On April 30th in 1789, at Federal Hall in New York City, George Washington took the oath of office to become the first president of the United States. He took that oath amidst a widespread surge of popularity and consensual respect that has yet to be replicated in any subsequent presidential election in this country. For two terms, Washington was able to govern, and govern well, because even before he won the election as president of the United States, through his deeds, Washington had won the respect and trust of all of colonial America. If measured against that high standard, Barack Obama, whether he is elected in November 2012 or not, will be unable to govern effectively, if at all.
Whether the standard to measure Barack Obama is legislative, fiscal, foreign policy, managerial or personal, Obama ranks among the lowest of the low in presidential ability.
Legislatively, Obama’s signature piece of legislation, Obamacare, is tied up in a Supreme Court challenge which has exposed the shameful short cuts, side dealings and horse-trading that Team Obama was forced to implement in order to have the legislation scrape past the Senate. Billions of dollars of “incentives” to Senators and congressmen can be done once or twice. But, if congress requires these kinds of tawdry incentives to advance Obama’s presidential agenda, it is hard to imagine Obama has any ability to implement future legislation.
Consider some of Obama’s other signature efforts--a JOBS bills that doesn’t create jobs, an energy policy that increases the price of gas at the pump and increases America’s dependence on foreign oil. An insistence of subsidies, for failed “green” endeavors, that waste billions of taxpayer dollars on ill-thought Solar and wind schemes that advance the agendas of Obama’s political allies.
Fiscally, Obama has been the most irresponsible president in the history of the United States (and that is saying something!). Obama’s spend, spend, spend agenda has kept the economy from growing, has created new generations of citizens dependent upon the government dole and has resulted in the slowest growth in GDP in three years. And for what? Obama has not been able to create the jobs he promised because Obama doesn’t understand that business, not government, creates jobs in a free economy.
Entitlement spending has ballooned to outrageous levels wherein over 50% of Americans do not work, nor do they look likely to do so in the future. Obama has put in place trillions of taxpayer dollars as spending intended to stimulate the economy. But the economy has not been “stimulated”, though the pockets of Obama’s political allies have been generously lined with taxpayer dollars.
The president has not even been able to produce a federal budget that can be debated seriously by congress. His last such pathetic attempt was unanimously voted down (0-414), showing that Obama has been abandoned by his own party. Could congress, in a bi-partisan effort, be sending the president an indisputable message about what they think of Obama’s stewardship of the economy?
What does it say that Obama can’t even get one vote on an issue as important as the federal budget? There seems to be universal, bi-partisan agreement that in matters financial, the president is irrelevant.
Obama’s international shenanigans, from his bowing and scraping his way across Asia during his first year in office, to his hugs and handshakes for charlatans and brutish dictators, has been a public embarrassment. Obama’s off-mike comments to Medvedev show the president to be an anxious schoolboy, lackey-like and eager to be all things to all people, desperate for praise and willing to sacrifice American values to achieve.
The story of George Washington and the cherry tree may be apocryphal; merely a tale emblematic of George Washington’s propensity for truthfulness, but Obama spawns no such legend. He has told too many falsehoods, taken too many short cuts, and appointed as his spokespersons and surrogates, too many who do the same, and hence, Obama has lost the trust of the American people. What Obama has lost is what Americans value most—integrity.
And then there is the personal. It is turning out that Obama is actually not very likeable. At every opportunity, Obama seems to jump into controversies that should be solved at a state or local level (Gates affair in Cambridge, MA or Trayvon Martin in FL), before he has all the facts. Obama is showing himself to be a race-baiter, citing directly, or through his surrogates, that any who disagree with his policies or opinions must somehow be racist. Or there’s the class-warfare mongering. Repeatedly, Americans hear Obama blaming “millionaires and billionaires”, claiming that they haven’t paid their “fair share”, though Obama is a multi-millionaire and he, too, takes advantage of every tax loophole.
Barack Obama has been so fixated on his re-election (another of his falsehoods since he has often stated he didn’t care if he was a one-term president) and consumed with building winning “issues-based” coalitions, that he has lost the trust and respect and confidence of most Americans. Even if Obama, by some sleight of hand, were to win in November, he has no mandate; he lost consumer confidence, and he can’t govern.
John Marshall once said that a statesmen is a “a person that loves the people enough to tell them the truth". Barack Obama is clearly no statesmen and has repeatedly refused to deal honestly with the nation’s problems as he ceaselessly maneuvers for short term political gain. Even if he wins the election, it’ll be the longest lame duck session in the nation’s history. Barack Obama cannot govern. The nation is wiser and demands a statesman.