Ah, Barack Obama. How have you messed up the country is two short years? Let us look at some of the ways. While we are two years later still hearing cries of the "same failed policies of George Bush" as an excuse for every malady facing the Nation, Obama has done exactly what?
Lets look at some of the liberal criticisms of Bush starting with foreign policy and compare them to those of Obama. First, we are told that Bush lied to the public about weapons of mass destruction as a pretext for invading Iraq. George Bush relied not only on CIA intelligence, but also that of foreign countries which concluded exactly the same. The head of the International Atomic Energy Commission withdrew inspectors in response to Iraqi obstructionism. Does anyone remember that? Bush did try to go through the United Nations, but there are only so many times you can call the bluff of a dictator before you have to act. Were there weapons of mass destruction? None were discovered on the scale expected, but to deny that Hussein sought them would have been a greater intelligence blunder. In fact, we know that Hussein thought little about international public opinion having used chemical warfare on the Kurds after the first Gulf war and on the Iranians before that. Do we forget the pictures of dead Kurds?
I am the first to admit that I was not necessarily for an armed conflict with Iraq. I always thought the cheaper and more prudent solution would be a CIA assassination team to take out Hussein. If not the CIA, the contract the job out to the Israeli Mossad since they seem to have a better success rate and have no qualms using this technique. That being said, my major criticism was the execution of the war and its aftermath. There was never any doubt that America would defeat Iraq militarily, but there did not seem to be a plan other than Rumsfeld's belief that "democracy could be messy." I guess they pictures of people throwing roses at tanks and kissing soldiers a la World War II pictures. Instead of roses and kisses, tanks and soldiers were met with a new acronym- IEDs. Still, Bush adjusted- perhaps a little late- with his surge plan which appears somewhat successful in its goals. Notice how Iraq has subtly faded from the news? That is none of Obama's doing.
We were told that Bush ignored a threat analysis that Bin Laden had designs on America. There was actually nothing earth-shattering in that intelligence report. We knew about the threat and the fatwa issued when Clinton was in the White House. And remember that regardless, many of the safeguards now in place were put there after 9/11. Because of laws enacted by Bush, it has been over 3,200 days without an attack on American soil. Could you imagine the uproar if Bush proposed a PATRIOT Act pre-9/11? Because of these laws enacted by Bush, it has been over 3,200 days without an attack on American soil. While there have been deadly attacks in Madrid, London, and Indonesia and attempts here in the United States, it is Bush policies and some blind dumb luck that have avoided attacks here. And what has Obama done?
Since 9/11, several plans publicized and I am sure not mentioned have been thwarted thanks in large part due to the interrogation techniques approved by Bush. Never mind that the most controversial- waterboarding- was discontinued in 2006. But suffice to say, especially with high-value detainees, the techniques elicited valuable intelligence in a relatively short period of time. For a very good detailing of this, I suggest everyone read "Courting Disaster." Obama on the other hand has weakened our hand by releasing memos and holding our military and intelligence communities to a standard better suited for World War II type conflicts. Bush operatives may have outed a spy-in-her-own-mind in Valerie Plame but Obama has demoralized the entire intelligence community. He has done this by unleashing his Justice Department hacks on the lawyers who analyzed the interrogation program and the officers who carried them out. And adding insult to injury, he has essentially told Al-Queda the techniques and how they work.
Liberals like to mention that the alleged cowboy mentality of Bush ruined our image in the international community. Isn't it ironic that Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize for making what contribution to world peace other than not being George Bush? Its even a greater irony that he wins the Peace Prize while ramping up WAR efforts in Afghanistan. At least Bush wasn't hypocritical in his foreign policy.
And all that outreach to the despotic governments that Bush policies supposedly alienated in the first place achieved exactly what? Remember that Al-Queda and a certain segment of the Islamic world was and is hell-bent on America's destruction pre-Bush. Israel and the Palestinians have not exactly kissed and and made up and played nice together. In fact, they may be further apart today than they were in 2008. Perhaps Obama should invite them to the White House and have a beer and photo op. Iran has been emboldened as they increasingly thumb their collective noses at the rest of the world. Cuba still represses political opposition to Castro using methods that make the alleged abuses of Gitmo appear like a country club. Speaking of Gitmo, it would appear that the feces-slinging scum that sit behind bars there are persona non grata in their home or any other country. China still manipulates its currency while dumping lead and cadmium tainted toys on the American market. And did I mention that North Korea still has nuclear weapons and tests ballistic missiles when they aren't sinking South Korean ships? All this makes Bush's talk of an axis of evil more real every day. Well, at least Obama got a book and a lecture on the joys of socialism from Hugo Chavez. And I forgot that the French like us just a little better with Obama in the White House.
While liberals decried the "politicization" of the Justice Department in the firing of federal prosecutors, they leave out the fact that these people serve at the leisure of the President. And practically every President has replaced personnel upon re-election. Were there political concerns involved? Possibly, although no investigation has yet uncovered the proverbial smoking gun. And what can be more political than trying to buy out potential opponents to your hand-picked choice in Democratic primaries? While liberals point to Bush's alleged misuse of the Justice Department, they fall suddenly, but expectedly silent when the names Sestak or Romanoff are mentioned.
Domestically, while it may be true that Bush inherited a budget surplus and "squandered" it (although returning money to taxpayers in the form of tax cuts could only be labeled "squandering" using liberal thought processes), Obama has quadrupled down on deficit spending. True enough that the TARP legislation occurred under Bush, but vast amounts of that money have been repaid with interest by the banks. Obama has essentially recycled that money back out in the form of stimulus programs and auto industry bail outs. Liberals like to claim that deregulation policies under Bush led to the likes of Bernie Madoff. But what is a better Ponzi scheme than Obamanomics? Without government support of the auto industry, they are no healthier today than they were in 2008, or even 2000 for that matter. Ironically, Ford Motors, which took no federal money is doing the best financially which somehow is supportive of this alien notion to Obama called capitalism.
Then there is the infamous stimulus package costing the government $787 billion that they don't have. The results are dubious. Unemployment rates of 9.9%, not counting the underemployed and those who have simply given up, have not lowered under stimulus spending, other than swelling the ranks of public employee unions. The stock market remains jittery because of Obama's deficit spending which he seems insistent on carrying to even greater degrees. Deficit and debt ratios to GDP have not been higher since Franklin Roosevelt, but at least he had a world war and Depression as an excuse. That's right- Obama's stimulus prevented a depression... when he wasn't preventing the rise of the oceans. As Rahm Emmauel said, "never put an emergency to waste."
Of course, one would be remiss if one did not mention Obama's Hurricane Katrina. While federal agencies were plucking 30,000 residents of New Orleans off rooftops after a hurricane, Obama's technocrats would not allow Louisiana officials build sand berms to prevent oil from reaching the vital marshland. Bush had his unfortunate "Brownie, you're doing a fine job" moment while Obama has had his more embarrassing "whose ass to kick" moment. At least Bush was authentic. Obama meanwhile is doing his best imitation of Jimmy Carter. And never one to waste an emergency, please explain to me what plugging a hole on the ocean floor has to do with global warming? Am I missing the point here?
How many campaign promises has Obama broken in two years versus Bush promises over 8 years? That is a more important statistical barometer of Presidential priorities and principles than days spent on a ranch or rounds of golf played. You have to love that transparency of the Obamacare debate and negotiations. We got treated to a C-Span snorefest so bad that even MSNBC broke away from their hero. Note that Republicans offered facts and figures and solutions to health care reform while Obama stood looking like a perplexed fool before Paul Ryan's indisputable facts.
While Bush may have mangled words on occasion (OK- almost daily), check the number of times Obama says "Ummm.." or "Ah..." before answering a question without benefit of a teleprompter. Whether it is feigning to foreign leaders or seemingly inept at crisis management, Obama's lack of principle have been on display for over 18 months now. It is as if he cannot even give a speech any more, the poor fella. Clearly, the mojo is gone when the legs of Chris Matthews ceased tingling when listening to Obama and Keith Olberman is suddenly less bombastic these days. Even these shameless Obama boosters are starting to see him as the shill he was all along- a follower of bad principles or worse yet, unprincipled in the first place. Democrats can and will blame Bush for everything they want, but the American people are seeing through the rhetoric and schtick of Obama. Unfortunately, he is taking the country down with his job approval ratings. He has proven time and again that he is not in the big leagues when it comes to being a President. All those czars and special committees and commissions and all that policy wonking has equated him with the likes of Jimmy Carter- nothing of which to be proud. Obama is not in the major, or even minor leagues. Which kind of makes the Bush leagues look just a little better right about now.