1. Stimulus, Feb. 2009 In 2008, Barack Obama promised to pass a $50 billion stimulus to help the faltering U.S. economy. Instead, he passed a $862 billion spending spree that funneled cash to state governments, Solyndra-type cronies, and Democrat special interests–and which sent federal deficits and debts to previously unimaginable levels. Now Obama promises (again!) to make cuts, but has no plan to curb long-term deficits.
2. Reset, Mar. 2009 & Cairo, June 2009 Obama appeased Russia by abandoning our allies on missile defense, and radical Islam by rolling back our Mideast commitments. The result: more Russian aggression; Iranian nuclear defiance; a rising China; and new attacks by Al Qaeda even after the killing of Osama bin Laden. The U.S. is less popular now than under George W. Bush–and the decline will continue if Obama stays in office.
3. Carbon Regulation, June 2009 Cap-and-trade only passed the House, and never had a chance in the Senate. So he began imposing unprecedented control of energy use by fiat. His attempts to discourage coal mining and to stop offshore oil drilling–in defiance of the courts–and to block the Keystone XL pipeline have hurt the U.S. economy and helped fuel prices rise. Obama’s answer: more wasteful green energy subsidies.
4. Justices Sotomayor, Aug. 2009 & Kagan, Aug. 2010 Obama picked young, highly ideological left-wing justices–not changing the balance of the Supreme Court, but setting the stage for future drift. Sotomayor had radical views on affirmative action, while Kagan had no judicial experience–and many conflicts of interest that were unexamined. Given another four years, Obama may tilt the balance of the Court–for a generation.
5. Obamacare, Mar. 2010 Obama’s big domestic “achievement” fundamentally altered the relationship between citizen and state, and damaged public faith in Congress and the Supreme Court. In adding an expensive new entitlement, Obama also hastened Medicare’s insolvency, while Obamacare’s new regulations held back economic growth and job creation. The real costs begin in Obama’s second term, unless the law is repealed.
6. (Anti) Israel, 2009-present Obama chose to confront America’s closest ally, hardening Palestinian demands and undermining the peace process he had sought to advance. His administration also leaked Israeli defense plans, opposed Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and damaged traditional bipartisan support for Israel in Washington. If Obama wins, Iran will almost certainly become a nuclear threat–to both Israel and the U.S.
7. Security Leaks, May 2011-present Obama authorized the successful mission to kill Osama bin Laden–and immediately undermined the secrecy that had been necessary to complete it, leaking details to Hollywood and the media. The damage to U.S. intelligence–already demoralized by investigations into “torture”–was real. Intel failures that led to the embassy attacks could be the beginning of what awaits in a second term.
8. Downgrade, Aug. 2011 For the first time in history, the credit of the U.S. government was lowered by international ratings agencies after Obama and congressional leaders failed to achieve a “grand bargain” on federal spending. The primary blame rested with Obama, who introduced a new demand for higher taxes as an agreement seemed near. Next term, Obama will demand higher taxes–which will still fail to close the budget gap.
9. “Dream Act” by Decree, June 2012 In an election-year ploy, Obama announced his administration would use its discretion to halt the deportation of certain types of illegal immigrants. The new policy violated the constitutional separation of powers and undermined the rule of law, while creating precedent and pressure for future amnesty–for which Obama will push in his second term, with or without legislation in Congress.
10. “Film” Attacks, Sep. 2012 Obama’s Mideast policy collapsed with Al Qaeda attacks and riots across the region that claimed the life of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya. The administration cast the violence, falsely, as the result of an anti-Islamic film–and cast away the First Amendment Obama swore to uphold, in favor of useless apologies. Given another four years, Obama will keep ceding our liberties and interests to our enemies.