10 Ways Obama Has Failed as President

We are so over with being impressed by this president.

By  <http://thefederalist.com/author/rtracinski/> Robert Tracinski

A poll released last week had some pretty
onal-Politics/Polling/release_361.xml> bad news for congressional Democrats
heading into the midterm elections. But buried in the poll numbers was a
figure that just might constitute an even more important turning point.

Respondents were asked: “On balance, do you feel that Obama’s presidency so
far has been more of a success or more of a failure?” More than half, 52%,
said “failure.” Only 42% said “success.” And it gets worse. Only 22% were
“strongly” convinced Obama is a success, while 39% are strongly convinced
he’s a failure. And the American people have pretty much made up their minds
on this; only 6% of respondents had no clear opinion.

Other evidence backs up this turn in public opinion. How bad has it gotten?
The last president who was widely written off by the American people as a
failure, George W. Bush, now enjoys
hought-would-come/> higher net approval ratings than Obama, while Mitt
Romney has been going on an
<http://neoneocon.com/2014/09/09/what-is-romney-up-to/> I-told-you-so tour.

At this point, the American people are pretty much feeling like
<http://nypost.com/2014/09/09/kid-face-plants-at-the-white-house/> this kid.
We are so over with being impressed by this president.

On behalf of long-time critics of Obama, let me say to the American people:
welcome to our world. As a public service, to help you solidify your sense
that he just isn’t up to the job, let me count down the ways that President
Obama has failed to live up to his promises and to the responsibilities of
his office. The list is pretty comprehensive.

1. He didn’t heal our racial divisions.

The first thing people expected of Obama, the whole reason his presidency
was already hailed as “historic” on Inauguration Day 2009, before he had
taken a single official act, is because voters thought that the first black
president would help America put the ugly history of racially divisive
politics behind us.

But from his earliest stumbling efforts—anyone remember the “
Beer Summit“?—Obama has proven alternately uninterested and ham-handed in
dealing with this signature issue. What he has mostly contributed has been
to rush in and pre-judge racially charged cases, like the shooting of
Trayvon Martin or the questionable police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri,
before the defendants get their day in court. When you pre-judge someone on
the basis of race, isn’t there a word for that?

So as the recent race riots in Ferguson confirm, Obama has not served as
some kind of magical bridge who would promote mutual understanding between
whites and blacks. Instead, he has done more to inflame the tensions in
these cases than to defuse them.

Our expectations of Obama were overblown from the beginning, but he worked
pretty hard to overblow them. Certainly, when voters chose him, they were
hoping for the opposite of an unscrupulous race-hustler like Al Sharpton.
There was even a
e/> joke about Obama sending Sharpton and Jesse Jackson on missions to
non-existent countries just to get them as far away from his campaign as
possible. Now, Sharpton is being described as Obama’s “go-to man on race,”
with a White House source
9.html#.VBZ7jOeLkeM> gushing to The Politico that “There’s a trust factor
with The Rev from the Oval Office on down.”

For those of us who remember Obama’s previous go-to man on that subject—the
_to_r.html> Reverend Jeremiah Wright—it’s not surprising. But it’s not what
most people thought they were voting for.

2. The stimulus didn’t stimulate.

President Obama was elected in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, and
his first big act in office was to sign a gargantuan package of “stimulus”
spending—financed entirely with debt—that was supposed to jump-start the
economy. Congress voted for hundreds of billion of dollars for “shovel-ready
projects” which Obama later discovered
-so-ready/> don’t exist, and the money disappeared without a trace.

How many “
ummer-vanishes/> recovery summers” have there been in which growth and
employment was finally supposed to take off—only to peter out again? (Hint:
the first one was in 2010.)

In how many other recoveries has labor force participation—the percentage of
people actually working—
abor-force-participation-has-fallen-during-the-recovery> declined? In what
other recovery have poor people emerged
ebt-than-ever> deeper in debt than they were at the beginning?

Yes, the economy was in crisis when President Obama took office. But he has
presided over the
for-work-2014-chart-2-825.ashx> slowest, weakest economic recovery since the
Great Depression—and by a good margin.

3. Financial reform didn’t reform.

But surely, Obama saw to it that we would never repeat the problems that led
to the financial crisis and the recession in the first place, right? Except
that the Dodd-Frank financial reforms didn’t really reform anything. They
created a couple thousand pages of new legislation and many, many more new
executive-branch regulations, which have helped to
othering_the_recovery_99117.html> muddle the rules rather than clarify them.
But these regulations have
financial-reform> never really resolved any of the pre-crisis problems.

The old system in which a handful of giant financial institutions were
considered “too big to fail” and thus could depend on the rest of us to bail
them out? That system is
<http://time.com/3085819/banks-living-will-bankruptcy-wall-street/> alive
and well.

4. ObamaCare is a boondoggle.

e_100715.html> disastrous launch of ObamaCare was a reminder of everything
that’s wrong with big government. It turns out that when we warned health
insurance would be run as well as the Department of Motor Vehicles, we were
too optimistic. And no one was ever held accountable for that fiasco.

When ObamaCare was passed, we were
-s-uninsured> assured that it would provide insurance for 32 million people
who didn’t have any coverage. Four years later, it looks like ObamaCare has
-of-obamacare-sign-ups-were-previously-insured/> far fewer new people,
between 10% and 20% of what was promised, and about half of those were
through an expansion of Medicaid—a burden that will eventually bankrupt the
states—rather than through ObamaCare’s insurance exchanges.

Most of the people buying insurance through the exchanges are those who were
kicked out of their previous health insurance plans by new regulations. It
turns out that if we liked our health insurance, we couldn’t keep it. For
some of us, this  <https://www.tracinskiletter.com/2013/11/obamacare-rage/>
will be bad. For others, it’s
0446> much worse.

You’re still going to hear a lot of commentators on the left arguing that
the law is a great success—if you agree to move the goalposts and ignore all
the broken promises. But the American people
new-low-in-popularity-but-its-not-a-dominant-issue/> aren’t buying it.

5. Obama failed to reform immigration.

He spent all of his political capital, and then some, on the failed stimulus
and the ObamaCare boondoggle, leaving nothing for immigration reform. Having
failed to get anything through Congress, he floated a dubious plan to enact
amnesty through a unilateral executive authority that he
sentative-government/> doesn’t have. Then he dropped the idea.

Instead, he has simply failed to enforce the immigration laws, contributing
to a
mmigration-inaction-after-blasting-gop-for/> crisis on our southern border.

The result: he has managed to enrage the right, the left, and the middle. He
hasn’t cracked down on illegal immigration, he hasn’t legalized it, and he
hasn’t forged any kind of compromise or consensus on the issue. Nobody is
happy and nothing has been accomplished.

6. He withdrew prematurely from Iraq.

Obama was so eager to not be George W. Bush that he pulled all of our troops
out of Iraq as soon as possible, then
hief_for_the_new/ckcs594> totally ignored the country, even as a terrorist
threat re-established itself there. For most of this year, he
have-come-back-to-haunt-him.html> foolishly downplayed the rise of the
Islamic State. Even as Kurds and the Iraqi government issued increasingly
panicked warnings, and the Islamic State took over more and more territory,
he let the problem get worse for months without bothering to interrupt his
golf schedule.

A few weeks ago, he admitted to
<http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/28/world/meast/isis-iraq-syria/> having no
strategy for dealing with the Islamic State. Last week, he hastily assembled
one, but it’s looking like it might be
unrealistic and
H806020140913> lacks international support.

Bush went into Iraq with multiple UN resolutions, congressional approval, a
broad “coalition of the willing,” and (as it turned out) the resolve to use
whatever means were necessary to prevent a terrorist state from establishing
itself there. Obama is going back into Iraq with none of that. So I guess he
really isn’t anything like George W. Bush.

Who could have guessed that he would be the one to suffer by that

7. He blew the Arab Spring.

When a series of uprisings overthrew dictators across the Middle East, Obama
failed to adopt any meaningful policy or to turn the situation to our
advantage. He dithered for so long on Egypt that all of the factions there
hate him, and most of Egypt’s liberals concluded that he was secretly
backing the Muslim Brotherhood. The result is that Egypt went right back to
where it was before, except this time the military dictatorship regards
America as a useless and irrelevant ally.

Meanwhile, the two places where we could have taken advantage of the Arab
Spring to get rid of truly nasty dictators who have been hostile to our
interests for decades—Libya and Syria—ended in disaster. In Libya, the
killing of our ambassador in Benghazi was just the beginning of a slow
collapse into chaos and
-prospect-of-civil-war/> civil war. In Syria, three years of administration
dithering allowed the rise of ISIS, which then spilled over into Iraq.

And let’s not forget about 2009, when Iranians poured out onto the street to
oppose their own brutal, theocratic, terror-sponsoring regime—and Obama sat
back passively because he preferred to cut a diplomatic deal with the

8. Obama ignored the threat of a resurgent Russian dictatorship.

During a debate with Mitt Romney in 2012, Obama dismissed Romney’s
suggestion that Russia might be a threat to American interests,
reign-policy-back/> sneering, “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their
foreign policy back.” Now it’s looking more like the 1970s are calling, with
an aggressive Russian dictatorship invading its neighbors, leaving our
European allies feeling exposed and unsure whether they can really count on
support from the US and NATO. Poland’s foreign minister has been overheard
complaining about—how shall I put this politely?—his country’s
lowjob-got-nothing#cawue0> unrequited love for America.

The president’s response to Russian aggression has been to impose a few more
sanctions, make a speech in Estonia, and otherwise ignore the crisis and
hope it goes away.

9. He didn’t shut down Guantanamo, keep the NSA from spying, or rein in the

I know people who sincerely believe that all of these are good policies and
who will defend them vigorously if asked. Barack Obama is not one of those
people. Yet all of these policies have been pursued during his presidency,
on his authority.

President Obama came into office having loudly condemned many of the Bush
administration’s measures against terrorism. Then he continued them. You can
call this hypocrisy or you can call it subversion. But President Obama has
achieved a unique combination: managing to morally discredit America’s
anti-terrorism policies without actually ending them.

10. He has made America irrelevant.

You will notice that most of Obama’s failures result, not from taking a bold
stand, but from taking no stand and just letting events drift. Certainly, in
a lot of these cases, Obama has given speeches or press conference to
announce his enlightened intentions—then done nothing to plan for how to
actually achieve his goals.

But if he is irrelevant, that makes America irrelevant. We can look at the
Arab Spring, at Ukraine, and at Iraq, but let’s add one more example. For
most of his presidency, Obama has declared his intention to “pivot to Asia,”
extricating himself from the Middle East and focusing on bolstering our
Pacific allies to peacefully manage the rise of China. It’s pretty widely
acknowledged that he never managed to do it, letting the Asia pivot
2994> die of neglect.

This may fit with the quasi-isolationist mood that has taken hold in America
in recent years, but it is yet another case where Obama promised something
very different. He campaigned on the promise that America would be more
respected in the world after the Bush years—not that we would be considered
a useless ally and an ineffectual opponent.

I don’t know if you could come up with a more comprehensive list of
presidential failures, encompassing foreign policy and domestic policy,
economics, race, and immigration. And I’m sure I left a lot of things off
this list, not least of which is the targeting of Obama’s political
opponents by a corrupt IRS, which continues to announce the oh-so-mysterious
-of-some-other-employees-who-dealt-with-lois-lerner-also-crashed/> loss of
potentially incriminating data by its employees.

Combine all of this with his frequent vacations and golf outings and his
fascination with the trappings of pop-culture celebrity, and you get the
impression that Obama has checked out of the presidency and lost interest in
the responsibility he is neither willing nor able to shoulder.

Obama was originally elected on the basis of celebrity, on vague slogans
about “hope and change,” on a sense of self-congratulatory smugness about
how progressive and enlightened we would all be if we voted for him. He was
re-elected on all of that, plus the smearing of his political opposition as
racists and mean rich white guys.

If the result is an utter failure of leadership, maybe there are a few
lessons we ought to learn for the next presidential election.

Follow Robert  <https://twitter.com/Tracinski> on Twitter.




On the 49th Parallel          

                 Thé Mulindwas Communication Group
"With Yoweri Museveni, Ssabassajja and Dr. Kiiza Besigye, Uganda is in
                    Kuungana Mulindwa Mawasiliano Kikundi
"Pamoja na Yoweri Museveni, Ssabassajja na Dk. Kiiza Besigye, Uganda ni
katika machafuko" 





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