Eight years after he impressed America with his political eloquence, many feel Barack Obama will be leaving the Democratic Party . . . worse off by far than he found it. Quite the expert at getting himself elected, but of questionable value to his party.
Since Obama took office in 2009, more than 1,110 Democratic federal and state elected officials have lost their jobs to Republicans. Democrats controlled 62 of the 99 state legislative chambers in 2009; now Republicans control 68. There were 31 Democratic governors in 2009; and now just 17. Obama’s chosen presidential successor lost. The man he condemned as unfit won.
With friends like Obama, one might ask who needs enemies? Certainly not the Democrats. Perhaps not the country either. But our country seems to have more of those than before Obama. Enemies.
What went wrong? Arguably, Obama mistook his 2008 victory for a “mandate” to push through a highly “progressive” agenda, literally forcing upon the country too much, too fast, too soon—including Obamacare, massive spending, and resulting debt, new taxes, and heavy business regulation. Worse still, Obama also gave progressives an arrogant sense of cultural and moral superiority, as they disdained traditional morality as an evil to be overcome, and small-town Americans as bigots to be banished and put in their place. The result: fissures opened, creating resentments Republicans exploited, perhaps Trump first among them.
Loyal Democrats may weep when Obama leaves office, but the truth appears to be that their “hero” presided over what can only be characterized as the collapse of the Democratic Party. At least for the time being. (With Trump now our leader, it remains to be seen how long the Republicans will reign.)
Ironically, many, if not most, liberals are understandably “panicked” that Trump will—thanks to Obama—assume a presidency of unbridled power. Not only will the new commander-in-chief have the launch codes to a vast nuclear arsenal (nothing new there), but he’ll be able to wage war without congressional authorization (probably not a good thing), direct drone assassinations all over the world (perhaps not a bad thing), and oversee a ubiquitous system of electronic surveillance that reaches most forms of human communication and activity (too much of anything is often a bad thing).
While those who elected Trump are gleefully celebrating, and believe it is now their turn to avail themselves of Obama’s . . . fiefdom, less enthusiastic Democrats quietly acknowledge that they have only themselves to blame for how things now stand. Though Obama came into office as a critic of George W. Bush’s executive-power excesses, he quickly came to embrace . . . the national security state. He conducted hundreds of drone “executions” without trials, expanded warrantless surveillance programs, conducted a war in Libya without congressional authorization, and approved holding some terrorist suspects indefinitely without trial.
Be careful what you wish for. Or at least tolerate. Democrats went along with these liberal and even radical policies, blinded by the belief that Obama was too benevolent and benign to abuse his office. Oh yeah, right! In contrast, civil libertarians warned that someday “a right-wing authoritarian” would inherit the imperial presidency that Democrats defended out of “partisan loyalty” to Obama. Unfortunately, they now lament, that day seems to be upon us.
This, then, is the legacy that history will, sooner or later, assign to our soon to be former President Obama. None too soon for more than just a few.
The king is dead. Uh, long live the king?
Join the discussion either by logging in just below or by signing into your favorite social media outlet. If you’re having trouble, please follow these instructions to guide you! Thanks!