Wednesday, December 28, 2016

1,030 reasons why President Obama failed his party


Over the holidays, I saw one of the many reviews out there about the Obama years, this one from Lisa Lerer of AP:
In boasting about his tenure in the White House, President Barack Obama often cites numbers like these: 15 million new jobs, a 4.9 percent unemployment rate and 74 months of consecutive job growth.
There’s one number you will almost never hear: More than 1,030 seats.
That’s the number of spots in state legislatures, governor’s mansions and Congress lost by Democrats during Obama’s presidency.
It’s a statistic that reveals an unexpected twist of the Obama years: The leadership of the one-time community organizer and champion of ground-up politics was rough on the grassroots of his own party. When Obama exits the White House, he’ll leave behind a Democratic Party that languished in his shadow for years and is searching for itself…
 
When Obama won the presidency, his election was heralded as a moment of Democratic dominance — the crashing of a conservative wave that had swept the country since the dawn of the Reagan era.
Democrats believed that the coalition of young, minority and female voters who swept Obama into the White House would usher in something new: an ascendant Democratic majority that would ensure party gains for decades to come.
The coalition, it turns out, was Obama’s alone.
Well, let’s say a couple of things.
Why did the voters want to talk about Mr. Obama rather than state issues, as the state legislator from South Carolina laments? Let me come up with an couple of answers: ObamaCare and a U.S. economy that did not create high-paying jobs.
The article also mentioned that President Obama accomplished his policy goals. Really? Did I watch the wrong movie? ObamaCare is a disaster and will likely collapse of its own weight. Illegal Immigration is chaotic with cities choosing to ignore federal law. And did we mention terrorism or the sense that we feel less safe today than when President Bush? Did the writer of the review check out the Middle East? What did President Obama accomplished there?
Yes, President Obama hurt his party a lot. However, it was not because he was too busy to build it or uncomfortable with legislating and negotiation. He destroyed the party by going too far to the left on social issues and being rather divisive, such as in issues of race.
Overall, President Obama never lived up to the hype. He was the articulate man who never articulated a message that brought us together. He was the thoughtful man who never thought through the consequences of ObamaCare or pulling troops out of Iraq without a plan.
Again, overall a C-minus, and that’s probably a bit charitable. It’s amazing how much better President Bush looks eight years after he handed the presidency to Mr. Obama,
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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