The war of words is in full bloom. Evidently the Trump-Obama love fest is over.
President Obama claims he “could’ve won” a third term race against President-Elect Donald Trump, citing that his vision for America remains the one people really want. He then blames Hillary Clinton’s election night demise on coasting (because she figured she “coulda” won). And while there’s no doubt that Mrs. Clinton skated a bit in overconfidence, can anyone suggest that President Obama “woulda” had an easier fight?
Sorry Mr. President, but I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid. Every U.S. President wants to leave a legacy and President Obama is no different. But let’s be honest. What has he truly accomplished? In the past few weeks, I’ve asked dozens of Americans on both sides of the political fence one simple question: What has President Obama done to IMPROVE America (or even your own life) in the past eight years?
- Our country is more divisive, angry and violent. Mass shootings under President Reagan? Only 6 incidents. President H.W. Bush? 8. President Clinton? 18. President G.W. Bush? 15. President Obama? 37 incidents. Islamic terrorist activity on American soil rose significantly under President Obama’s watch: Fort Hood, TX (2009), Boston Marathon (2013), San Bernadino (2015) and Orlando (2016). In comparison, Presidents G.W. Bush and Bill Clinton presided over two Islamic terrorist attacks on American soil over 16 years: World Trade Center (1993) and World Trade Center/Pentagon (2001). No one can deny the vitriolic anger (much of it arising from the Left) since Donald Trump was elected. Evidently “Love Trump Hates” unless you lose, then all bets are off.
- Obamacare has failed. Despite promises, costs have gone up for most Americans and coverage has gone down. Many people can’t even pick their own doctor, despite the promotional promises. The President’s namesake legislation is a bust and a financial albatross. It was also a ruse and railroad job. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) argued in 2010, “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.” That’s right, move on. Nothing to read here. We’ll pass it and then answer any questions. It’s like buying a car sight unseen. Caveat emptor.
- The Obama administration has nearly doubled our national debt, accumulating more debt in the past 8 years than all U.S. presidents combined.
- The Obama foreign policy has been anemic, confusing and sometimes toxic. No one will know for sure who ordered the “stand down” in Benghazi (or if it was ever ordered) but military chain of command dictates such orders stop at one of two desks: then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or President Barack Obama. From China to Russia to Syria to Israel, Obama’s foreign policy is largely questioned, occasionally ridiculed and often dismissed.
- Many Americans are still un- or under-employed. While the unemployment rate has fallen, most of the jobs added are part-time or government-paid. During Obama’s presidency, hundreds of factories closed and dozens of companies moved production overseas, while the U.S. government became the largest employer of Americans.
- Most of Obama’s political maneuvers have come through executive orders. To be fair, this President has used executive orders less than other recent Presidents (266 times), which is also troubling as it suggests apathy and/or loss of vision. Since 1945, only three U.S. Presidents have used less executive orders, and all three served one term or less (JFK, Ford, HW Bush). Surprisingly, the king of executive orders was FDR, with a whopping 3,721 in his twelve-year presidency. Many of Obama’s executive orders will likely be rescinded by Donald Trump. An “order” is a command. Legislation is law. It’s easy to order but much harder to create law, as Obama will soon discover.
Consequently, President Obama’s quip that he “could’ve won” a third term is slightly delusional, if not entirely narcissistic. Given the 2016 political climate, he might have lost bigger than Hillary.
Ultimately, history will judge this President against his peers and his time.
Woulda, shoulda and coulda means nothing if you’ve done little though.
And I predict the Obama presidency will largely be forgettable in 100 years. Much like William Howard Taft (1909-1913). Can anybody name what he did?