Obama’s legacy

As Barack Obama prepares to leave the White House obituaries for his presidency are being rolled out.

It should be remembered that he took office just as a major financial crisis hit the United States and the world. At least under Obama the US avoided the Global Financial Crisis becoming the worst ever rather than the worst since the Great depression.

Obama’s greatest achievement was to provide healthcare for over 25 million citizens (although, another 20 million are still uncovered_ – but this is likely to be dumped by Trump.

Otherwise Obama is best known for underachievement and lack of delivery.

ODT: A legacy unravelling

Barack Obama started his tenure as the President of the United States with such hope. The first black president of the US is a skilled orator who promised so much, not only for African Americans but for voters who felt disenfranchised and left behind.

Along with his wife Michelle, Mr Obama was living proof African Americans could achieve every goal to which they aspired, as long as they overcame the obvious racial barriers still prominent in the US.

As he prepares to leave office next week, the adulation is flowing for Mr Obama but how will history view him?

The legacy Mr Obama will leave is already being unravelled by critics on both the left and right of the American political spectrum.

He failed to deliver on a lot of promise and promises.

Cornel West at The Guardian: Pity the sad legacy of Barack Obama

Our hope and change candidate fell short time and time again.

Eight years ago the world was on the brink of a grand celebration: the inauguration of a brilliant and charismatic black president of the United States of America. Today we are on the edge of an abyss: the installation of a mendacious and cathartic white president who will replace him.

Obama’s lack of courage to confront Wall Street criminals and his lapse of character in ordering drone strikesunintentionally led to rightwing populist revolts at home and ugly Islamic fascist rebellions in the Middle East. And as deporter-in-chief – nearly 2.5 million immigrants were deported under his watch – Obama policies prefigure Trump’s barbaric plans.
This is a depressing decline in the highest office of the most powerful empire in the history of the world. It could easily produce a pervasive cynicism and poisonous nihilism.Is there really any hope for truth and justice in this decadent time? Does America even have the capacity to be honest about itself and come to terms with its self-destructive addiction to money-worship and cowardly xenophobia?

The reign of Obama did not produce the nightmare of Donald Trump – but it did contribute to it. And those Obama cheerleaders who refused to make him accountable bear some responsibility.

The Us didn’t do well under GW Bush, with Iraq being a major blot and he ended his eight years in office handing over a financial crisis.

Obama negotiated through the GFC but didn’t unblot the Middle east misadventure and did little else of lasting note.

Trump may suddenly stop being a flip flopping buffoon and become a responsible reforming leader for his country and he may take the world by diplomatic storm, but predictions he surely must stop playing the fool as he gets into positions of responsibility have proven to be false in the past.

One way or another Obama’s legacy is likely to be overshadowed by Trump’s (that’s already happening before Trump takes over), and it’s unlikely to enhance memories of Obama’s tenure as President.

Obama hasn’t tipped the US over a precipice, but he has overseen his country’s slide to the edge.

 

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32 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  15th January 2017

    Nobel Peace Prize. Must be the first one ever awarded to someone for basically just getting elected.

    Reply
  2. Libya.

    Syria.

    Barack done well….. not.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  15th January 2017

      Made Iran happier.
      Established diplomatic relations with Cuba. (I Give him marks for that)

      Reply
      • Cuba.. yip another shining light of human freedom Gezza. The destruction wrecked on Libya and Syria rankings right up there with Iraq in my book.

        Barack has been a lot of talk and little positive action.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  15th January 2017

          I think Cuba will change for the better with more contact between the two countries. It wasn’t going to change without it.

          Reply
          • Maybe Gezza but not while the old guard of Raul Castro and co are around.

            An unpleasant bunch who won power via a gun and only death will claw their hands of the levers of the state.

            Let me say this: Fidel, Raul and even Che did the Cuban people a service freeing them from some typical American Latin American business thuggery. But once that was achieved they turned on their own people in terms of freedom of association and freedom of expression. They became what they had replace in large part..

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  15th January 2017

              I agree with that. There’s been a little bit of loosening up – some limited free enterprise options under Raoul I gather, but it’ll take another funeral to see bigger improvements in freedoms.

      • Missy

         /  15th January 2017

        He may have established diplomatic relations with Cuba, but the other day he abruptly repealed the Wet Foot Dry Foot policy which has left hundreds of Cubans trying to flee Cuba broke and stranded in South America. Ironic considering he is one, who over the last couple of years, has called on Europe to do more for the illegal migrants arriving from the ME and Africa.

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/13/cuba-immigration-wet-foot-dry-foot-policy

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  15th January 2017

          Weird. His policies are so all over the place you wonder if there’s something in the water at the White House.

          He’ll have to go.

          Who else have they got ?

          Reply
  3. Zedd

     /  15th January 2017

    The one thing I keep hearing; ‘Obamacare’ (affordable health care) is about to be repealed by the extreme right, who say its cost, is hurting the ‘middle class’. Its interesting; I hear that many Democrat voters are actually in this ‘middle class’.. it sounds like many of the ‘red neck working class’ voted for the party who will cancel it ? :/
    Go figure… CRAZY man !!

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  15th January 2017

      Consistency, thou art a jewel.

      They are feeding the hand that bites them. (admires own wit)

      Well, if they want to pay vast sums for healthcare, that’s up to them. I know that we pay through taxes. but that’s less painful than paying health insurance. I was surprised to read that US taxpayers don’t seem to pay less tax than we do-I had thought that they paid less and had less paid for from taxes, which seemed a fair exchange.

      Reply
  4. PDB

     /  15th January 2017

    Obama created the Trump presidency – that sums up his tenure.

    Reply
  5. Blazer

     /  15th January 2017

    improved his golf handicap immensely apparantly,and often played another minor world leader who always recieved a ritual pasting.

    Reply
  6. artcroft

     /  15th January 2017

    Bush was a disaster: War in Iraq and the GFC. 2/10 (1 point for not destroying the world, the other for being able to tie his own shoes laces – assuming he can)

    Obama: Restored wall street and bailed out the auto industry. He never shot any bankers 😦
    He past a health reform bill but that industry is such a mess every administration will be reforming it from now on (they need a single payer system to provide universal coverage but that’s politically unpalatable). He avoided war with Iran. Does this mean Iran will now get the bomb? Don’t know. He took the troops out of Iraq but put Chris Hill in as US ambassador to Iraq (big mistake) and left Makiki as PM (bigger mistake). As a result he bears some blame for the rise of ISIS. Obama left the US with rising employment and is polling well as preferred president. 7/10.

    Reply
  7. patupaiarehe

     /  15th January 2017

    Reply
  8. Obama’s legacy? A divided US, poised for civil war by a significant racial divide, widespread poverty in the cities, an uneasy feeling of a lack of security within the US, no answer to Terrorism, no solution for the security of Israel, a dilemma about how close relations can be with Russia and China, a real problem of too much money and influence shared amongst too few, a continuation of the extraordinary influence film, TV and Musicians have on the psyche of viewers in the US and elsewhere and on the funding of electoral parties. Finally, more than a suspicion of his covert support of Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  15th January 2017

      Had me till the last one, Bj – then I thought it went a bit wobbly.

      Reply
      • Yes, Gezza, but there is an awful lot of smoke around that particular area. Think about his (initial) spiritual advisor?

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  15th January 2017

          Yeah but my initial spiritual advisor was The Pope, & these days I’d like to sit him down & explain to him why he should fold the business. Has Obama done owt different for Muslims than Dubya?

          They’ve both trotted out the same platitudes about Islam being a peaceful religion etc & mucked about around the world trying to help one rough lot of them take over from another rought lot.

          Plus he’s personally authorised more killing of muslim baddies on an individual basis (with countless, unacknowledged, innocent victims of collateral damage – the phrase they use to describe people they don’t think worth worrying about) than any other President.

          I think you might possibly be unnecessarily mistaking his utter bewilderment & stupidity in this area for something more sinister?

          Reply
  9. Gezza

     /  15th January 2017

    PS: When I get an audience with His Holiness to discuss his winding up the business, think I’ll see if Al can come too as my spiritual advisor.

    Reply
    • I expect from Al it will be all single malts so you will be on a winner there Gezza.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  16th January 2017

        Al would be there primarily as my scientific guru, with his focus being on the spritual aspects of chemistry, evolution theory, & genetics, including genome sequencing (hopefully). We’ll have links to Youtube docos. I might handle cosmology & quantum physics. I don’t entirely grasp all there is to know about the latter but I’m anticipating neither does His Holiness, or he’d have retired & have his feet up relaxing with a pleasant-tasting former Mass Wine somewhere nice in The Med.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  16th January 2017

          I can’t fault your cosmology, G, so I think I’ll just be there to support your preference for entertaining and enjoying the female population and explaining to his Popiness where he went wrong there.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  16th January 2017

            l thought about inviting Brown but I think that might work against us Al.

            Reply

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