America hired a reality television star with no experience in government. All the electorate remembered was that Donald Trump was good at saying "you're fired" on prime-time television. So, they hired him as president, and, on Friday at around 5 p.m., they got their money's worth.
Trump just accepted the resignation of disgraced Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. It's the right thing to do, and it's a great move. What's more, by cutting Price, Trump has shown a leadership that Obama never would.
For one of the first times in almost a decade, the buck has stopped at the president's desk. Where Obama deflected controversy, Trump accepted responsibility. His guy screwed up, and Trump owned up to that failure by firing the guy he chose. Compared to Obama, that's downright presidential. Consider the following....
When Mexican drug runners gunned down Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in 2010 with a firearm they bought through the Fast and Furious program, Obama had no knowledge of the situation. Rather than aiding the investigation, the president would later invoke executive privilege to hide documents from a House committee. And Obama never publicly reprimanded Attorney General Eric Holder, let alone fire him. Obama's top cop would keep his job until censured by Congress.
Same thing happened with the Veterans Health Administration scandal of 2014. After at least 40 patients died waiting in line trying to get care, Obama pled ignorance, ordered an investigation, and signed some reform legislation. He did not fire anyone. Obama instead had his secretary of health and human services request that the VA's top health official, Robert Petzel, retire — a few months earlier than Petzel originally planned.
Trump later fired more than 500 federal employees via executive order. Obama, by contrast, did not show that type of resolve after the IRS scandal. When tax agents targeted conservatives for their political beliefs, violating their First Amendment rights, the president issued a harshly worded statement. IRS Director John Koskinen wasn't fired, reprimanded, or otherwise – nor was Lois Lerner, who was primarily responsible for the scandal as the director of the Exempt Organizations Unit of the IRS. She even kept her job after destroying her computer hard drives to hide evidence.
It goes on and on like this throughout just about every scandal of the Obama administration. Obama just wouldn't pull the trigger. That's why Trump's decision to ax Price is so remarkable. He admitted he made a mistake, and he said, "You're fired."
Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.