For six years in Washington, D.C., in an effort to never let a crisis go to waste, President Obama has been in perpetual campaign mode, always on offense, rallying voters to his cause. But the world has turned ever more rapidly against President Obama and his worldview. The American public less and less believes President Obama now.
Six years ago, then-candidate Obama took to the world stage, his nomination as the Democrats' presidential candidate secure, and said with a straight face that "this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal." ISIS and Ebola were not on his radar.
Fast forward six years and President Obama is no longer trying to let crises go to waste, but stop them from ruining the last two years of his presidency. President Obama first told the American public ISIS consisted of a bunch of amateurs. They were the junior varsity team. Now they are on the verge of capturing Baghdad, having overrun the Iraqi army throughout Iraq.
The Syrian rebels were too rag-tag and weak to take on ISIS, according to President Obama. But within a week of saying that, he announced to the world that his plan in Syria was to arm those rag-tag rebels and have them do our bidding against ISIS.
The president also told the American public that Ebola would never come to the United States. When it finally arrived, he said there would be no outbreak. Now he wants Americans to know there will be no serious outbreak. The president has cried wolf too many times. He has politicized so much of the federal government, Americans now view the IRS as the president's henchmen. Faith in the CDC collapses by the minute.
A second nurse in Dallas contracted Ebola. She ran a low-grade fever and, with the CDC's blessing, got on a commercial jet. The government's response, while telling Americans not to panic, seemed both panicked and ham-fisted. Departments contradicted each other, people had to apologize for poorly worded statements, and the president kept repeating the word "protocol" as if it were the Lord's Prayer.
But the nation will not stop air travel with West African countries suffering through the Ebola outbreak. This seemingly no-brainer of a public policy step polls well with the American public. With an election less than 20 days away, we should not be surprised if suddenly the president does take this step, but it should not take a public opinion poll to do it.
Therein lies the ultimate problem with President Obama and his administration. His responses for six years have been efforts to respond to news cycles. Policy battles have been bungled unless they could become political battles. A president who has routinely pitted American against American to affect political change has been lost when it comes to uniting Americans against external threats from ISIS to Ebola. His efforts to bring about hope and change have brought about despair and dread.
When President Obama came into office, many in the media thought he would be less ideologically rigid than President Bush and his "cowboy diplomacy." But President Obama has been, if anything, more prideful than President Bush. So convinced he is right, President Obama is unable to change even when he is clearly wrong.
He will not send ground troops back to Iraq to fight a growing evil that will, if left unchecked, threaten the nation at home. He is so committed to unsecured borders he will let even pestilence spread across it. Now, with two years left in his term, few Americans believe him and fewer are happy with what he has changed. Never fear, though; if you get flu-like symptoms and begin to worry, the president has promised if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.