These are the pictures of an administration. Every image is a key image from the presidency of Barack Obama. And every image is the image of a commander-in-chief who has led America astray.
The great issue of our time is, of course, the economy. And on the economy, President Obama has not merely been a failure; he’s been the most dramatic failure in American history. He inherited a terrible financial situation, thanks to both Democratic-led initiatives designed to incentivize financial institutions to take risks on bad borrowers, and Republican failures to stop them. But he proceeded to make the situation worse, not better, with endless bailouts, unending sale of debt to China, and a deficit situation that puts every child under the age of 18 in the country in over $200,000 of debt.
Forget his promises – halving the deficit, decreasing the unemployment rate to well below 6% by the end of his first term, and the rest of it – his performance has been abysmal.
Obama is the most profligate spender in history, racking up trillion-dollar deficits each year of his presidency – and America has received worse than nothing in return. When President Obama took office, the economy had 133.6 million jobs. Today, it has 133.8 million jobs. That doesn’t even keep pace with population growth. This is easily the worst recovery in American history. No wonder economists predict that with this growth rate, it will take a full decade before we reach normal unemployment rates. Meanwhile, Obama continues to inflate the currency at record levels. We are watching Jimmy Carter, Part Deux. Except worse.
His stimulus package, which clocked in at a whopping $800 billion, has achieved nothing. His vaunted GM bailout did nothing that traditional bankruptcy wouldn’t have done, except screw the senior debtholders in favor of the unions. And the American people are billions in hoc over that bailout. You can save any company if you pour enough taxpayer cash into it (except Solyndra). But you can’t save the economy.
And even as his economic policy collapsed, President Obama focused his laserlike attention elsewhere: on health care. The rationale was obvious: it was a sop to the major labor unions, who funded his campaign and are desperately seeking fertile new recruitment ground – ground they can only find in a massively expanding federal and state government. By essentially putting one-sixth of the US economy on the road to nationalization, Obama has condemned millions to restricted access to healthcare of their choice, raised costs, squeezed doctors out of the market, and destroyed the private relationship between patients and their physicians. And he did all of that without a single Republican vote.
When the American people reacted, predictably, by dumping his Democratic House majority in one of the biggest landslides in American history, Obama condemned the American people as Tea Party bigots. Then he proceeded to blame them for the failure of his economic program.
On foreign policy, Obama has been similarly disastrous. His feckless approach to the Middle East, which assumed the best while the worst took place, led to the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi; the takeover of an American ally, Egypt, by an American enemy, the Muslim Brotherhood; the takeover of Tunisia by Islamic extremists; the rise of Islamic extremism in Turkey; the devolution of Iraq into an Iranian proxy state; the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Most of all, President Obama’s foreign policy in the Middle East has isolated Israel – a country for which Obama has little but scorn – and allowed Iran to run out the clock on development of a nuclear weapon.
When it comes to social policy, Obama has been no better. His Obamacare plan has utterly destroyed any semblance of separation of church and state by forcing religious employers to violate their own scruples in healthcare coverage. His about-face on gay marriage has had no implications for homosexuals actually wanting to get married, but it has polarized the debate in a major way by implying that those who disagree with the President are unevolved. And when it comes to the "war on women" – well, let’s just say that any administration that blackmails a breast cancer foundation to fund an abortion organization, or campaigns that voting for Barack Obama is the same as having sex with him, cedes the high ground on that issue.
But most of all, President Obama has been a failed chief executive because he fails to recognize his role in the government structure. He has signed an executive order explicitly refusing to enforce immigration law while suing states that wish to enforce it. He has run roughshod over the constitutional appointment process by usurping legislative power to his many czars, from "Fistgate" czar Kevin Jennings to “green jobs” czar Van Jones. And he has said that he still wants more power.
It is now up to us to deny him that power. If the words don’t convince you, the pictures should. As Obama has said, voting is the best revenge.