The real Obama legacy is a toxic administrative statute, a corrupt judiciary, the end of the Rule of Law, and a world that is unstable and very dangerous.
With only 1,392 days left in the Trump presidency, we’re already being told that, because Obamacare has not yet been repealed, Trump’s presidency is officially a failure. I happen to be a bit more sanguine. First, I think 1,392 days gives the administration and Congress time to act on the adage that, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Second, two bloggers who accurately called the Trump odyssey from its beginning, believe that this first attempt to remove Obamacare is, in fact, a Trump success.
According to Don Surber, who realized immediately how well Trump plays everyone, Trump went through this exercise as a way to chasten Paul Ryan, who has been unfriendly to Trump from the get-go. And according to Scott Adams, the repeal debacle destroyed the “Trump as Hitler” meme. For Lefties, the cognitive dissonance is too great if they try to hold “Trump is incompetent” and “Trump is Hitler” in their brains at the same time. The former drives out the latter . . . and Trump’s upcoming accomplishments will eventually erase the incompetent meme too, at least in the minds of all but the true believers.
The reality is that Trump is very competent indeed. While the media has been waxing alternately hysterical and lyrical about Obamacare, Trump has been decimating Obama’s regulations. With Obamacare temporarily sidelined, my Lefty Facebook friends are starting to get very, very upset about the fact that Trump is walking back a lot of regulations that kneecapped business and energy sectors. The energy walk-backs also remove the U.S. from the Paris climate accord.
Everything that Obama did with a pen and a phone, Trump is busy undoing with a pen and a phone. Moreover, thanks to Newt’s wisdom back in the 1990s, these regs once gone, stay gone.
Before the year is out, Obamacare will be gone too. There’ll be some toxic, sticky tentacles lingering, because the bill was drafted to be like a virus that infects every area of healthcare, but most will be gone.
So what is the Obama legacy if his regulations are gone and Obamacare is gone? He’ll actually have an impressive legacy, all the more impressive because everything that cannot be erased as easily has his regulations and Obamacare is truly awful.
Possibly the worst thing Obama did was to create a partisan administrative state. As is shown by the leaks aimed at invalidating Trump’s presidency; the attempts to manipulate documents in all administrative sectors; the EPA hysteria about “anti-science”; the IRS scandal; and myriad other agency drama and corruption, Obama has destroyed the idea of a non-partisan administrative state, one in which employees, regardless of their political preferences, simply do their job. Under Obama, partisanship, no matter how corrupt, was encouraged and rewarded — and most certainly, when employees were caught, they were not disciplined. If they were, IRS chief Koskinen would have been shown the curb years ago.
Not only are administrative agencies acting as if they are the executive, the judiciary, and the legislature combined, individuals within those agencies are way too powerful, at least in their own minds. This video about Comey’s investigation into Hillary, although it’s from October, perfectly exemplifies the power games Comey has been playing (and it’s very catchy):
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Bill McGurn succinctly summarizes the problem with the outsize role Comey has taken for himself:
In one headline, the Chicago Tribune sums up everything wrong with today’s Washington: “James Comey will determine the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s presidency.”
Plainly the FBI should pursue its criminal investigations. But the FBI director is not America’s political referee.
Critics now claim Chairman Nunes is too compromised by association with Mr. Trump to oversee an honest inquiry. But what of Mr. Comey? Many Democrats believe he cost Mrs. Clinton the election. Is it not at least possible he might see taking on Mr. Trump as an opportunity to redeem himself? It augurs ill when we forget political legitimacy is ultimately decided at the ballot box and look to the unelected for a political shortcut—whether this be a special prosecutor, an independent commission or an FBI director.
The second worst thing Obama did was to create an ideologically corrupt judiciary. I’ve been suffering this for years at a petty level as a lawyer in the SF Bay Area. You quickly learn that you will have a very uphill battle if you represent a bank against an individual claimant in the Bay Area, no matter how innocent the bank or how naughty the individual. However, the judicial activism of late with respect to Trump’s travel ban or illegal aliens has exceeded anything that has previously existed in my lifetime.
A perfect example of the way the administration’s corruption has reached into the courthouses comes thanks to the story of the DHS’s fake documents:
On February 24, AP reporters Vivian Salama and Alicia Caldwell published an AP “exclusive”: “DHS report disputes threat from banned nations.” The story was based on an anonymous draft Department of Homeland Services document that was leaked to the Associated Press, presumably by someone at DHS. The document seemed to have been created for the express purpose of undermining President Trump’s travel order. Indeed, it likely was created for that purpose.
As John Hinderaker details, a Democrat operative at DHS either got hold of a rejected draft (or faked one) denying any risk to the U.S. from people in countries closely with terrorism, then s/he leaked that fake paper to the AP, and then the two federal judges, who by that time knew or should have known that the document was a fake, relied on the document (actually, they relied on the AP news story) to justify their execrable partisan, law-free, Constitution-free orders. In these orders, they rejected the president’s Constitutional power to control immigration for national security purposes and, instead, took that power on themselves. That their actions exceeded their Constitutional authority and that they have no access to actual national security information did not faze them nor were any Progressives concerned about the factual ignorance and the fake documents driving the judges’ narrative.
The third worst thing Obama has done is to destroy the Rule of Law in America. The Rule of Law assures people that, if they do “X,” then they can reasonably expect “Y.” This reliability applies to everything from buying a home, to starting a business, to allowing a pond to collect on ones property, to deciding to enter the United States illegally, to strong-arming a store clerk.
The failure to respect the law in Obama’s America came from on high. It was with Obama’s direct approval that the administration assiduously ignored immigration laws and looked the other way as so-called sanctuary cities all over America have aggressive act to protect illegal aliens who have no right whatsoever to be in this country. Likewise, it was Obama’s Justice Department that looked the other way when it came to illegal eavesdropping, illegal voter intimidation, illegal conversations between the US Attorney and the husband of a woman being investigated for high crimes and misdemeanors.
Thanks to administrative overreach, statutes are irrelevant. If an agency has you in its cross hairs, it is judge, jury, and executioner — provided, of course, that its goals coincide with administration goals.
In the area of violent crime, the racial breakdown that Obama has promoted (see below) means that law enforcement is too afraid to enforce the law. When that happens, the criminal rules the neighborhood. The law abiding citizens hunker down, go vigilante, or throw their lot in with the bad guys. That’s assuming, of course, that the law-abiding survive the breakdown of civil order.
A fish rots from the head down. While Trump may enjoy boasting, to date he has respected the Rule of Law in this country. Obama boasted, lied, and openly violated the law. It’s not easy to come back from a rotten fish head.
To switch metaphors, unscrambling the egg of a partisan administrative state, a corrupt judiciary, and a missing rule of law . . . heck, I don’t know if can be done. It would involve a lot of firings and a lot of impeachments, and the Democrat party would fight it brutally, dishonestly, and excessively every step of the way. As a friend remarked of Trump’s many responsibilities now that the Obama state has been dumped in his lap, he’s already trying to drink from a fire hose.
The real Obama legacy is not limited to those three big items. There are other Obama legacies, none of which involve his belief that his reputation would be enshrined with Obamacare and his economic attacks in the name of climate remediation and justice. Here are just a few that I can think of offhand:
Pushing race relations back 60 years. The last time they were this bad, I was a child in the 1960s.
Creating an entire generation of Americans who have been unemployed so long that it is questionable whether they can be employed again.
Seeding the massive growth of Islam in America. To the extent Islam is an anti-Western, anti-American political system that hides behind a very thin religious mask, this creates long-term problems that we address now or we end up like Europe.
Leaving the military unprepared for war in terms of both weapons and manpower, although the mentally ill men and women whose body dysmorphia leaves them believing that there is no connection between their biological sex and their self-identity can now get surgery at taxpayer expense. That the surgery does not cure what’s actually wrong with them is irrelevant. We’re still paying.
Pushing a narrative that denies biology and accepts as fact the mixed-up reality of those with mental health problems regarding their sexual identity. And worse, imposing this insanity on ordinary Americans, especially young Americans trapped in schools.
Turning Syria into a charnel house and, worse, turning it into a charnel house that Iran and Russia control.
Inviting Putin into the Middle East, where he will make as much mischief as the Soviets did before him.
Leaving Central Europe without any serious weapons defenses against Russian aggression.
Turning Libya into a terrorist staging ground.
Creating a vacuum in Afghanistan that the Taliban is quickly refilling.
Standing by as Turkey turned from a liberal democracy into an Islamic tyranny. Although I don’t know if any American president could have stopped that, Obama sure did enjoy playing footsie with Erdogan.
Allowing the UN to pass a resolution de-legitimizing Israel and ensuring that the Palestinians will never agree to a two-state plan. While the reality is that they weren’t going to in any event, Obama’s betrayal allows Palestinians to justify all future aggression against Israel.
Turning Iraq, which had been pacified, into a battlefield between ISIS and Iran. It is a war in which the best outcome would be for both to lose. Mostly, though, it looks as if Iran, after the stalemate following the 1980s war with Iraq, will finally have won. What is certain is that, as is true in Syria, Libya, and all the other nations that are victims of Obama’s anti-American policy, children will die in excessive numbers.
Turning Iran into a nuclear nation and a power player in the Middle East.
Being yet another president who did nothing to stop the North Korean menace. Someone has to stop North Korea and it’s looking frighteningly as if only a hot war with this maddened nation will work.
To date, the only really bad thing I can say about Donald Trump is that he must have been out of his mind to want this job! That Hillary and Bernie wanted it is understandable, because they wanted to continue Obama’s legacy. But that Republicans wanted to try to take on this disaster, with a hostile media, a hostile administrative state, and a hostile judiciary . . . well, only crazy people would think it’s a good thing to step into the fetid, rotting, crepuscular presidential shoes Obama leaves behind.
I’m still rooting for Trump. I think he’s the only one with the vision and the bullheadedness to turn things around. And when his term ends, I still want to see Ted Cruz in the White House. Incidentally, Cruz has endeared himself to me by working with the new administration, instead of working against it. He had his little temper tantrum during the Republican convention (which was understandable considering the insults Trump lobbed as his father) and then, like a man and a patriot, got over it for America’s good.