The Perpetual Presidency

Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness

Former President Barack Obama recently continued his series of public broadsides against his successor, Donald Trump.

Obama’s charges are paradoxical. On one hand, Obama seems to believe that he, rather than Trump, should be credited with the current economic boom and the emergence of the United States as the world’s largest energy producer. But Obama also has charged that Trump’s policies are pernicious and failing.

Apparently, Obama believes that all of Trump’s successes are due to Obama, and all of Trump’s setbacks are his own.

Obama certainly forgets the old rule: Presidents, fairly or not, get both credit and blame for everything that happens on their watch, from Day One to the last hour of their tenures—even when wars abroad, technological breakthroughs, natural disasters and market collapses have nothing to do with their governance.

Trump ran on the promise of a “Make America Great Again” economic renaissance. He pledged massive deregulation, fair rather than free trade, and tax reform and reduction.

Trump jawboned against outsourcing and offshoring, and praised rather than lectured private enterprise. He sought to reindustrialize the Midwest and promised to open new federal land to fossil fuel production, complete proposed pipelines, and lift burdensome restrictions on fracking and horizontal drilling.

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