November 30, 2016
The Obama legacy

By Monty Pelerin <>

Nothing sums up the Obama legacy better than this quote from Edward Luce
the *Financial

"It will be as if Mr Obama was never here."

Can there be a more concise judgment?

History will remember Barack Obama as the first black president. Beyond
that, what else? His attempt to transform the nation worsened economic and
social conditions. He transformed his own party to the point where it may
not survive.

Mr. Luce explained what will occur domestically:

The Obama erasure will go far deeper than undoing domestic laws, or foreign
deals. Mr Trump will repeal Obamacare, or alter it beyond recognition. He
will “keep an open mind” about whether to pull the US out of the Paris
agreement on climate change and quite probably blow up the US-Iran nuclear

The American people demanded the destruction of Obamaism. In order to
survive, the Democrat Party will disown their Pied Piper, eventually
abhorring his policies more than conservatives.

Despite his overall judgment Mr. Luce's assessment of Barack Obama is more
positive and gracious than mine:

Here was a highly intelligent leader, and a fundamentally decent one, who
strived to make the case for international co-operation to a world that was
not really listening.

… But the world’s attention has wandered. People are highly fearful — and
rightly so.

Such an assessment is flattering and fawning in these respects:

   1. The "highly intelligent leader" might be described as painfully
   ignorant of how the world works or a committed ideologue to a system that
   always fails.  Given Obama's educational opportunities, stupidity rather
   than ignorance seems more appropriate.
   2. The "fundamentally decent one" routinely lied to the American people
   in order to pass harmful policies. He illegally utilized the Justice
   Department and the Internal Revenue Service for political purposes and
   engaged in cover-ups (gun-running to Mexico, Benghazi, etc.) to protect
   3. Obama's approach to governance was dictatorial. He went around
   Congress with Executive Orders, many of which were overturned by the
   courts. He famously terminated at least one discussion with: "I won, you

If Obama is to be more than a William Henry Harrison footnote in history,
it will be as a result of future events.

*Foreign Policy*

Mr Luce states:

The global role that Mr Obama inherited — and tried, to some degree, to
uphold — is now in tatters.

If legacies can be achieved via future disasters, Mr. Obama still has a
chance.  His feckless, "lead from behind" foreign policy leaves the world
vulnerable to conflict. Like his domestic policies, most international
agreements were made without Congressional approval.

If the world unravels, Mr. Obama has the potential to become history’s next Sir
Edward Grey


Obama is young for an ex-president. What he does with this time will
influence history’s assessment. That may not be a positive.

Obama's narcissism and need for attention will make it difficult to leave
the stage. As a media favorite he will always have a platform. As an
ex-president, even a failed one, he may make positive contributions. These
should be welcomed.

If Obama’s need for the stage outweighs his positive contributions, he will
become a public nuisance. Past behavior suggests this should be expected.
Obama is likely to try and become the Community Organizer of The World.
History is unlikely to look kindly on such an effort.

*Monty Pelerin blogs on Politics, Economics and Investing at <>*

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