in the required 14 days. Some vets suffered for months before dying.

There is truly something rotten in the state.

But, rest assured, this scandal of deceit, dishonor and betrayal is not going to go away soon.

For unlike Benghazi and the IRS scandals, the major media are looking into how widespread was this practice of denying care to vets and doctoring waiting lists to lie about what was done, and not done, at the VA hospitals. And as this is both an easily understood and deeply emotional issue, the public is fully engaged.

Our commander in chief wisely used his weekend to visit our troops in Afghanistan. But between Memorial Day and June 6, when the president speaks at Normandy on the 70th anniversary of D-Day, this metastasizing scandal is going to bleed his administration.

And this crisis gripping the second largest Cabinet department underscores a larger truth.

The core belief of liberalism, the political philosophy that has guided the Democratic Party since FDR’s New Deal — that competent, caring, compassionate government is the instrument best suited to addressing America’s social disorders — is being fatally undermined.

The VA hospitals are supposed to represent the best in quality care for those we owe the most. They are America’s example to the world of government-run health care and a single-payer system that liberals have championed for decades.

Does anyone still believe that universal health care modeled on the VA is what we want for America?

Looking around, America’s public sector appears to be everywhere in crisis.

Before the VA scandal we had the rollout of Obamacare, the disastrous results of which were so unanticipated and adverse they could cost the Democratic Party control of the Senate in November.

Democrats point to Social Security and Medicare as the ideal of what a caring, compassionate and competent government can do.

But what has Big Government accomplished lately?

In the new century, we have fought our two longest wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Are the results worth the lost blood and treasure?

Or are the results of our interventions the reasons why Americans want to stay out of Syria and Ukraine?

Perhaps the largest of all government programs is education.

Yet despite the trillions of dollars plunged into public education at the local, state and federal levels from the Great Society to No Child Left Behind to Race to the Top, U.S. test scores continue to plummet in international competition and the gap between black and Hispanic and Asian and white continues to persist.

To bring up test scores, we have seen the dumbing down of tests and rampant cheating by principals and teachers erasing and changing answers for students in school districts including D.C. and Atlanta.

Corrupt conduct by those charged with instructing America’s children in the moral superiority of democratic government.

Is not the charter school movement a vote of no confidence in a school system that was once the pride of the nation?

The sub-prime mortgage scandal, which almost plunged us into a second Great Depression, was a product of Big Government.

And despite five trillion in federal deficits under Obama, and a Fed policy of pumping endless trillions into the banks, U.S. growth in the first quarter flatlined, and has been anemic for years.

The bankruptcy of Detroit, the downgrades of public debt in Illinois, Puerto Rico and New Jersey — were they not all caused by the political class that runs state governments?

Yes, there are well-run VA hospitals, outstanding public schools, and state and local governments that are magnets for business. And government has accomplished goals in which all of us take pride.

NASA put our astronauts on the moon. After Pearl Harbor, Washington led America to victory in less than four years. But lately government’s failures seem to outnumber its successes.

Republicans rightly view with alarm demographic trends showing their core constituencies shrinking and the Democrats’ rising.

But Democrats should also take heed. For declining confidence in government’s ability to solve America’s problems, which is likely to be translated into Republican gains in Congress this year, represents a declining faith in the Democratic idea that government is the answer.

In the last century, communism was The God That Failed.

It should be a cause for concern that in the new century the god that appears to be failing is American democracy.

Is the Tea Party’s Dream an Illusion?

Is the Tea Party's Dream an Illusion?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“There is no education in the second kick of a mule,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

With some such thought in mind, Speaker John Boehner strode to the floor of the House to offer a “clean” debt ceiling bill and relied on Nancy Pelosi’s Democrats to pass it. They did.

“Surrender” and “betrayal,” are among the epithets coming the Speaker’s way.

Yet Boehner was holding a losing hand. Had he added a GOP wish-list bill to the debt ceiling, Harry Reid’s Senate would have rejected it. President Obama would have denounced it as putting at risk the full faith and credit of the United States.

Big Media would have piled on. The markets would have been rattled. The Dow would have begun to swoon. Corporate America, cash cow of the Republican Party, would have begun to howl.

A clamor to pass a clean debt ceiling bill or risk a new recession would have arisen. And the House Republicans would have caved, as they finally had to cave on the budget bill last fall.

Rather than play Lord Raglan and lead his cavalry in another Charge of the Light Brigade, Boehner chose to withdraw to fight another day on another field.

Yet, the Tea Party has a right to feel cheated.

When does the Republican Party, put in power by the Tea Party, plan to honor its commitment to halt the growth of the Federal monolith and bring the budget back into balance? Is there is any hope things will be different, should the Tea Party help produce a GOP Senate in 2014?

If the Tea Party is in some despair, is it not understandable?

For while there are countless proposals and plans to cut back on federal spending, from Simpson-Bowles on, it is impossible today to see in either party the political will to do the surgery.

Consider what would be needed to roll back Big Government.

First, the major entitlement programs Medicare and Social Security would have to be peeled back. But any effort to raise the age of eligibility, or reduce the benefits, or trim cost-of-living adjustments, would meet with ferocious resistance, led by the AARP.

Indeed, many Tea Party members are themselves among those enjoying, or about to enjoy, the benefits of these programs. Would they back cuts in either one? Democrats say these programs must be expanded, and they will resist any cuts as fiercely as the Republicans would resist any increase in payroll or income taxes.

Social Security and Medicare recipients number in the scores of millions. Four million Baby Boomers reach eligibility every year now. That is more then 10,000 every day. Is any party, even a GOP that controls the White House and Congress, going to take on this army?

Consider that other entitlement, Medicaid.

Thanks to Obamacare, the number of beneficiaries of Medicaid is soaring. And even should the GOP capture the Senate in 2016, a Democratic minority would filibuster to death any bill to cut Medicaid.

As for interest on the debt, another major element in the budget, it has only one way to go, up. For the Fed freeze that has held interest rates near zero for five years must some day end.

Defense is the other big item in the budget. But while the wind-down of our trillion-dollar wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has made cuts possible here, most of these have already been made.

And this week the House voted 326-90 to repeal the small cut in the COLA in pensions for working-age military retirees under 62, which was part of the bipartisan budget deal last fall. Members of Congress panic at any suggestion they are shortchanging the troops.

Yet, since Y2K, the cost of military personnel has doubled, while the number of those on active duty has fallen by 10 percent.

Last December, Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray, in their budget deal, raised discretionary spending in 2014 from the $967 billion it would have been under the sequester to $1.012 trillion.

Invariably, bipartisan budget deals between Capitol Hill liberals and conservatives move the ball further toward the liberals’ goal line.

The farm bill just signed by President Obama contains a tiny cut in a food stamp budget that has exploded during his days in office. But nice new subsidies are in there for peanut and corn growers and producers of maple syrup. Embarrassed at what the House went along with, not one Republican Congressman showed up at the signing ceremony.

Can it be that the Tea Party’s dream of a balanced budget, and of a government that ceases to eat up ever more of the GDP, is simply an act of self-delusion?

Have the beneficiaries of Big Government become so powerful that any champion of the national interest who challenges them in fixed battle invites almost certain defeat?

For today, America appears to be maintaining speed, or even accelerating, toward that cliff that they all warn us is out there.

End of the Line for the Welfare State?

End of the Line for the Welfare State?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

The Congressional Budget Office did not exactly say Obamacare would cost the nation 2.5 million jobs.

But what it did say is vindication of what conservatives have preached since Barry Goldwater stood in the pulpit 50 years ago:

The more liberal the welfare state, the greater the disincentive to work and the more ruinous the impact upon a nation’s work ethic.

The CBO has just given us a statistical measure of that truth.

The Obamacare subsidies, it said, will cause some to quit work, others to cut back on the hours they work, and others to hold off going to work, so as not to lose the benefits.

The cumulative impact of all these decisions will be equal to the loss of 2.5 million jobs by 2024. A devastating blow to an economy where the labor force participation is at a 30-year low.

The CBO has put a number of what everyone knows to be true: If people don’t have to work to provide the needs of their daily lives, some will drop out and become permanent charges on the public purse, deadbeats.

The father of modern liberalism, FDR, never disputed this. As he warned in 1935, welfare is “a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit.”

This used to be called common sense. Growing up, we all knew or read that those who inherited great wealth often ended up never holding a “real job” and spent their days in a life of self-indulgence.

However, a related and larger question is raised by the CBO:

If Obamacare alone will cost the equivalent of 2.5 million lost jobs to the U.S. economy, what is the impact of our entire welfare state on the vitality and dynamism of the U.S. labor force?

As Robert Rector of Heritage Foundation wrote in January, if we judge Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society only by the dollars spent to improve the lives of the poor and near-poor, an astronomical $20 trillion, it was a success. Rector describes its dimensions.

“The federal government runs more than 80-means tested programs that provide cash, food, housing, medical care and targeted social services to poor and low-income Americans.

“Government spent $916 billion on these programs in 2012 alone, and roughly 100 million Americans received aid from at least one of them, at an average cost of $9,000 per recipient. (That figure doesn’t include Security or Medicare.)

“Federal and state welfare spending, adjusted for inflation, is 16 times greater than it was in 1964.”

Yet, if we judge the Great Society by its goal, providing the poor with their basic family needs so they can go out into the marketplace and find jobs and join their fellow Americans, it has been, writes Rector, “a catastrophe.”

Scores of millions of Americans are today less able to achieve self-sufficiency through work than were their grandparents.

And by providing for all the needs that the father used to provide for his family, the Great Society has helped make fathers superfluous. We have created a system where a teenage girl who becomes pregnant can have all her basic needs met by government.

This is a primary cause of the rise in illegitimacy in America from 6 percent of all births in 1963 to 41 percent today, and to 53 percent among Hispanics and 73 percent among African-Americans.

And that record illegitimacy rate is directly tied to the drug use rate, the dropout rate, the crime rate and the incarceration rate.

If the goal of the Great Society was to turn America’s tax consumers into taxpayers, it has been a total failure. We have now a vast underclass of scores of millions who are dependent upon government for most or all of their basic needs, a class among whom many, if not most, have lost the ability to survive without government money, food and shelter.

This is something new in America, something we did not know with the Irish boat people of the 1840s, the Okies in Dust Bowl days or during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Monday’s New York Times reveals a relevant and startling fact.

Only 8 percent of the cab and rental car drivers in New York City are native-born Americans. Three times as many yellow cabdrivers in New York were born in Bangladesh than in the USA.

What is happening in America is that the vast cohort of working men and women, immigrants, illegal and legal, who have come in recent decades, 30 to 40 million, have displaced, have dispossessed, the native-born.

But we may be coming to the end of the line. From Detroit to Greece to Puerto Rico, government’s ability to expand the benefits of the welfare class by taxing the working and middle class is reaching its limit.

Taxpayers are rebelling, budgets are falling dangerously out of balance, and the welfare state is beginning to buckle under the load.

Perhaps T. S. Eliot was right:

“This is how the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper.”

Will Obamacare Be the Death of Liberalism?

By Patrick J Buchanan

By 1968, Walter Lippmann, the dean of liberal columnists, had concluded that liberalism had reached the end of its tether.

In that liberal epoch, the 1960s, the Democratic Party had marched us into an endless war that was tearing America apart.

Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society had produced four “long, hot summers” of racial riots and a national crime rate that had doubled in a decade. The young were alienated, the campuses aflame.

Lippmann endorsed Richard Nixon.

For forty years, no unabashed liberal would be elected president.

Jimmy Carter won one term by presenting himself as a born-again Christian from Georgia, a peanut farmer, Naval Academy graduate and nuclear engineer. Bill Clinton ran as a centrist.

So toxic had the term “liberal” become that liberals dropped it and had themselves rebaptized as “progressives.”

Barack Obama, however, ran unapologetically as a man of the left. An opponent of the Iraq war, he had compiled a voting record to the left of Bernie Sanders, the socialist senator from Vermont.

And Obama proudly placed his signature achievement, Obamacare, right alongside, and in the tradition of, liberal giants FDR and LBJ.

This is the new progressivism of the 21st century, Obama was saying, and I the transformational figure who will usher in the post-Reagan era. Where Clinton failed, I will succeed.

But now that Obamacare is coming to be perceived as a political catastrophe, not only does it threaten Obama’s place in history, it could invalidate, indeed, eviscerate the defining idea of the Democratic Party itself.

For Democrats are the Party of Government. They believe that government is more nobly motivated than a private sector that runs on self-interest and the profit motive, and that government can achieve goals private enterprise could never accomplish.

To liberals, government is us, the personification of the nation.

Social Security, Medicare, Medicare and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are monuments to this belief. So, too, are the world wars fought and won under liberal presidents Woodrow Wilson and FDR.

It was 1968, the Tet Offensive, the assassinations, the urban riots, the campus anarchy, the smash-up of the Democratic Party in the streets of Chicago that caused the national recoil from liberalism that lasted for forty years.

Now consider what the rollout of Obamacare is doing, not only to this president and his administration, but also to the idea that government has the solution to America’s problems.

Though they had as long as World War II to get it done, Obama’s crowd could not even produce a working website. Now we learn the White House was alerted to the website problems in March but plunged ahead.

Obama’s reputation for competence has been shredded, and, so, too, has his reputation for truthfulness.

With millions losing their health insurance because of Obamacare mandates, we learn that Obama and his team knew this was inevitable, even as they reassured us, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. Period.”

The brutal truth: Our president got his legacy program passed by deceiving the American people in a giant swindle.

Not only have millions lost their health care plans, tens of millions more may lose theirs at year’s end when they learn that their employer’s health care plans also do not meet Obamacare mandates.

Hillarycare cost the Democrats the House in 1994. Obamacare, the love child of Hillarycare, could cost Democrats the Senate in 2014.

But what makes this a disaster not just for a party but a philosophy is that Obamacare is liberalism incarnate. It is premised on the idea that progressives, starting from scratch, can redesign a health care system, 16 percent of the economy, and make it more fair, more just and more efficient for us all.

Obamacare was an act of hubris by an administration of talking heads most of whom never ran anything in their lives. And what we are witnessing is the antithesis of what we were promised.

So confident were they in the wonks that wrote the bill that Nancy Pelosi could say, “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it.”

Seven weeks in, the website is not fixed. Millions have lost their health care plans. Quality hospitals are being cut out of the program as too costly. Individuals are being offered plans inferior to what they had in terms of benefits, but with far more costly premiums.

The crisis for Obama, his party, and his philosophy is that this is not only a nightly national story; it is a daily story in every state. And the anecdotes of debacles have been piling up, one upon another, for seven weeks. They do not cease, and there is no end in sight.

Nothing, it appears, will interrupt the litany of personal woes before Democrats, in panic, cut themselves loose of Obamacare and try to swim away from the Lusitania.

It will likely be a long time before another Democratic president dares again another such Great Leap Forward.

The First Hustler Runs the Big Con

The First Hustler Runs the Big Con

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“Nothing is lost save honor.”

So said Jim Fisk after he and Jay Gould survived yet another scrape in their corrupt and storied careers in the Gilded Age.

Fisk’s dismissal of honor came to mind while watching Barack Obama in Boston smugly explain how his vow — “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it!” — was now inoperative.

All along, it had been a bait-and-switch by the first hustler.

In Boston, Obama could no longer evade the truth. Hundreds of thousands of Americans who had purchased health insurance in the private market were getting notices their plans were being canceled.

That this revelation had blown a hole in his credibility did not seem to trouble Obama. Indeed, the president appeared impatient with the complaints. These were “substandard” plans anyhow, he said, the lousy offerings of “bad-apple insurers.”

“So if you’re getting one of those letters (canceling your insurance plan), just shop around in the new marketplace. … You’re going to get a better deal.”

Behind the arrogance is the realty: Obama has the veto power. No alteration of Obamacare, except for changes he approves, can be made before the winter of 2017. And by then, Obamacare will be so deeply embedded in law and practice it will be beyond repeal.

We won, you lost, was written across Obama’s face.

Yet, Obama’s victory calls to mind that of King Pyrrhus of Epirus over the Romans at Asculum as described by Plutarch. Counting up his dead friends, dead commanders and dead soldiers, the king remarked, “One more such victory and we are undone.”

The price Obama will be a long time paying for this victory is historic and huge.

First, there is the irreversible damage to his credibility and integrity. He conned the people into believing something he knew to be false — that all Americans would be allowed to keep the health care plans that they had and liked.

This assurance, repeated again and again, helped disarm the opposition. Americans who liked their doctors and insurance plans and were repeatedly told they could keep both were not only relieved; they became more receptive to the idea of helping the less fortunate.

Obama’s assurances of keeping your insurance plan if you like it now enters presidential history alongside George H.W. Bush’s “Read my lips! No new taxes,” Bill Clinton’s “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky,” and George W. Bush’s tales of yellow cake in Niger and hidden arsenals of WMDs.

As for the idealistic avatar of hope and change from 2008, who led the nation to believe that he was something new and different in politics, he has been revealed as the biggest cynic of them all.

Moreover, where his campaign against Hillary Clinton in the primaries and John McCain in 2008 seemed to hold out promise of a newly competent progressive crowd, those hopes have all but vanished in the legendary incompetence of the Obamacare rollout.

Here was the president’s signature program — what Social Security was to FDR, Medicare to LBJ — and one month into launch, it is grist for the mills of Saturday Night Live and Comedy Central.

Observing the rollout, one begins to appreciate what George Wallace meant when he talked of Washington being a city of “pointy-headed bureaucrats who can’t park a bicycle straight.”

And though the Obamacare website will one day be repaired, and people may begin to sign up, the land mines in Obamacare are by no means all exploded. We will be walking right through them.

As Obamacare requires the cancellation of insurance plans and forces Americans to buy more expensive insurance than they want, this will inevitably raise the cost of health care for the nation.

And when the employer mandates cut in, many businesses will halt hiring at 49 employees to keep out of Obamacare, as others cut part-time workers to 29 hours a week to escape the mandates.

This cannot but adversely impact an economy whose growth in job creation under Obama has been anemic at best for five years.

Obama and cohorts are celebrating an historic achievement in passing Obamacare. But as one looks at Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Puerto Rico, Detroit and Illinois, the truth seems obvious.

The welfare state that began with Bismarck is reaching the end of the line, just as the private sector that generates the wealth to sustain that state is now, almost everywhere, buckling under its weight. The deficits stretch to the horizon. The debts rise inexorably.

Across the West, neo-socialism is out, the new austerity in.

And of all the great advances proclaimed by progressives over a century and a half, from free schooling to Social Security, Obamacare looks like it will eventually be ranked among the last — and the least.

IMAGE NOTE 1: The image above was modified by Linda Muller for Buchanan.org. Attribution CC-BY-SA-3.0
PHOTO CREDIT: Wikimedia

IMAGE NOTE 2: The image above was modified by Linda Muller for buchanan.org. Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
PHOTO CREDIT: Flickr

A Queen in Obamaland

Sebelius - A Queen in Obamaland

By Patrick J. Buchanan

The pots and pans are clanging for the ouster of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as the Obamacare website rollout takes on the aspect of that of the Edsel.

Yet, though it is a website that has America laughing, Obama’s legacy legislation itself could, in its entirety, be in peril. As ex-pilot George W. Bush used to say, this thing looks like a five-spiral crash.

Republicans are clamoring for Sebelius’s firing.

Herewith, a dissent. Why not leave her right where she is?

After all, Sebelius’s continuance testifies more eloquently than any attack ad just how far Obama’s beliefs about government and political philosophy are beyond the Middle American mainstream.

In most great U.S. corporations, if an executive had three years to roll out the product on which the company’s future might depend, and delivered this debacle, he would be gone. Panic would ensue. Emergency meetings of the board would be held to determine if more heads should roll and who should be brought in to save the company.

Outside of government, people routinely pay for their mistakes. Inside, there is often no penalty, no price, no punishment for failure.

To Obama, a mess that has members of his own party calling for suspending Obamacare for a year is just the result of “glitches.”

Still good enough for government work.

Here in D.C., many live outside the laws that rule the rest of America. Average salaries are higher and benefits superior to the private sector. Job security is greater. In-grade promotions and pay hikes are routine. And that ruthless meritocratic principle — success brings promotions, failure leads to demotions and departure — is suspended.

While no startup company, symphony orchestra, chess cub or hockey team would, a priori, insist that every racial and ethnic group, gender and sexual preference be represented at birth, such nonsense is serious business here.

Here in D.C., affirmative action comes first, before excellence, diversity before efficiency.

How else did Obama himself soar from Hawaii’s “Choom Gang” through Columbia, Harvard and Harvard Law? By busting his chops for years in the library?

Sebelius remains at her post despite manifest incompetence for reasons both ideological and political. She is a pro-choice Catholic, a feminist, an early Obamaite, a crony of the president, an apparatchik of the Party of Government.

She is a queen in Obamaland.

Like many of his generation, Obama himself is a skilled verbalist. He talks and reads teleprompter well. As for executive, managerial and operational skills, however, upon what ground would he stand to dismiss Sebelius?

He was himself clueless as to the extent and severity of the problems in his signature legislation. Two weeks after the Benghazi massacre, he was still parroting the Susan Rice line about anti-Islamic videos, which the CIA knew within hours had had nothing to do with the murder of Ambassador Stevens.

Obama had no idea for three years his IRS might be slow-walking Tea Party applications for tax exemptions. He wasn’t in the loop about Eric Holder’s phone taps on Fox News or the Associated Press.

Nobody told him. The president has not been more deeply implicated in the scandals since re-election because he could credibly say, “How was I supposed to know what was going on?”

Today, more than ever, America’s private and public sectors run on separate rails by different rules. Liberal Democrats own the public sector. Washington, D.C., where the federal and the local government provide the lion’s share of the jobs, has never once gone Republican.

In 2008, D.C. went for Obama 93-6. The town belongs to the regime. Yet, when Washington needs something vital done, the city bypasses its stagnant bureaucracy and goes outside — to private enterprise and private contractors.

Yet, though millions of Americans outside government do the jobs that government needs done and is manifestly incompetent to do, the state remains a virtual object of worship.

The left see the state as the people, the nation, incarnate. To them, it is us. In the secularized society in which we live, government is now, to many, not only next to God. Government is God.

Again, Republicans might do well to get out of the way so the people can see the clay feet and start to laugh at the buffoons, the God that failed.

Even the Obama-worshipers in the media seem stunned by the depth and breadth of incompetence exposed.

In World War II, FDR brought together the men who made things in America, dollar-a-year industrialists who swiftly took charge and met his immediate demand for 50,000 planes and 1,600 ships.

They built the most awesome military machine the world had ever seen, arming 12 million Americans, Russia and England as well, and smashing two mighty empires on opposite sides of the world.

And these men did it in about as long a time as it took Barack Obama’s regime, captained by Kathleen Sebelius, to flunk a test to create a website. There is something deeply wrong with our republic.