By any traditional economic metric, President Obama’s tenure in the White House was mostly a failure, Victor Davis Hanson outlines in American Greatness.
- The economy under Obama, in a new first, never hit annualized growth of 3 percent.
- Obamacare, Obama’s signature domestic policy caused chaos.
- Millions lost their coverage and doctors, and paid far more in deductibles and premiums.
- The stagnant recovery after the 2008 recession was the worst in 50 years.
- Myriads of new regulations, higher taxes, and socialist jawboning vegetated the economy.
- Scandals at the IRS, Department of Veterans Affairs, FBI, CIA, National Security Agency, Justice Department, General Services Administration, and National Security Council abounded.
- Weaponizing the federal government by punishing opponents through the IRS, monitoring suspect reporters.
- Scapegoating and jailing a video maker, and using the deep state to exonerate Hillary Clinton from serial wrongdoing.
- Sabotaging the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.
And there is more. From Russia to Crimea to the Middle East, Iran, Egypt, and Syria, Obama undermined U.S. credibility.
But culturally Obama won, explains VDH.
… most everything changed with the Obama election, and we have felt Obama’s legacy on matters of race and gender ever since. From the very beginning of his tenure, Obama sought to fulfill his promise of fundamentally transforming the country. On matters of race, he had easily defended—to media indifference—his racist and Antisemitic personal pastor Jeremiah Wright (“I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother. . . ”).
Obama supporters never objected, even when Obama employed terms like “typical white person” of his own grandmother who had sacrificed to ensure that he could afford attending a tony prep school. In office, Obama quickly injected himself into the Professor Henry Louis Gates psychodrama to brand the police as inherently biased. His commentary on the Trayvon Martin case was reduced to reminding Americans that the president and the late Martin shared an African-American identity. His 2008 “clingers” speech was the model for Hillary Clinton’s later “deplorables” rant; “get in their faces” and “bring a gun to a knife fight” boilerplate were welcomed as progressive challenges to the old order.
Obama invited to the White House rappers whose lyrics were often patently racist and misogynist. His favorite, Kendrick Lamar, had just released an album cover that displayed a dead white judge with his eyes crossed out, as rappers toasted his corpse on the White House lawn. Kendrick’s lyrics often expressed hatred for the police (“And we hate the popo”).
“The agenda of balkanizing America into tribes, and white/nonwhite binaries, and galvanizing the rich and poor against the middle class was Obama’s only real legacy. But it is a legacy that nonetheless fundamentally transformed America.”
Read much more from Victor Davis Hanson here.