Jean came up with a very useful explanation for the behavior of President Obama, in relationship to certain, um, features of his administration.
Her concept is an attempt to explain Obama's basic moral structure, and therefore why the current presidential administration behaves the way it does.
Obama, she says, seems to be a Machiavellian pragmatist. His moral position seems based upon the concept that "the ends justify the means." Jean's first impression was that he was behaving like a Mafia Capo, and that led her to her explanation.
President Obama received his political training in a machine-run city, as a political activist with the self-assigned duty to make the lives of his constituents better at any cost and by any means, in order to make his constituency faithful machine voters.
Part of this job description includes the notion of what "making constituents lives better" entails, and how one was to go about making it happen. Obama, like most Progressives, probably decided quite early on that his own vision was the only correct one, and that any means at all of actualizing it were both moral and appropriate.
Within a political machine, one actualizes any concept through the use of strong political power. One receives this power from the machine in exchange for delivering constituents' votes in the machine's favor. After all, the job description of a political activist involves controlling and delivering votes.
To make a long story short, Obama's only political training came at the hands of the Chicago Machine and the Acorn Project. Thus, he entered first the Senate and then the Presidency "knowing" that his social-engineering answers were the correct ones, and also "knowing" that he was entitled to use any means at his disposal to accomplish them. That's what he had very successfully done in Chicago.
This "knowledge" is the attitude that leads to such aberrations as Fast and Furious, among others. It also leads to rewarding those who make the President's wishes come true at any cost, several examples of which we are seeing right now, to our everlasting dismay.
Finally, let us compare the Presidency of Mr. Obama with that of Harry S. Truman. Like Obama, Truman was a machine-trained and -controlled politician. Truman, different from Obama, achieved the Presidency only by means of, first, political compromise, and, finally, pure happenstance.
But Truman, unlike Obama, arrived at the Presidency with a well-established moral compass that he had been keeping in abeyance during his local-politician and Senate careers. As soon as Truman became President, he threw off the shackles of prior political control, and he became "his own man."
President Obama seems to lack an in-built moral compass, as if he hadn't been listening to the religious instructions of his youth. Thus he arrived at the Presidency unable to transcend his prior training, and he remains a Machiavellian machine politician to his very core.