Opinion
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the situation in Iraq from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington June 13, 2014. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque  U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the situation in Iraq from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington June 13, 2014. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque   

The Disaster Of The Obama Presidency

Photo of Robert G. Kaufman
Robert G. Kaufman
Professor of Public Policy, Pepperdine University
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      Robert G. Kaufman

      Robert G. Kaufman is a political scientist specializing in American foreign policy, national security, international relations, and various aspects of American politics. Kaufman received his JD from Georgetown University Law School in Washington, D.C., and his BA, MA, M. Phil., and PhD from Columbia University in the city of New York.

      Kaufman has written frequently for scholarly journals and popular publications, including The Weekly Standard, Policy Review, The Washington Times, the Baltimore Sun, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He is the author of three books. His most recent book In Defense of the Bush Doctrine was published by the University Press of Kentucky in May 2007. In 2000, his biography, Henry M Jackson: A Life in Politics received the Emil and Katherine Sick Award for the best book on the history of the Pacific Northwest. His first book, Arms Control During the Prenuclear Era, which Columbia University Press published, studied the interwar naval treaties and their linkage to the outbreak of World War II in the Pacific. Kaufman also assisted President Richard M. Nixon in the research and writing of Nixon's final Book, Beyond Peace. He is currently in the research phase of a biography of President Ronald Reagan, focusing on his presidency and his quest for it.

      Kaufman is a former Bradley Scholar and current adjunct scholar at the Heritage Foundation. He has taught at Colgate University, The Naval War College, and the University of Vermont.

The Obama presidency lies in shambles. Few presidents have promised more, delivered less, or done more damage. The economy limps along anemically — the weakest recovery from a recession in history. Rising taxes, suffocating regulation, soaring domestic  spending, and voraciously expanding entitlements have deep-chilled growth, innovation, and the creation of new jobs. The administration has tenaciously impeded the exploitation of huge energy reserves that could transform the U.S. into an energy exporter.

The president reneged on his promise that Americans could keep their health care. Instead, the administration will force millions of Americans to buy coverage, so the president can finance a fiscally unsound, medically unwise, and administratively untenable. monstrosity. In the first quarter of 2014, the economy declined by 2.9 percent. Another recession looms near.

The president has usurped Congress’s exclusive authority to legislate under Article I of the Constitution: Witness Obama’s rampant issuance of executive orders to rewrite his health care law and controversial executive actions on the environment and immigration. Or the president unconstitutionally making recess appointments while Congress is in session.

Worse, the president has abnegated his constitutional responsibility to provide for the common defense. He refuses to act decisively as tens of thousands of undocumented minors from Central American stream across the American border. Obama’s obstinate unwillingness to enforce the immigration laws or permit governors to do so brought on this crisis long in the making. Obama wants to merely manage the influx rather than reverse the tide and enforce border security.

Obama has slashed the defense budget and shrunk American forces to pre-World War II levels to engorge the size and scope of the welfare state. The president has curtailed missile defense as the Iranian nuclear danger gathers — despite what the “the astonishing effectiveness “ of Israel’s Iron Dome defense system against Hamas’s short-and-intermediate range missiles  presages for the possibilities of missile defense eventually freeing us from nuclear blackmail from rogue regimes.

The administration’s reset with Putin’s Russia has failed completely. Its weak sanctions in feeble response to Russia carving up Ukraine has emboldened Putin’s extravagant and illegitimate ambitions to reverse the outcome of the Cold War. Poland’s Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski laments that a strong alliance with the United States “isn’t worth anything” and “is even harmful because it creates a false sense of security.” Our Eastern European NATO allies no longer trust the United States to defend them against Putin.

While Obama has engaged incessantly with tyrannies that despise the United States (China, Russia, Iran, and the Palestinian Authority), and he has routinely undermined or ignored democratic allies. German-American relations have suffered terribly during the Obama years. The pro-American Government of Angela Merkel asked the CIA chief in Germany to leave the country after the latest disclosure of continued American spying on German officials, including tapping Chancellor Merkel’s telephone calls. Obama’s neglect has caused relations with democratic India and Japan languish while rising authoritarian expansionist China flaunts its disregard for the administration’s hollow Asian pivot.