Is Obama too big too fail? Why is he acting so strangely?

July 26, 2014

President Barack Obama’s shameless fundraising tours in the midst of a world in chaos have brought immediate comparisons to Ronald Reagan.   Led by his erstwhile advisers, such as Michael Deaver, who understood imagery, Reagan would have been back in the Oval Office, looking presidential and sounding like the statesman he was.  Reagan would likely have brought his government together, State Department, NSA, Pentegon, CIA and taken an assessment of how it could all impact on American economy and lives.  He would likely have given a national address, reassuring the nation and signalling the world how we expect civilized people to act.

On the surface, Obama’s actions are incomprehensible.  There is no explanation.  Obama appears transcendent, not responsible for his own administration and uncaring about the world around him.

It has been the Obama style from the beginning. The economic crisis was the fault of the previous administration.  When his own stimulus program could not produce one of the one million jobs he promised, it was replaced with more of the same and  blame on congress for failing to immediately enact more of what wasn’t working.

The president declared that he had no responsibility for the IRS which was blatantly being used for political purposes, he had nothing to do with the failed Healthcare website and nothing to do with the Veteran’s Administration which was corrupt on his watch. Whatever happened to Harry Truman and his Oval Office motto, “the buck stops here?”

It was not just that the president was not in charge of anything, or seemed to know anything, or should be blamed for anything, it was also when we found out differently he didn’t apologize.  When we learned, for example, that the $678 million , no bid, Healthcare website was awarded to Michelle Obama’s buddy from Princeton, the White House ignored it all.  When a news agency asked about it they were charged with racism.  When the president’s hand picked political lieutenant at the IRS claimed she had lost her emails the president defended her.

Sometimes, these juxtapositions can get downright comical.  Recently, General Motors was fined millions of dollars by the Justice Department for faulty ignition issues when, in fact, at that time, the company was owned and being run by the U.S. government.  Should the Justice Department fine itself?  When Obama ran for re-election he bragged about saving the auto industry?  But he has no responsibility for the company he bought.   The President is too big to fail.

On closer examination, Obama’s recent actions make sense.  He is angling for his post presidential role.  He will either be the Secretary General of the United Nations or else he will be some NGO equivalent.  Thus, he spent the week campaigning for the Democrat Party and ultimately Hillary Clinton whom he will need as an ally if he is to realize his ambition.  Nor would he want to poke the Russians more than necessary.

And the Federal Aviation Administration’s sudden cancellation of all flights to Tel Aviv?  At a cost to Israel of millions of dollars?  At first we were told that the president didn’t get involved in such things.  And given the fact that the president isn’t responsible for the economy, the IRS, his own Healthcare namesake and the Veterans Administration, to name a few departments, then one could almost believe it.    What does he do with all that free time?  But if he is now on track for his post presidency then it makes perfect sense.  The U.N. votes solidly against Israel, with only American on her side.  Obama will need to have some more of these anti-Israel moments to shore up his support from the African and Arab nations who dominate the the U.N. and will dictate the reach of any international role.

There was an awkward scene on CNN last week.  Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg snapped at Wolf Blitzer.  The CNN reporter had asked if the FAA decision represented policy.  Given Obama’s anti Israel record it was a reasonable question.  And it had just been raised by a U.S. Senator.  A testy Bloomberg was outraged at Wolf Blitzer for daring to ask such a thing.  It was another shameful moment.  Bloomberg has taken a lot of heat for his slavish support of Obama, in spite of his record toward Israel.

The irony was that Bloomberg’s very appearance was proof of the politics of the policy. If Tel Aviv was safe, and Bloomberg could fly there, then why was it ordered closed to all American airlines?  And if it wasn’t safe, why was it opened up again after the American people reacted to the FAA’ decision with outrage?

Oh, by the way, as someone who once worked in the White House, I can tell you that no one at the FAA would make such an unprecedented and politically charged decision without the okay of the president of the United States.  Sorry.

It all points to this very likely scenario.  We will have Barrack Obama on the world stage for a very, very long time to come.

 

Below was a controversial “what would Reagan do” moment during the Egyptian crisis and the Arab spring.  On this segment, several years ago, I voiced a lonely position that turned out to be prophetic.


Edward Snowden, American hero

June 24, 2013

Is Edward Snowden a Benedict Arnold or a Paul Revere?

According to the US government Snowden is a spy.

That is the official word from Attorney General Eric Holder who is accusing him of espionage.  He is not a hero, we are now being told.  He is not a whistleblower?  He has not done a service to the American people?

How did this happen?  How and why did the national news media change its coverage on a dime, in a single day last week, leaving its television audiences laughing aloud at the audacious about face.  All week Snowden was a hero, exposing the unconstitutional NSA surveillance and in one moment he suddenly morphs into a traitor.

Isn’t this  the same Eric Holder who told a federal judge that James Rosen of Fox  News was “an aider, abettor and / or co-conspirator” in espionage?

Oh that? Old news. Holder was exaggerating to get a warrant.  it was a white lie.  All is forgiven.  The Fox is back in the pen.  But don’t try that at home.

Meanwhile, now that Edward Snowden has sacrificed his life for freedom of speech and our right to privacy, the First and Fourth Amendments to the Constitution,  the  national media is falling all over themselves to prove their loyalty to the all powerful government, lining  up against their latest target.

Snowden is a fake.  He is not our friend.  “He did this for attention,” says  Michelle Cottle of the Daily Beast, during a CNN appearance.  Thanks Michelle, brilliant.  The NSA can now stop transcribing your phone conversations.   Well done.  You’re safe.  The First Amendment can go to hell.

The media seems to believe that Snowden should wait patiently to be picked up by the US government, that he is wrong to run.  That he should trust the people who he knows have been lying to the American public about surveillance and who allow torture as long as the people doing the torturing are Americans and don’t wear black or have scary music in the background.  That would be too close to the Nazis.

It is clear that Snowden did not expect to be on the run.  Did  he really think he could escape from a government who has everyone’s emails and phone conversations stored away?  Did he think that any corporation or ambassador or head of state or government in the world would stand before such a power?  This is the new atomic bomb and America has it.  No one else.  We rule the world.  Or perhaps, I should say that Barack Obama and his successor rules the world.

Poor Edward Snowden.  Running to Hong Kong and then Moscow will only help the government paint him as a bad guy, a traitor to America.  He imagined that people in American really believed in the Constitution or in a government of laws.  He thought we would care about the fact that our government leaders lie to congress and the media.  He imagined that we still have a free press, who can write and say what they believe, without direction from corporate owners who, like druggies in the inner city, now depend totally on government subsidies and easy FED loans to sustain their empires.

So two questions remain.  Isn’t the government taking a risk that by running Snowden to ground they will only make him a hero?

There ia a simple answer to that one.  It doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t matter what any of us say.  They have the new WMD.  They don’t need to control everybody.  There are plenty who will fall all over themselves to get in their good graces and say and do whatever they think the government wants, just to avoid the inconvenience of an IRS audit or a criminal investigation based on their emails and phone calls.  So the government will risk Edward Snowden’s martyrdom.

Why? Because the government has even more secrets to hide.  It fears another Snowden among its 4.2 million top secret cleared employees.  They have to make his life so miserable that no one else will dare speak up.

And finally, one last thing remains to be known.  If Edward Snowden is a spy, not a whistleblower, then for whom has he been spying?  Russia?  China? North Korea?  Islamic Fundamentalists?

No.  He has been spying for us, the American people.  He is our spy.  He is the first American spy to be prosecuted by an American government.  They will get him.  And he will be locked away and after the furor dies down, he may even tortured by our American government.  He is like a Buddhist monk in Vietnam in the 1960’s setting himself ablaze, signaling to the world that something is wrong here.  He is a Paul Revere with an alarming message, “The government is coming, the government is coming.”

Sent from my iPad


The Obama Cover-up begins

June 11, 2013

What did the President know and when did he know it?

During Watergate, Senator Howard Baker made that question famous.  It was a different time, a different president and a different second term scandal.  But now, once again, the question is raised and it goes to the heart of the issue.  Was Obama behind the IRS attacks on his political enemies?  Or was it happening on its own, a bureaucratic “planchette,” moving across the political Ouija board with many biased hands guiding it?  And if it was the latter, when did the president finally know about it?

According to the Inspector General, the IRS asked illegal questions of politically targeted groups and organizations.  This included “requests for donor information, positions on issues, and whether officers have run for public office.” One disgusting national news story revealed that IRS agents had asked an organization to report the content of their prayers.

Now comes the shocking news.  The former IRS commissioner, Douglas Shulman, visited the White House 157 times since 2009.    Sarah Hall Ingram, the woman responsible for the IRS division that targeted conservative and constitutional groups, made 165 visits to the White House since 2011.  Incredibly, according to the official White House visitors’ records, none of the visits of the two IRS officials overlapped.

During those 322 visits to the White House, which represents almost every other working day, did they ever encounter the president?  And if so, what did they talk about?  Baseball?  Did they ever talk about work?

Did they feel comfortable about quizzing nonprofit applicants about their prayer language because they knew the president wouldn’t mind?  How could Barack Obama possibly not know what was going on?  When they met with him, did they lie to him?

Ken Walsh – arguably America’s preeminent authority on modern presidents – makes the point in a recent book that President Obama, as other presidents before him, may be isolated from what is happening in his own administration.  (Prisoners of the White House: The Isolation of America’s Presidents and the Crisis of Leadership. Paradigm Publishers, Boulder – London. )

As Walsh points out, presidents’ aides often give their boss some distance so he has deniability when a scandal erupts.  There is nothing new about this.  History has showed how sovereigns and mafia dons get things done without giving a literal command.  Frustrated over Thomas Becket, King Henry II supposedly bellowed, “Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?”  Aides figured out what Henry wanted and butchered Becket.

Having worked in a White House I personally experienced this first hand.  A good staffer knows when the president should not be bothered by something, when his fingerprints should not be on the paper.  But can one meet with the president hundreds of times and not talk about ones work?  Isn’t the president too busy to talk about life?  Or to quiz an IRS official about personal gossip at the agency?  Wouldn’t a chief executive want to know what she is doing and how she is doing it?  And would she really make hundreds of visits without the details of her work ever coming up?  What would be the purpose of the visits?

As Kenneth T. Walsh shows in Prisoners of the White House and I was to experience firsthand, isolation happens to all presidents.  But then so does hubris.

Even if one accepts the most generous account of President Obama’s innocence it does not explain how he continues to relentlessly reward and punish his enemies after the fact.

Sarah Hall Ingram, the administrator of the IRS division that targeted conservative groups, the one who made 165 visits to the White House and supposedly never uttered a word about what she was doing, was given a $100,000 bonus and promoted to run the enforcement of ObamaCare.

What is that?  Coincidence?  A payoff?

The president can claim he didn’t know when it happened, which seems far fetched, but he surely knows now.  And like Richard Nixon before him, he is paying off the Watergate Burglars.


Behind the IRS Scandal and the attacks on Obama

May 20, 2013

In what must totally confuse the public, the left leaning, liberal media is now daily hawking a news story that the IRS has been purposely targeting applications for conservative charities and educational non profits.  What?  This is news?  The liberal media has been targeting conservative organizations and personalities for years, so why should they blame the government for doing the same?  Ah, but you see, there is a very good reason.

The media is run by big corporations that count on interest free money from the Federal Reserve and burdening regulations to keep out small business competitors and complete freedom to run their fiefdoms without interference.   In return they pay the politicians, Republican and Democrat, big money to help them get re-elected and they provide priceless air support, by promoting their candidacies of choice on national television and marginalizing anyone who dares to challenge the corrupt arrangement.

Take for example, the Associated Press, a “non-profit” owned by a cooperative of newspapers and television companies, which are owned by big corporations.  The A.P. virtually led the national media in their censorship and misreporting of the Ron Paul campaign in 2012.  (See here The Great Hudsonville Cover-up.)

Now, there is a great irony here for Ron Paul was the one candidate who was ringing the warning bells about our abandonment of the US Constitution.   (By the way, in addition to conservative groups, the IRS was also targeting any non profit that had the word “constitution” in its name.  The IRS can never be too careful in fulfilling its constitutional duty.)

What happened at the A.P. is only an example of what Dr. Paul feared and warned would happen.  The government asked that the A.P. hold back a news story about a terrorist bomb plot planned on the anniversary of the killing of Osama Bin Laden.  The Associated Press complied.  But when White House officials then lied to the American people, saying that there had been no threats on the anniversary, well, that was too much.  It was a replay of the Benghazi attack on the anniversary of 9-11, which the government had contended was a spontaneous reaction to an American anti-Islamic movie and had nothing to do with terrorists or 9-11.

The Associated Press ran their story and the government began their spying campaign against them.

Now it may be tempting for Liberty Lovers to let the A.P. stew in its juices but with Rand Paul, now making a serious effort to save the U.S. Constitution and end the culture of corruption in Washington, DC we should stand up for our old antagonist, the Associated Press.  Maybe, just maybe, they will learn that having masses of people supporting the U.S. Constitution is not such a bad thing.  Maybe, just maybe they will make room for Rand and when there are 2,000 at his events they will not say there are 40.

It is amusing to see the A.P. wringing its hands over the issue.  Since 9-11, the millions of intercepts of ordinary citizens have not even warranted a peep from many in the national media.  The drone killing of a US citizen with no connection to terrorism was passed over in a single day.  But listening on the AP?  Well, that apparently violates the “honor among thieves” arrangement of the New World Order.

There are some in the Liberty Movement who will say that this is not our fight.  They will say that the oligarchy is now obviously piqued at Obama and are bloodying his nose a bit to show him whose boss.  And that may be the case.  But the fact that they are using a bias against conservatives in the IRS as the weapon of choice is pure comic theater at its best and should be enjoyed to the hilt.

Just to look into the faces of those serious news anchors as they solemnly tell us that the IRS is biased against conservatives, implying that all good folks, themselves included, are scandalized by this outrageous an unfair behavior, is better than watching Cersei outmaneuver the court in the Game of Thrones.  Enjoy it while you can.  The House of Rand Paul is coming.

The attack on Vandersloot.


Presidents are Mama’s boys

May 10, 2013

“Well a mother, a real mother, is the most wonderful person in the world. She’s the angel voice that bids you goodnight.”

– Wendy to the lost boys of Neverland.

 

Most presidents are mama’s boys.

Many of them are actually named after their mothers.

We all know that John Fitzgerald Kennedy is named after his mother, Rose Fitzgerald.  But Ronald Wilson Reagan is also named after his mother, Nelle Wilson.

Lyndon Baines Johnson is named after his mother, Rebecca Baines.  Richard Milhous Nixon is named after his mother Hannah Milhous.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt is named after his mother Sarah Delano.  In fact, FDR’s mother used to tell him, “You are a Delano, not a Roosevelt.”

When FDR had his famous fireside chats with the nation on national radio, his mother was right there beside him.  And on every Mother’s Day, she, herself, addressed the nation.

This phenomenon goes all the way back into our history.  Woodrow Wilson was named after his mothers, Janet Woodrow and Rutherford Birchard Hayes was named after his mother, Sophia Birchard.

Now it isn’t a perfect trend or else John Forbes Kerry would have won the 2004 presidential election.  He is named after his mother, Rosemary Forbes.   And then Marvin Pierce Bush, would have been the Bush brother to win the White House over George or Jeb.  He is named after his mother, Barbara Pierce.  But when I wrote the book, The Raising of a President, it appeared as such a stark statistical anomaly that I had to find an explanation.  I sent the data to several psychologists around the world.

Here was the identical response.  When that mother took that baby to her breast she felt a special connection to the child that bore her name.

Huh?  That’s it?  She felt something?

It reminded me of the German scientist who had studied plants in the 1880’s and insisted that if we talk nice to plants they will respond.  I’ve often thought.  If talking nice to a shefflera Tree will help it grow an extra inch each year, just imagine the damage or the good we do to each other by what we say, especially to our children?

Sigmund Freud wrote that “the man who perceives himself to be the favorite of his mother is empowered for life.”

Abraham Lincoln supposedly told William Herndon, “All I am or ever hope to be I owe to my angel mother.”

Even as an adult President William McKinley insisted that his mother say a prayer with him before going to bed.  At great expense, he had a wire laid from Ohio to Washington, D.C. so the practice could continue even when he was in the White House.

Never underestimate the power of a mother.   Apparently, how she feels, or how you think she feels, can impact the rest of your life.

No wonder William Wallace wrote, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.”

 


Rand Paul Now Leads Liberty Movement

April 9, 2013

It has only been a little more than a month since Senator Rand Paul’s filibuster on the floor of the U.S. Senate.  But it is looking more and more like a defining moment in American politics.  It may be a defining moment in American history.

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The dramatic sight of Rand Paul standing all alone, in the well of the Senate on March 6, 2013, speaking up for the U.S. Constitution, asking the questions that the media and the power establishment was too busy or too indifferent to ask, is a picture that will be forever burned into the psyche of many Americans.  And the key point here was that he was alone.  The rest of Washington, D.C., the politicians, the television producers, the White House staff, had scattered across town to posh restaurants enjoying their cocktails, regaling each other with tales of the day’s successes and making their deals for tomorrow, smugly content that they had put another day of work behind them.
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That afternoon, Senator Rand Paul had begun what would be a 13 hour filibuster, promising to hold up confirmation of the new Director of the CIA until the president answered this simple question. “Does the president’s newly assumed power to kill a U.S. citizen, without arrest or trial, apply to non combatants here in the United States?”
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It was a reasonable question.  Under president Barack Obama, the U.S. government had begun an unprecedented policy of killing U.S. citizens if they were deemed as terrorists.  Forget Miranda rights, they couldn’t even have a trial.  And this could happen anywhere in the world. The United States did not have to be at war with a country.  They could violate the air space and commit these killings in the Middle East, Asia, even Europe. In 2010, Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen, was killed in a drone missile strike on a desert road in Yemen.  Two weeks later, his son, born in Denver, Colorado, with no ties to terrorism, searching for his father’s body in Yemen, was likewise killed by an American drone strike.  The killing of al-Awlaki was justified because of his rabble rousing sermons which had inspired terrorists.  The son’s killing, was oops, sorry, a mistake.  
The media has been remarkably silent.
In February, when asked about drone missiles now circling key locations here in the United States, the White House was asked if the president had the power to kill U.S. citizens  without trial, on American soil, or was this just something he could do overseas?  The White House assured the amazingly docile American media that the Justice Department had agreed that the president had this power.
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President Barack Obama can be thankful that his predecessor, George W. Bush, did not or Obama, himself, might not be around.  By such reckoning, Barack Obama’s own pastor could have been “droned out” for his tirade, when he famously chanted, “God damn America,” from his pulpit.   And Obama, had he been in the audience for those sermons might have been collateral damage, much like al-Awlaki’s son.
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The country seemed to be lulled into a trance.  This included its once fierce and uncompromising, professional, watchdog media, now held tightly by its corporate leashes, reduced to reading press releases and providing entertainment.  The trance included its corrupt politicians, too busy making money off of insider trading to take time to defend something so esoteric as a Constitutional right.  It included its courts, now as malleable to public opinion and as intimidated by American culture as the politicians.   Even the public was silent, too intellectually lazy to care.  No one could move lest they be stamped racist, liberal, conservative, unpatriotic or some other unpopular sticker.
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So Rand Paul, like the sassy kid in the proverbial story, The Emperor Has No Clothes, asked aloud the question that no one else dared ask.
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The White House sniggered.  The media ignored it. President Barack Obama would not answer.  Nor would anyone else.  Former president George W. Bush was silent on the subject, as was former president Clinton and Democrat Party leader, Al Gore.  Republican leaders, John McCain and House Speaker, John Boehner didn’t peep.  This was apparently a tough question.
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And so, as it appeared to the nation, Rand Paul, all alone, without a single ally to hold his water, took to the Senate Floor in a filibuster, demanding that this simple question be answered.  If he was out of line and the rest of the country knew what they were doing, so be it.
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At first there was not much of a reaction.  In the afternoon, when a member of the White House press corps asked about it, the president’s spokesman openly laughed. While Fox News Channel and MSNBC mentioned the event, mostly the national media ignored it, much as they had Rand Paul’s father, when he raised issues of civil liberties. After three hours, fellow Senator, and Liberty ally, Mike Lee finally made an appearance.  Everybody else, including the president, went out to dinner that night and then home for the evening.  The vast Liberty online community was remarkably calm.
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But as the night wore on and Americans finished their meals and sat at their monitors or picked up their I-Phones to answer some mail, word of the drama unfolding on the floor of the U.S. Senate began to spread.  Some called it a Twitter Blizzard, a mocking reference to the snow storm that was not happening as predicted. First it resonated among the Liberty Movement base.  Rand Paul had launched a filibuster.  He wouldn’t stop talking until the President answered his question.  And then it began to spread across political and partisan lines.  What’s a filibuster?  Why won’t the president answer such a simple question?  What happened to the watchdog media?  How could they let such a question go unanswered?  By 9 pm,normal television viewing was skewed. NBC’s popular Law and Order was losing its audience as people rushed to online streaming or YouTube captured videos of the drama.  C-SPAN viewers spiked.  Cable television began to be dominated by the spectacle.
With the public aroused, the politicians reacted.  A parade of Senators, Republican and Democrat, rushed back to help Rand Paul.  Mike Lee made another appearance, this time with Ted Cruz and likely presidential contender, Marco Rubio.  Mitch McConnell and the GOP leadership fell into line.
They were all a minute too late and a dollar too short.  Senator Rand Paul, all by himself, without any help, had electrified the nation.
The next day, the politically savvy and thorough White House hauled out a canned moment that had been carefully preserved in case the filibuster went wrong.  Attorney General Holder had already answered the question to a Senator before the filibuster began, they now insisted.  But one wonders what they would have done with that canned moment if the public had not reacted.  Thursday morning, as Rand Paul began recovering from his 13 hour filibuster, the president finally answered the question.  And his CIA director was promptly confirmed.
A lot of other things were confirmed as well.
1.) Rand Paul is an unquestioned leader of the Liberty Movement and can inspire it whenever he chooses. Others will have to wait their turn.
2.) He is no political slouch, he is gutsy.
3.) Rand Paul is the first candidate since Ronald Reagan to actually lead a movement.
4.) The old left-right, Cold War paradigm is dead.  Rand Paul represents a new philosophy back to the constitution and it attracts support across the political spectrum from left to right.
5.) The fact that the country is moving in his direction and the packaging of his message is more palatable than that of his father’s, Rand Paul can win the presidency.
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From a purely historical perspective, one wonders how much further we will go in gutting our Constitution and sacrificing our rights to keep us “safe.”  How much bigger will government get?  How many more powers will be seized by the executive branch and how much future legislation will be accomplished by executive fiat?  At what point will it go so far down this road that we cannot find our way back?  And we learn that our form of government has changed before our eyes, without a discussion?
Will Rand Paul’s filibuster be nothing more than an empty moment of theater on our way to a future government run by a single chief executive, serving at the pleasure of fifty television moguls?  Or will it mark the hi water mark of the new, post 9-11, tyranny and the beginning of a self examination that will take us back to a renewal of our hard won Constitutional Republic?  We can only hope and pray for the latter.
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The Politics of Blame? “George did it.”

October 15, 2012

Should a presidents’ predecessor be a factor in judging his performance?

We have all heard President Obama’s refrain, “it took us a long time to get into this mess and it’s going to take us a long time to get out of it.”  This is his explanation for why, now in his fourth and final year of his first term as president the Great Recession persists.  But is it a legitimate excuse?  And if we applied this principle to other presidencies how would the landscape of American history change?

Of course, there is some justification to President Obama’s explanation.  He did indeed inherit a wrecked economy.  The problem is that if we embrace this standard for Obama we must use it for all and then the process breaks down.

For example, one could say that Bill Clinton deserves no credit for his prosperous years of balancing the budget.  Rather, Clinton should say, “Aw shucks folks, thanks, but actually, it took us a long time to get here.  Ronald Reagan did it.”

One could make the case that only because Reagan ended the Cold War did we earn the great peace dividend and balance the budget.  Because of Reagan we could discontinue the  wasteful expense of researching and developing and deploying weapons that were never used and ultimately destroyed.  At one time, before Reagan, 49% of the national budget was spent on the military.

But can the Carter years be blamed on Gerald Ford?

Should Richard Nixon be excused for only doing what Lyndon Johnson did and worse?

Should the Great Depression be blamed on Calvin Coolidge instead of Herbert Hoover?

The greatest president in American history?  Hmmm, that would not be Abraham Lincoln but James Buchanan.

Presidential historians who dump on John Tyler would have to credit him, not James K. Polk, for bringing Texas into the union.  Much of the ground work was done in the Tyler administration before Polk was even elected.

The problem with this “George did it” interpretation of history is that in the end, no one is responsible for anything.  Obama can blame it on George, after all he inherited the problem, but if a president is not responsible for what happens on his own watch, and those events are only a chain reaction of what his predecessor did, then why shouldn’t George Bush blame his mess on Clinton?  After all, as Obama says, “it took us a long time to get here.”  Who is to say “how long?”

And blaming it on George does not explain why Obama’s own policies did not accomplish what he publicly said they would do such as the stimulus money creating jobs.  In fact,  most economists believe the economy under George W. Bush was wrecked by a housing crisis, created by an unchecked banking industry and excessive spending, including a $1 trillion – off the books – war in Iraq.

Obama’s solution was to ignore the housing crisis and increase spending many fold, with giveaways to favored political constituencies.  According to a 2009, USA Today report, counties that supported Obama for president “reaped twice as much money per person from the administration’s $787 billion economic stimulus package as those that voted for his Republican rival.”  Most studies say it did not create a single net job.

While presidential historians consider context, they must ultimately judge a president on how he plays the cards that are dealt him.  They will admit that Richard Nixon was no more abusive than Johnson or Kennedy and that he showed sparks of genius but they will never likely rate him as a great president because he lost the presidency.  Kennedy and Johnson, for all of their faults, did not. Nixon could not blame his fall on Johnson.  Circumstances change and a president must adapt to meet the new rules of the game.

Clinton knows this full well.  It is why his ambition is unsated and why he persists so diligently in public life.  Nothing can change the fact that he was impeached.  He is now trying to bracket that event with favorable context and ultimately have history declare it only and solely a political act.  The best way to do this is to accomplish as much as possible as an ex-president and have his wife win the presidency too.  Any future ten year old, forced to memorize the presidents would reach those names “Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Clinton” and would intuitively know that the impeachment had to be political persecution or the public would never have voted them back.

If one were to judge this election based solely on numbers and data and the economy and presidential history, Mitt Romney should win in a landslide.  If he loses, it will reflect more on him as a failed candidate,  than on Obama as a president.

By almost any standard Barack Obama, our beloved first African American president, is a likable leader, but he has presided over the longest war in American history, he has not stopped the spending that got us into trouble, and after four years he has still failed to even touch the housing crisis.  Presidents are not only compared to other presidents, they are compared to their own promises, their own words.

The Sienna Institute proudly claims that Barack Obama is the 15th greatest president in American history.  Not a chance.  His election is indeed historic, monumental, but his presidency, like most recent presidencies, has been a dismal performance.


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