AMERICA IN DECLINE.
Original Thinking by Barry Shaw.
When Obama was running for president he promised, some say threatened, to fundamentally change America. The doubters now say he has fundamentally ruined America. Whichever way one views it, America is in serious decline.
For a president that promised to reduce the national debt Obama has added a massive seven trillion dollars to that debt. Under his presidency, America has accumulated as much new debt as it did in its first 227 years.
He heads an Administration that produces food stamps, legalizes marijuana, pries into people’s private lives, and sets government agencies against political opponents. Obama is following the guide book of Saul Alinsky “Rules for Radicals” and putting Alinsky’s primer into practice from the White House. The results of his experiment are devastating.
Under Obama, prices and taxes rose while take home pay fell 7%. Government hand-outs increased dramatically as the national debt has exploded. Recent estimates put 50 million Americans on food stamps, and millions without healthcare.
Obama, the community organizer, preferred social justice over a robust market place, but, under his presidency, people are worse off today than they were back in 2009 when he promised them change. By the end of the first quarter of 2014 America had six million people not only unemployed but also not on the labor list, the vast majority under the age of 55. This implies they had given up all hope of finding work. More than forty million Americans lived below the poverty line.
Increasingly, America is becoming a nation of dysfunctional families. 41% of babies are born out of wedlock. Under America’s first black president, American blacks are increasingly unemployed, and 72% of black kids are born out of wedlock, a terrible indictment on American society. The corrosive results of government hand-outs are now rampant in America. A nanny-state produces a population of dependency, not independence or an entrepreneurial spirit.
Obama has ratings in the 30s and falling on issues such as security, healthcare, economy, jobs, transparency in government, and the US image abroad. It seems that Obama doesn’t care. Deep into a second term, this lame duck president is determined to press on with his failed agenda, even if it takes executive powers to do it. American democracy is in jeopardy as Obama takes steps that are clearly unconstitutional.
The president’s credibility is trashed, and a major part of that is his failure to launch the unpopular healthcare policy that carries his name, “Obamacare.” March 2014, saw the thirty first delay in a public display of total inefficiency.
Scandals follow in the wake of Obama appointees to key governmental jobs. Kathleen Sebelius, Obama’s Health and Human Services Secretary, apologized, last October, for the abject failure of the computer system that was supposed to deliver the Obamacare plan to the American public. The planning team had been working on the computer system for years. On the nationally popular “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart accused Sebelius of lying about parts of Obamacare. When that happens, you know you’re in trouble.
There is an ongoing investigation into wrongdoings by America’s tax authority, the IRS. They are accused of targeting opposition groups. In a TV interview with Fox News, Bill O’Reilly, President Obama claimed there was “not a smidgeon of evidence” about tax attacks on conservative and libertine groups. However, Obama appointee, Lois Lerner, head of the IRS Exempt Organization division, twice took the Fifth while refusing to divulge information to the Congressional Oversight Committee. Chairman Darrell Issa complained, “In the wake of Ms. Lerner's refusal to testify and answer questions, this report offers detailed evidence about steps she took to crack down on organizations that exercised their constitutional rights to free political speech.”
Obama’s nomination of Demo Adegbile to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights division sent shockwaves through the American political system. Adebile represented an unrepentant cop-killer in 1981. This brought vocal opposition from national law-enforcement officials. The president’s judgment was badly flawed in selecting this poor choice of candidate. It was based more on Adegbile’s far left political activism rather than someone steeped in legal experience.
Obama followed up with yet another dubious choice of Vivek Murthy to be the next US Surgeon-General. Murthy, yet another political activist and the founder of “Doctors for Obama,” repeatedly described gun ownership as “a public health issue.” He is opposed by the National Rifle Association, a powerful lobbying force in America. He is also facing strong opposition by many Democrats. The right to bear arms is an integral part of the US Constitution. The job of Surgeon-General is not gun control. It is about disease and disease prevention. The usual criterion for Surgeon-General is someone who has run a major hospital or headed a state healthcare system. Murthy has only been an attending doctor for eight years. His political activism far outweighs his public health experience.
Obama’s record of nominating radical politocos, rather than efficient and successful technocrats, particularly at the expense of the US Constitution, is a symptom of the demise of America.
It goes on. Recently, Obama nominated several of his campaign donors to ambassadorships. The problem was that they had never visited their nominated countries, Iceland, Norway, and Argentina. The nominee for Norway, George Tsunis, didn’t even know that country had a king, and not a president. Such is the level of presidential incompetence in Obama’s personal nominees to major positions of government.
Revelations concerning widespread governmental electronic surveillance of law-abiding citizens set alarm bells ringing when whistleblower, Edward Snowden, divulged that the National Security Agency had been snooping on 340 million cell phones in the United States. A Federal judge described it as “almost Orwellian.” It is, in fact, a direct violation of the Fourth Amendment.
A Guardian newspaper report on March 5, 2014, divulged that President Obama knew the CIA had spied on the Senate intelligence committee using agency computers. “I find these actions to be incredibly troubling for the Committee’s oversight powers and for our democracy,” Democratic Congressman Mark Udall wrote to Obama.
President Obama lied to the people. The mid-term elections in November will hinge on which Democratic candidates echoed the Obama mantra “under Obamacare you can keep your health plan and you can keep your doctor.” Neither of these claims is true.
When you have a foreign policy of “leading from behind” you lose the political momentum to advance values.
With Obama, it began with his apology tour to Muslim nations which included his bowing to the Saudi Arabian king, a gesture interpreted in the Islamic world as submission. From that point it spiraled downward.
On his watch, and that of his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, an American ambassador and three CIA operatives were murdered in Benghazi, Libya. They claimed, for weeks, that their deaths were caused by a mob angry at an amateur video, when, in fact, it was an organized terror attack that killed them. It was revealed that repeated calls for help were ignored by both the White House and the State Department. Knowing the truth, according to recent evidence, both Obama and Clinton lied to the nation, and worse, to the families of the dead Americans.
Since Benghazi, Obama touted Al-Qaida’s demise thirty two times, according to White House transcripts. “Decimated” is a word that Obama likes to use to describe Al-Qaida. However, on January 29, 2014, the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, testified on Capitol Hill that the threat from Al-Qaida is not less than it was a decade ago and that it is "much more globally dispersed.” The question arises, how is it that the president is out of touch with his national security advisors? Al-Qaida is on the rise because of a feckless American leadership.
Back in September, John Kerry told Democrats that America faced “its Munich moment” over the Syrian use of chemical weapons. Considering that, six months later, Assad still possesses the vast majority of his stockpile it appears that this has been a failure of American leadership. Another “Munich moment” is taking place with the smiley, touchy, talks that are taking place with the Iranians over their nuclear ambitions. Neither Israel nor Saudi Arabia is convinced that the softly-softly approach with Tehran is the way to prevent Iran from getting the bomb. A third “Munich moment” is taking place over the Russian domination of the Ukraine. This also looks doomed to failure in light of a massive vote in the Crimea for Russian patronage. With the Israeli-Palestinian talks about to crash into the buffers of failure, the Kerry-initiative looks impressive in its impotence to persuade Mahmoud Abbas to recognize the Jewish State. Kerry even called it a “mistake” for Israel even to make this elementary condition a demand, thereby showing his total lack of understanding of what lies as the root cause of this conflict.
We know what happened post-Munich. We are witnessing American Munich moments on a global scale. We dread for the future.
The Wall Street Journal printed an article written by Mitt Romney. Although he can be seen as a biased observer, he stated something that is patently obvious.
“President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveled the world in pursuit of their promise to reset relations and to build friendships across the globe. Their failure has been painfully evident. It is hard to name even a single country that has more respect and admiration for America today than when President Obama took office, and now Russia is in Ukraine. Part of their failure is due to their failure to act when action was possible and needed.”
When American power draws back it leaves a dangerous vacuum. With the US withdrawing from Afghanistan, Afghanistan’s Karsei will pivot to whoever keeps him in power. US out. Taliban in!
This vacuum allowed Russia to become high profile and active in the Middle East. In August, 2013, the White House cut off military aid to Egypt. This was a misreading of the political map in Egypt. Egypt refused to take phone calls from Defense Secretary Hagel and turned to Russia for aid. Al Tahrir newspaper ran the headline, “Let the US aid go to hell!” So much for the Obama apology tour, that began in Cairo.
Russia is emboldened to assert itself in Europe. Crimea is a Russian test of the extent of American weakness. The White House sanctioned seven Russian businessmen. They shrugged off that threat causing Putin’s deputy Prime Minister to tweet that he thought some joker wrote the US Presidential order.
With Saudi Arabia and Egypt turning to Russia, with major oil-trading nations negotiating to deal in a currency other than the US dollar, with the contempt felt for America’s weakness in foreign policy, with Iran, Al-Qaida, and the Taliban resurgent in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa, can anyone doubt that America is in decline?
There is no reason to assume that a Hillary Clinton presidency will improve America’s foreign strength. She flunked the 3 a.m. phone call test as Secretary of State when Benghazi called. She simply turned over and went back to sleep. Her tour of duty did nothing to affirm US values. It is doubtful she will move away from Obama’s bad habits of upsetting allies and cuddling up to their enemies.
Political bungling at home and abroad is appalling. When his record is etched, Obama will go down as the worst, most damaging president, in American history until, perhaps, the next one.