Politics & Policy

The Record

Remember the open-mic comment? “After my election, I have more flexibility.”

This is the record on which President Obama seeks reelection:

The Economic Record

‐Unemployment at 7.9 percent (over 8 percent for the prior 43 months); 23 million unemployed and underemployed Americans

‐47 million on food stamps, a record number of people dependent on government

‐Average household annual income down more than $3,000 since 2009

‐46 million Americans, or one in six, living in poverty — the highest rate in a generation and 6 million more than four years ago

‐A record 8.8 million Americans collecting disability payments, up by over 1.3 million since 2009

‐Gas prices: $1.76 a gallon on January 20, 2009; $3.53 a gallon on October 29, 2012

‐The stimulus that didn’t stimulate, $862 billion later: “Some of those shovel-ready projects were not as shovel-ready as we had hoped”

‐$16 trillion debt, increasing more than $4 billion per day

‐U.S. bond rating downgraded from AAA for the first time 

‐Renunciation of the American entrepreneurial spirit: “You didn’t build that”

‐Obamacare, featuring:

‐Passage through parliamentary gimmicks without consultation with, or any votes from, Republicans, and with many members of Congress not even reading the 906-page bill

‐Intrusion of government into the relationship between individuals and their doctors

‐Raiding Medicare for $716 billion to pay for part of it

‐An unprecedented government mandate that an individual purchase a good or service

‐IPAB, the Independent Payment Advisory Board: unelected, virtually unaccountable bureaucrats rationing care

‐$1.93 trillion: the cost from 2014 to 2023, according to the Congressional Budget Office; 30 million Americans will remain uninsured

‐Violating the First Amendment by requiring religious institutions to provide coverage for birth control to their employees, in violation of the institutions’ religious beliefs

‐Failing to pass a budget, or even present a plausible budget, in three years

The Foreign-Policy Record

‐ Security lapses that enabled, or failed to prevent or stop, the Benghazi attack

‐The subsequent cover-up and apparent lies

Still speaking of Libya as a foreign-policy success

‐Breaking faith with Israel, our closest and only dependable ally in the Middle East, thereby increasing the risk of conflict with Iran

‐Abandoning the Iranian people who took to the streets for their freedom in the Green Revolution

‐Iran is closing in on a nuclear weapon when the U.S. could have hindered its progress but didn’t

‐The Obama Doctrine: “Leading from behind”

‐Open-mic quote to Russian president Medvedev, who opposes an anti-ballistic-missile shield: “This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility.”

‐Apologizing for America

‐Calling the Fort Hood murders “workplace violence” rather than terrorism

‘Good Government’

‐Solyndra: As much as $849 million in taxpayer losses for the administration’s losing bet on it, and yet more on a litany of other alternative-energy start-ups (now shut-downs) subsidized by taxpayers

‐Fast and Furious: 

‐2,000 guns were loosed onto the Mexican black market

‐U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was murdered with one of those guns

‐The DOJ admittedly provided false information to Congress about how this law-enforcement debacle happened

‐The administration refused to provide Congress with information about how the DOJ came to provide false information to Congress

‐Serial violations of the Hatch Act by the most senior-level officials

‐Abandoning the investigation into the videotaped instances of voter intimidation by the Black Panthers in Philadelphia on Election Day, 2008

‐Meeting with lobbyists at Caribou Coffee to bypass the White House visitors list, undercutting the claim of “unprecedented” transparency

‐In the State of the Union address, chastising the Supreme Court for its Citizens United decision, and then reportedly accepting illegal contributions from foreigners

Presidential ‘Leadership’

‐Fomenting class warfare by insisting that “wealthy” Americans do not pay their “fair share” of taxes

‐A response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that was so passive that James Carville — James Carville! — called it “lackadaisical” and passionately urged the president to “get down here!”

‐The Beer Summit

Still blaming his predecessor, with his term nearly complete

What would this list look like four years from now?

Scott A. Coffina is a former associate counsel to President George W. Bush.  


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