It was three years ago that Mr. Barack Obama was campaigning hard for president. He was drawing immense crowds, bringing them to their feet screaming his name. What was he promising these fans?
1. That he would end the recession and bring back a healthy, booming economy.
Has he done it? Obviously not. The crash stopped because of the rescue of Wall Street by George W. Bush’s bailout of Wall Street.
Just for me, I don’t see any causative link between Mr. Obama’s trillion-dollar “stimulus package” and his supersize deficits and the modest recovery we have. We still have extremely high unemployment and a genuine catastrophe in housing. Mr. Obama completely failed in his promises about the economy.
2. That he would end the war in Iraq in such a way as to bring the troops home without leaving Iraq in violent convulsions. Guess what? There are still more than 50,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and they are being shelled, rocketed, mortared, and attacked by IEDs every day. The Iraqi government is not our friend, and our troops there are just target practice for terrorists. Whatever success we had there has been trivial compared with the disaster this war has been — under Mr. Obama and, to be fair, under Mr. Bush.
3. That he would “reset” relations with Russia. He would get us friendly relations with this immensely important country. Has he done so? Not in the slightest. The Russians mock us and balk us in the U.N. and everywhere else they can.
Mr. Obama gave up building probably the most important project in the history of the atomic age, an anti-missile system, which would have protected Europe and the United States from nuclear missiles. He did that to appease Russia. Did it work? Not at all. We are naked to missile attacks, and the Russians still do not like us much. Another failure.
4. That he would go over the federal budget “line by line” to weed out waste and corruption and would thereby save so much money that it would go a long way to balance the budget. This one was a laugher from day one. The federal budget has millions of lines. He could not possibly go through it line by line.
That was just nonsense. As it happened, we have a wildly bigger civilian federal budget than ever before and deficits on a scale that are genuinely terrifying, although this may get surprisingly better if the economy revives. But so far, another failure.
5. That he would bring peace to the Middle East. Another bad joke. The Middle East is more dangerous than ever. Kicking out Hosni Mubarak from Egypt’s leadership has given the land of the Nile an anti-Israel, anti-U.S. government that is already working hand in glove with terrorists in Gaza.
This is not the way to peace.
6. That he would create a new, peaceful, productive relationship with Iran. Oops. Did he really believe that? Was he that naive? This is getting scary.
7. That he would create a better world with more opportunities for students. Well, best not to talk about that at all.
So, what has he done? He has given us a new healthcare plan that confuses even the leaders of his own party. He has given us a basketball court in the White House.
He has insulted our two best friends in the world — Britain and Israel — by his contempt for them.
He has shown his contempt for law by zeroing out Chrysler bondholders without legal authority and firing the head of GM without legal authority. And he set about a huge social experiment with the military by requiring that they accept gays.
It is very hard to find the real pluses in his term so far. I am sure there are some, but what are they? He did promise to fix the disaster in public education.
All he did was kill one of the only working solutions to the problem, the voucher system in Washington, D.C., schools that actually gave a small number of inner city students a chance at a good education.
This, of course, was at the behest of the teachers’ unions, his most loyal supporters and puppet-masters.
The amazing part is that even so, he beats by a large margin every possible GOP contender in the opinion polls. Something is terribly, terribly wrong here.
This is how great nations fold up. They get small men and women in big jobs.
Posts by Ben Stein's DREEMZ
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