Barack Plus Four and a Half[1]


While I can’t demonstrate prevarication, his utterances enjoy a less than random association with the facts of his actions.

It started early. Day 1, act 1: President Obama signed an executive order closing the Guantánamo Bay detention facility (Camp X-Ray). It’s still open. This was an unforced error – even I knew why Guantánamo couldn’t be closed – the guys remaining are the worst of the worst, their native countries don’t want them back, we don’t want them in our society, and they can’t be tried in civilian courts because the battlespace is ill-suited to collecting admissible evidence – so I’m sure he had to dig deep into his cohort of advisors before he found one that agreed that X-Ray could be evacuated and closed (or maybe not and did it anyway). It continued through the selling of his “stimulus” package (unemployment won’t go above 8%); ObamaCare (almost everything he said about it, including “If you like your insurance, you can keep it”); Benghazi (“a video made them do it”); introducing race into the Trayvon Martin case (after promising to be a “post-racial” president); on and on.

He was going to “change the way Washington works,” yet presides over the most hyper-partisan administration in recent memory. A president needs to be a statesman, especially at home. You have your party leaders do the trash-talk when it’s necessary. You work with the opposition to get programs passed. You work with your own party’s leadership to set legislative agendas. He has done none of this, and ignited the partisan wars by shucking-off ObamaCare to the tutelage of Nancy Pelosi, perhaps the most rabid partisan in Congress. And she ruled like a spoiled child – “We won [the election] so we’re going to write the bill” she told Republican leadership upon closing them out of discussions on the writing of the Affordable Care Act. And the war was on. It was passed [on a technicality] and signed into law without a single Republican vote. If this was “Hope and Change,” it had an odor of decomposition about it.

He campaigned against the Bush warfighting programs enthusiastically, and capturing and interrogating POWs excepted, has extended virtually all of them, expanding some (e.g., Patriot Act and drone strikes). He abandoned Iraq, which has predictably devolved back into Sunni-Shi’ite tit-for-tat bombings and killings, and is providing its ground routes and airspace to Iran for supplying the Assad regime in Syria’s civil war. He announced his surge in Afghanistan (the “good” war) in the same speech that he announced their withdrawal – another unforced error. One never gives the enemy a date to circle on the calendar, beyond which he doesn’t have to worry about you anymore. Sure enough, the Taliban and remnants of al Qaeda have bided their time, reorganizing and strengthening, and are beginning to exert themselves against coalition and Afghan troops.

This administration has said out loud that it favors European gasoline prices (they’re already up ~$2 a gallon since Obama took office) and wants electricity prices to “skyrocket.” His energy policy seems to be to regulate and tax carbon-based energy generation out of business. The only problem is that there is nothing to take its place, meaning that he will either drive us back into the 19th century or allow costs to rise to the point of pricing-out even middle-class families on things like gasoline and electricity – and we know what those two prices do to the cost of everything else.

His administration is out of control. Nobody at IRS (not taking the Fifth Amendment) seems to know what’s going on over there, and the Director of the FBI can’t even tell you who is heading the investigation. The State Department lethally mishandled security in Benghazi, and the administration’s bungling of the aftermath looks, walks and quacks like a cover-up. We’re not sure what they’re covering up because they are moving eye witnesses around the country under aliases and subjecting them to monthly polygraphs to make sure they haven’t talked to the media or Congress. His EPA is passing failed legislation into law as regulations – an overreach that sticks a finger in the eye of checks-and-balances built into our government. His ATF resurrected a gun-running program that the Bush administration cancelled because it lacked accountability, and it blew up in their face because of a lack of accountability, resulting in the death of a border agent.

With Syria in flames, Libya tottering, Egypt ruled by a junta, Iraq circling the drain and Afghanistan poised to fail, our Secretary of State has decided that yet another doomed attempt at a “Two-State Solution” is what the world needs. Never mind that one party has no interest in living in peace with the other – they teach their children to kill Jews and that their ultimate aim in life is to “push Israel into the sea.” Indeed, after four and a half years (four under Democratic superstar Hillary Clinton) we have no discernible, let alone articulable, foreign policy – treating each situation in isolation. We wanted to get “phony” turncoat Edward Snowden back from “reset” Russia, but all the cajoling, threatening and begging fell on the deaf ears of Colonel Vladimir Putin, who is maximizing our embarrassment with great amusement.

The “recovery” is four years old and still jobless (less than a million new jobs created last year, 70% of them part-time); corporations are doing great, but small businesses – the engines of hiring in our economy – are just hanging on (and terrified of the future); GDP growth is stuck below population growth, meaning that our standard of living is sinking; the 2,700 pages of ObamaCare’s legislative language has produced 20,000 pages of new regulations and 20 new taxes (despite the president’s repeated promises that the Affordable Care Act wouldn’t cost us “one dime” in higher taxes).

He sees his signature achievement as ObamaCare, but his most significant accomplishment thus far is his turning a record DOW into a recovery that looks, walks and quacks like a recession. President Obama seems more concerned with his legacy than yours; a product of Columbia and Harvard Law, he is no more in touch with you and me than is Mitt Romney. But then, the rich and powerful are never “in touch” with the non-rich and impotent. He has climbed the Peter-Principle ladder to the uppermost rung and doesn’t know what to do now[2]. And it shows.

[1] Title photo courtesy of Pete Souza/White House.

[2] He used his Illinois Senate seat to run for US Senate, using that seat to run for President – he’s out of campaigning opportunity and, for the first time, must actually perform the job he has.