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Friday's HOT MIC

Friday's HOT MIC

Is the Left finally coming to grips with the calamity of Barack Hussein Obama?

It becomes clearer every day that Barack Obama, a historic president, presided over a somewhat less than historic presidency. With only one major legislative achievement (Obamacare)—and a fragile one at that—the legacy of Obama’s presidency mainly rests on its tremendous symbolic importance and the fate of a patchwork of executive actions.

How much of that was due to fate and how much was due to Obama’s own shortcomings as a politician is up for debate and is a question that emerges from Princeton historian Julian Zelizer’s new edited volume, The Presidency of Barack Obama.

With contributions from seventeen historians, the book bills itself as “a first historical assessment” of the Obama presidency. The overwhelming consensus, Zelizer writes, is that Obama “turned out to be a very effective policymaker but not a tremendously successful party builder.” This “defining paradox of Obama’s presidency” comes up again and again: the historians, by and large, approve of Obama’s policies (although some find them too timid) while they lament his politics.

"Overwhelming consensus." What policies? Libya? Climate change? Obamacare? Syria? Meanwhile, President I, Me, Mine was not a successful party builder? Do tell:

The politics were pretty disastrous. As Zelizer summarizes, “During his presidency, even as he enjoyed reelection and strong approval ratings toward the end of this term, the Democratic Party suffered greatly. . . . Democrats lost more than one thousand seats in state legislatures, governors’ mansions, and Congress during his time in office.” Zelizer could have gone further. According to Ballotpedia, more Democratic state legislative seats were lost under Obama than under any president in modern history.

Yet even with such political fallout, the overall tone of the book is surprisingly wistful.

"Yet"? They were in love with him then and they'll always be in love with him.