Barack Obama's Legacy

Erick Erickson
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Posted: Jan 06, 2017 12:01 AM
Barack Obama's Legacy
As the nation prepares to formally enter the Age of Trump and leave the Age of Obama, it is worth noting that the left cannot honestly assess Barack Obama's legacy. To honestly assess his legacy would be to conclude his eight years were a pyrrhic victory for progressivism.

Barack Obama entered the White House with Congress under the complete control of the Democrats. Instead of dealing with climate change, gun control, immigration reform, or any other priority, the President sought to ram through the Affordable Care Act, the result of which was the destruction of the Democratic Party. The Democrats still refuse to acknowledge the legislation has not done what they promised. In fact, it has added new burdens and costs to the working poor. It has not dramatically improved healthcare costs or accessibility in the nation. But Democrats have surrendered all pretenses of honesty on these points to keep a law that soon Republicans will discard.

And what was the price for the Affordable Care Act? Republicans are now more dominant nationwide than any time since Reconstruction. The party that was supposed to be cast aside by a demographic destiny now holds more seats in Congress since the 1920s and more local, county, and state legislative and gubernatorial seats since the late 1800s.

Then there are the deaths from Sandy Hook. The president and Democrats had complete control of Congress for two years. Gun control is an issue most every Democrat has campaigned on fervently. But, when given all the power and all the possibilities that came with it, the Democrats did nothing legislatively or through the regulatory process to curb gun sales, "assault" weapons, etc. In fact, after Sandy Hook, the President and Democrats used it as a campaign issue against the Republicans to no avail. But when they controlled it all, they did nothing.

In 2009, the Democrats had the House of Representatives, the Senate, the White House, 27 state legislatures, and 28 Governors' Mansions. Seventeen states had both the General Assemblies and Governors' Mansions controlled by just the Democrats. But they focused on the Affordable Care Act.

To admit, as Democrats are hesitant to do, that Sandy Hook could not have been prevented by legislation, is to confess the Democrats have spent the last few years lying about it, using death for partisan political gain. Otherwise, one must consider that when the Democrats had the opportunity and power to prevent Sandy Hook, they chose to do nothing.

Sandy Hook was not the only act of gun violence in this nation during Barack Obama's tenure. In fact, during his tenure there have been more mass shootings than under George W. Bush. There have also been more domestic terror incidents under Barack Obama's watch. Loathe to even consider them acts of Islamic terror, White House officials stared evil in the face and called it random acts of violence and resigned themselves to a new normal.

One must wonder what it is about Barack Obama's time in office that led to that. The nation itself is more divided than ever. To say "all lives matter" is considered a racist act. For eight years, the left has claimed conservative rhetoric led to violence, including blaming Sarah Palin for the attempted murder of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, but the left exempted itself from those claims. Then, just this past week, a group of youths in Chicago, fueled by the race grievance rhetoric of the left, tortured a white, special needs man while yelling obscenities about Donald Trump.

In his last State of the Union address, President Obama lamented his contribution to the coarsening of American political discourse. But then he stayed on the attack. The man who used the dead from Sandy Hook against Republicans when no law could have stopped that tragedy continued savaging Republican refusals to yield to his demands.

The left will dispute all of this. But I doubt history will. Barack Obama's historic legacy will be that of a nation that turning in against itself and walking away from its obligations abroad. Barack Obama's historic legacy will be, in two words, Donald Trump.