The reason why this White House is so chaotic and can't even staff the Treasury at a time of wild economic turmoil is that Obama needs to micromanage it all. That's why he's got six Secretaries of State. Hillary is just a figurehead. He's got Joe Biden, who's not all that together himself, he's got his special reps to the Middle East and Af-Pakistan, he's got his letter to Khamenei in Iran, he wrote his own letter to Russia's prime minister (which was contemptuously dissed in public), he's got his "Up yours, British Imperialist!" meeting with Gordon Brown, followed by some mysterious "high State Department source" telling the Brits they're no different from all the other 200 countries in the world, and on and on. FDR famously played off his bureaucrats against each other to keep more power in his own hands. Obama is trying the same thing, except that he can't resist the urge to meddle and micromanage. No wonder Warren Buffett is getting freaked out watching it.
Take something as small as Obama's need for a word-for-word script, just to answer questions at press conferences. His teleprompter dependency is simply unprecedented. Any Republican president would be laughed out of the room with that kind of hand-holding from Axelrod, or Bill Ayers, or Michelle, or whoever is dictating the words behind the scenes. No wonder Obama is considered eloquent. Like a talking head on TV he constantly needs his writers to feed him the words, so he can pay total attention to his acting style. But even his acting is degenerating in front of our eyes: Obama is turning Obombastama. You can tell from the tone of hysteria creeping into his operatic baritone. Maybe they need to switch that reverb circuit back on? That should impress all the lickspittles of the White House press.
The paradox of it all is that the free market will have to get us out of this mess, simply because whatever policies Obama conjures up from day to day are contradictory. You can't spend a trillion plus on the phony stimulus bill, and then expect to spend more and more trillions of Monopoly money on your liberal wish list: universal healthcare, carbon trading schemes, declaring CO2 to be a poison. "Pardon me for breathing," as New Yorkers used to say. That was a joke. Soon breathing out CO2 may require a carbon trading license from Carol Browner at the EPA. Not a joke. As for the other end, methane is next.
With Obama running around in all directions at the same time, the market will find ways to get around overregulation. It usually does. The old military maxim is "order, counter-order, disorder." Another useful rule is "never give a command that won't be obeyed." But that's precisely what the Big O keeps doing. It's an odd way to liberate those markets that cannot be controlled -- which is most of them -- but what the hell, it's a libertarian dream.
And when the economy recovers in spite of all that control freakery, Obama will take the credit. In a way, he might deserve it.