2/1/17

Former (Thank God!!!) President Obama was the worst president this country had, if not ever, then at least in modern times.

His supporters (“worshippers” is a more appropriate description for their blind faith/belief in him) will tout the positive things that occurred under his 8 years, but that is like giving credit to him for the sun rising in the east every day. Mind you, this mindless group probably thinks that is due to him too.

The only way to judge a president is to try and analyze the developments that occurred during his term on a relative basis and in comparison to other presidents’ performances; not the fact that something good or bad occurred under his watch. Most of what happened would have happened with or without a president to a very large degree. Presidents can only help or hinder, tinker at the margin.

So how does Obama’s score card look?

Economy
On the economy he had the worst performance of any two terms president ever as I described in details in my post, “Obama Economic Scorecard: An F (and a Big One, at that).”

While I did not check and try to compare to one-term presidents, I suspect that he will still hold the worst performance ever “accolade,” even compared to one-term presidencies.

In addition, the number of people below the poverty threshold and on food stamps increased markedly during his terms in office. While a lot of it stems from the 2008/9 crisis, the fact is that he was not able to turn it back.

The efforts of progressive pundits (which means 95% of media personalities) to paint his term as good, even great, is simply laughable.

They use two arguments:

  1. That the US has done better than “any other developed economy.” First, that is not true. The UK economy for the identical eight years has done better and, although I have not checked in detail, I suspect the German economy is also in better shape. And even if the argument was right, so what? Since when is this a relevant measure? The US has done better than all/most other developed economies for any eight-year period that you care to choose since…well, since probably back in the 1800s.
  2. The sun rises in the east EVERY day. Can you believe that? Well, that is my interpretation of them simply doggedly stating that the US economy grew during Obama’s terms and that we did create jobs. Etc. etc.

Rubbish.

Law and Order
Obama has presided over a process of weakening police authority (the Ferguson and BLM effect) as well as a slowing in the decrease of violent crimes for seven of his eight years, culminating in his eighth year, 2016, when, for the first time in decades, violent crimes in the USA increased from the year before. Most noteworthy is the fact that the deaths of law enforcement personal is up by 10%; including a 56% increase in deaths by gun violence, almost all of which were the result of pre-meditated ambushes. The other staggering fact is that 762 deaths by gun violence occurred in Chicago, Obama’s own hometown. Obama did not address this horrific number, not even once. Another indicator of the deterioration in law and order is the number of riots and violent demonstrations that got out of control via Occupy Wall Street, BLM, and Anti-Trump movement—all of which were encouraged in one way or another by Obama.

Racial Tensions
Racial tensions have worsened. That is, I think, close to a unanimous feeling in the US. It may not be a direct result of Obama’s actions or inactions but, as the president, he gets the credit or debit for it; especially given that, as the first black president, he had the opportunity and the ability to do so much to improve the situation. He—and especially his long serving AG, Eric Holder (also African American)—exasperated the situation and stoked racial tensions as opposed to trying to make them better.

Education
The US continues to struggle with a fairly material deterioration in its world rankings compared to 2009. The Federal government Education budget has grown by 20% from 2008 to 2016 (from $56 billion to $67.1 billion)—well above the inflation. Graduation rates have increased to an all-time high of about 82%, per the last available information. That is an achievement. It should be noted that the vast majority of education budgets are funded locally and by state.

Health Care
Of course, one cannot create a score card for the Obama administration without addressing his signature “achievement”—the PPACA. Well, as to the AC (Affordable Care) part, we know that it is nothing of the sort, with premiums sky rocketing and, more important—and something that all of Obama’s defenders are trying to hide—the overall costs (including deductible and co-pays) are so high that most people find that it simply is not worth their while to have insurance. And as to the PP Patient Protection) part? What protection? What is protection worth if the deductible is so high that 90% of the people never get to use their coverage? But probably the most devastating statement for the former president who has made health care reform his signature and main issue is the deterioration in life expectancy under his administration—see my post “The Final Nail in Obama’s Legacy and in ObamaCare.”

Surely that sums it all up. How can a modern president even raise his head if he marshaled over the slowest ever improvement in life expectancy during his eight-year term since WWII? So slow that in the last year it became negative. And that is from someone who made health care his main thing….

God help us…

Can there be a worse record for a president?

But wait, that is the GOOD half.

Let’s look at foreign affairs/national security…

North Korea
North Korea has advanced their nuclear weapons program unabated throughout Obama’s eight years. They are now very close to having an ICBM WITH a nuclear warhead. That last element is the most difficult of all and it seems that the US could have—for sure, should have—been able to prevent this development from happening. Yet, for eight years this president has done #@*> ALL about DPRK, in spite of this so-called “pivot” to the Far East.

China
China’s aggression in the Far East and, specifically, in the East and South China Sea is a matter of record. China has asserted itself as a Super Power and while, ostensibly, they are maybe not as strong as the US, they are willing to act to expand their influence while the US is not even willing to act to defend their existing interests, let alone expand them.

Asia
As a consequence of the China situation, America’s position in Asia has never been weaker. The situation with the Philippines, for instance, is a perfect example of a traditional ally openly deserting the US and nailing their mast to the China ship.

Afghanistan
Hanging in there by a thread.

Iran
Emboldened, enriched, and on the verge of becoming a nuclear power (just wait for DPRK to finalize their program and you will see Iran emerging right behind them). This country is malevolent and a major participant in the axis of evil. Iran now has effective control of the Shia Crescent from Lebanon to Iran via Syria and Iraq, and is continuing to outstretch its tentacles in Yemen, Bahrain and, for sure, more to follow.

Syria
Not only did Obama allow a modern holocaust to occur in Syria when he could have easily prevented it, he has sown the seeds of continuing instability in the West for a generation via increased terror activity and a refugee problem which is basically impossible to handle and will destabilize Europe, at best, for decades and, at worst, forever.

Middle East in General
If I tried to go through every country in the Middle East that Obama has left in ruin due to his stupid and short sighted policies this blog would never end. Suffice it to say that the Middle East is literally on fire, it is the most unstable since…well, ever…and for a volatile area with so much geographic and economic significance to the Western world, it is simply an explosion waiting to happen

Russia
Obama’s weak, amateurish and haphazard handling of Russia resulted in the loss of large areas of Ukraine and the collapse of US deterrent power, exposing the hypocrisy and unreliability of the US as an ally (search under item “The Budapest Memorandum”). His actions, or lack thereof, effectively undid decades of US efforts that led to Russia’s eviction from the Middle East in the 1970s, allowing Russia to become a major player in the Middle East and, in turn, threaten the very existence of NATO by actively courting Turkey.

Turkey
It is only a matter of time before Turkey enters into a regional alliance with Russia and Iran. So, what does NATO do then?

Africa
Somalia, Nigeria and Libya are all countries that are in ruin and are sowing destabilization in Europe. While Obama did not create most of it (the exception, Libya, which was single handedly and 100% Obama), he did nothing to alleviate the problems there.

Europe
Europe is in turmoil due mainly to the refugee crisis emanating from Syria and Africa, and is under threat from Russia, due to the overt weakness of the US coupled by the destruction of US deterrent power. What good is it being strong if everyone knows that you are not willing to use your strength?

Also, Europe is a basket case, economically, which Obama somewhat contributed to in part by supporting the stupid policies of the EU, but mostly by not exerting US influence to try and guide that ship to safe beach.

South America
Eight years of neglect allowed the South American continent to become, in the main, more “anti-American,” more socialistic, and poorer, which are never good things. With the exception of Argentina, where things have swayed back, all the other large nations in South America are either in turmoil (think Venezuela and Brazil) or are leaning more “anti-American” than before (Chile, Columbia, Peru, Bolivia and on and on).

North Pole
Despite being a very important area of the world with incredible riches in the form of mineral resources and strategic importance for transportation in the warming planet, the US has simply ceded the North Pole to Russia without even a fight.

The world is on fire. It has never been more unstable since the 1930s. It will take a herculean effort by the Trump administration to try and bring it back from the brink and, honestly, I am not sure it is possible.

The hostile media keeps talking about allies weary of Trump due to his possible abdication from a world leading role. Really?? Where were they for the last eight years? Do they not know that the US has ALREADY abdicated its world leading role? Most contemptuous are people like Richard Haass, supposedly a big expert on foreign affairs who spent eight years explaining away and giving political cover to the Obama polices; supporting them in general without ever really criticizing them only to publish a book in the last few days of the Obama administration now suddenly remembering all of Obama’s terrible mistakes. Where were you when he made those mistakes? Why did you not raise hell or the alarm then???

There is no area where this former president can show an improvement that occurred during his eight-year term on a relative basis.

Oh, wait, maybe global warming… The US CO2 emissions were down under his presidency. Hurrah!!!

Ultimately, of course, the voters delivered their assessment of how good or bad Obama was in a stunning rejection of him and his policies.

What a miserable track record, what a sad epithet.

When OBJECTIVE history is written and analyzed, Obama will be judged to be the worst president the US ever had the misfortune to have.

Not only was his vision a bad one, but his execution was subpar.

The US and the World will suffer for decades to come from the results of his stupid policies and his foreign affair fecklessness and ignorance.

P.S. I really believe that Obama has done significant damage to all of us. I will say that throughout his presidency, I never suspected that he was doing it for any ulterior negative motives. He did it from good intentions. As the saying goes, the way to hell is paved with good intentions.