The Disaster Of The Obama Presidency

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

The raging, intensifying conflagrations engulfing the Middle East have cruelly mocked Obama’s extravagant claims about what his election would mean for the region. Recall candidate Obama boasting of his “unique” credentials to improve relations with the Islamic World. “The day I am inaugurated, not only will the country look at us differently, but the world will look at us differently, Obama told New Hampshire Public Radio on November 21 2007. “If I am reaching out to the Muslim world, they will understand that I’ve lived in the Muslim World and I may be Christian but I understand their point of view.”

During the Obama presidency, American power and prestige has plummeted throughout the Middle East. Correspondingly, violence, fanaticism, and strife have escalated precipitously. According to Pew Foundation polls, the United States is now more unpopular in the Islamic World under Obama than it was under George W. Bush. Obama’s premature withdrawal from Iraq probably spells defeat in a war that the United States would have won had we retained a military presence. Obama’s loud talk while carrying small stick has fanned the flames of the Syrian civil war, bolstering the murderous Syrian Dictatorship of Bashir Assad, inviting Putin’s anti-American Russia to fill the vacuum,  radicalizing the Syrian Opposition and has caused a local war to metastasize into a no-holds-barred regional struggle. In Gaza, Hamas rewarded Obama’s and John Kerry’s fawning engagement with the Palestinians with another round of their perpetual war to eradicate Israel.

The United States will require nothing short of regime change — a Republican Congress and president of Reagan’s inclination – to recover from the self-inflicted disaster of the Obama years.