Monday, October 13, 2014

FOD 2014.10.13

Think back to the 2012 presidential election. obama was re-elected by an impressive margin. In his subsequent State of the Union address he laid out a grandious vision for a progressive second term. He was poised to usher in a new era of sweeping liberalism.

And then it all collapsed.
The problems came in waves. The attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, took place eight weeks before the election, but the many inconsistencies in the administration’s narrative dogged Obama into his second term...

The controversy over the talking points revived a scandal that the administration had hoped was behind them. At a press briefing just days before the new revelations, Carney had dismissed a question about the attacks six months earlier by claiming, “Benghazi happened a long time ago.”
Then in May 2013 the IRS scandal broke.
... a damning report from the Treasury Department inspector general was made public. And those responsible for the targeting, it soon became apparent, were not “line officials in Cincinnati” but senior IRS officials in Washington.

Top Democrats in Washington had been publicly calling for the IRS to scrutinize Tea Party groups. But White House officials denied any role in the targeting, and President Obama was quick to condemn it. “Americans have a right to be angry about it,” he said. “And I’m angry about it.” The targeting, Obama said, was “inexcusable.”

Three days later, the public learned that the federal government was spying on reporters. The Department of Justice had obtained phone records for nearly two dozen reporters and editors from the Associated Press as part of an investigation into alleged leaks of classified information...
Days later, the Washington Post reported that the Department of Justice had gone even further in another investigation, closely monitoring the activities of Fox News correspondent James Rosen... Amid the ensuing controversy, Attorney General Eric Holder, who had previously testified to Congress that he had never contemplated the prosecution of a member of the media for disclosing classified information, admitted having approved the Rosen warrant application...

Less than a month later, the Guardian and the Washington Post, working from documents stolen by Edward Snowden, published detailed accounts of surveillance programs conducted by the National Security Agency...

These controversies were one part of Obama’s collapse. His failing policies were the other. Four years after Obama signed the stimulus into law, unemployment remained high and economic growth was anemic...

And then came health care. The Obamacare rollout in October 2013 was an unmitigated disaster. The front‑end of the website didn’t work. The back-end hadn’t even been built. Serious security issues made potential enrollees reluctant to sign up. And many of those who signed up did not initially make premium payments.

The promise that President Obama made more than three dozen times as he worked to pass Obamacare​—​“if you like your plan, you can keep it, period”​—​was inoperative. Worse, it was clear that Obama knew when he made the promise that he would break it. Analyses the White House itself conducted had concluded that millions of Americans would not be able to keep their health care plans, whether they liked them or not. The very structure of Obamacare requires the cancellation of plans that do not meet the standards of coverage mandated by Washington.

Obama knew this. So did his aides. And so did Republicans, who warned repeatedly and with great urgency that people would lose plans they liked.

The problems with Obamacare were so bad that they elicited public criticism from Obama’s two living Democratic predecessors. “His major accomplishment was Obamacare and the implementation of it is now questionable at best,” said Jimmy Carter. Bill Clinton urged Obama to keep his word. “The president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they got.”

The Obama presidency has seen many low points, but this has to have been one of the lowest​—​Jimmy Carter questioning Obama’s competence and Bill Clinton questioning his integrity. (emphasis added)

The administration scrambled to avoid a full collapse of the law. They suspended enforcement of the employer mandate. They granted the IRS authority to provide tax credits to those insured through the federal exchange despite the fact that the plain language of the law provided tax credits only to those who were insured through state exchanges. They provided carve-outs and exceptions to other aspects of the law on an ad hoc basis.

The scandals and policy challenges that shaped Obama’s fifth year have derailed his sixth. New revelations about the IRS and Benghazi scandals​—​widespread “computer crashes” among IRS employees investigated by Congress and Benghazi documents that further undermine the administration’s claims​—​have kept the stories alive despite the flagging attention of the establishment media.

Many of the policy decisions of yesterday have become the crises of today, particularly overseas... 
Obama boasted that he had ended the war in Iraq. The administration erected obstacles to an agreement with Baghdad that would have left a residual force in Iraq, and Obama celebrated the fact that he was the president who had brought all U.S. troops home from Iraq.

A year before he began his second term, Obama sent Robert Ford to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Syria with the hope that Bashar al-Assad would be a reformer. Instead, Assad responded to peaceful protests with the systematic slaughter of moderate rebels who opposed him. Obama called for Assad’s ouster but declined to do anything that would produce that result. He insisted that the movement or use of chemical weapons would be a “red line” for the United States, but balked when presented with evidence that Assad had repeatedly used those weapons.

In the face of U.S. inaction, moderate rebels turned to Islamic extremists for help, and jihadists flocked to Syria to join the fight. With better weapons, more experience, superior organization, and steadily flowing funds, the jihadists began to crowd out other elements in the Syrian opposition. Al Qaeda and likeminded groups saw an opportunity to seize territory and expand their efforts, and in due time the Islamic State controlled vast sections of Iraq and Syria.

The Obama administration dismissed or sidelined intelligence officials who contradicted the official line by warning about the growing threat from al Qaeda and the Islamic State. But that threat soon became too big to ignore.

In an announcement that at once made clear the administration’s failures on Iraq, Syria, and al Qaeda, Obama ordered airstrikes on jihadist targets in the region. The tide of war was rising once again.

The scandals and policy failures have had a devastating effect. With two years left in his presidency, Obama has no agenda. The major new investments and initiatives that he spoke of after his election never happened. Gun control measures he pushed went nowhere. Immigration reform​—​at least the comprehensive variety that Obama demanded​—​is dead. As the investigations of old scandals continue, new ones have taken their place on newspaper front pages across the country: the chronic failures of the VA and, most recently, a serious cover-up involving the Secret Service.

When he’s not on the golf course, the president seems to spend most of his time fundraising for vulnerable Democrats, threatening executive action on those things he can’t accomplish by leading, and working to minimize crises of his own making.

This is a failed presidency.
Speaking of barry and the golf course:
The First Duffer reached a milestone Sunday, playing his 200th round of golf since taking office, according to CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller.
It's not like there's an outbreak of a deadly disease threatening the country or anything...


Old NFO said...

Denial is NOT just a river in Egypt... Just sayin...

CenTexTim said...

We've had bad presidents before, but never one with so many scandals and so many failures...