‘Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job.’ President George W. Bush was roundly and soundly mocked in 2005 when he said that to FEMA boss Michael Brown in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Now we are seeing similar praise, with President Obama being assured that he has obviously done a heck of a job over the past eight years. The only problem is that the praise is being offered by President Obama himself.
Desperately trying to avoid any personal blame for last week’s electoral carnage, the president is telling anyone who will listen that his policies worked, declaring, ‘The country is indisputably better off.’
We can all agree that President Obama did some very positive things during his tenure. The economy was on life support when he took over; his administration staunched the bleeding and stabilized the patient. Speaking of health, ObamaCare has certainly helped millions of Americans obtain insurance, although millions of others paid a steep price.
However, there is a long list of things that did not improve, perhaps even got worse, over the past eight years.
Our tax code is more complex and stifling than ever, and small business formation has been crushed. The number of Americans demanding and receiving free stuff has never been higher.
President Obama is a man of very few regrets. And those he has are microscopic. He actually said this earlier this year: ‘It is one of the few regrets of my presidency that the rancor and suspicions between the parties has gotten worse.’
Earth to President Obama: You have presided over the weakest recovery in memory. While the official unemployment rate is low, tens of millions of Americans have given up looking for work and the national debt is approaching $20-trillion.
Illegal immigrants have flooded across our border and some have committed heinous crimes. In too many of our metropolises, murder rates are up and hope is down. You remember ‘hope,’ don’t you? The old sidekick of ‘change.’
Things are far, far worse for many others around the globe. The Middle East is in chaos, refugees have overrun parts of Europe, and Iran gives the USA the middle finger. Presuming that is not against Sharia law, of course. Worst of all, the bloodshed in Syria has been nauseating. But just this week, asked whether President Obama has any regrets about his inaction in Syria, his press secretary deftly, and earnestly, ducked the question.
While President Obama is still personally liked by most Americans, he is fully aware of what happened to the Democratic Party and its progressive ideology under his watch.
In January of 2009 Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress, the presidency, most governorships, and were seemingly an unstoppable force. Books were being churned out about the inevitable and enduring Democratic ascendency. Well, as they used to say in movies, ‘Stop the presses!’
The Republican Party, once the subject of countless obituaries, has never been healthier. The GOP is indeed feeling quite Grand these days, with total control of most states and with its hands on all the levers of power in Washington. That can easily change, so conservatives might want to avoid writing books about the permanent Republican majority.
American citizens, at least those not residing on the coasts or on elite college campuses, have made it abundantly clear that they are not big fans of liberalism. And the Democratic strategy of slicing and dicing the electorate into ethnic and racial and religious interest groups has failed, big time.
But right now some leading Democrats, among them Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, are urging their party to shift even farther to the left. They want to put the DNC in the hands of Congressman Keith Ellison, a man of the left who previously defended Louis Farrakhan. This guy, while associating with Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam, actually identified himself as ‘Keith X Ellison’ and ‘Keith Ellison-Muhammed.’
An Israel-hating radical as head of the Democratic Party? Yeah, as Jon Lovitz might say, that’s the ticket.
The Republicans, meanwhile, have placed their fate in the hands of an untested tycoon who has made many vague and grandiose promises. If Donald Trump does not deliver on his own version of ‘hope and change,’ American voters will strike back like so many cobras.
Surveying the current political landscape, one thing is absolutely certain. President Obama is leaving behind a nation that is far less blue than when he took office. Not less depressed, but far less blue on the electoral map.
In the United States of America in late 2016, there can be little doubt about it: Red … is the new black. Heckuva job, Barack.