The Corner

Politics & Policy

Obama’s Legacy

Books will be written about this election. But for now, the key point: Obama failed. He is a failed president. This is his successor? We knew that Obama couldn’t sell anything but himself, but we didn’t realize how much that was true. Nor did we realize how much the Democrats’ coalition was really a transient Obama coalition; how unpopular Obamacare was; or how bad an idea it was to run a candidate as damaged as Hillary.

I am on the record as being opposed to Donald Trump, and I shall likely stay that way. But I have two hopes. The first is that he proves me wrong. The second: That the disgraceful progressive moment, which has spent years trying to dissolve the Madisonian system of checks and balances, will come finally to its senses. I cannot say I hold out much hope that, culturally, we will go from “opposition is racist” to “opposition is virtuous” in the space of just two months. But perhaps we will. Perhaps now separation of powers will be seen as a good thing. Perhaps now those who advocate it will be cast as something other than revanchists. Perhaps now Chris Hayes will realize — urgently — that “if Congress won’t act, I will” is not remotely acceptable.

In a couple of months, Donald Trump will be president, the Senate will be Republican-led, and the House will be run by Paul Ryan. What a sordid legacy for the man who would have been Democrats’ Reagan.

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