The Record Of President Obama
It is difficult to objectively speak about President Obama's record in large part because Obama and his inner circle have no capacity for objectivity. If every criticism, no matter how minor or how gentle or how legitimate is met with a counter charge of racism, civil discourse will not flourish.
Let's put the ACA, Dodd-Frank, the merits and demerits of deficits, Middle East Policy--all the left brain stuff—let's just put it aside for now. President Obama's most sensational achievement, for lack of a better term, is his elimination of civil discourse. We might take it a step further and say that Barack Obama destroyed civility.
Barack Obama is the most divisive figure in the history of America. It has nothing to do with race and everything to do with playing the race card, a personal attack on the accused.
How would you objectively assess Sarah Palin's record as governor of Alaska? It is a conversation we cannot and will not conduct. You see her as an object of the hate and ridicule deserving of all vocal heretics. I see her as a victim of religious bigotry.
The ghost of Saul Alinsky hovers above us as a toxic cloud. The loyalists in the media have protected Obama to the degree that we don't know much about his philosophical influences except for Saul Alinsky and a mysterious man named Frank. Let's put Mr. Davis aside briefly and discuss Alinsky.
Saul Alinsky is one of those retched figures whose appeal will always mystify me. He advocated personal attacks over civil discourse as a means of influence. For whatever reason, Barack Obama took Saul Alinsky's methods to heart. For Barack Obama, it is all personal, all the time. There is no exchange of ideas.
What was the undefined change, Barack Obama promised America? It turned out to be unbridled hate, bigotry and intolerance for dissent. Change really has come to America. Change tens of millions of people can believe in.
Barack Obama worked hard to develop a cult of personality, a cult of worship. Part and parcel to his deification is the implicit—and at times explicit—notion that all who oppose Barack Obama are evil. Mysticism is unifying. Reason is divisive. There will be no exchange of ideas unless otherwise specified.
The Tea Party is an informal political movement that originally concerned itself with government overreach and fiscal responsibility. It sprang up after CNBC correspondent Rick Santelli launched into a spontaneous rant about his objection to bailing out reckless borrowers.
There was nothing anti-Obama in the origins of the Tea Party. Most of the early protestors probably expected a warm reception from the new administration. Wouldn't a community organizer be sympathetic to the plight of oppressed peasants? One would think.
The Tea Party would be met with surprising hostility. Obama's media thugs would do their darnedest to assassinate the character of the movement. There was the repeated insinuation of racism. A lot of, “not everyone in the Tea Party is racist but...” Ultimately the press would settle on “extremist” as the slur of choice.
What is key—and this goes to the heart of what has changed in America—is not the specific ideas the Tea Party advanced that threatened Barack Obama. Originally, there was a hodgepodge of disparate resentment being expressed. It was the idea of the idea that threatened Obama. The concept of idea. The premise of idea. There would be no rational discourse. Change had come to America.
Contrast this reaction to Obama's embracing of the obviously AstroTurf Occupy Movement. YouTube offers hours and hours of woefully inarticulate interviews with Occupants who simply cannot express what they were protesting. It was a theater of fuzzy resentment performed by political puppets with trust funds. Intellectually, the movement never rose to the level of an idea. Reason is divisive. Barack Obama voiced his support for these protesters.
We would witness Barack Obama reject discourse whenever there were budget stalemates. Rather than jumping into the fray, the president would take his show on the road. He would conduct pep rallies where he would insult Congress and generally misstate Republican positions.
This was puzzling behavior to many of us. The captain of the ship abandoning the helm and screaming at the crew with a bullhorn from a lifeboat. Those of us who thought we had seen it all were deplorably amazed. This guy will do anything to avoid the exchange of ideas (and anything to bask in the adoration of a crowd.)
There has been a lot of speculation about the ideology of our international man of mystery. Frank Marshall Davis was a card-carrying Communist and young Barry, as he called himself, spewed Marxism as a student at Occidental. He has been called a socialist but his indentation is more suggestive of fascism, which is to say, socialism with loopholes. But the ism that best defines Barack Obama is authoritarianism.
The authoritarian manner in which President Obama pushed his agenda will forever eclipse his legacy. Good or bad, the Obama agenda has never been a mandate from the voters. The administration preferred to use executive order or bureaucratic fiat or the courts to impose its will. Even when the Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress, they operated in secrecy. One of the most enduring quotes of the Obama era is Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi's instructions about the Affordable Care Act. “We have to pass the bill to find out what's in it.”
That is not how the system is supposed to work. Something I did not know until well into adulthood is that our Congressmen do not usually read the bills they pass. A 2,700 page bill that was voted on roughly two days after its final draft took shape was probably not read by a single legislator. It's not even certain who wrote the gargantuan document, although a few wonks have come out of the shadows to claim their input.
It is unlikely the president read this leviathan prior to signing it into law. To make matters more confusing, the bill was written with provisions to allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services to modify the law. The cherry on top was the president himself using unilateral power to delay implementation and to grant waivers as he saw fit. The ACA did not provide funds for one more doctor, nurse, hospital or medical school but it did call for additional IRS agents to collect all the new taxes and fees.
Every bit as Byzantine is the 3,000 page Dodd-Frank bill that was passed in the guise of financial reform. Its impact has yet to be fully felt. It may or may not improve our economy but it will certainly increase the power of political appointees.
The defining characteristic, the trademark of the Obama Administration is the near doubling of our national debt. I hold the strong conviction that debt does indeed matter. If it does not matter, why should anyone ever be required to pay a penny of taxation? We all know the answer to that question. Debt matters greatly!
I admit my bias as a fiscal conservative. Having stated that, I also hold the belief that “stimulus funds” are not all of the same merit. Some spending is simply more prudent than other spending.
The most depressing aspect of reckless spending is that we have nothing to show for it. At over $7 trillion, we could have repaired every bridge and roadway and everything else that was said to be crumbling when Bush was in office but is not often mentioned with Obama in office. We could have the world's best passenger rail system. We could have colonies on the Moon. At $200,000 per home (slightly higher than the median price) we could have built 35, 000,000 houses. Full employment, no more homeless shelters, no more homeless people, real estate surplus.
So what do we have to show for our $7 trillion debt (the actual expenditures exceeded $20 trillion)? Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.
The administration has probably raised tax rates beyond the optimum rate of return. Should we decrease corporate and individual tax rates, we would probably have more government revenue, not less. Nonetheless, the Obama Administration will never advocate for a decreased tax burden. They lust at every oportunity to punish successful people.
The good news about the economy is that America is undergoing an energy renaissance. Hydraulic fracturing is producing an abundance, possibly even a surfeit, of oil and natural gas. The bad news is that the Obama Administration has been openly hostile to fossil fuel production. The degree of resistance with which the Obama Administration opposes oil, coal and natural gas will largely determine the prognosis for America's economic revival.
On foreign policy President Obama often appears dwarfed by circumstance. He reminds one of a college sophomore who returns for Thanksgiving to pronounce old friends, family and everyone in his hometown hopelessly unenlightened. Suddenly, the college sophomore is thrust upon the world stage, advising Israel on the location of their borders, drawing a red line in Syria, leading from behind in Libya, making tsk tsk sounds at the Kremlin, offering encouragement to the Muslim Brotherhood, writing off ISIS as a JV team, calling ISIS, “ISIL”, and upgrading them to varsity status, candidly admitting that we have no strategy for dealing with ISIS and ultimately...he looks like a college sophomore thrust upon the world stage.
We cannot summarize the Obama years without commenting on the Zeitgeist. Barack Obama is a cult leader. He asks and receives unending loyalty from his minions. The citizens of his country who are not blindly faithful are treated as infidels. They are treated with scorn and ridicule, hostility and intimidation. We have witnessed IRS intimidation, DOJ intimidation, fraudulent warrants used to silence reporters, and domestic spying on a scale Stasi could only dream of.
Barack Obama makes every political discussion personal. In so doing, he has spread rancor far and wide. He has split families and ruined friendships. Barack Obama has defiled the spirit of America. It could take a long time for that to be restored.