WASHINGTON -- America remains adrift under Barack Obama's presidency, without any sustained or effective focus on the sea of troubles that afflict our nation.
Obama goes through the ceremonial motions of being president, while ignoring the consequences or making excuses about the most serious, long-term challenges we face here at home. Instead, he is devoting more and more of his time delivering political speeches attacking his adversaries and raising money for besieged Democrats, who face severe election losses in the fall.
Meantime, the U.S. economy all but stopped growing in the first three months of this year; the nation's labor force has been shrinking at an alarming rate; U.S. exports have fallen; and the housing market, a critical sector in the U.S. economy, has been "flattening," a worrisome development that Fed Chairman Janet Yellen said Wednesday could prove more "protracted than currently expected."
You rarely hear much about the decline in the quality of education from this president. But a national assessment of high school seniors released this week said they had shown zero improvement in math and reading over the course of Obama's presidency. Education Secretary Arne Duncan called the test scores "troubling."
But, well, the president has been so busy dealing with other things: the environment and questionable claims about climate change; raising the minimum wage, a move that the Congressional Budget Office says will kill 500,000 jobs; and pressing for higher tax levels on the nation's investors, businesses and job-creators.
He has been necessarily occupied with trips to storm-devastated communities that included tornado victims in Arkansas and a horrific landslide in Oso, Washington.
In between, he's been making announcements that could have been better left to senior officials, like his decision to dispatch a team of military and civilian advisers to assist Nigeria in the search for abducted schoolgirls who were seized three weeks ago by terrorists.
Now he's on a three-day fundraising trip to California to build the party's campaign coffers, a task that will no doubt increasingly occupy his time in the months ahead.
There is more at stake here than just raising hundreds of millions of dollars for Democratic campaigns across the country. The remainder of his presidency is on the line if Republicans succeed in winning the six seats needed to take control of the Senate, as many election trackers believe.
That would put Congress firmly in GOP hands for the last two years of Obama's administration, blocking whatever is left of his agenda. If he still has one.