Like every writer at American Greatness, and probably most of our readers too, I was not a fan of Barack Obama. It was obvious when his presidency ended that he was profoundly destructive, one of the worst presidents in living memory.
Sadly, he was not the most ineffective, as he intended a lot of the destructive results that he brought forth.
Obama Was a Very Bad President
Obama’s most obvious failure was of the missed opportunity variety. Optimism surrounded his election, and even many opponents were hopeful that his victory would demonstrate to both white and black Americans that extreme racial tensions were a thing of the past and no longer a consuming national problem.
Thus, Obama’s greatest demerit was his manifest failure to foster greater social peace on race relations. Rather than using his status as the first black president to encourage a moral renewal in the black community, he instead flattered its worst members—racial rabble rousers like Al Sharpton and Ben Crump—as well as the black criminal underclass more generally.
Weighing in on the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown shootings, he showed complete indifference to legitimate fears about crime in black neighborhoods and instead encouraged distrust of and hostility to police and to white people. He never hesitated to criticize white Americans in general, nor our country’s glorious and heroic history. In the end, he was a racial arsonist, and race relations were noticeably worse at the end of his term than they were at the beginning of it.
In other areas, he advanced social leftism, including a dim view of American history and the promotion of boutique identities like “transgenderism.” He began ridiculously to promote transgenderism within the military and in public schools during his second term.
Obama’s signature “achievement,” the Affordable Care Act, turned out to be a major failure, even on its own terms. This law dragooned those actually paying for their health insurance into subsidizing poor, urban, and young people. It ended up making healthcare more expensive, with the only beneficiaries being reliable Democratic Party constituencies.
Now more than 10 years into Obamacare, health costs have doubled, with middle-class people outside of the subsidy zone paying obscenely high premiums coupled with obscenely high out-of-pocket limits if they should get sick.
This illustrated a broader pattern. Obamacare, the Troubled Asset Relief Program (signed by George W. Bush), and Obama’s stimulus plan added to the national debt, but with very little to show for it. In the past, big spending led to impressive achievements like the Hoover Dam or the Apollo program. Obama left us with moronic monuments to his small-souled vision like the “cash for clunkers” boondoggle.
In ways that have yet to be fully explored, Obama shaped the military, FBI, and intelligence community to become more self-consciously leftist and partisan than at any period in living memory. These trends manifested themselves disturbingly during the Trump campaign and presidency, both in the Russiagate hoax and in the generals’ revolt that took place during race rioting in 2020.
Finally, during the Arab Spring, Obama departed from the foreign policy minimalism of his first term—a single bright light in his presidency—and tried to be “on the right side of history.” Egged on by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and acting in concert with Republican neoconservatives, he led us into war with Libya, empowered Islamic extremists in Egypt, tried to depose Assad in Syria, and, in the process, encouraged the rise of ISIS, which he addressed only half-heartedly and incompletely.
In other words, Obama was a really bad president, and the country was in worse shape when he was done. The only good thing about him was the unintended result of his extremism: he radicalized middle America, which led to the election of President Trump. While president, Trump transformed the Republican Party and began to turn it away from the warmed-over Reagan cult it had become.
Yet even with a record like Obama’s as a precedent, one could say without exaggeration that Biden is worse. Consider his three most salient failures.
A Disaster on Economics
First, while Obama increased the debt and spent a lot on his hair-brained stimulus programs, inflation remained tame throughout his presidency. This surprised me and other critics, not least because the Federal Reserve juiced the economy and the stock market with artificially low interest rates the entire time.
In hindsight, it seems the hangover from the 2008 recession was so extensive that it tamped down whatever inflationary pressure the stimulus programs and loose monetary policy might otherwise have imposed.
Biden, on the other hand, took an economy already in recovery, which had a lot of extra cash sloshing around from the PPP and other COVID-related stimulus programs, and supercharged it with additional stimulus, which he ridiculously called the Inflation Reduction Act. Now we have 1970s style inflation.
This has reduced the real take home pay of Americans, created problems in the banking sector, and is keeping home ownership and other markers of middle-class prosperity away from younger people. All of this was totally unnecessary, however, Biden’s chief concern has not been the economy but rewarding his friends and increasing his political power. Understood from that point of view, what he has done makes sense. But it is malicious. Presently, the only tool being employed to reduce inflation is monetary policy; Biden and his party have no interest in cutting government spending.
A Disaster on Foreign Policy
Second, while Obama weakened us in the Middle East, he generally maintained longstanding policy elsewhere. After the Maidan coup and the Russian takeover of Crimea, he pumped the brakes on significant U.S. involvement and avoided escalating the conflict. Biden did the opposite in late 2021, which was a major catalyst to the horrific war now underway in Ukraine. While Obama cooled on Israel and mostly ignored China’s growing power, the global status quo remained largely the same when he left office.
Biden, in contrast, has teamed up with Western Europe against Russia, but, in the process, pushed most of the rest of the world closer together, creating a unified block opposing American power. The draconian economic sanctions against Russia, to include the seizure of Russian state funds held in western central banks, has spooked others, who wonder what would happen if they should end up on the wrong-side of the United States.
China has moved into the gap caused by our imperial overstretch and brokered deals between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Our long-standing good relations with Saudi Arabia, which helps ensure preferred access to their plentiful oil, have broken down significantly. Finally, all of these measures, along with excessive deficit spending, have led to the impending end of the dollar’s status as the preferred currency for trade. This will increase interest rates, because foreign borrowers will be less plentiful, further reducing Americans’ wealth.
While America’s economic and military power was in decline before the Russia-Ukraine war, the encouragement of Ukrainian intransigence, divesting the United States and its allies of spare arms, and the weaponization of the dollar, trade, and banking systems were all optional measures. Combined, these choices turned a bad situation into an unmanageable disaster. Biden, along with large swaths of the “defense and intelligence community” share the blame for the current crisis.
A Disaster on Immigration
Finally, Biden, in reversing Trump-era requirements for migrants to seek asylum in a safe country through which they transited, has opened the flood-gates on third world immigration. Of course, the vast majority of these asylum cases are without merit and eventually denied. Most of these people are not legitimate political refugees, but economic ones. But they’re coming here all the same, and if we cannot stop them at the border, what are the odds there will be the political will to deport them when their asylum cases are denied?
And if we can’t or won’t deport them, how will an already-decrepit economy and fraying culture assimilate all these people? What will happen to them and their children (as well as our own) as they seek schooling, jobs, and government benefits under the aegis of widespread affirmative action? The chaos on the border will simply be repeated in a more diffuse way when these paroled migrants end up in the interior. The border disaster will create problems for decades to come.
Obama was a bad president, one of the worst in fact. Under his rule, our social, economic, and security posture got significantly worse in measurable ways. Under Trump some of these trends were partially reversed, but the COVID crisis caused an entirely new set of problems. Rather than stabilizing things as the moderate Democrat he pretended to be, at every crossroads Biden has made decisions that make the country weaker, more hated, more fragile, and less unified.
Unimaginably, Joe Biden is a worse president than Barack Obama, a complete phony and a disaster in every way possible, as is the deep state that controls much of his agenda.