Barack Obama isn’t running merely the worst American presidency since James Buchanan’s, but the worst imaginable presidency in this day and age. And every single Senate Democrat is thoroughly complicit in Obama’s horrendous record.
Is there a single Obama initiative that has actually worked as advertised, or even one that has improved the lives of most Americans or improved the U.S.’s standing in the world? Surely there must be a small success or two, somewhere, but everywhere we look, we see failure and calamity. And in almost every case, the disaster has been aided and abetted by Senate Democrats such as Tom Udall, Kay Hagan, Jeanne Shaheen, Mary Landrieu, Mark Udall, Mark Warner, Mark Begich, and Mark Pryor. (One might say Senate Democrats have been “off their Marks.”)
Obamacare, famously enacted with the vote of every Democratic senator, has limited patient choices (including taking away the chosen insurance plans of as many as 5 million Americans, who saw their policies canceled as a direct result of Obamacare); jacked up premium prices by an average of 202 percent; imposed more than a trillion dollars in new taxes, including on medical-device companies, that have resulted in many thousands of job losses and a slowdown in medical innovation; trampled on religious liberty and the rights of conscience; driven people crazy with a bollixed website; added potentially $6.2 trillion to federal deficits; and destroyed as many as 2 million jobs.
Obama’s jihad against fossil fuels resulted in the rapid doubling of gasoline prices (and they stayed that high until a minor recent abatement). Its Consumer Products Safety Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, National Labor Relations Board, and other astonishingly interventionist regulators have put a wet blanket on jobs, inconvenienced consumers, and even interfered with yard sales and tried to outlaw outdoor Christmas lights. (Ever the Grinch, Obama also is taxing Christmas trees.)
Obama said he wanted to be a racial healer, but racial divisions have grown. He promised the most transparent administration in history but instead merited an unprecedented rebuke for lack of transparency from dozens of American press outlets. He promised an end to executive overreach but has instead invented ever-more-brazen executive abuses.
Obama has bungled disaster responses ranging from the BP oil spill to Hurricane Isaac to the current, mind-bogglingly inept handling of the Ebola outbreak. He’s been mired in scandals: gun-running in Mexico; IRS abuses of conservative groups; racialism at the Justice Department; mistreatment of inspectors general; spying on the press; trading terrorists for a deserter; deliberately created chaos at the Mexican border; massive fraud at the Department of Agriculture; and the ongoing lies and cover-ups about Benghazi.
With repeated support from Senate Democrats, Obama has gutted American defenses and radically undermined our diplomatic standing. The “reset” with Russia lies in ruins in Crimea and Ukraine. Libya is a disaster area. A “jayvee team” beheads Western journalists and aid workers, lays waste to entire villages in Syria and Iraq, destroys Christian holy sites, and even threatens Baghdad. Al-Qaeda affiliates gain ground in numerous African and Gulf states. Afghanistan totters on the brink. Obama’s Middle East “peace process” resulted in a Hamas uprising. Huge majorities of Israelis feel abandoned by the current administration. Iran is closer than ever to deliverable nuclear weapons. China increasingly rattles its saber internationally while destroying decades of republican government in Hong Kong. Allied leaders are furious that we spied on them. South American nations are increasingly distant from the United States.
Nowhere — repeat, nowhere — do U.S. interests appear to be in stronger position now than when Obama took office.
Domestically, Obama’s managerial state has managed only to make life more unmanageable. Abroad, his bowing to foreign leaders has only bowed the “arc of history” in the wrong direction. And every single Senate Democrat has kowtowed, at every turn, to every one of his major actions.
The virtue of a two-party system, under a Constitution providing for a division and blending of powers, is that it lets voters provide a check on power that has been exercised wrongly. And Obama and the Senate Democrats surely offer an object lesson – and an abject lesson, too — in the wrongful exercise of power. The American people deserve better than we’ve received from the Obama Democrats. The American people are better than the Obama Democrats. In two weeks we can exercise our power to insist on better. In two weeks, we can send them packing.
— Quin Hillyer is a contributing editor for National Review. Follow him on Twitter: @QuinHillyer.