Obama's legacy makeover: A reality check
By Mark Alexander
Barack Hussein Obama entertained his dwindling legion of constituents with farewell remarks last Tuesday night — the last stop on his extensive "legacy makeover" tour that began after Donald Trump defeated his designated heir, Hillary Clinton.
I should note that by "last stop," I mean as "president."
Unlike his predecessor, Obama has no plans to quietly recede from the nation's capital, as has been the practice of former presidents since 1796. In fact, the Obamas will be taking up residence in a nine-bedroom mansion in the District's most exclusive neighborhood, and you can be certain that he'll be out on his front stoop stumping for his failed policies every time Trump endeavors to alter or abolish one of them. Given that the Obama presidency has been the equivalent of a neutron bomb to the Democrat Party brand — leaving its structure intact while annihilating the human resources within it — is it any wonder that he's so desperate for that legacy makeover?
Leftist political analyst Ed Klein gleefully opines that Obama will be leading "a shadow government opposing the Trump administration," while presidential historian Stephen Hess concludes that Obama's adoring media will be "camping out on [his] doorstep."
The last great farewell address, indeed the greatest of the 20th century, was Ronald Reagan's delivery of his inspirational paean to "the shining city upon a hill." He humbly declared, "I wasn't a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn't spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation — from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in the principles that have guided us for two centuries."
Indeed, like President Washington, President Reagan departed office having affirmed the sense of the people that America's best days were ahead.
As is my practice, I will be rebutting some of Mr. Obama's more salacious and fallacious assertions from his final national address.
However, given it is his final address, let's first review how he, and we, arrived at this point in history.
During 2008, in a series on then-presidential candidate Obama's disturbing pathos, I noted that he was an unknown "community organizer" with a tragic pedigree who had, for his entire adult life, been mentored as a disciple of hate by "pastor" Jeremiah "G-d Damn America" Wright.
Of greater political significance, in the third part of that series, "Another Marx Brother," I named the Marxist mentors who shaped Obama's political views from his earliest years and paved his way into the Illinois State Senate in 1997, and then the U.S. Senate in 2005.
I noted that his first political fundraiser was hosted by his friend and neighbor, Bill Ayers, cofounder of the Weather Underground, a communist revolutionary terrorist group that bombed public buildings in the 1960s and 1970s, including police stations, the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol Building. Not only were Obama and Ayers friends, but they actively worked together for leftist organizations. Ayers's terrorist wife, Bernardine Dohrn, was a close friend and law partner with Michelle Obama.
Four years later, however, an utterly unqualified Obama would win first the Democrat nomination and then the 2008 presidential election, largely due to a banking crisis precipitated by a manufactured mortgage crisis, and the fecklessness of Republican presidential candidate John McCain, who lacked any semblance of Obama's charismatic appeal and failed to launch both a substantive grassroots campaign and an effective argument against Obama's snake-oil candidacy.
In 2009, I noted that Obama's remarkably brief White House bio began with this assertion: "His story is the American story — values from the heartland, a middle-class upbringing in a strong family." Of course, nothing could've been further from the truth. Nothing about Obama's "American story" has anything to do with "the heartland" or "a middle-class upbringing" or "a strong family." (Amazingly, that deceitful bio page has not been altered since 2009.)
Ultimately, the election of Barack Obama, who was sold to the American people as a centrist but who is in fact an ardent ideological Socialist, came with some unintended consequences for him and his leftist cadres across the nation.
Chief among those consequences was the emergence of the grassroots Tea Party movement ahead of the 2010 midterm election. That year, Republicans dealt Obama and his fellow Democrats a historic "shellacking": 63 House seats, 6 Senate seats, 6 governorships and a whopping 680 state legislative seats — more state legislatures than at any time since 1928. But, regrettably, establishment Republicans, led by then-House Speaker John Boehner, excluded these new conservatives from leadership positions.
Thus, in 2012, the grassroots momentum was sidelined by fratricidal infighting, and Republicans lost eight House seats and two Senate seats. Most notably, Mitt Romney failed to connect with grassroots conservatives, which allowed Obama to dupe voters into electing him for a second term by a very narrow margin. (Remember how, during the final presidential debate, Obama mocked Gov. Romney's assessment of Russia as our nation's "number-one geopolitical foe"? How's that working out, Barry?)
However, once again, in 2014, Republicans decimated Democrats in not only House and Senate midterm races but in gubernatorial and statehouse elections across the nation. This was a broad and deep victory for Republicans and particularly conservatives, one that moved the political needle back toward Liberty.
After the smoke cleared, Republicans had made historic gains both in federal and state elections. This time, they picked up a whopping nine Senate seats for a total of 54, retaking the majority with fresh, conservative grassroots candidates like Iowa's Joni Ernst, Nebraska's Ben Sasse and Arkansas' Tom Cotton. Republicans also gained 14 additional House seats, increasing their majority to 247. And they added two more Republican governors, bringing that total to 31, while picking up 11 more legislative chambers for a total of 68.
Of the 2014 gains, Charles Krauthammer noted, "[R]egaining the Senate would finally give the GOP the opportunity, going into 2016, to demonstrate its capacity to govern. ... [C]ontrolling both houses would allow the GOP to produce a compelling legislative agenda."
And, indeed, they did.
Recall last year, when Hillary Clinton's election seemed all but certain, Obama arrogantly declared, "I will not be on the ballot, but everything we've done is going to be on the ballot."
And recall when he told a Congressional Black Caucus dinner audience, "I will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy" if blacks don't get out and vote in sufficient numbers against Donald Trump.
Indeed, BO's record was on the ballot, and so was his legacy. Obama's heir-apparent Hillary Clinton, a consummate congenital liar with an extensive record of malfeasance, would bring out enough middle-American "irredeemable deplorables" to defeat her, and to thereby reject Obama's "third term."
The 2016 election further decimated Democrats nationwide. When Obama took office there were 256 Demos in the House. Now there are 188 (-68 for -27%). There were 58 Demos in the Senate. Now there are 46 (-12 for -21%). There were 28 Demo governors. Now there are 18 (-10 for -36%). Across the nation, Democrats held 4,086 state legislative seats and controlled 60 chambers. Under Obama, they have lost 949 (-23%) of those seats and now control just 31 chambers (-52%.)
In the end, thanks to welfare-addled voters in California, Clinton won a popular plurality, 48% to 46%, which is notably short of a popular majority. But when her bewildered supporters ask, "Who won the popular vote?" leave them stumped with this reply: "Our Constitution."
Now, Obama, in full denial, insists that he's the best-qualified person to rebuild the once-noble Democrat Party, which devolved into the Socialist Democratic Party under his leadership. On this venture, he has my full and unconditional support.
He doubled down on his delusional self-assessment in his farewell remarks.
In those remarks, Obama said, "My mother used to tell me reality has a way of catching up with you."
So, what follows is a final reality check on Obama's last eight years.
If you did not watch Obama's 4,350-word self-congratulatory farewell fest, I slogged through it so you wouldn't have to. It was a longer delivery than Presidents Reagan, Clinton and Bush (43) combined, and Obama only referred to himself 75 times.
Obama returned to Chicago for his final soapbox extravaganza, a city that, like most of America, is in much worse shape now than it was eight years ago. Urban poverty plantations have grown substantially under the Obama regime, and Chicago is no exception. One measure of the cultural devolution in the Windy City is the fact there have been 3,929 murders there since Obama was elected — another Obama record!
Despite the Beltway memo-media accolades concluding that Obama's central message was "unity," the fact is he never uttered the word. Instead, predictably, when he was not congratulating himself, he devoted the rest of his airtime to disunity, invoking all the standard Demo playbook "divide and conquer" constituencies — race, ethnicity, religion, gender and, of course, wealth.
According to Obama, "The disaffection and division that has stalled our progress will only sharpen in years to come." Well, of course it will with him at the Democrat Party helm. He has devoted his career to fomenting of division and, in his words, promoting "the rise of naked partisanship."
Invoking his race-bait rhetoric, he declared, "After my election, there was talk of a post-racial America. Such a vision, however well-intended, was never realistic. Race remains a potent and often divisive force in our society. For white Americans, it means acknowledging that the effects of slavery and Jim Crow didn't suddenly vanish in the '60s."
On ethnicity and religious "diversity," Obama complained about "fear of people who look or speak or pray differently" and our failure to "invest in the children of immigrants just because they don't look like us." He added, "I reject discrimination against Muslim Americans who are just as patriotic as you are!"
And stirring the class-warfare pot, Obama said, "Our economy doesn't work as well or grow as fast when a few prosper at the expense of a growing middle class. ... Stark inequality is also corrosive to our democratic principles. ... If every economic issue is framed as a struggle between a hard-working white middle class and undeserving minorities, then workers of all shades will be left fighting for scraps while the wealthy withdraw further into their private enclaves. ... [This] increases economic and regional stratification."
In the self-congratulatory category, Obama gave himself high marks for his domestic and foreign policies.
Obama claimed, "By almost every measure, America is a better, stronger place than it was when we started. ... If I had told you eight years ago that America would reverse a great recession ... and unleash the longest stretch of job creation in our history ... you might have said our sights were set a little too high."
Actually, I would say that his hindsight is set much too high.
Domestically, Obama's policies have crushed the middle class. Currently the labor participation rate is testing the lows of the 1970s, with 95 million Americans out of the labor force. The "Obama recovery" is the worst since World War II. America has lost more than 300,000 manufacturing jobs since 2008 and the global trade deficit has risen to more than $730 billion. There are 11 million more Americans on food stamps than 2008, another Obama record, and more than 43 million Americans now live below the poverty line.
Consumers are now paying $874 billion for government regulations, with 2,988 new regulations under Obama.
Oh, and Obama accumulated more "unpatriotic" national debt than all other presidents combined — almost $10 trillion — with little to show for it.
On his signature namesake, ObamaCare, he declared, "The uninsured rate has never, ever been lower [and] health care costs are rising at the slowest rate in 50 years."
Ah, yes, those claims are as accurate as this most memorable line from his litany of ObamaCare lies: "No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people. If you like your doctor, he will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan, period."
Despite Obama's claims about reduced premiums, on average premiums are going up 25% in 2016 and the insurance cost for an average family has increased almost 50% since 2008.
Beyond failed economic and health care policies, Obama heralded new levels of corruption, including his IRS Enemies List targeting conservatives; his "Fast and Furious" gun control charade; the VA death panels cover-up; the immigration crisis on our southern border; and his corrupt attorney general, Eric Holder.
Regarding homeland security, in a typical example of hubris, Obama had the audacity to claim, "No foreign terrorist organization has successfully planned and executed an attack on our homeland these past eight years."
Finding a shred of truth in this statement requires convulsive Clintonian parsing of the facts. Obama had best not assert his lone wolf defense of Islamist jihadis at Ft. Hood or in Boston or San Bernardino or Orlando or Chattanooga or any other homeland sites of Jihadi assaults during his tenure.
On the national security front, Obama has chalked up the most inept and dangerous foreign policy failures since James Earl Carter.
On a prior farewell tour stop, Obama insisted, "Almost every country on Earth sees America as stronger and more respected today than they did eight years ago when I took office."
Obama's foreign policy malfeasance is unparalleled. Under his tenure we witnessed the "Russian Spring" in Crimea; his hollow "Red Line" in the Syrian sand; the Middle East meltdown in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Jordan and Gaza; his political retreat from Iraq — discarding all the blood and treasure spent there to establish stability; the Benghazi cover-up ahead of the 2012 election; the dramatic resurgence of al-Qa'ida; Obama's reference to ISIL as the "JV team"; and the rise of the Islamic State and an epic humanitarian crisis in the Middle East.
While Obama claims to have ended wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, American troops are on their way back into both theaters. At present, in Afghanistan we have 8,500 military personnel and 26,000 military contractors, and in Iraq we have more than 5,000 military personnel and 15,000 military contractors.
Obama heralded his Iran nuke "deal" as one of his greatest foreign policy achievements: "I shut down Iran's nuclear weapons program without firing a shot." The fact is, his acquiescence and coddling of Iran resulted in the re-emergence of the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, which is now metastasizing into Western Europe and North America.
Additionally, Obama and Kerry took a parting shot at Israel, undermining our historic relations with this essential Middle Eastern ally.
Islamist assaults worldwide have increased greatly under Obama, and there will be a very heavy price to pay in the next decade for his unprecedented foreign policy failures — one reason he has a record low approval rating with our military personnel. (Memo to Obama: The Nobel Committee called — they want their medal back!)
All his unearned self-aggrandizement notwithstanding, perhaps most disturbing in Obama's remarks was his deliberate mischaracterization of our form of government as a "democracy" — 20 times — while mentioning "republic" only once. He insisted, "We must forge a new social compact," having failed to "fundamentally transform the USA" as he promised in 2008. He even mentioned Rule of Law four times, but in each case, out of context.
Finally, Obama asserted, "In his own farewell address, George Washington wrote ... that we should reject 'the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest or to enfeeble the sacred ties' that make us one."
But that divisive alienation is all Obama and his Democrats have done for the last eight years.
The good news — no, the GREAT NEWS — is that in days there will be a new administration and a new era of recovery for our nation. Donald Trump's team is shaping up to be a Reagan revival!
Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.