Sunday, June 05, 2016

Asessing President Obama's Performance

'Dilbert' Creator Asks "What Exactly Is The Risk Of A Trump Presidency?"
So, how did President Obama do on the job? Was he a good president?

If you have an answer in your head – either yes or no – it proves you don’t know how to make decisions. No judgement can be made about Obama’s performance because there is nothing to which it can be compared. No one else in a parallel universe was president at the same time, doing different things and getting different results.

I’m not a fan of everything our president has done, but I feel as if historians will rank him as one of our best presidents. Definitely in the top 20%.

Wait, what? Am I crazy?

Many of you think Obama nearly destroyed civilization. You and I can’t both be right. But both of us can be irrational in trusting our opinions. We are literally comparing Obama’s actual performance to imagined alternatives that exist only in our minds. Maybe you think the imaginary president in your mind is way better than the real one, whereas I think the real one did well compared to my imaginary alternative.

That isn’t thinking. Science is pretty clear on that.
Obama will be ranked in the middle because he is a president of non-achievement. His signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act, will cease to exist if Trump wins in November. If Hillary wins, his position will move higher because laws such as the ACA will stay on the books or form the basis for the next reform.

Obama, along with Bernanke and Yellen, will be credited with preventing the economic collapse, but Obama will be blamed for doing nothing to solve it. No major economic reforms emerged from his administration, not the type that can last for generations. Job growth and other measures were abysmal compared to history. This is likely due to U.S. debt levels and demographics, problems that would have plagued any president, but he did nothing to deal with it.

The U.S. retreat from the world probably began, at least psychologically, with the end of the Cold War. The destruction of U.S. capital in the Middle East post-2001 was enough to accelerate the U.S. exit from the world. President Obama, whatever his goals, engaged in managed decline. By Obama's own admission, his foreign policy was "Don't do stupid shit." From a Machiavellian point of view, Obama's deal with Iran is brilliant for upsetting the balance in the Middle East and turning jihadist energy inward. The women around Obama did a lot of stupid shit in Libya and Egypt, but as far as the Arab Spring, show me where the Bush administration ended and the Obama admin began. As for the spread of jihad into Europe, Merkel bears much of the responsibility.

Obama nominated a couple of SCOTUS judges and he's started some HUD policies aimed at removing minorities from valuable city real estate, but did he do anything worse than what you would have expected of any Democrat president and the natural drift of the Cathedral? Even on big issues such as gay marriage, he "led from behind" and didn't change his opinion until the polls did.

The one area Obama interfered in was race, turning local crime stories into national obsessions. His comment about Cambridge police "acting stupidly" was the beginning of a string of actions peaking with the burning of Ferguson and riots in Baltimore. He was the consummate divide and conquer politician and rarely spoke in unifying themes. Even when traveling overseas, Obama would reach back 800 years to find something negative to say about his is domestic political enemies.

I fail to see McCain or Romney being much better on foreign policy, due to risk of too much action. On the economy, they would have been better, but would it have been healthy growth or debt backed? Both men likely would have pursued an amnesty. Despite Romney's self-deportation comments, his vicious turn on Trump makes his prior position questionable at best.

Here's a progressive list of Obama achievements. THE LIST OF 358 OBAMA ACCOMPLISHMENTS SO FAR, WITH CITATIONS Take out everything that was not done by the permanent state or the private economy and there's no a lot left. He let the permanent state run wild for 8 years, but did little additional work himself. Considering Obama did not lead on the ACA and left it to Congress, even his signature accomplishment looks were. a Republican president would not have reversed the march of progressivism.

Obama is the Yuri Adropov of progressivism. Had Obama died on his first day in office and USG ruled via an extended version of Weekend at Bernie's, the world wouldn't look much different today.

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