by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Unfortunately we have seen many times in the past that strong words and bluster from the administration do not always translate into needed action. In September 2012, President Obama said that we would find the men responsible for the attack on our consulate in Benghazi. And yet, a year and a half later, not only are the perpetrators of the attack still free, but Islamic extremists are driving Libya further into chaos. Last May, President Obama expressed outrage when he learned of the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS. And yet, a year later, the administration has taken little action to get to the bottom of the IRS scandal, to punish those responsible or to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
There was a time when if an American president spoke, the world listened. But with every new scandal, every new example of incompetence, and every new expression of presidential outrage that is not backed up by consequences and a concrete response, this president loses a little more credibility, and the American people trust him a little bit less.
The most powerful man in the world has more tools at his disposal than mere expressions of outrage. Officials must be held accountable. Some should be fired, and criminal investigations may be appropriate.
Only when the president backs up his words with action will he be able to root out the incompetence that is plaguing this administration. And only then will he be able to begin to restore the trust and confidence of the American people.