GOLUB: President Obama's greatest success
Eric Golub is a politically conservative Jewish blogger,...
HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA, July 18, 2013—President Obama has had many setbacks since his reelection. His domestic policy agenda is collapsing. Obamacare is being delayed, immigration reform is on the ropes, and his education and environmental proposals are deader than Elvis. The economy remains stagnant. An increase in the hiring of temporary workers is used as a shield to cover high underemployment and another loss of full-time jobs.
On the foreign policy front, the afterglow from the bin Laden killing has faded. Iran marches toward nuclear Armageddon, and Syrian strongman Bashar Assad commits genocide against his own people with impunity. Russia, China and other nations gleefully mock America and its leaders.
Ethically, the Obama administration is drowning. Benghazi, Fast and Furious, IRS abuses, AP monitoring, and NSA data mining have all cast a pall over an administration that promised to be the most transparent one in history.
Theoretically, things could turn around. President Ronald Reagan lost his working majority in the House in 1982. In 1986 he lost the Senate, saw a Supreme Court Justice rejected, and faced the Iran-Contra scandal. Yet by the time Reagan left office, he was on his way to being regarded by historians among one of the top five greatest presidents.
President Obama frequently compares himself to President Abraham Lincoln, but Obama has managed to do something that neither the Great Emancipator or the Great Communicator could have dreamt of accomplishing. President Obama’s policies have had unintended consequences, which is why his greatest success is in itself an unintended consequence.
Obama has shown the utter folly of liberalism as a legitimate, workable governing ideology.
Obama and Reagan both inherited miserable economic and foreign policy conditions. They offered diametrically opposing ideological approaches to solutions. At home and abroad, the Reagan agenda flourished and the Obama agenda floundered.
Reaganomics created an economic expansion that lasted a quarter of a century. Obamanomics has barely avoided economic contraction.
Reagan won the Cold War. America was beloved by friends, feared by enemies, and respected by all who mattered.
Obama is not feared by anybody abroad. He is openly defied and mocked. His kinder approach has been seen as weakness.
In other words, the conservative approach worked because it works, and the liberal approach did not work because it does not work.
President Jimmy Carter offered liberalism, and he failed. President Bill Clinton offered liberalism for two years. He failed. He then abandoned liberalism and had six successful years. President George W. Bush offered six years of conservatism, and succeeded. In the last two years he drifted from conservatism, and had a tough end to his presidency. President George Herbert Walker Bush stayed with conservatism for his first two years. Yet the moment he broke his pledge of “Read my lips, no new taxes,” he abandoned conservatism and compounded a recession.
President John F. Kennedy is regarded as one of the best presidents of all time, but this Democrat was no big government liberal. He signed supply-side tax cuts that became the cornerstone of Reaganomics. He also supported a muscular foreign policy that kept America strong.
What separates modern conservatism from modern liberalism is two major issues. Domestically, tax cuts during tough economic times works. Raising taxes makes matters far worse. On the world stage, hard power is the only successful approach to dealing with evil actors. Soft power is a recipe for failure.
President Obama’s agenda cannot succeed because his philosophy is destined to fail. His ideology has never succeeded anywhere in the world at any time in history. Those disputing this have zero examples. Europe is collapsing and even the sainted Sweden of leftist dreams is moving closer to the American approach.
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