Brian and Garrett Fahy

America’s booming energy industry offers the potential for energy independence, but this president isn’t interested. In the first term, his team squandered billions on failed solar panels and car batteries. In the second term, domestic coal production has been targeted for elimination, offshore drilling has been blackballed, natural gas production permits are stymied by bureaucratic regulations, and new, job killing fuel regulations have been promised for heavy duty trucks by 2015. And the president continues to hold up the development of the Keystone XL pipeline, which will provide jobs (economic freedom) to millions.

This is just his record at home. Abroad, the results are even more dispiriting.

In Egypt, the uneasy peace that prevailed under Hosni Mubarak has been replaced by upheaval that has endangered religious minorities, political dissidents, and freedom of speech.

In Iraq, where so much American blood and treasure was spilt to depose a tyrant and create the region’s first democratic Muslim ally, al Qaeda fills the void left by the withdrawal of American leadership. As in Egypt, religious and political minorities cry out for American protection.

In Syria, the president’s red lines were ignored by a tyrant who scoffed at President Obama’s ultimatums. Surely Putin had advised Bashar Assad there was nothing to fear from Obama’s threats. Where Reagan loudly demanded that Gorbachev “tear down this wall” and opposed Soviet advances across the globe, the current president quietly whispered about the flexibility Russia would have after his reelection.

Applying that lesson in Ukraine, Putin realized that the American president would not oppose his expansionist agenda. Accordingly, Russia prepares to annex the Crimea while the world stands by. President Obama’s ultimatums, shown to be meaningless in the wake of the Syrian debacle, have no currency in a moment when action is required.

In view of the foregoing, surely it is no exaggeration to say that President Obama will leave America weaker, sicker, and more dependent on Washington, by and through which more Americans will live, move, and have their being. In a cause and effect world, decreased human freedom directly corresponds to increased human misery. When the president leaves office in 2016, more Americans will have left the job market, lost their health care, and received food stamps under his administration than any other in generations. Does he still believe he was the one we were waiting for?

As more Americans look to Washington for solutions, abroad less will do so. Friends and foe alike wonder if America has lost its stomach for leadership. The president who promised to end “dumb” wars, speak to our enemies without precondition, and “reset” America’s foreign relations will justifiably be remembered as Jimmy Carter 2.0 whose nice words and good intentions were rendered utterly meaningless by his repeated failure to act when American action could have made a difference. Libyans, Egyptians, Iraqis, Afghanis, Israelis, and Ukrainians longing for freedom must wonder what has become of the shining city on the hill.

If it shines no longer, who will light the way?

Brian and Garrett Fahy

Brian and Garrett Fahy are attorneys from Los Angeles who previously worked in the White House and Senate Republican Conference, respectively. They write on national legal and political affairs. They can be reached at