Obama the dreamweaver will leave office with the highest favorable ratings he has enjoyed since the honeymoon months following his 2008 election. Despite this, in the latest RealClearPolitics average of polls judging whether the country is heading in the right direction, roughly the same percentage of Americans who approve of Obama also believe the country is headed the wrong way.
This is not a new phenomenon. Indeed, the growing realization that Obama’s massive social spending programs that have doubled our national debt in just eight years were doing serious damage to our economy has been building for the past four years, and led to Donald Trump’s victory in November.
A majority of Americans are fed up with Obama’s policies, while paradoxically they still retain a favorable view of Obama the person.
Every president should be so lucky.
But a president who is so lucky should also be clear-headed enough to recognize the distinction, and not take his success in the personality contest to mean the American people approve of his policies.
Clearly, Obama has not understood this. His limitless narcissism continues to cloud his view of himself, his policies, and his impact on America.
Obama believes that he is leaving the country with an economy far stronger than the economy he inherited. On the surface, that is true. When you come to office as the economy lurches into an apparent death spiral, any recovery seems good.
Certainly, the economy has climbed back from the depths of the recession. But this has been a jobless recovery, with 95 million Americanswho have bowed out of the labor force, an unprecedented number.
These are not fantasy numbers, but official U.S. government numbers compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), based on a total of 252 million Americans over the age of 16 in the labor pool. The under or unemployed equal 37.7% of that total workforce.
In an effort to minimize those disastrous results, the BLS claims that the majority — including an overwhelming majority of young people aged 16-24 — “do not want a job now.” That is just patently absurd.
Along with this unprecedented rise in unemployment, under Obama the number of Americans receiving food stamps has also risen to historic highs, growing from 28 million when he took office to more than 44 million today, or 14.5% of the U.S. population.
Even left-wing websites such as the DailyKos cannot mask the outrageous — and tragic — rise in dependence on government handouts under this president.
And yet, this president claims that “we’ve turned an economy that was shrinking and losing jobs into one that’s growing and creating jobs, with poverty falling, incomes rising, and wages that have jumped faster over the past few years than at any time in the past four decades.”
He claimed unbelievably in Chicago that health care costs are “rising at the slowest rate in fifty years,” when anyone paying for health insurance today knows just the opposite is the case.
Obama believes he can build his legacy on a tissue of lies, just as he built his presidency.
He wants us to believe that he has reduced race tensions, when any sentient being can see just the opposite is the case. He wants us to believe that crime is down, incomes are up, and terrorism is no more than a law enforcement issue.
He wants us to believe that his withdrawal from Iraq has led to a “sustainable” U.S. presence in that country, when in fact our totally unnecessary and unwanted (by the Iraqi people) withdrawal has led to massive bloodshed and an ISIS takeover of one-third of the country.
In addition to creating ISIS, the power vacuum created by the U.S. withdrawal has handed much of Iraq over to Iranian control, with Iranian government agents now running Iraq’s central government and Iranian-backed militias poised to overrun much of the country.
Since the 2008 election, Obama has proclaimed that Afghanistan was the “right war.” And yet, despite his surge loss of more Americans than during the entire Bush years, Afghanistan is a shambles and the Taliban controls more territory today than it did when he took office.
The Obamas are such phonies, it’s hard to confront their lies with a straight face.
To an enthusiastic crowd in Chicago who had drunk the Kool-Aid, Obama claimed that America was “a better, stronger place than when we started.” And then he set to firing up his base, blaming his opponents for dividing America, when he himself bears the greatest responsibility pitting Americans against each other by race, creed, and income.
Obama’s legacy is a graveyard of disasters.
- Libya: an unnecessary war, where the United States deposed a pro-U.S. authoritarian who had given up his WMD and joined the fight against al-Qaeda. Today, that country is controlled by ISIS and other Islamist groups.
- Syria: Obama proclaimed “red-lines” in 2012 and stood by passively as Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad trampled them repeatedly. Today, Russia for the first time since the Cold War has military bases in the country, while Iran and its proxies physically occupy a third of the country.
- Iran: The nuclear deal Obama heralded? It legitimates Iran’s nuclear weapons program, and actually commits the United States to helping Iran develop its nuclear infrastructure. It also commits us to helping Iran defeat cyber attacks, such as Stuxnet the U.S. and Israel jointly launched under Obama’s stewardship to crash Iran’s uranium enrichment centrifuges.
Obama hinted he wants to become the leader of the anti-Trump movement in the next four years. Certainly, an anti-Trump U.S. media will welcome and promote him.
But as the new president actually grows the economy, expands prosperity, and makes America stronger and safer again in clearly demonstrable ways, my guess is Obama’s game will soon get old.
Let’s hope reality will win out over the delusions of the past eight years.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Hill.