Three things so far have saved Obama’s otherwise unfortunate tenure; all came over his own objections.
One, after the 2010 midterm tsunami, the newly elected House Republicans put a lid on spending — ratified by the wins of 2014. Sequestration is a crude blunderbuss and slashed defense, but it at least slowed down Obama’s disastrous serial $1 trillion-plus budget deficits. In spending terms, it certainly has vastly reduced the government’s share of GDP. We know that because Obama occasionally brags of falling deficits, as if to say, “Thank you for not letting me be entirely myself.” When he leaves office, we will have $20 trillion in debt and nearly 100 million permanently out of the work force, as well as uncontrolled and unaddressed entitlement spending on life support through zero-interest rates. But we will still be alive for now, thanks to sequestration. Shutting down the government may have been politically unwise (or not — given the 2014 midterm elections), but it kept the debt financeable.
For nearly 40 years, Bill and Hillary Clinton have crafted joint power careers. But “in the end,” what have they become? What is left but their front foundation, their Soros-funded surrogates, and their lock-step loyalists — in other words, their “empire of dirt”?
We don’t know yet what issue will end up driving the autumn phase of the 2016 election. In 2008 a hectoring Obama thought it would always be Iraq — an issue that he had scrubbed from his website by mid-2008 when the surge had rendered his anti-war traction irrelevant.
The next president and Congress will inherit what President Obama left behind. Whether Democrat or Republican, the president will have no choice other than to try to undo much of what Obama has wrought. But can he or she?
Hillary Clinton’s second race for the presidency is only about a quarter through, but she already seems to be causing general fatigue.
The lurid revelations about the Clinton Foundation proved that it was not so much a charity as a huge laundering operation. Quid pro quo donations from the global rich and powerful fueled the Clintons’ jet-setting networking.
Donald Trump has at least three things going for him.
One, the mood of the country remains foul and fed-up — and volatile to the point that conventional wisdom is hardly reliable. Two, Trump has turned invective and narcissism into an art form, and his simplistic putdowns seem to garner ever more attention even as they become more monotonous and banal — largely because they are directed at a despised media elite. Three, the Democratic party is in worse shape than the Republican party. Apparently Trump’s attacks can still safely be savored as long as the Democrats are imploding.
Why did the illegal-immigration issue launch Donald Trump’s campaign? Why did his recent tense press conference exchange with Univision’s Jorge Ramos please even some of Trump’s liberal critics? What is it about illegal immigration that has finally turned off so many Americans?
The rise and continuing popularity of Donald Trump reminds us that “class warfare” is an eternal constant of democracies, for as Plato said, every city is in fact two cities, “one the city of the poor, the other of the rich; these are at war with one another.” But possession of wealth is not the only factor in this eternal conflict between the few and the many. The masses of course resent the elites’ greater wealth, but even more they dislike the assumption of superior wisdom and virtue that elites have always claimed as justifications for their status. It is this galling assumption and the anger it arouses in people that Donald Trump has brilliantly exploited.
In the jubilation of the Obama election victories of 2008 and 2012, the Left warned Republicans that the party of McCain and Romney was now “too old, too white, too male — and too few.” Columnists between 2008 and 2012 ad nauseam berated Republicans on the grounds that their national candidates “no longer looked like America.” The New York Times stable crowed that the Republicans of 2008 were “all white and nearly all male” — not too long before McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running-mate. In reaction to the defeats of McCain and Romney, Salon and Harper’s ran stories on the “Grand Old White Party” and “Angry White Men.”