A Golf Cap Does Not a Stovepipe Hat Make, Et Cetera

By J.F. McKenna

POTUS is all hat and no cattle—but always looking for a sacrificial calf.

There, that’s the precis of the Obama Years, tous frais faits. By the way, the rest of us will be stuck with those defrayed expenses. At home and abroad. So now that you know the plot, you won’t have to buy the official presidential memoirs, not that any one of us will have the jack to buy a copy.

Frankly, the old ranching expression is perfect for a fellow who’s all style and no substance as chief executive. In this case, though, the metaphorical hat isn’t even a flashy ten-gallon cover. It’s just a nondescript if well-worn golf cap.

Consider for starters the President’s signature domestic effort, allegedly affordable health care for the nation. A Rube Goldberg-like machinery guaranteed to ensure that health care is anything but affordable, effective or salubrious, Obamacare is the legislative equivalent of the Eagles’ Hotel California: “You can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave.”

That is, if you’re an average American.

Or ruminate over the President’s buffet approach to constitutional law, with his choosing by fiat what he wants to enforce and expecting the co-equal branches of government to defer to his judgment.

Mark Levin sums up the situation brilliantly in his new book, The Liberty Amendments: “Notwithstanding Congress’s delinquency, but because of it, an unquenched President Obama, in a hurry to expedite a societal makeover, has repeatedly admonished Congress that ‘if it won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will!’—that is, if Congress will not genuflect to his demands, and pass laws to his liking, he will act on his own.”

Recasts that grand Revolutionary slogan, doesn’t it? Don’t Tread On Me—I’m Already Flat To The Ground.

And then there’s foreign policy, aka national security. The debate over intervention in Syria imports the signature style of Obamacare to high-stakes global politics. No clear goals, seat-of-the-pants strategy, all-in-favor-say-aye tactics. What’s not to instill public confidence and ensure success?

In a current editorial cartoon President Obama tells a reluctant American soldier:  “Oh, stop worrying. Would they have given me a Peace Prize if I didn’t know what I was doing?”

As I said, all hat and no cattle. Start practicing your mooing.


CBR contributor J.F. McKenna, a longtime West Park resident, is a business journalist, former magazine editor and marketing-communications consultant. Reach him at jfmckwriter23@yahoo.com or through his LinkedIn profile: Jos. F. McKenna.



  1. Daniel Beck says:

    I have read the Federalist Papers repeatedly and this President is exactly why there were to be checks and balances. John Boehner has abdicated his responsibility for that check to the President by not bringing to vote each and every bill which would force the chief executive to veto and thereby show his distain for the elected representatives of the several states.
    We need a speaker that will stand and be heard. A Stove Pipe hat does not a pinhead fit.
    (And I own a Stovepipe hat so I can’t be a pinhead because it fits just fine)

    • JF McKenna says:

      Madison wrote: “It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.”
      It pays to heed the manufacturers’ warning.
      Unless, of course, you live in the Beltway.
      For the record, I have a nifty cloth cap. Joe McK

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