Remember when candidate Barack Obama promised his acolytes that they were only “five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America”? That was back in October 2008, when the hectic flush of Obamamania was at its peak. To be fair, it’s taken a bit longer than five days, but here we are, five years into the most destructive presidency in the country’s history, and we can see that fundamental transformation at work just about everywhere.
The economy: During Obama’s first term, the credit rating of the United States was downgraded by S&P for the first time in history. That might seem pretty abstract: who cares about a country’s credit rating? But then there’s news like this: According to a report released in 2012 by the Federal Reserve, Americans have seen their wealth plummet by 40 percent over the past few years. Hope & Change!
Race relations: They are in a rawer state than I can remember thanks to a president who played the race card at every opportunity. The Cambridge police were “stupid,” according to the president, in the way they handled the case of Henry Louis Gates, Jr., famous Harvard huckster, back in 2009. If he had had a son, said the president, he would “look like” the thug Trayvon Martin, who jumped George Zimmerman and was shot dead by Zimmerman while pounding his head into the concrete sidewalk.
And then there’s the position of the United States on the world stage. Obama was supposed to hit the “reset” button not only with respect to our relations with Russia (how’s that working out?), but also with respect to our position in the world more generally. The bad old days of unilateral action under George W. Bush were to be banished in favor of a kinder, gentler America that was no more “exceptional” than was Britain or Greece. He’s certainly done a lot to make that true.