Features

Barack Obama: anatomy of a failure

The President is heir to a mistaken sense of America’s place in the world. But he has played a bad hand poorly

3 January 2015

9:00 AM

3 January 2015

9:00 AM

President George W. Bush’s place in history is already guaranteed, fixed by a series of monumental blunders that no amount of revisionism will ever be able to whitewash. By comparison, historians are likely to have a hard time drawing a bead on Barack Obama. How could such an obviously gifted President, swept into office on a wave of immense expectations, have managed to accomplish so little in his attempted management of global affairs? Over the past six years ‘Yes, we can!’ has become ‘No, he hasn’t.’ What went wrong?

Several answers to this question present themselves. The first and most important is that the expectations to which Obama–mania gave rise were from the outset utterly unrealistic. But consider this irony: the people who George W. Bush had brought to power eight years prior harboured many of those same expectations regarding the exercise of what pundits and politicians like to call American global leadership.

Bush and his chief lieutenants — people like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz — had believed it incumbent on the United States to run the world. The outcome of the Cold War, the central event of their professional lives, had endowed upon the United States the prerogative and the obligation to do just that. America had won and winning had placed America — the sole superpower, the benign global hegemon, the indispensable nation — in charge. It was just that simple.

Those most enthusiastically promoting Obama for the presidency back in 2008 did not, in fact, dispute this interpretation. Their gripe with Bush was that he had exercised the wrong type of leadership. Rather than challenging the triumphalist views that had gained wide currency in the wake of the Cold War, they looked to Obama to undo Bush’s mistakes: end the Iraq War, shut down Guantanamo, and forswear torture, for example. They were counting on Obama to restore the United States to its proper place as unquestioned global leader. In foreign policy, this defined his mandate.

But the mandate rested on false premises. The US had not ‘won’ the Cold War. Rather, with the Soviet-American rivalry having inflicted massive damage on principals and bystanders alike, the Soviet leadership had finally called it quits, bequeathing to Washington the consequences. Rather than producing a so-called unipolar order, the passing of the Cold War revealed that widely held assumptions about bipolarity had actually concealed a far more complex reality. According to triumphalist maths, 2 – 1 = 1. At least it is supposed to. What administrations beginning with that of the elder President Bush actually found was that 2 – 1 = one helluva mess.

So the first explanation for why the Obama presidency has produced such disappointing results is that Americans and especially members of the American political elite misapprehend the world and by extension the role allotted to the United States in that world. Obama himself is heir to those misapprehensions — which brings us to the second explanation for his lacklustre record in foreign policy, namely, his own naivety and inexperience.

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Obama moved into the Oval Office about as well equipped to serve as global CEO as Kim Kardashian is to run one of Wall Street’s larger investment banks. Little evidence exists to suggest that prior to becoming President he had evolved a distinctive world-view. His life to that point had offered him little opportunity to do so. A quick study, Obama had instead assimilated the standard collection of platitudes and clichés that in Washington serve as a substitute for first-hand knowledge and careful analysis. Substantively, about the only thing that voters back in 2008 knew about his foreign policy plans was that he was going to get the United States out of Iraq (‘the dumb war’), while upping the ante in Afghanistan (‘the necessary war’). Oh, and he was going to close Guantanamo tout de suite.

The diplomatic challenges of the times called for someone with seasoning, subtlety, and sophistication — a Franklin Roosevelt or Dwight D. Eisenhower or Richard Nixon, for instance. (That’s the FDR of 1943–1944, not the FDR of 1933–1934.) Obama brought little of those qualities to office.

Furthermore — and here we come to the third explanation for his administration’s lacklustre performance — as President, Obama surrounded himself with mediocrities, hacks and time-servers. One need not romanticise the achievements (nor overlook the faults) of individuals such as Henry Stimson, George Marshall, Dean Acheson, Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski to say that no one of comparable calibre has found a place in the senior ranks of the present administration. Members of Obama’s inner circle need not fear the possibility of some smartass journalist making them the subjects of a collective biography called The Best and the Brightest.

The issue here is not intentions or efforts, but outcomes. As secretaries of state, both Hillary Clinton and John Kerry poured themselves into the job. The same can be said of Obama’s successive Pentagon chiefs, Robert Gates and Chuck Hagel. They’ve given it their all. But their all hasn’t been good enough. At the end of the day, as in business, as in sports, so too in statecraft: either you get it done or you don’t.

In that regard, Obama’s signature initiatives have produced little in terms of positive results. The Iraq War that Obama ended has resumed. The struggle in Afghanistan that he vowed to win is headed toward a conclusion that few will characterise as victorious. The Cairo initiative launched with great fanfare and intended to mark a new beginning in US relations with the Islamic world fizzled. Sadly, Secretary Kerry’s valiant attempt to settle the Israeli-Palestinian dispute came to naught. A charitable evaluation of the ‘Asia pivot’ is that it remains a work in progress. As for the ‘reset’ with Russia, well, the less said the better. Oh, and Guantanamo is still open.

Granted, Obama can claim a handful of successes. He ‘got’ bin Laden. He has negotiated a promising climate change agreement with China. And he may yet cut a deal with Iran that places curbs on that country’s nuclear programme. Let’s hope so.

Members of Obama’s dwindling fan club can accurately claim that he has avoided the truly epic gaffes that marked his predecessor’s term in office. That’s a claim not to sniffed at, but not quite justifying the Nobel Peace Prize that Obama received as a sort of signing bonus at the beginning of what was supposed to be a transformative presidency.

For my money, the Obama legacy is likely to be defined by two developments that have not yet fully matured: drones and cyberwarfare. In both of these areas, Obama can claim to have done pioneering work. Or perhaps he has released demons. Whether a decade or two from now we will view the consequences as positive or negative remains to be seen. Cross your fingers.

Obama’s more strident critics — the types who appear on Fox News or publish shrill op-eds in the Wall Street Journal — denounce him as a far-left radical. Obama, they contend, is way, way outside of the American political mainstream (and by implication does not really qualify as fully American).

The charge is plainly goofy. Here’s an assessment that is more likely to stick: when it comes to foreign policy, this very smart man was not quite smart enough to appreciate the magnitude of the problems he inherited, to understand how little he knew, and to recruit a team with sufficient talent to help him bridge the yawning gap between the first two.

Andrew J. Bacevich, currently Columbia University’s George McGovern Fellow, is writing a military history of America’s war for the greater Middle East.

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Show comments
  • Hegelman

    The economy was saved from total destruction in 2008. It is now growing fast. Many more needy folk have health coverage.

    I think Obama did some good for ordinary, unimportant folk. I’m actually very pleased with him, originally having feared he was just a poseur.

    • Ed  

      “Many more needy folk have health coverage”.

      Incorrect.

      The content of health policies is down, and premiums are up substantially. Many plans have been cancelled by the government, and people have been unable to replace them, and are now therefore not covered, because the insurance exchange websites don’t work. Many employers have cut back on employment to avoid having to buy plans for employees. The barrier is 30 hours a week, and many people are now employed for 29.

      The remaining policies now carry mandatory coverages that are just stupid. 70-year-old men must purchase abortion and oestrogen coverage, as one example. Women must insure their nonexistent prostates.

      Many of the people who used to have private insurance and now don’t have been forced onto the dole-like Medicaid programme, which is coming under pressure it can’t handle. It doesn’t pay doctors and other health providers enough money, so they’re leaving the programme in droves, just as the case load is spiking.

      This thing couldn’t have been designed worse. It’s a horrifying, people-killing bollocks.

      • Hegelman

        How frightening. I think I’ll run with Barack all the same. Thank you for your concern.

        • Ed  

          I think I find your comment a little bit frightening. Why not do something to improve the situation? Could you explain that for me?

    • WFB56

      Obama did absolutely nothing to change the course of the US economy from destruction in 2008. Tarp and all the big initiatives were taken before he came to office and his near trillion dollar government boondoggle is now a textbook case of failed “stimulus”. Dodd Frank and Obamacare have both hurt the middle class and the saving grace has been the energy revolution, i.e. fracking, which Obama steadfastly opposed. Your economic ignorance is breathtaking.

      • Hegelman

        I’ve heard different. Check with Paul Krugman, often a critic of Obama.

      • Stop Obamunism Now

        At least in the United States of America, the Socialist Utopian Dream is an un-reachable FANTASY!! Gazillions of Tax-Payer Dollars WASTED and instead of making things better, they are WORSE!!
        I was one of the MILLIONS of American workers who’s industries were decimated by Obama-The Destroyers Anti-Capitalist (PUNISH success and reward FAILURE) “Economic Recovery”. Shovel ready jobs, anyone? The corrupt pie-in-the-sky Green Energy disaster?

        My former employer survived Osama (Bin Laden) but NOT Obama….

  • Mike

    Successful leaders bring on board people who can deliver, weak leaders bring on board weak people for fear they’ll be shown up by their lieutenants. If there is a strong person in your team and you are weak, you give them a role such as secretary of state for foreign affairs where you’re less likely to be judged or compared to the ‘lower ranks’.

    On domestic policies Obama has only really seen one of his policies through and that was Obamacare but that has turned out to be expensive and doesn’t deliver the goods as promised. Its staggering that leaders in the west never look at other countries to see what works or doesn’t or what could be sold to the electorate. There was a good case for tax funded ‘free’ healthcare for all in America but it should have been modeled on the European model not a mish/mash of the existing system with enforced coverage. Had he gone for broke and put forward socialized healthcare it could have worked as the majority of Americans would have embraced it but now its the worst of all healthcare systems and more expensive.

    I really can’t think of any domestic policy he’s achieved thats will stand out in his legacy as ‘job done’ and as has been mentioned, on foreign affairs its been a total mess flip/flopping over which Islamic faction to support.

  • Nea

    Less marcoeconomics and some basic psychology. I believe it is as well Obama failed, because his inner, (not so very) deeply hidden drive was to snub, to punish the rich and white for the sins of their ancestors.

    • Ed  

      The most interesting analysis I’ve heard of Obama’s worldview came from an Indian, who, having grown up in an intellectual family in the early post-independence era, is very familiar with anticolonial theory.

      It’s his view that, influenced by his Kenyan father’s example, Obama’s fundamental philosophical approach is anticolonial.

      Basically, for the poorer countries of the world to become better off, it’s necessary for the better off countries to become poorer. Reducing America’s economic state is thus a positive good for the world as a whole. It’s probably salutary for America itself to be brought down a few notches, as well.

      Returning the Oval Office Churchill bust to the UK govt is but one indicator of this view.

      • WFB56

        You’re right and the Indian’s name is Dinesh D’Souza.

        • http://eztv.it Dr Rob Johnston

          Indeed it is. And anyone who quotes him is even dimmer that D’Souza himself.

          • OBUMYA

            Thats racist.

          • Buck Ofama

            We importune you, O Font of Wisdom… do please enlighten us with your incisive vision.

            Or, more easily for you to do, simply return to wanking off as you tearfully gaze upon your collection of faded Ovomit posters.

          • fahrender

            Buckbuck! Shame on you! Yo mamma would be mortified!

          • Who dat?

            Bullshit

        • Summer Tyme

          convicted felon. took his own pop psychology issues and transfer them to Obama an a
          incredibly silly movie

          • WFB56

            No, he was the victim of a political prosecution after exposing Obama. The charge was an allegedly improper handling of a $15,000 political contribution and he received a suspended sentence as even an American judge could see this for the travesty that it was.

            The facts are the facts and no one, including Obama has disputed the film or its context, they just tried to bury the messenger.

          • MickeyD69

            It is typical of the Democrat’s new political strategy: Frivolous Criminal Charges. Identify your enemy. Search the thousands of pages of arcane laws. Find one you like. Then find a compliant judge and prosecutor. Arrest the victim and get a grand jury indictment. POOF! Politician and life destroyed.

            Democrats will do ANYTHING to win; since the advent of Clinton’s “Permanent Campaign”, Democrats employ the “Politics of Personal Destruction” for fun and profit…out of pure evil.

          • Notafanboy

            That was a fairly stupid remark.

          • Who dat?

            Said Soros

          • GWAR44

            did he lie under oath…..”Clinton”

      • Nea

        It seems this view is common mainly among more primitive, rural, communities, where basic resources are scarce and limited, so one cannot have more without others having less.

      • global city

        Yes, just like Socialists the world over.

      • logdon

        Nearer the mark than this hogwash….

        ‘Obama’s more strident critics — the types who appear on Fox News or publish shrill op-eds in the Wall Street Journal
        — denounce him as a far-left radical….

        The charge is plainly goofy.’

        Obama is the epitome of a far-left radical schooled by Saul Alinsky and Frank Marshall Davis.

        And is sneering at Fox News the best you can do?

        • Buck Ofama

          >And is sneering at Fox News the best you can do?

          The sniveling liberals have no recourse other than to blame FOX.

          They never watch FOX, they don’t know that FOX has many very liberal commentators, and they don’t know that O’Reilly twice interviewed the joke “president”, O’Icarus.

          • fahrender

            Yes, “Buck”, we have watched Fox News. Fox has played it’s part, and it wouldn’t be on the air if it didn’t. It seems you felt the comment about Fox News was the main point and didn’t reflect on what Bacevich actually wrote.

          • Bows05

            I did read Bacevich’s article and it is a thin attempt to explain and soften Obama’s failures. He insult’s Fox News and the WSJ….but does he (or any other liberals for that matter) actually challenge, with reasoned arguments and facts, some of the statements and positions proffered by either of those media outlets? Short answer is no. They all scream “racists/racism” and try to drown out the story. Bacevich calls Obama a “very smart man”. I have yet to see any indication of that intelligence. Bacevich tiptoes around the obvious without pointing it out……no matter how smart Obama may or may not be, he is not nearly smart enough to know that there are others that are smarter, more experienced and skilled in most areas of running a country, both domestic and foreign policies. He is called a “great orator”…..and that is true…..but only if it is totally written and planned for him well in advance and he sticks to the script. Leave him on his own and he is a disaster…..he stumbles, mutters, goes “ah….um….ah….um..” and then he makes statements that his staff then has to work overtime to fix. Last but not least, Bacevich teaches at Columbia University…..hardly a bastion of “center” thinking never mind “right” thinking.

          • Ty Klippenstein

            Yeah, so bacevich is a conservative. You are plainly ignorant it seems.

          • Bows05

            Yeah and you didn’t read the article so clearly you are intellectually lazy. Or maybe you did read it and didn’t understand it?

          • Ty Klippenstein

            What? I read the article. And I understood it. And you falsely assumed Bacevich was a liberal because he had the audacity to be critical of Bush and, in isolated moments, complimentary of Obama.

          • PaulO

            I think one key issue is that wisdom and intelligence are not the same thing. I don’t think we can deny President Obama is highly intelligent. To be able to convince much of America that Romney has no integrity, while he does, is no small feat. However, I believe the President cannot look objectively at data and change his world view. For instance, he apparently believes the country is behind his actions despite polling to the contrary and a disastrous election. Not a convincing demonstration of wisdom.

          • tjb357452

            Yes, we can deny that Obama is highly intelligent. I’ll point to his inability to pronounce “corpsman”. That sort of error for a POTUS is appalling, and indicates Obama’s being poorly read, and dreadfully uneducated. You’re talking about the power of a huckster, and the gullibility of people. That’s not intelligence, it’s psychopathology applied for the purpose of misleading the vulnerable. I agree with the remainder of your observations, and apologize for the strident tone.

          • Terry Simpson

            Obama is highly intelligent for a black person…not so great compared to the overall population.

          • Ty Klippenstein

            Racism. Nice.

          • Terry Simpson

            No. It was racism that put a poorly qualified person in the White House because he was the “chosen one” to make us all feel better about slavery that ended in 1865 and civil rights war that ended in 1965. He has been in over his head from day one and caused massive damage to our country in the process. Sad.

          • Ty Klippenstein

            No. It’s racism and you are completely ignorant, but that is redundant. It’s frankly pathetic that racism that you demonstrated in your first post still exists.

          • Terry Simpson

            Have you always been this confused in life? Or are you just plain ill informed? You libs are having a hard time defending this failed President, so you just call every one racist, when it was the racists that put this failure in power in the first place.

          • Ty Klippenstein

            When you say that blacks are inherently less intelligent than the overall population, you are making a patently racist claim. Just in case you ever run into someone of African descent. Might avoid some embarrassment. I’m sure you would do that too: “Yeah, you are by nature, less intelligent than me.” Not racist at all. Pathetic.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Actually going by average IQ, they are indeed less intelligent. Asian (chinese etc) come out on top.

            It’s not racist to state a fact.

          • Suzyqpie

            0bama is not educated, I suggest he is merely credentialed. He, allegedly, occupied space in academia for a period of time.

          • Kris Langley

            Let us not forget the “Austrian” language…

          • Suzyqpie

            0bama’s academic record are a debris field of failure, mediocrity, and nonfeasance. If they were any thing else bandwidth would have to double or triple in order to facilitate the web traffic touting the scholarship.

          • fahrender

            Bows, Bacevich taught at Boston University and at Johns Hopkins University but never at Columbia, not that it makes much difference.
            I’m not an Obama fan, and he is not a smart politician. As soon as he was elected he and Rahm Emanuel smacked down his base, the Progressives. Anybody who paid attention to that realized that he wasn’t very smart politically. He mistakenly reached out to the Republicans who had already made it clear that their mission was to see that he failed. It took him more than four years to figure that out! So, no, not smart, especially in the political sense. He was equally beholden to Wall Street. Big mistake.
            However, Fox News asked to be insulted. It’s a cancer on the body politic of America. Right Wing politics got blood thirsty in the ’70s. Beginning with 1981 it has been on a tear with the Big Money behind it. Fox News and Rush Limbaugh have been the big benefactors. It took almost 20 years for the puny Left to start catching up. It’s not even there yet, partly because none of the other networks are owned by people who would allow a full on counter balance to Fox.

          • OHIO GAL

            Utter horseshit

          • fahrender

            You seem to favor the smelly words. They don’t contribute much to a discussion. I’m not impressed.

          • Terry Simpson

            Smelly words are appropriate when responding to your comments.

          • fahrender

            To each her own. They don’t engage the topic or say anything worth responding to. They’re just bad faith drivebys.

          • OHIO GAL

            Who cares what you think Kid?

          • fahrender

            Oh no! And here I thought we were becoming almost chummy!

          • OHIO GAL

            Go to a dating site Sport

          • fahrender

            Only if I’ll find you there!

          • OHIO GAL

            You’re a real charmer, bet you take the dishes out of the sink before you pee in it

          • Cyril Sneer

            Gosh that’s deep – do you do any other tricks?

            Try bending over for me.

          • OHIO GAL

            You first of course

          • Bows05

            One of the very many myths about Obama is the meme that “he reached out to the Republicans” or that he “compromised too much”. If you were to view Obama not as the President or even as a politician but some guy in the office that you work with, you would come to understand that Obama is fundamentally an a$$. He overestimates his own abilities while underestimating everyone else’s. Have you forgotten his famous interview response: “I’m a better speech writer than my speech writers. I know more about the economy than my economic advisors. I know more about foreign policy than my foreign policy advisors.” The only reason that these thoughts may be true is he surrounds himself with less than the best and brightest. If you were to take a look at his inner circle…..NONE of his advisors have any kind of resume to warrant the positions that they hold….Ben Rhodes? He is senior national security advisor? He got his masters in creative writing….hence the Benghazi notes/talking points. He takes credit for what others have done or contributes. He shakes off ALL criticisms of him, no matter how well deserved, and blames his failures on others or on circumstances beyond his control. He takes pleasure in needling people…..and one can say it is in jest but in all humor there is some element of seriousness and “truth”. At the end of the day, he is NOT a guy I would want to sit and have a drink with after work. Unlike Reagan, or Clinton or Bush.

            As for your thoughts on Fox….PLEASE. MSNBC has Al Sharpton, Chris Hayes, Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell….all spewing vitrolic rhetoric on whatever the issue of the day is. And that list does not even include the mental midgets like Alex Wagner, and Krystal Ball and list is endless. Then there is there are the noted “journalists” Ezra Klein, Eugene Robinson and E.J. Dionne who all cover for Obama. They are all well beyond advocating a liberal philosophy, which is well within their rights and which I have no problems with though I may disagree. Instead, they are all into covering for Obama’s policies regardless of the wisdom of said policies and its effectiveness in furthering a legitimate liberal philosophy. Obamacare…..was never, is never about healthcare….it is government control and taxes….no more…no less.

          • fahrender

            I confess, I almost never watch television, not in the last 8 years, so I’m not up on what happens there. I am no Obama defender either. I don’t see much of anything good happening from the Democrats or the Republicans. It will be interesting to see what happens in 2017. At this point I’m not optimistic.

          • Ken Shaffin

            The main point I got from Bacevich’s article is that he thinks Obama is simply not as smart as Obama thinks himself to be. His ego is clearly enormous, he surrounds himself with lessers for the purpose of keeping his own ego satisfactorily stroked by those lessers and outside the inner circle observers who fail to see the ploy for its obviousness, yet Bacevich falls short of putting a finer point on that aspect of Obama’s faux intellect. But the article as a whole was simplistic equal to the subject.

          • busterthepug

            Bacevich’s point is, First, that the end of the Cold War was supposed to make the world a safer and simplier place which the US would shepherd.
            Two, It turned out that the opposite was true. With the Soviet Union gone, lesser entities have run wild and world has become infinitely more complex.
            And Three, Obama, The Wonder Boy Amateur, lacks the skills, experience and talent to cope with this new, complex world.
            The article is not complicated.

          • Ken Shaffin

            Like I said, the article was simplistic.

        • whataworld37

          You miss the author´s point entirely: some feat. Obama has expanded and kept the giant U.S. military-intelligence-imperial system going strong. U.S. military and intelligence budgets have expanded. The massive overseas U.S. base system remains. Obama has largely followed his predecessors foreign policy with the only exception that he has launched no giant 200,000 man plus U.S. invasións of more countries in the Middle East.

          • Ken Shaffin

            It seems to me, Bacevich was implying Obama lacks the talent to impose his will sufficiently and steer the actual professionals that far astern. As Obama put it himself, “We do not yet have a strategy” other than to keep his boot on the neck of the JCS by micromanaging them as best he is capable from the White House. Obama has mostly looked for other policy areas to muck around with and mangle.

          • logdon

            You miss not just the author’s blind belief in the narrative, you miss the whole world view of Obama.

            Alinsky and Marshall Davis are the clue.

            Ever heard of them?

          • logdon

            Here’s what Obama has achieved.

            US is now second place in world economy

            http://www.truthrevolt.org/videos/bill-whittle-were-number-two.

            The whole thing should be an education for you.

        • pottfullofpith

          Hogwash is right.

          When I read stuff like this, I despair of my liberal brethren ever getting their heads out of their butts. The author gets a lot of facts right (Obama had no world view and no more business being leader of the free world than Kim Kardashian has of running an investment bank. Obama’s choice of advisors was dreadful. Obama’s “initiatives” “fizzled” or have been reversed. Obama’s successes are piddling and “potential.”) In sum Mr. Obama was completely the wrong man for the job and hasn’t got any better. Yet, despite making good observations, the author stilll reaches the wrong conclusions. To him, the world is just too hard to figure, especially in the wake of Bush/Cheney. To me, I hear him saying, “Don’t blame Obama; it’s Bush’s fault.”

          • Don Obie

            You are a pot full of mostly smarts. Yes this was another attempt by the media to try and save a dead/lame duck. Just mention Obama favorable rating with the military is 15% by the Military Times. Please note the percentage of black, brown & yellow serviceman is like 60% That says enough about Obumrera. The ones who have been sacrificing know what he really is. The writer said it best, “yes, we can” has become “No, he hasn’t.’ What went wrong? but stopped far too short in mentioning Obama’s failures. Probably because there are too many to mention.

          • Ike Vaster pharms

            i suggest you make a smart comment so far what i have seen is gush.

          • Don Obie

            I think IKE is a dedicated Obama supporter that will need the hand of God sending him a personal thunder bolt to make him doubt his love for Emperor Obama and his supposed long list of Obama accomplishments. I am just a lover of the USA dismayed by the direction the Emperor has us on. I only can pray for God’s help in transforming my gush into powerful commentary to show the actual facts Iraq and ISIS are all due to Obama’s bug out and more troops and airborne gunships are going to Iraq. Afghanistan is more dangerous. I pray the military leaders are not afraid to keep speaking out. Obama’s devotees need that thunderbolt to make them doubt their blind love.

          • Kennybhoy

            “The ones who have been sacrificing know what he really is.”

            The author of this article is a former USA officer who’s son was killed by an IED in Iraq.

          • Don Obie

            Not sure what you imply. I honor his sacrifice and the sacrifices of all military heroes and their right to free speech but the majority of military men and women are in the 85 % who don’t care for his lack of leadership.

          • Ty Klippenstein

            Bacevich is a self-described conservative. Not all conservatives are glorified cheerleaders for the Republican party.

          • Bows05

            So is David Brooks and Joe Scarborough…..and neither one of them are particularly conservative….they can’t even be accurately described as centrists so your comment about Bacevich being a self described conservative is meaningless.

          • Ty Klippenstein

            So you have a monopoly on what conservative is? Yeah, your conservative is just the right one. Your ignorance is showing. What views, exactly, are required to call oneself conservative?

          • Gray Wolf

            If Bacevich is a conservative, I’m Princess Dianna.

          • il fait soleil

            Yes and I am the Shah of Iran! This nonsense is David Brooks 2.0. Obama is an incompetent, racist failure in every sense of the word.

          • Ty Klippenstein

            How much, exactly, do you know of Bacevich?

          • Ty Klippenstein

            Yeah, what defines conservative? It seems that most around here believe it is required to have unhinged and paranoid views of Barack Obama.

          • il fait soleil

            That’s odd – I don’t see any remarks that suggest paranoia nor do I think you were appointed judge of what is unhinged VS sheer disgust. You, like everyone here, is entitled to your opinion.. . .why don’t we leave it at that – oh and save your demands for someone that cares – your mother perhaps.

          • michigan1209

            Then are you deceased ?

          • jimb82

            Bacevich, ensconced in academia at Boston University, was a critic of the Iraq War before it started. When he lost a son there, he became a deranged critic. I’m sorry for his loss, but he is not a neutral observer or commentator.

            Which makes his criticism of The One all the more telling.

          • fahrender

            Deranged? Angry, yes, and with good reason. Bacevich graduated from West Point and served in Vietnam as well as in Europe. He has a PhD. His criticisms of American foreign policy are based on first hand experience as well as his academic qualifications. You may not like what he has to say but he knows what he is talking about. He’s not a “Chickenhawk” and he has experienced just how wrong American foreign policy can be, whether it be as a result of a Republican administration or a Democratic one. So, calling him deranged is far off the mark.

          • jimb82

            Just look at the body of work after his son died. Nuanced it is not.

          • Victor_Velo

            Having a PhD in international relations not a valid credential it just seals the holder in an echo chamber

          • Ty Klippenstein

            Give an example of his derangement, please. In your echo chamber, you mistake sober analysis for “derangement”.

          • jimb82

            And in your echo chamber you mistake Bush hatred for sober analysis.

          • Ty Klippenstein

            You’re really out of your depth here. I’ve read almost all of Bacevich’s books and you, to put it most mildly, are completely ignorant of Bacevich’s analysis. Please stop. The other ideologues around here can’t tell the difference between ignorance and wisdom, but in the case of Bacevich and his views, I do.

          • jimb82

            He is a Democrat partisan hack with exactly zero practical experience of the Middle East or Central Asia. He pontificates from Boston on why conservatives should support Obama, then takes the pose of being disappointed in Obama for escalating in Afghanistan, after criticizing Bush for underresourcing Afghanistan (which of course was the 2008 Democrat party line). Now he is distancing himself from Obama because it is obvious to everyone in the world that the man is a foreign policy disaster and is bad for the Democrat brand (much as Leon Panetta did). Need to clear the decks for Lizzie Warren!

            Here’s a bit of typical drivel where he opines on the oil markets at the end, another topic on which he is ignorant but usefully spouts the progressive party line:
            https://www.guernicamag.com/interviews/bacevich_10_1_10/

          • Ty Klippenstein

            Thanks for demonstrating your ignorance. I recommend looking up Dunning-Kruger effect. It applies to you here.

          • jimb82

            Very familiar with it. Your President demonstrates it daily.

          • Ty Klippenstein

            My president?

          • jimb82

            Assuming you’re American. I guess he works for me too.

          • Ty Klippenstein

            Yes, I’m American, but I didn’t vote for him. Anyway, there are plenty of conservatives who are deeply critical of American foreign policy. Andrew Bacevich is one of them. But again, I don’t have time to dispel your ignorance on this matter. Read his book Limits of Power for a start.

          • jimb82

            Read the article above and tell me what is conservative about his thought processes. He parrots left-wing talking points.

          • Ty Klippenstein

            Talking with partisans like yourself is a waste of time. Sometimes left-wing talking points are right. And shockingly, sometimes right-wing talking points are right. Not that I know what exact “left wing talking points” you’re referring to. Everything in a partisan lens. Keep living life like that.

          • jimb82

            Okay, let’s start with the argument that we are responsible for radical Islamism. Do you not agree that is fallacious on the one hand to assert that America’s power to influence the world is limited, yet WE are the sole causal factor mentioned behind radical Islamism? Not the Koran, the Ayatollah, the Brotherhood, the monarchies that run the Middle East? (At least he didn’t say anything about Israel.) No, to mention such causes would be uncomfortable and might cause trouble for one on campus, while blaming America is always a home run.

          • Ty Klippenstein

            Where does he say that? He has made the point in the past that our actions in the Middle East contribute to an increase in extremism there. Is that really a debate?

          • jimb82

            In the article I linked above.

            Let’s take the case of the wars that followed 9/11. Washington is absolutely committed to the proposition that 9/11 came out of the blue. There’s no historical context. Because if you insist that there ought to be some historical explanation for 9/11—which is different from saying
            that there is a justification for 9/11; there cannot be a
            justification—and you look for the historical roots of that heinous act, then you necessarily confront questions about U.S. policy in the Islamic world. For instance, viewed in the context of the Cold War, U.S. support of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan in the nineteen eighties to try to eject the Soviets looks like genius. But in a post-9/11 context U.S. involvement in Afghanistan looks quite different. And then there’s Saddam Hussein. Americans discovered Saddam Hussein when he invaded Kuwait in 1990. Well, the U.S. had forged a partnership with him during the nineteen eighties because it was convenient to support him against the Islamic Republic of Iran. But why was Iran hostile to
            the U.S.? Is it possible that it had something to do with U.S. involvement in overthrowing [Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad] Mossadegh back in 1953 and then supporting the regime of the Shah for twenty-five years? The story is a complicated one. And to tell that story necessarily calls
            into question the national security consensus to which we continue to adhere. But Washington doesn’t want those questions raised. And I’m sorry to say Americans are quick to defer to Washington on these matters.

            Guernica: During the 2008 presidential race, Ron Paul
            suggested that our foreign policy did have something to do with 9/11, and he was immediately accused of saying the U.S. deserved to be attacked.

            Andrew Bacevich: The 2008 presidential campaign illustrated how impoverished the debate over national security policy has become. With the U.S. fighting two wars, it was the perfect opportunity for a searching reexamination of U.S. national security policy. There were two candidates who wanted to promote that re-examination, Ron Paul on the right and Dennis Kucinich on the left, and they were both treated as wackos. Their anti-interventionist views
            fell outside what the mainstream of the two parties and the media considered to be permissible. So the national security debate ended up being: Are you for the Iraq war or are you for the Afghanistan war? We elected the guy who was for the Afghanistan war, and lo and behold that’s what we got.

            This is such a distorted view of the facts, full of half-truths and quarter-truths, with so much left unsaid, that it is clear he has only a superficial understanding of the region, one which happens to coincide so nicely with what passes for analysis at places like MoveOn.org and Daily Kos, that it is reasonable to assume that his understanding necessarily comes from such left-wing propaganda. One of three things must be true, and all of them are bad:
            1. He is ill-informed and really believes what he said.
            2. He is well-informed, yet still really believes what he said.
            3. He is well-informed and knows he is drawing unsupportable conclusions from flimsy evidence, yet he is pandering to his audience.

          • Ty Klippenstein

            “distorted view”? Are you mad? It’s exactly right. Explain to me where his history is wrong. When you actively meddle in the affairs in other countries, support their authoritarian regimes, it should come as little shock when people are upset by that. Do you have any knowledge whatsoever of U.S. foreign policy in the middle East post World War II? You clearly don’t. I go back to Dunning-Kruger.

          • Bows05

            So this article started with the defense of Obama. And you’ve continued to defend Bacevich defending Obama. Your last comment criticizing jimb82 – “Everything in a partisan lens” would describe Obama to a tee, would it not? Other than Obama’s gross expansion of Bush’s policies of the use of drones and the CIA/NSA unconstitutional snooping of US citizens, nothing he does is remotely consisting with Republican tendencies (note I did not use the word “conservative”). And My opinion on Obama’s use of drones and NSA snooping is less about his desire to protect the Country and more about his narcissistic tendency to play God. “I” know better….”I” can do this on my own…”I” can make life better for 11 Million illegal immigrants….”I” can insure the health of all the people in the country. “I” can stop the the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. The list of what he believes he has the ultimate power to do is endless.

          • Ty Klippenstein

            No. The article starts with the title: Barack Obama: Anatomy of a failure. And you spin this article as *defending* Obama. As for your description of Obama: that describes *every* president. And yes, of course, he see things through a partisan lens, just like his enemies, like you who do the exact same thing.

            I love this quote from you: “Except for this thing, this thing, this thing, nothing he does comports with republic tendencies.”

          • Kennybhoy

            “The only mention of radical Islam as, perhaps, a causal factor in the current national security issue mix is to claim that WE are responsible for it.”

            Indeed. How many words in his article and no mention of 9/11.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Marks/1266358046 Paul Marks

            And not all “self described conservatives” are actually conservatives. Look how he describes the effort to oppose Marxist world conquest – it is reduced to value free “Soviet – American rivalry”.

          • Kennybhoy

            “To me, I hear him saying, “Don’t blame Obama; it’s Bush’s fault.”

            Bulls-eye!

        • Summer Tyme

          The author is right.

          Obama is no leftist.

          Based on policy he is closer to Eisenhower Republicanism than even to Kennedy Liberalism. (Eisenhower gave US government workers socialized health care. Did you even know that? )

          Your perspective is warped as he!! by too much F@x news.

          You may be ‘sore’ with the author and you should be because – he nailed you – on this one point.

          It’s your reply that was hogwash.

          • logdon

            Schooled by Alinsky and Marshall Davis and you say ‘no leftist’?

            You need some education and yes, perhaps a bit more Fox news to clear that hogwash out of your befuddled brain.

      • lf

        what garbage!

        • Ed  

          OK, I stand corrected. Would you provide some detail? Thank you.

      • John Wondra

        You don’t have to reach out to others, such as D’Souza, for proof of Obama’s “anti-colonial” intentions. All you have to do is read “Dreams FROM My Father.” Obama made it very clear, BEFORE he was elected, what his outlooks, beliefs and motivations were. Those who failed to take heed now scratch their heads, wondering ‘What happened,’ when it right in front of them all along.
        I learned long ago that the only way for conservatives to truly understand what “progressives” seek is to study their more-private words, rather than their speeches and proclamations; and to scrutinize their actions, past and present; then use them against them.
        I saw this coming in 2008, and told you so.

      • whataworld37

        But the opposite has happened. The former colonial countries have much weaker economies. And Obama never intervened in anyway to strengthen the former African and Asia colonies of the world. The U.S. right now is doing so much better than Europe, Japan, Canada, and most parts of Latin America. Countries in those regions can only dream of having as good an economy as the U.S. has today. D´Nish Desouza´s freudian analysis of Obama was both absurd and juvenile. His Kenyan biological father for instance abandoned Obama when he was a small child and had zero influence on his life.

        • Ed  

          a) I think I should contradict you in the particular example I’m most familar with; Canada. Since electing a Tory government in 2006 we’ve cut taxes and very nearly eliminated the deficit (including 2008 bailout spending). We’ve reined in entitlement spending. Unemployment is lower than the US. Job growth is better than the US. Companies are actually relocating from the US into Canada for both tax and economic reasons.

          b) If Obama’s father had zero influence on his life, why was the book titled “Dreams From My Father”? I don’t think your assertion holds water.

          c) Speaking as a fellow “colonial” with a British background, I see a lot of value in D’Souza’s analysis. The fact that the arguments are unfamiliar and foreign to many Americans actually plays into Obama’s hands. He’s flown quite a distance under the radar.

          • montague_stjohn

            Of course you in Canada were also fortunate to have avoided the worst of the housing bubble (and thus crash) due to more sensible bank regulation than in the US and also to have benefited from an oil boom in the west.

          • Ed  

            We avoided the housing bubble by having housing laws 180 degrees opposite from the Community Reinvestment Act. Nasty piece of legislation, that.

          • montague_stjohn

            More than just the CRA. Setting aside politically directed lending, lending standards in the US loosened absurdly in the run up to the crash. Both political parties were delighted by this.

          • Ed  

            Not to absolve the GOP, but Barney Frank was really in the CRA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac up to his eyeballs.

            I can think of few things worse, nastier, and frankly more racist, than ordering banks to go out, find people who can’t afford mortgages, and foist tons of debt on them.

            Horrible.

          • montague_stjohn

            I agree.

          • Suzyqpie

            And then, in a fine display of Washingtonian irony, they named the financial reform, DoddFrank, after the architects of the financial disaster. So awesome.

          • Bows05

            Chris Dodd: “If we raise the equity requirement to 5%, then more people won’t be able to buy a home.” Author of Dodd-Frank.

            And then there is Barney Frank – blocked every attempt made by George Bush to audit FannieMae…..and then he blamed the housing bubble on Fannie Mae practices under George Bush.

          • montague_stjohn

            Most Canadian home loans are also full-recourse (all your assets are at risk in case of a default), there’s no tax-deductability of interest, and Canada had stiffer capital requirements for banks.

          • Ed  

            Not really. You’re not permitted to purchase a first house with less than 5% down, the banks are not permitted to loan more than 95% of the FMV of any home, and if you’re a first time buyer and your down payment is less than 20% you’re required to purchase mortgage insurance.

            Long story short, if you can’t afford it, it’s illegal for the bank to lend it to you.

            The exact opposite of the CRA, and Canadian home ownership rates are the same as in the US. And no housing bubble.

            While Canada has no interest deduction, the flip side is that you’re allowed one house at a time free of capital gains tax. I prefer the Canadian way.

          • montague_stjohn

            Not really what? The loans are full-recourse unlike in most US states and there’s no deducting interest on taxes — both of these had a pernicious impact on defaults and on indebtedness in the US.

          • Ed  

            The mandatory mortgage insurance fixes a lot of the default problems the US has.

          • montague_stjohn

            To some extent; but in the last crisis the losses would have been passed on to the mortgage insurers if they had been foolish enough to underwrite them (which they would have been judging by the behaviour of MGIC during the boom.

          • Ed  

            … which brings us back to the regulations which ban lenders from lending to bad credit risks (not least because doing that hurts poor people).

          • montague_stjohn

            “Freedom” to lend to those who couldn’t really afford it was cherished by both parties as was the “right” of anyone to take on a loan he couldnt afford (and offset the interest to his taxes).

          • MickeyD69

            When we built our first home, in 1972, we needed 20% down, proof of income, proof of source of down payment, and compulsory property and casualty insurance. My wife and I were both employed, but only my income counted since women occasionally became pregnant, even back then.

            While we were saving every penny for our down payment, we’d be constantly dismayed at the grocery store when people on food stamps spent more, on better food, than we could… What a ‘long way’ we’ve come.

          • MickeyD69

            Ed… You have a much higher presence of common sense in Canada than we do in the U.S. Although I’m not sure your electorate could have resisted all the howls and stupidities from the media, academia, and guilt-ridden rich White Liberals any better than we did.

            There were at least 10 million smarter and better qualified Black Americans to run for President, but we got Obama because he was the perfect puppet for George Soros and the rest of the Anti-America Cabal: A good looking Black Man who could read a teleprompter, combined with a fanatically biased media and several million really stupid guilt-driven Liberals.

          • Ed  

            Don’t give us too much credit. We’ve had a Tory government since 2006, but we’re also the land of Pierre Trudeau. His son, Justin, is now making a serious run at 24 Sussex.

            I do have to admit that black, white, aquamarine or puce, I’ve seen few people as vacuous as Obama.

          • MickeyD69

            AMEN!

        • Phil

          If Barry’s father “had zero influence on his life,” why did Barry title his bestselling book about him and his socialist, anticolonial dreams?

      • MisterEd13

        What an insult returning that bust was!!!!! I hope President Paul or President Walker will ask for it back.

      • MickeyD69

        Ed… I find your comments to be concise, well directed, and very enlightening. Thanks for your posts.

      • John Bibb

        ***
        HI ED–“You sure got that one right, Pilgrim!” BOOM!! So did Dinish D’Souza in his OBAMA’S AMERICA 2016 movie of 3 years ago, and in his last year’s AMERICA movie. Anti-colonialism and payback for the U.S.A.’s past “sins” is what makes Comrade Obama (PBUH!) tick. Not to mention His communist grandparents, parents, mentors, “pastor”, and associates.
        ***
        A perfect storm destroying the U.S.A. Rather like a giant loose cannon rolling all over the deck of the ship of state–in a class 5 hurricane yet! Buckle up–it’s gonna be a really rough ride over the next 2 years.
        ***
        Rocketman
        ***

    • monoloco

      That’s a curious observation Nea, considering that the “rich and white” .1% have prospered more than anyone during his administration as well as being shielded from prosecution by his justice department.

    • http://fundless-sponsor.blogspot.com/ Capitalistic

      But the rich have benefited enormously under Obama….

      • Buck Ofama

        Ovomit has nothing to do with it.

        • montague_stjohn

          Let me see. Anything good has nothing to do with Obama and everything bad is caused by him? Got it.

      • moderate Guy

        And that’s not a bad thing in itself. What’s bad is that unlike, say under Reagan, the rest of America did not.

        • montague_stjohn

          Under Reagan? Income growth for median and below fell during Reagan’s fist term and grew at a much slower pace in his second than during with Clinton or Bush 2’s terms.

        • fahrender

          moderate Guy, I guess you weren’t around when all of those people lost their jobs and all of those factories closed during St. Ronny’s reign. 1980-88 was when the great divide began to grow. The wealthy did very well during the Reagan era.

          • moderate Guy

            Yes, they did; and so did everyone else. I was there and experienced it. You really need to stop listening to MSNBC.

          • fahrender

            I don’t watch/listen to MSNBC. I read things, when they seem topical or interesting. A lot of people suffered under Reagan, particularly in the Midwest where I lived from 1976 to 1990. The Republicans made a huge effort, somewhat successful, to hide all of that. Waterloo, Iowa became an economic black hole and has never regained it’s former prosperity. The same happened in many places in the Midwest. When Reagan busted the Air Traffic Controllers union he boasted, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!” and so we hadn’t. Now we have.

          • OHIO GAL

            You may read things, but you don’t comprehend what you read

          • fahrender

            Meaning: That I don’t “comprehend” what I read the same way you do.
            Confirmation bias much?
            Obviously we see things from different perspectives. The first comment you directed at me was “Bullshit.” The second comment, that I don’t comprehend what I read.
            Please share your superior knowledge on the issues with which this thread is concerned and perhaps you will persuade me to bow down before your enlightened understanding.

          • OHIO GAL

            No, I actually read the poll instead of just the teaser.

            I quoted YOUR poll. Own your failure

          • fahrender

            Poll? What poll? More misdirection when you have nothing to say but attacking the messenger, as in ad hominem. Sorry, no cigar!

          • OHIO GAL
          • fahrender

            Yes, and the figures I quoted, which was actually on another stream, the one about gun regulation, were direct from the information in the article. How did that ended up on this thread? You put it there. Confused?

          • OHIO GAL

            If true, you would not have twisted the poll results.
            I corrected your misinterpretation using the AUTHOR.

          • fahrender

            If you check the surrounding comments you will find us discussing Obama’s competency as a president. Your comment is concerning gun control. If you want to discuss that please go to the right thread. OK?

          • OHIO GAL

            My post was in direct response to your hypocrisy.

          • fahrender

            Flattery will get you anywhere.

          • fahrender

            Do you, by any chance, have some leather jodhpurs and a riding crop?

          • OHIO GAL

            Psst lil fella, there is no prize for most idiotic post.

          • Cyril Sneer

            You’re a moron.

          • OHIO GAL

            You forgot nah nah nah nah nanner Sport

          • montague_stjohn

            He has a little chart from the Heritage Foundation to “prove” what he claims even though it contradicts data from the BLS and Census, and the memory of anyone old enough to recall the early 1980s (12% unemployment in 1982)

          • Don Obie

            Someone has a bad memory. Reagan became President from the Tea Party wing of the OLD RINO GOP. They did want him. They wanted Bush. Reagan’s optimism and vision showed us what leadership is. It was Clinton who passed NAFTA/GATT and sent our jobs overseas. They are doing the same thing with McConnell and Obama pushing TPP. The union workers need to join the Tea Party to keep USA manufacturing again. Kill TPP and special set asides in the tax code.

          • fahrender

            Clinton signed the NAFTA bill. Reagan and Bush set it up. It was already moving through Congress when Clinton came into office. It started under Reagan and the agreement was signed by George H.W. Bush in 1992. The bill to get Congress’ approval was already in the works. A lot of jobs were already overseas even before this happened. NAFTA accelerated the process. Someone else has memory problems as well. I agree with you about TTP. Reagan came into office determined to bust the unions. It was a strategy for the Republicans to gain political power. This was Reagan’s “optimism and vision,” and in this he was a successful leader. The result: the Working Class and the Middle Class have been in decline ever since. The numbers don’t lie!

          • Don Obie

            I think Reagan said somebody who agrees with me 60 to 80% of the time is my ally and not my rival. You and I can agree on TPP and other matters. When I try to speak to my democrat friends and they know I’m a Tea Party nut they always attack and name call. That’s a waste of time. Learn to get active in the Tea Party, which isn’t one party but lots of similarly angered voters who see we are getting screwed by the 1%ers who run both parties. Reagan democrats were union members. He wanted to stop the Air Traffic government union which over played their hand, like the NYPD are doing now. Let’s keep fighting to get manufacturing back in the USA and kill TPP.

          • fahrender

            Don, I agree with your main point: Finding common ground. America has a great number of people who are really tired of being trampled on by the political establishment. These are people on the Right and on the Left. What the Tea Party and the Green Party and Progressives (not a party, but mainly disenchanted Democrats) need to do is to find common ground, build a framework on which we can agree and go after the scalps of the traitors who sold out the Middle Class and Working Class. Name calling is exactly what lights the fire that keeps us from becoming a force to be reckoned with.

          • Don Obie

            Perfectly said. I am with you and will keep trying to get that coalition to get those scalps.

          • OHIO GAL

            They’re doing better now

          • Thomas_Paulick

            And here are some charts that back you up. (You must provide data, preferably from as non-ideological source as possible, or they’ll just blow you off…)

            Beginning about 1981, though, Republicans had effective power, and were given a sort of official encouragement and moral sanction, to weaken or destroy organized labor wherever possible. Sometimes this was done by “offshoring” production, sometimes by “right to work” laws, sometimes by LBOs that were used to break labor contracts or extract “concessions” necessary for the survival of the company (i.e., after the equity of the company had been transferred to the new proprietors and the old “shareholders”), and sometimes by the many bankruptcy proceedings that resulted from “deregulation” under Carter and Reagan.

            Here are some charts representing the destruction of the “great American middle class”, by Republicans and “conservatives”, beginning about 1981. First, some charts that show the huge disparities in income that began to widen, precisely in 1981.

            * http://jobenomicsblog.com/?attachment_id=166

            * http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/04/the-10-states-and-10-jobs-with-the-most-low-wage-workers/256553/

            * http://midwest.chicagofedblogs.org/archives/2012/02/

            * http://www.frbsf.org/our-district/press/presidents-speeches/yellen-speeches/2006/november/economic-inequality-in-the-united-states/

            ——————————————————————-

            And here are some charts that show a related development — i.e., who benefited by the destruction of the Middle Class:

            * http://lifeinthecsu.wordpress.com/tag/washington-post/

            * http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/03/corporate-profits-are-eating-the-economy/273687/

            * http://www.traderplanet.com/commentaries/view/163608-history-shows-dow-is-due-for-bottom-djia/
            ——————————————————————-

            Notice that none of this comes from MSNBC, or “Think Progress”, or “The Daily Kos”, or The Nation, or Mother Jones, etc.

            A fool, a moron, or an ideologue might claim that all of these developments are entirely unrelated, and that they all began at precisely the same time entirely by coincidence; or that there was a sudden confluence of international economic causes in 1981 that brought them all about at the same time; or that in 1981 there was suddenly a plague of irresponsibility and laziness in 80% of the population accompanied by a tremendous flowering of “talent” and “effort” within the other 20%, but real people know better.

      • Dan045

        But they weren’t supposed to. Increasing the reach and scope of government is supposed to help the little guy, but in practice helps those who can deal with complexity and/or manipulate the system to their benefit.

        • jrdobbsjr

          Yes they were…..why do you think they bankrolled both of his Presidential campaigns?

    • fahrender

      I certainly don’t qualify as rich but I am a “white” guy, (although almost nobody actually can be accurately described as white). I find it really puzzling that you think Obama set out to snub or punish the rich? I don’t think he set out to do that at all. He stood by and watched them get more and more wealthy. He took the advice of, mostly, “white” financial experts. A lot of rich people felt very threatened by some things Obama said but he certainly didn’t do anything to take away any of their wealth. Plus I never felt he was out to punish anybody. The only people he snubbed were the Progressives that were actually his base. Hence how he lost the House in 2010.

    • Retired military

      He is a classic narcissist.

      • Buck Ofama

        Indeed.

        What’s that plummeting toward a well-deserved crash landing against the impartial, unbiased and unforgiving Earth? Why, look! It’s the lesser god, O’Narcissus, aka O’Icarus, Jokebama, Ovomit, etc.

    • lf

      YOUR BASIS FOR “BELIEVING” THINGS MAKES ME SCARED TO KNOW WHAT ELSE YOU “BELIEVE”

    • DDfromWV

      Isn’t the irony that the 1% got richer and evreryone else stagnated or worse?

      When the article starts by calling him “an obviously gifted President,” I knew I could discount whatever followed. He’s demonstrated that he was the worst-prepared president since Carter (and it’s close). His gifting is alone in the imagination of Progressives.

    • MisterEd13

      It runs MUCH deeper than that. Seems like you haven’t seen either one of D’Souza’s movies.

    • The Gimlet Eye

      obama’s ONLY interest is to weaken America by creating division, opening our borders, and deliberately weakening our economy and our military , all while giving our enemies free rein abroad and under-cutting our allies- the ‘revenge’ envisioned by his own father as he expressed in his book ‘ Dreams From My Father ‘.

      He is like the shop-keeper Leland Gaunt in the movie ‘Needful Things’ – a stranger with a murky past who sets up a curio shop, and convinces assorted townsfolk that he has what they want. But what they actually get is something altogether different. Envy, division, and hatred ensue, leading to death and destruction.

      ” MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” – imam obama…….almost

    • Who dat?

      What sins? Building the civilized world?

    • Cyril Sneer

      Agreed. Racism, namely liberal promoted anti-white racism is common among people of his colour. We’re all apparently to blame for absent black fathers (despite Asian families having strong family values), poor performance of blacks at school, despite the glaring fact that Asians do very well academically.. It’s all about the racist system apparently, despite 6 years of a black president, countless years of liberalism BS, and yet the system is still racist apparently. Which begs the question, what the f. has the black president been doing all this time?

      Ah that’s it = promoting racial division and speaking for one race and not any other. The great divider in Chief Obama.

  • Ed  

    Obama’s failures are pretty straightforward. Socialism doesn’t work. Remember the state of Britain in the 1970s? Remember nationalization, constant failures of government entities, and industrial disease? What do you think brought on all that crap? Years of Labour policies.

    What has Obama done? Years of socialist policies. Result? Crap.

    Simple enough.

    • http://eztv.it Dr Rob Johnston

      If the best you can do is ‘Obama is a socialist … naa naa naa’ you really ought to save the electrons and keep your mindless thoughts to yourself.

      • Ed  

        OK, could I ask for some details? Which parts of his programme are working, and in what way? I’m of the view that American Blacks are losing employment and savings ground at frightening speed. Is this incorrect?

        • montague_stjohn

          No. The black unemployment rate is falling, not rising. Black unemployment was 12.4% in November 2013 and 10.6% a year later.

          • Ed  

            What information do you have about the Black labour market participation rate?

          • montague_stjohn

            see above.

    • fahrender

      Years of socialist policies!? Capitalism in America has never had it so good, for the pigs at the trough. Not so much for the Working Class or the Middle Class. Speaking of Crap, you must’ve pulled that comment out of your bum!

      • Ed  

        A lot of socialism is actually highly corporatist in practice. You’ll find the Italian and German national socialists of the 20s, 30s and 40s were very much of this mold. The difference is between supporting big business, vs supporting the free market. These can be quite different. Guess what happens to the little guy when large corporations are invited (or buy their way )into govt circles?

        • fahrender

          I’m fully aware of that, sir. What we have today is welfare for the rich, the corporations, the banks and the “health care” industry.

          • Bows05

            And so your answer is to punish them for their successes so that the “have nots” don’t feel quite as bad…..as opposed to figuring out a way for the “have nots” to actually EARN their way into real success. WOW! How narrow minded. And hence the “have nots” are doomed to be forever in that state because of the good intentions of people like yourself.

          • Zachary Turgeon

            Nice rhetoric!

          • Bows05

            What rhetoric? What I’ve described has/is taking place.

          • fahrender

            From the ’30s we had a good financial regulatory system. That is, until it was struck down by the Congress in the ’80s. Both sides of the fence (R and D) played their part in changing this system. The Middle Class and the Working Class are the ones who got “punished.” The playing field got tilted. The U.S. had a fair and fairly safe set of rules by which all could and did prosper. Then somebody had the bright idea to knock all of that down. The greedheads have had a field day. Now our government is run by Wall Street, the big corporations and the 1%ers. Would I “punish” them? They would call it that, and they have. I would take away some of their toys and return our system to the way it was from 1945 to 1980. If you call that “narrow minded” then I’m guilty!

          • Bows05

            That would be the S&L crises which had its beginnings under Volker’s loosening of rules on S&L’s in the late 1970’s, and then really exacerbated by the Tax Reform Act of 1986 under Reagan. Dodd Frank has done nothing but make it much more harder for small institutions to be in business which, perversely reinforces the “too big too fail” which the law was intended to eliminate. The fundamental problem with Dodd Frank is that it was written by Dodd and Frank, two of the largest beneficiary of the financial institutions in terms of fund raising and contributions. It is the cookie monster watching over the cookie jar.

          • Suzyqpie

            I suggest that the “have nots” have been vanquished. It would be more accurate for the labels to be the “Haves” and the “Have Mores.”

          • Ed  

            Yeah. AKA, socialism. I believe we agree.

          • Zachary Turgeon

            socialism |ˈsō sh əˌlizəm|

            noun

            a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

            Scary, scary!

          • Ed  

            Socialism isn’t scary at all on paper. It is on the ground, though. Ask the Kulaks, or the Cambodian university professors. It gets even worse when combined with nationalism.

          • Zachary Turgeon

            That’s the thing. You mistake true nationalists for socialists. Countries that employ a mixture of capitalist and socialist policies are the happiest countries. America is already part socialist, so stop fear-mongering.

          • Ed  

            Yes, of course, nationalism and socialism are never nasty together. Silly me.

          • Zachary Turgeon

            Did I say that? I missed the part where I said that. I suppose you think Hitler was a socialist? lol

          • Ed  

            Well, you discussed nationalism and socialism, and I think you’ll find that Hitler called his approach “national socialism”, the German phrase for which begins “nazi…”

            So yeah, it makes me uncomfortable.

          • Zachary Turgeon

            Yes, he can call it whatever he wants, but that doesn’t make it so. If you knew anything about the Nazi party, though, you’d know how deeply invested in propaganda they were. I’ll say it again: labeling something as “socialism” doesn’t make it so.

          • Ed  

            I think in some areas Hitler was quite open about what he was doing. The main difference between national socialism and international socialism is the particular group that’s ostracized and attacked. In one it’s by class, and in the other it’s by race. They’re doing it to different people, but they’re doing the same thing. Is it really that different?

          • Zachary Turgeon

            Ed, you’re not getting it. Hitler was not a socialist.

          • Ed  

            Hitler was a national socialist. How is that not socialist? Please explain.

          • Zachary Turgeon

            You just don’t get it, Ed. I’m sorry, you’ll have to do your own research on this one. I recommend Google.

          • Ed  

            Would you mind explaining? I would like you to point out the differences, and describe what they are. So far, all you’ve done is make assertions. I’d like to see the reasoning and evidence behind them. Thank you.

          • Zachary Turgeon

            I’ve already explained that Hitler was not a socialist because he didn’t not practice true socialism. I can say I’m a Republican, but I have to practice what I preach before I’m actually a Republican. This is simple logic, Ed. 1 = 1, 2 =/= 1.

          • Ed  

            What, in detail, were the practices of the nazis that were at variance with national socialism? Please provide a list. I’m asking because I’ve found a fair amount of evidence that differs from your assertion, and so I would like to see evidence on the other side of the discussion.

          • Zachary Turgeon

            Fine, Ed. I’ll give you a push and then you have to swing by yourself. First of all, Hitler was an authoritarian dictator. That makes his role in history definitionally incompatible with him being a socialist.

          • Ed  

            Incorrect.

            An incomplete list of socialist dictators:
            – Stalin
            – Mao
            – Kim Il Sung
            – Kim Jong Il
            – Kim Jong Un
            – Robert Mugabe
            – Mussolini

            Please make your next assertion.

          • Zachary Turgeon

            You’re just embarrassing yourself now, Ed. To deny Hitler was an authoritarian dictator is to deny reality.

          • Ed  

            You’re doing this wrong.

            Hitler was a dictator, and he was a socialist.

            Please explain what there is about Hitler that was not socialist. Please keep in mind that many dictators have been socialist.

            OK?

          • Zachary Turgeon

            This all circles back to that thing we call, “propaganda.” Hitler loved making people think things that weren’t true, among them the belief that Jews deserved to be eradicated from the earth, and that he was a socialist leader. He wasn’t. Try one more time on that Googlemachine thing you have.

          • Ed  

            OK, I think it’s time to draw a line under this discussion. Here’s where we stand at this point. Your evidence that the Nazis weren’t socialist – googlification and embarrassment, apparently. My evidence that the Nazis actually were socialists – for starters, their. own. damn. name.

            I believe that what’s happening is that you’re a socialist, and you’re uncomfortable being reminded of your displeasing bedfellows. This has resulted in some entertaining squirming. However, having reached full time, here’s the score:

            National socialists were’t socialists……………………………0
            National socialists were socialists……………………………..1

            Thank you for playing. Bye.

          • Zachary Turgeon

            Except national socialists aren’t socialists. They’re Nazis.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Nazis – stands for National Socialism.

            They were socialists and socialism has form in this area of murderous governments.

          • Zachary Turgeon

            Here you go, for those who can’t Google/are too lazy too Google: http://europeanhistory.about.com/od/germanyandprussia/fl/Was-Adolf-Hitler-a-Socialist-Debunking-a-Historical-Myth.htm

            Calling yourself a socialist does not make you a socialist. Also, “national socialism” is not equivalent to socialism. You need to read up, breh. Context is key.

          • Ed  

            What the hey. I’ll bite. Here goes with a link. I’ll see your about dot com fellow, and raise you a properly researched article by a published political history author:

            http://www.nationalreview.com/article/372197/nazis-still-socialists-jonah-goldberg

            I’m actually being serious here. I invite you to read it through, and examine his arguments and the facts he uses to back them up. It’s the real deal. You’ll note in particular that he deals with the contention that “it’s just propaganda”.

            From an intellectual point of view, the only way to avoid the conclusion that National Socialists were socialist is to define socialism in such a convoluted manner that the definition itself loses coherence.

            In all fairness, I do realize how unpleasant it is for many on the left to face this. To an extent I even sympathize. Intellectual honesty is important, though.

          • Zachary Turgeon

            fascism |ˈfa sh ˌizəm| (also Fascism)

            noun

            an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.

            • (in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice.

            The term Fascism was first used of the totalitarian right-wing nationalist regime of Mussolini in Italy (1922–43), and the regimes of the Nazis in Germany and Franco in Spain were also fascist. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach.

          • Ed  

            Fascism is a form of socialism.

          • Zachary Turgeon

            Intellectual honesty, Ed. You lack it.

          • Ed  

            What you’ll find is that national socialism, like other forms of socialism, is deeply focused on egalitarianism. The only significant difference lies in egalitarianism for whom; that is, what groups are “in, and what groups are “out”? One was significantly focused on national / racial groups, the other mainly on economic ones. With that substantial difference acknowledged, it appears that the policy approaches and outcomes are surprisingly similar. There are also overlaps. Hitler attacked the Jews not only on the basis of race, but also on the basis of economic inequality. Stalin attacked the Kulaks, but there was also a clear Russian racial chauvinism to Stalinist policy.

          • Zachary Turgeon

            I’m done addressing you, Ed. I was done after your last post, but I figured I’d at least let you know. Thanks for chatting, though.

          • Ed  

            Surrender accepted.

          • Zachary Turgeon

            If that helps your hemorrhoids.

          • Ed  

            I don’t have heinie problems, and you don’t have any intellectually plausible way to isolate the left from national socialism.

          • Zachary Turgeon

            Remember, kids, socialism does not equal authoritarianism!

          • Ed  

            Not always, but they are circles that meet quite a bit.

          • Zachary Turgeon

            You lost at, “Jonah Goldberg.”

          • Ed  

            I’m so glad you read it through, and addressed the intellectual issues raised. Thanks for your deep contribution to the discussion.

          • Zachary Turgeon

            There were no intellectual issues raised. It was pure rhetoric, just like everything else Jonah Goldberg writes.

          • Ed  

            Please identify this quote:

            “We are socialists. We are enemies, deadly enemies, of today’s capitalist
            economic system with its exploitation of the economically weak, its
            unfair wage system, its immoral way of judging the worth of human beings
            in terms of their wealth and their money, instead of their
            responsibility and their performance, and we are determined to destroy
            this system whatever happens!”

          • Zachary Turgeon

            Let me guess, someone pretending to be a socialist?!

          • Ed  

            OK, I’ll ask you a different question. Does it fit your definition?

          • Bows05

            Funny you should raise the issue about propaganda. This administration has taken propaganda and control of the media to new heights.

          • Zachary Turgeon

            That’s the thing. You mistake nationalist autocrats for socialists. Countries that employ a mixture of capitalist and socialist policies are the happiest countries. America is already part socialist, so stop fear-mongering.

          • Ed  

            Yes, of course, nationalism and socialism are never nasty together. Silly me.

          • Bows05

            Name them please….

          • Zachary Turgeon

            Look at Scandinavia, dummy.

      • BigInMemphis

        Ed’s right. You are confusing the Feds free money and QE with Obama economic policies. The former attributing everything to Wallstreet and the stock market and the latter causing great hardship on small business and the full time employment picture. Factor in Obamacare are you indeed have an utterly failed presidency.

        • montague_stjohn

          If QE was the cause of the stock market boom then why did the boom not go bust (as dozens of talking heads on the far right predicted) when QE was ended?

      • mmercier0921

        notice that those rich capitalists doing so swimmingly well are quite politically connected.
        those not so connected to favor are being decimated, especially the middle class small business sector.

        • fahrender

          And the Working Class more than any other group.

    • montague_stjohn

      You live in a dream world. US economic growth since the crash has been more robust than growth in the EU — including the UK.

      • Ed  

        Please do explain this to the legions of unemployed and underemployed Blacks.

        • montague_stjohn

          Facts are hard things to swallow when they don’t support your world view.

          • Ed  

            OK, I’ll bite. What facts?

          • montague_stjohn

            Er. The fact that real GDP growth in the US has been faster than in the UK or the EU in general. Your breathless nonsense comparing Obama’s US with 1970s Britain (which I remember quite well) is stupid and foolish.

          • Ed  

            For an observation so stupid and foolish, it seems to have struck a chord with many whose memories reach as far back as yours. Perhaps your view is in the minority.

          • montague_stjohn

            What I remember of the 1970s in Britain: 3 day weeks, coal strikes, double digit inflation, blackouts and brownouts, rising unemployment, endless strikes…

            Which of these are happening in the US today?!

          • montague_stjohn

            And since you seem so interested in black people, the black unemployment rate is falling (from 12.4% in November 2013 to 10.6% in November 2014). Of course it is also greatly lower than during your St Ronald Reagan’s term: it was 20% in 1982.

          • Ed  

            What info do you have about the Black labour market participation rate?

          • montague_stjohn

            http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/LNS11300006

            It peaked in 2000, pretty lousy today — but still higher than the 1970s or early 1980s.

      • fahrender

        Ah, economic growth. Yes, economic growth that does not benefit most Americans. And the crash in the EU goes right back to Wall Street and how it caused the crash. A lot of those stinking bundles of mortgages got sold in Europe. I lived in Germany for five years after the crash. Economic growth there wasn’t spectacular but the vast majority of the Middle Class and the Working Class did not get hurt the way Americans did.

        • montague_stjohn

          You might’ve strayed out of Germany to see the depression in Spain, Italy, Ireland, and Portugal. Or the deep recessions in the UK and France.

          • fahrender

            I’ve travelled in all of the countries you mentioned. The economies in all of those places blew up when financial regulations were scrapped or ignored by their financial communities, especially in Spain, Italy, the UK and Ireland. Germany managed to keep it together better by having more responsible bank regulation. Even there though some banks went belly up and had to be bought out.

        • Bows05

          I have news for you, the Wall Street crash was certainly caused by a number of greedy individuals more interested in earning their fees than be making sound investment decisions. But who paid these people those fees? That would you, me and everyone else with a stake in the market either directly or through 401K and other retirement plans. Everybody wants to retire a millionaire and 6% to 8% annual returns were no longer good enough. If the returns fell to 20%, you switched. So be clear that nobody except the poor and the chronically unemployed have clean hands in the Wall Street crash.

          • montague_stjohn

            Generally a fair point; but don’t go overboard. At the peak of share ownership, only 66% of Americans invested in the stock market. Its down to a little over 50% now.

          • Bows05

            As I stated “directly or through 401K and other retirement plans. I suspect that rate is higher than 50% when you factor in retirement accounts. And let’s not forget whole life insurance policies. They invest in the equities and bond markets as well.

          • fahrender

            People live in some sort of economic system which they have very little ability to affect. The politicians and lobbyists set up or modify the system. The rest of us have to deal with it as best we can in order to survive. We do it to support our families. The vast majority of people had little or no idea about what was really happening on Wall Street. Do you understand how derivatives work? If so, you are among the very few, a fraction of perhaps 1/10th of 1% of Americans. A lot of people on Wall Street don’t really understand.
            It’s ridiculous to blame the public, but the banksters keep doing it in an attempt at misdirection. So far they’ve succeeded pretty well as none of them are in jail. The big moment in all of this was when Congress tore down the wall between investment banks and banks of general deposits. The general public didn’t understand what was going on when this happened. They had little or no awareness of the consequences.
            I think you’re wrong about everybody wanting to be a millionaire. Most people just want a modest, fairly safe system that won’t leave them destitute when they are at their most vulnerable stage in their lives.

      • BigInMemphis

        The growth has indeed been nothing America has ever seen. But not the way you think.

        • montague_stjohn

          Do try to not post when drunk.

      • mmercier0921

        yer setting the bar a little low. we always outperform europe.
        the strength of of america is our ability to economically withstand the rule of malicious idiots for extended periods of time. FDR comes to mind.

        • montague_stjohn

          There’s a good deal of truth in your claim. But I compared the US to the EU since Ed was likening Obama’s US to 1970s Britain.

  • Newcombe

    Obama is essentially a media construct. This is what happens when you let the media select a leader. US media pulled every trick in the book to get Obama that ultimate political office – they whitewashed his poor judgements, achievements and inadequacies in order to get him elected and are still doing it now to convince the world that the one they anointed is the best man for that job. Obama’s failures are their failures.

    Having said this, I believe that Obama’s biggest political achievement (if he pulls it off) will be to normalise relations with Cuba. In my view, no other US foreign policy showed up the hypocrisy of it (and there are many) more than the treatment of Cuba by US.

    • Zachary Turgeon

      Hillary Clinton will be a media construct, too, right?!

      • mmercier0921

        will be..?

        • Zachary Turgeon

          So was Bill Clinton, right!?

  • Newcombe

    I agree, US did not “win” the cold war and in my view it played very little part in the destruction of the Soviet Union. What ended it was sheer economics – the old USSR ran out of money to sustain the Communist economic system and went bankrupt. There is a lesson in there for all – Socialism (slow train Communism) looks good only in text books, TV and films, but when it comes to application, it crumbles.

    • http://pennyrobinsonfanclub.net/ PennyRobinsonFanClub

      Beg to differ. Yes, Communism/Socialism is essentially a pyramid scheme, and eventually you run out of suckers. What the triumvirate of Reagan, Thatcher, and Pope JP2 were able to do was isolate and devastate the USSR to the point of implosion. Oh yes, eventually it would have collapsed — but God only knows how much of the rest of the world it would have consumed before going down. Had we had another Carter presidency and a successor to him — right now we’d likely be negotiating with the People’s Republic of South Mexico on where the border with North Mexico would go: or how much of Texas we would cede to the Central American People’s Union.

      Don’t forget, there were MILLIONS of people in the West — powerful, influential people — who WANTED the Soviet Union to succeed.

      • fahrender

        Hyperbole much? Capitalism doesn’t crash the economies of countries? Is your name really Rip Van Winkle?

        • http://pennyrobinsonfanclub.net/ PennyRobinsonFanClub

          Well, on the one hand, you must forgive people for not being infallible, and on the other hand, communism takes the biscuit for utterly devastating entire nations, civilizations, and cultures.

          • fahrender

            Interesting. The Soviet Union wouldn’t allow Czechoslovakia to have a mixed system. The U.S. wouldn’t allow Nicaragua or Chile to do something similar. Doctinaire/purist views are at the core of the issue. I was living in the Soviet Union as it completely fell apart (1990-97). The Neoliberal Capitalist policies that were rushed in were devastating. It was a big greed fest. The vast majority of people were, many of them, left destitute. Physics professors driving taxicabs. Doctors and miners going for months without pay. It took only a few years until many Russians began to remember the Stalin era fondly.

          • http://pennyrobinsonfanclub.net/ PennyRobinsonFanClub

            The vast majority of people were destitute to begin with. Sounds like you were moving in the circles of the Party elite. But then, birth pangs are always difficult, and when chains fall off, the scars will hurt. I’m sure many Germans felt keenly nostalgic for the “glory days” in 1947, too.

          • fahrender

            I never knew any Party elite. As an American under the embassy umbrella I was forbidden to mix with the Russians the first couple of years. The ones I eventually got to know were, seemingly, just the average Ivan. I lived in Moscow. The people that I saw and knew about in 1990 at least got paid and were able to save some. The Ruble was officially 6.5 to the $. Unofficially it was about 100 to the $. When I left in ’97 it was 5,000 to the $, and the whole government social system had evaporated. A better comparison to Russia in the ’90s would be what happened to Germany in the ’20s.

    • fahrender

      Socialism looks good in textbooks ….. and in Sweden, France, Germany, Norway and Denmark. Also, China is far ahead of where it was a century ago. A mixture of Socialism and Capitalism is probably about as good an economic system as has been devised yet.

      • 5JimBob

        That mixture is called fascism, although Mussolini preferred the term “corporatism”. Obamacare is a classic fascist solution to the problem of delivering health care to the general population of the US.

        • fahrender

          There are different ways to define and label various political systems. Usually Fascism involves private capital/industry collaborating with a political power using draconian police tactics to bend the people to it’s will. Most people think of the Third Reich when they hear the word Fascism and antisemitism is automatically linked. Some would say that this applies to the current situation in the U.S. There are certainly socialist elements intertwined with the fascist system. It doesn’t really matter to me how you slice it. My point lead back to the people that I feel misuse the word socialist and apply it to Barack Obama. To me this is ridiculous.

      • montague_stjohn

        None of the countries you list is socialist (not even China any more).

        • fahrender

          If Obama is a socialist (I don’t think so, but many do, see “Ed”, above, and “Penny Rose Fan Club”, etc) all of these countries are also socialist. Each one, including China, have mixed socialist policies with capitalist ones. Not even China? It’s Socialist with a big S, run by the Communist Party the last time I checked. They do have some policies that are clearly capitalist, yes, but Lenin allowed this for a time as well. Crikey! Karl Marx played the stock market, he did. Very few countries have a pure politico/economic system.

          • montague_stjohn

            No, not even China. China is a dictatorship run by the Communist Party but its policies would make a Gilded Age robber baron blush. For the record, Obama isn’t a socialist either.

          • Zachary Turgeon

            You don’t seem to understand the difference between socialist policy and autocrats who play at socialism. Slapping the word “socialist” on something doesn’t make it so.

          • fahrender

            I think we are, like so many on this thread, “talking past each other”. I got into this discussion because of someone who called Obama a socialist. He isn’t, at least not in how things have turned out for the most rampant capitalists in the U.S. An autocrat can be a socialist. Juan Peron or Pinochet, or Fidel Casto for instance. A king can “rule” a country with a socialist economic system: Sweden anyone? How a government exercises political power is usually influenced by its economic system or vice versa. It’s really almost impossible to completely separate the two. One will influence the other. And the power behind the government complicates it further. Americans continuously argue about labels. We use them like hammers to bash each other while the Oligarchy goes blithely on its way, having its way.

          • http://owsblog.blogspot.com Span Ows

            Well said, and you’re right about Obama not being a Socialist (when the “talking past each other” is deciphered!). Trouble is many other Obama comments here (how is he gifted? all round failure, gaffe-prone [but media ignore these for the most part] narcissist etc) are equally true IMHO.

      • Bows05

        Sweden has decided it can’t afford its social programs anymore and China is among the most corrupt countries in the world.

  • Newcombe

    The fall of Soviet Union gave rise to another superpower that had laid undetected thus far to the fore – Islam.

    If in 2 = 1 + 1 you meant freedom, equality and liberty of the West on one side against the tyranny of Communism on the other, then the equation still stands, except that the other “1” is easily now replaced by Islam.

    For this is the challenge for the free world.

    • Newcombe

      Look around you, how many wars is US (and indeed the West) currently engaged in that, either directly or indirectly, has something or other to do with Islam or its “misguided” followers. Now tell me that 2 -1 = 1.

      Btw, the only ones misguided are us.

      • tjamesjones

        oh really? how many british soliders have died fighting in afghanistan and iraq over this last decade+? it’s 632. that’s 3% of the deaths on the first day of the Somme. a fraction of the number killed in car crashes in the UK let alone globally over that period. get over it, this is police work not war.

        • Mister Rible

          I think it time the ungrateful Muslims police themselves.
          Build giant walls around all of their cesspits, close our borders and watch them slaughter one another.

          Job done.

  • Newcombe

    Obama’s biggest domestic achievement would be the offer of amnesty to over 5 million illegal immigrants.

    We may all jump up and down about this but the truth of the matter is that any country that lets in so many illegal immigrants, turns a blind eye to the sheer numbers that come in – all in the hope that they will do the jobs that nobody else wants to do and so will help their economies should bear this lesson in mind – that one day you will have to face the monster of your creation.

    Keeping millions of people as slaves, remove them from public gaze as if they don’t exist and ignore the reality as if somehow it will go away will one day come back and bite you in your own behind.

    Illegal immigrants too make kids and these kids will have their own ambitions and desires for freedom and will want to be recognised by the societies in which they exist. They too will want to elevate themselves out of the life of drudgery of their parents. And soon enough a day will come when their sheer numbers will jolt you out of your own self induced greed and slumber.

    Lesson: illegal immigrants are our tomorrows fellow citizens, so be choosy.

    • nonsequiturcouk

      For ‘Citizens’ read democrat voters.

      • global city

        of for UK ‘subjects’ read ‘Labour voters’.

        • nonsequiturcouk

          Indeed, I’m surprised the media haven’t picked up on the parallelss between the EU and the US. I’m convinced, although my broker tells me otherwise, that EU US have parity planned on EURUSD as part of TTIP and the corporate+socialist takeover.

  • St Ignatius

    Don’t get in a twist about it: the most obvious conclusion is that he never had these abilities in the first place. The man had never held a real job in his life before becoming President. (Even his fabled “Harvard professorship” was an untenured teaching position.) When the community organiser in chief is leading a people who don’t see themselves as a government ordained community and doesn’t need – or want – to be organised, then he had a problem. In short: reality came calling and he failed.

    • WFB56

      It wasn’t Harvard, it was the University of Chicago and he was a lecturer, nothing more than the position an average grad student could achieve.

      • montague_stjohn

        An “average graduate student” could not aspire to even a non-tenure track position at the University of Chicago.

        • Bows05

          Then how did this failure of a man get there? Political string pulling? Valerie Jarrett maybe?

          • montague_stjohn

            I don’t know; but its stupid to suggest a lectureship at Chicago (one of the top US universities) is something any average grad student could get.

          • Bows05

            He was an “adjunct” professor. Would you consider Johns Hopkins and Georgetown University as top tier U.S. universities? If so, let me share with you that I lecture at those two institutions and I would no sooner believe I was qualified to be President…though given this man’s performance….maybe I would have done no worse a job. The main difference between me and Obama is I recognize my own limits….not that I don’t challenge those limits but I seek out the help of those more knowledgeable and wiser than I before I undertake the challenge. Obama’s primary fault is he is supremely sure that he is always the smartest guy in the room……ANY room.

          • montague_stjohn

            I really don’t see what your claimed job history has to do with my pointing out that even an adjunct lectureship at Chicago is in no way “nothing more than the position an average grad student could achieve”.

          • Bows05

            And my point is you give way too much credit to the aura of the University of Chicago name. Weak and incompetent instructors make their way onto faculty at all institutions. And Obama wasn’t even at U of Chicago for that long. For him, it was but another stepping stone…. a place to hide out and “write” his autobiography and get paid for doing nothing.

          • MickeyD69

            Especially the bathroom…

          • mmercier0921

            not that it matters, but chicago has been ground zero for the american communist party since day one.
            they have deep roots infiltrating everything that matters there.
            all coincidence, no doubt.

          • montague_stjohn

            Yet the University of Chicago is the cradle of free market economics (“Fresh Water” economics in the jargon of the economist) in US academia. All coincidence, no doubt.

          • mmercier0921

            you assume that elitist capitalists and marxists have differing goals.?

            they are like hand and glove, total economic and political control of the individual man.

          • Zachary Turgeon

            Only because they definitionally do.

          • montague_stjohn

            You obviously have never read anything by Chicago man Milton Friedman if you think that.

          • Summer Tyme

            Yawn. Read Free to Choose as a kid in high school. (yes high school)

            Was impressed with it.

            Then I grew up.

            What the 1st sentence of this article says about GOP foreign policy ->

            monumental blunders that no amount of revisionism will ever be able to whitewash.

            ^ is equally true of Supply Side economics.

          • Wideawake

            I would advise you never to argue with fools their minds are already made up and the more you present them with facts it is the more they become more hostile….

          • mmercier0921

            im a hostile fool. be original. my best put down to date was being accused of being an adolecent algorythm. at least that showed some creativity.
            you assume to understand me by a single post, you are my hero.
            at least i am not a highly educated bloviating fool.

          • Wideawake

            You are right- You are not highly educated ( by the way thanks for noticing ) You are just an easily agitated Onanist!!

          • fahrender

            Like the economists at the University of Chicago? Ever heard of Milton Friedman? His ideas were at the foundation of Reagan’s economic policies. He was one of the most influential American economic thinkers of the 20th Century.

          • Summer Tyme

            ^ Reagan = deficits forever, and even Cheney perversely admitted it when he said:

            “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter”

            Supply side economics is the foundation of the ruination of the American middle class.

            it creates and economy of billionaires on the hand and serfs on the other.

            It’s really as bad as Marxism – it’s one of the worst ideas of the past 100 years.

          • General_Chaos

            Then why was the Reagan era the second highest economic growth period in the post-WWII era? The only one better was the 1961-1969 era where JFK…wait for it…lowered marginal tax rates, especially on capital gains. The US economy has outperformed Europe and Japan. As bad as Marxism? Seriously? Have you ever traveled to the countries where Marxist economic have been practiced? Do you like standing in lien for hours every day to have no choice in low-quality products?

          • Kris Langley

            If I triple the amount of water that I drink from 2-8oz glasses to 6 per day, it isn’t going to be a particularly big deal.

            If I “only” double from 9 to 18, and continue to do so, that’s bad.

          • ebonystone

            The U. of Chicago’s Econ dept wasn’t always so free-market. It became so due to one man: Ronald Coase. A British-born and trained lawyer and economist, he moved to the U.S. to teach economics at the U. of Buffalo in 1951, and then to U. of Virginia in 1958. There he wrote an essay on the high cost of government regulation, and submitted it to a U. of C. journal for publication. His defense of his ideas at a meeting at the U. of C. had to be one of the most electrifying intellectual events of the century. As described in the 09-03-13 NYT obituary for Coase:

            “While teaching at Virginia, Professor Coase submitted his essay about the F.C.C. to The Journal of Law and Economics, a new periodical at the University of Chicago. The astonished faculty there wondered, according to one of their number, George J. Stigler, ‘how so fine an economist could make such an obvious mistake.’ They invited Professor Coase to dine at the home of Aaron Director, the founder of the journal, and explain his views to a group that included Milton Friedman and several other Nobel laureates-to-be.

            “‘In the course of two hours of argument, the vote went from 20 against and one for Coase, to 21 for Coase,’ Professor Stigler later wrote. ‘What an exhilarating event! I lamented afterward that we had not had the clairvoyance to tape it.’ Professor Coase was asked to expand on the ideas in that essay for the journal. The result was ‘The Problem of Social Cost.’

            “Professor Coase was soon invited to become editor of the journal, and to join the Chicago faculty, where he stayed the rest of his life,”

            Coase received the Nobel in 1991; Stigler had already received his in 1982, and Friedman in 1976.

          • Thomas_Paulick

            A lectureship at Chicago is not something the average white student could get, and it would be self-deception to push this distinction under the rug….

          • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

            Distinguished law prof and author Richard A Epstein knew the Chicago faculty which hired Obama and said the appointment was most likely political. It is not hard to find this info, but Obama fans want the myth of his brilliance kept intact.

          • MickeyD69

            Actually, the current term is “Adjunct Professor”, and almost anybody with minimal academic credentials can get one. A fraternity at a “prestigious” State University (Hmmm… could be an oxymoron…) actually got their dog hired as an “Adjunct Professor”. By the way, they also pay incredibly low.

          • John Bibb

            ***
            HI B05–Stupidity of the Low “Information” Voters works for me! Particularly after reelecting a president / regime with such an abysmal track record.
            ***
            Aided and abetted by the American Pravda Media PRESSTITUTES. On their knees 24/7/365–flacking for Comrade Obama (PBUH!) and His dysfunctional Regime.
            ***
            The APM did savage President Bush 43 at each and every opportunity. Witness the ginned up Dan Rathers / Mary Mapes false “story” on his honorable Air Guard service. Done a few weeks before the 2004 elections. They help cover up our present regime’s disasters.
            ***
            Rocketman
            ***

          • Rocksy

            The liberal/left are always dazzled by celebrity. Style over substance will always be their mandate. This is why a president who engaged in political, eavesdropping is vilified as the anti Christ while one who left a young woman to drown while he manufactured his alibi received a funeral fit for a king.

          • Dr Why

            Affirmative action?

        • MRHapla

          right, he’d have to be a black, Ivy League mediocrity with a 3rd world name..

        • Michael McFarland

          BHO is an incompetent gay Muslim with a wife and kids as a beard. We won’t see his college grades. We know he was whacked on pot and coke. Strangely, no one steps up and testifies they partied 24-7 with him. Perhaps they died of AIDS. Americans sought a heroic image after GW and BHO was slotted, yet he had a thin resume. Americans didn’t care. They voted for an image.

      • Buck Ofama

        And “Professor” Jokebama was not much liked or respected by the real educators on staff, who deemed him lazy and conceited.

      • St Ignatius

        Yes, you’re right. I was thinking of his Harvard Law Review editorship. Anyway, we agree: it’s not an important position he held.

    • Wideawake

      Your bigoted Palinest come Bachmannest rant is the reason Obama has a bad rap- Bigots and closet racists always use these derogatory terms in attempt to insult Obama. Community organiser? He has been the best US president for decades and all the lies and propaganda against his work would be found out, in due time, the slanderous comment you made about him not having a real job? In your narrow minded opinion what constitute a real job?
      Look at the way world leaders interact with him and respect him while his own insults him- It is the same in the cretinous USA as it was in the days of the marches, it only took a president of colour for the stink underbelly of America to rear its ugly head, and all this is happening while the world looks on. Is it any wonder that most in the world hate America? You can’t dictate to others while practicing the abhorant practices you so publicly plays out! Shame on America!

      • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

        You forgot the unicorns. How sad BarryO would be…

        • jimb82

          I think this was a joke. No actual human being could think such drivel.

          • Wideawake

            @jimb82-Morons like you would live to regret your very words! America had it too good too long and all the years of lying and borrowing and making you the people feel you were so prosperous are beginning to come to light and who do you blame? Obama of course you intellectual lightweight look into the mirror first before denigrating Obama he is the man you would never be! Full of hate lies and damn envy!!!!

          • Cyril Sneer

            You’re an idiot.

        • Wideawake

          @xpatYankeeCurmudgeon-Morons like you would live to regret your very words! America had it too good too long and all the years of lying and borrowing and making you the people feel you were so prosperous are beginning to come to light and who do you blame? Obama of course you intellectual lightweight look into the mirror first before denigrating Obama he is the man you would never be! Full of hate lies and damn envy!!!!

          • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

            “Wideawake” is another America-obsessed Euroweenie posting on threads like this because participatory democracy where he lives is all but extinct.

            Shake them lil’ fists, Euro-weenie.

          • MickeyD69

            I hope he got his females burkas for when the Muslims finally take over England…

          • Wideawake

            The difference here is I have travelled and know a lot more than the morons you depend on for your made up news! I could live where I want as I have both access to America and Europe, you buffoon America was built from from European stock! You have English which came from technically Europe, your car industry was built from European genius, your access to the internet was made possible by another English, Hamburgers were first derived in Hamburg Germany, of course Pizza and all your designer gears are from European stock, so tell me what is your point?

          • xpatYankeeCurmudgeon

            You made it for me. You are another Euro-peon obsessed with America. Have met hundreds like you in my three decades of traveling and living abroad. You amuse me.

          • MickeyD69

            Repeat yourself often? That might be a sign of low intelligence or lack of creativity…

          • Wideawake

            Irony of irony ! Here we have a complete tool, accusing someone of low intelligence while failing to observe a typical modern day computer aided short cut which is the copy and paste! You see oh so intelligent ( sarcasm ) one, I needed to get the same message to different people on the thread as they all fit exactly with my response. But it would take a quantum physicist such as yourself oh highly literate Shakespearian learned one! ( even more sarcasm ) to notice what mere mortals here are not capable of, and for that I thank you. ( look there goes a pig flying )

      • Terry Simpson

        Barry doesn’t get a bad rap. He has a bad reputation because he is a crap President. He is gawd awful and should never have been allowed in the WH in the first place.

        • Wideawake

          @Terry Simpson-Morons like you would live to regret your very words! America had it too good too long and all the years of lying and borrowing and making you the people feel you were so prosperous are beginning to come to light and who do you blame? Obama of course you intellectual lightweight look into the mirror first before denigrating Obama he is the man you would never be! Full of hate lies and damn envy!!!!

          • Cyril Sneer

            “Full of hate lies and damn envy!!!!”

            That sounds very much like you.

            T W A T.

        • Bows05

          So I read this comment above made by one Wideawake – “I would advise you never to argue with fools their minds are already made up and the more you present them with facts it is the more they become more hostile….” Gee….that rant was certainly hostile? And in response to his response (below). Obama is the man I hope I and no one ever will be….a narcisstic liar, hypocritical and with no honor, ready to throw everyone including those that help him under the bus.

      • Kris Langley

        What flavor Kool-Aid today?

        • Wideawake

          @MoronsKris Langley- like you would live to regret your very words! America had it too good too long and all the years of lying and borrowing and making you the people feel you were so prosperous are beginning to come to light and who do you blame? Obama of course you intellectual lightweight look into the mirror first before denigrating Obama he is the man you would never be! Full of hate lies and damn envy!!!!

          • al_frick

            Wideawake = Valerie Jarrett?

            Don’t you have better things to do right now than trolling Obama critics? Like ripping on your aides?

      • Ike Vaster pharms

        You are right,there is an outpour reasoning behind your comment,they lies to promotes their evil agenda,distorting every good work this man has done,till now if come to reasoning with a rational human beings, i can tell you that americans most are foolish idiotic full wth hate,i can outline my points to back up my claims as follows ,,,,the only american auto industry is still alive doing well and hiring which they wanted to bankrupt back then in 2008,Osama bin laden is dead,2008 economic meltdown is on the grow,infact every economic analysis/datas show that US economy is making the fastest growth since 11 years,wall street have made sixth year straight gain,disoccupation have come down from 9.8 to 5.7 this are the evidences that will go against those charlatant,on foregn policy better is that Obama is presiding than any other because if it had been one of those ignorant arrongant,american would have been to another war by now but thanks to Obama who make the use of wisdom to avoid every temptation to go to war,i think he is the best american president till now.

        • Suzyqpie

          “The data is going to indicate sadly that when the Obama administration is over, black people will have lost ground in every single leading economic indicator category. On that regard, the president ought to be held responsible.”
          quote Tavis Smiley.

          I would amend Mr Smiley’s quote to include the working Middle Class has lost ground in every single leading economic indicator category. Pres 0bama has been very good for the 1%ers. He sucks for the everyone else.

        • MickeyD69

          Your post might be readable if you actually used the “Queen’s English”, correct grammar and punctuation, and spelled the words right.

      • MickeyD69

        WOW!!! Sounds like somebody hit a nerve! Most Americans dislike Obama’s policies and his incredible arrogance. But, Americans no longer have freedom to speak freely..also known a “Freedom of Speech”. Anybody disagreeing with “Dear Leader” (Or Barry Sotero, or any of his aliases) is instantly termed a racist. Obama, and Holder, his puppet in the Justice Dept., are the Racists. If you like him, PLEASE TAKE HIM. We’d even take old Niles Kinnock…THAT’S how bad Barry is. Do you ever wonder why he has hidden EVERY substantive record of his earlier life?

        By the way, Ask Angela Merkel how she “…interact(s) with him and respect(s) him.” Or any other American Ally… He’s considered a self righteous, arrogant, narcissistic fool. If you didn’t come across as a total moron, your rant might be amusing…

        • Wideawake

          Talking of raw nerve? Mind your head explode you self indulgent buffoon! Angela Merkel had to have taken a hard line knowing that she was betrayed by America not Obama you nincompoop! All of these infringements were taking place under Bush’s watch and the leak was timely by the cretinous lot who tried to bring down Obama, the Assange and Snowden don’t believe for one minute Snowden’s alleged crusade for freedom treacherous act was anything but and don’t believe he is detached from the wicked inner circle that perpetrated the abhorant deed! If you noticed the last G8 summit held in Australia you would find Merkel is warming t Obama again, David Cameron Francois Hollande Tony Abbott to name a few solid supporters of Obama, i repeat it is only in his own country he is reviled and hated, and with all the good news around evidence points to a more darker reason to hate such a person- What is that reason? I let you answer that for yourself because the one you are trumpeting has been debunked by the facts and statistics!!!!

      • St Ignatius

        It wasn’t me who said he was doing a bad job. I just pointed out that the best explanation *if you think he is not up to the task* is that *he wasn’t tested beforehand*. You think he’s doing a great job – fine. Hardly anyone agrees with you, but that’s also fine. I don’t care what you think anyway.

        • Wideawake

          To you I apologise….

      • Cyril Sneer

        Oh that’s right, criticise a black president and so it has to be bigotry. You liberals are the most close minded, simple minded of people. There was no reference to race in the OP’s post, his post was fair and reasonable. You claim closet bigotry and it truly is so tiring to debate with such single brain cell organisms such as you. There should be criminal charges brought against people like you who make claims of racism simply to prevent debate and someone airing their views.

        You’re not liberals, you’re disgusting vermin that attempts to lie and discredit to prevent someone having their opinion. Shame on you!

        • Wideawake

          You are still trying to justify your inner most feelings by accusing others of what you are so afraid to admit, and that is your racist tendencies. I want you to tell me exactly where Obama is failing America- I want you to provide hard facts/evidence to support your utter ridiculous claim that he is the worst president in history despite under his watch America has been enjoying its longest period of growth, across the board, there are less wars, and you have been paying less at the pumps for your petrol! So go ahead tell me on what scale you use to declare him the worst! I bet you are a regular FOX viewer, or just happened to agree for the sake of it- Get a life moron know for yourself you ignorant bigot!!

    • Cindy Brooks

      Just a substitute teacher who didn’t know the subject .

    • Jide Pearce

      Obama has achieved far more than any other American president in history, and Americans are now enjoying a quality of life that is far superior to most western countries. When was the last time America’s economy experienced 5% growth, especially at a time when most other countries in Europe are facing recession? Which president has been able to quietly put Putin in his place? Iran and North Korea suddenly look vulnerable for the first time ever in history. The smirking is gone. This is all Obama. Obamacare is a work in progress, but how many more people now have a chance at healthcare? The bullying from OPEC is a thing of the past. He has cut supplies from most OPEC countries and driven gas prices to their lowest levels in decades. Obama has “quietly”strengthened restored America’s place in the world as a leading force without any of the bullying and meaningless rhetoric. He saved the automanufacturing industry in his first term, he refused to budge on Keystone based on principle when he could have scored cheap populist, political points. The man is quite simply exceptional. If he is a failure, what is Dave Cameron?

      • MickeyD69

        Are you serious? By the way, OPEC’s demise has been the result of Fracking, a method of extraction that Obama has tried to kill. America is beginning to dig out from under his disasters in spite of him, not because of him.

        • Jide Pearce

          No, OPEC’s demise was because of Obama’s deal with Saudi Arabia. America has increased drilling, and he has cut supplies from many major supply partners. Nigeria used to be a major supplier to America. Obama ended that back in June.

        • Wideawake

          I hope you realise that fracking is to extract gas while OPEC is predominantly Oil?
          Fracking is unresearched and could be dangerous in the future as the gases are extracted by pumping water at high pressure into open cavities made by- Yes the frackers themselves, as you know where there is a void, the earth would contract.
          You still did not supply any credible argument to oppose Jide’s, well argued point, backed up by facts rather than mere Hypothesis from the draconian Spectator….

      • Hogspace

        Do you really believe that shit? Amazing.
        Cameron? traitor to both party and nation, but the same people that own him own Obama.

      • St Ignatius

        Of course the alternative explanation is that no other nation sees the USA as a threat anymore and they can afford to be apparently “kind” to them because it doesn’t matter.

  • WFB56

    “Granted, Obama can claim a handful of successes. He ‘got’ bin Laden. He has negotiated a promising climate change agreement with China. And he may yet cut a deal with Iran that places curbs on that country’s nuclear programme. Let’s hope so.”

    This is completely inconsistent whith Mr. Bacevich’s shrillness in most of the article where he holds others, notably Bush, to a much higher standard of success and failure. Obama didn’t “get Obama”, the CIA and Navy Seals did that, he watched on tv. The climate change agreement with China is, literally, a joke and there has been no progress whatsoever in curbing the Iranian nuclear programme.

    Like many other Spectator readers, I wholeheartedly agree that Obama is a complete failure and that he was always destined to be as he had no substantive experience in, well, anything. However, when this article is compared to those of a George Will, Bret Stephens or a Walter Russell Mead, its little more than dust in the wind.

    • Richard North

      Well said – there are no successes from the Obama presidency. The scary part is that when we look round at the end of 2016 there could be many more yawning failures, e.g. the further advance of IS, Iran in possession of nuclear weapons and greater incursion of Russia into ex-USSR territory.

      • nonsequiturcouk

        And complete social breakdown, war between people of race and the state, ushering in a new totalitarian police state utopia.

      • Cyril Sneer

        The so called Russian incursion into Ukrainian territory was as a result of America’s desire to drive a wedge between Russia and Europe. The maiden had no legitimacy, neither did it have the support of the whole country, but America supported it all the same and they hand picked the interim Kiev government which was then rejected by East Ukraine. There was a democratic process in Ukraine that was subverted by the west and the maiden. Putin in Ukraine is looking after ethnic Russians. He has no desire to take over a broken country in masses of debt – he purely wants a buffer state between East and West and he had that until the western supported Maiden arrived.

        Please look at the timeline of events and understand that the situation in Ukraine is not because of Russian intervention but of Western meddling and indirect attacks on Russian interests and allies – see Syria as one example.

        Such a move on Ukraine, on Russia’s doorstep would not be acceptable to the United States if it was on their doorstep so why do you Americans assume that the Russians have to accept this??

        It doesn’t take much to turn the tables to understand how in the same position America would find this situation unacceptable.

    • nonsequiturcouk

      An interesting little factoid on China’s commitment to Climate Change (which Mother Jones Hailed as an Obama success but in reality Xi Jinping basically said we’re going to do what we’re doing for another 20 odd years) is that China only yesterday launched a geophys satellite into orbit. Give it a couple of years and China will expose the Climate Change fraud once and for all.

      • Peter Stroud

        Obama’s contribution to the climate change myth: very dangerous. He is hell bent on ensuring that the myth becomes a major part of the US’s school’s curriculum. The trouble is that this is likely to prevail regardless of who wins the Presidency.

        • will91

          Precisely, read conservative spokesman Mark Steyn!!

          http://www.steynonline.com/6384/the-climate-of-fear

          Whoever is voted into office, it no longer matters, the left has won and no one is fighting to recover lost ground. Society is marinaded in leftist dogma regarding everything from climate change and healthcare to immigration.

          • Suzyqpie

            The pessimists view is always required in any objective analysis, thanks for sharing yours.

      • Donafugata

        Meanwhile, here in Europe, no more hot coffee.

    • Suzyqpie

      Getting bin Laden was 10 years in the making. All 0bama had to do was get out of the way of it. Which, oddly enough, he did.

      • WFB56

        I agree, I was just quoting from the article, not advancing this proposition myself.

  • Cyril Sneer

    “Barack Obama – anatomy of failure”

    Oh I don’t know, wahhabi Islam has it’s own Caliphate all under the watchful eye of Barack Hussein Obama.

    • will91

      As things stand, this guy will end his presidency with a chain of failed states for al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, al-Shabaab, ISIS and the Taliban stretching from West Africa to the Hindu Kush.

      • Cyril Sneer

        And I won’t be remotely surprised by this.

        And yet still libs think he’s great…

  • will91

    Obamas foreign policy in the Middle East – “Im not George Bush! Love me”

    • Suzyqpie

      I’ll add to your accurate observation, “I’m not George Bush! Love me.
      Muslim are just misunderstood, if we are nice to them they’ll be nice back at us, US.”

  • Gerschwin

    He saw what a pig’s ear Bush’s foreign policy was that his priority has been ‘not getting in wrong’ rather than ‘getting it right’. As a result he’s ended up pleasing no one – not on the left, not on the right, not in American, not in the Middle East…or anywhere else…. that’s what happens when you choose the path of least resistance.

  • Guest

    Not even Bush managed to make Putin look like a pacifist sensible reasonable genius. O’Bozo did that. He out-stupided Bush, and his legacy will be worst Potus ever in history of the US.

    No more Black President for you!
    *NEXT*

    • montague_stjohn

      The “sensible pacifist” who invades his neighbours and then presides over the implosion of the Russian economy. The love of the American right for that KGB thug, Putin, is so very odd.

      • Suzyqpie

        “The love of the American right for that KGB thug, Putin, is so very odd,” that statement is roorback.

  • stephen cohen

    Obama is reputed to be intelligent, though the evidence is skimpy. In any case good leaders are seldom outstanding intellects.; the critical quality is character. Churchill is a good example, he knew the difference between right and wrong, between evil and good. Obama has signed on to the modern trend that claims that nothing is true or false, it all depends on how you look at it, that evil doesn’t exist in spite of the overwhelming evidence that it does. However his arrogance has lead him astray time and again. A good example was his Pentagon chief Hagel, who had the temerity to contradict his boss about the dangers of the IS insurgency. When he was proven right, Obama fired him.
    In my opinion Obama will go down in history as one of, if not the worst, president ever.

    • Stephanie S

      His place is secure as The Worst. Jimmy Carter must be so happy.

      • montague_stjohn

        The Jimmy Carter that appointed Paul Volcker head of the Fed and thus began the end of stagflation in the US? Some failure.

        • Bows05

          Way to cherry pick…..

          • montague_stjohn

            Noting that Carter brought in Paul Volcker who ended inflation is “cherrypicking” now? Okay. Should I also note that de-regulation began under Carter?

      • Suzyqpie

        Jimmy Carter can also look forward to being replaced as the
        Worst X-President. 0bama will depart the Presidency on 1/20/2017.
        He will never depart center stage.

    • mmercier0921

      he has put into place the conditions for the next global war. when iran detonates its first thermonuclear device, his mission will be accomplished.

  • samuelafugglas

    An individual calling himself president of the most fantastic nation on earth, cheating, betraying and making 330 million citizens feeling fooled should be wiped clean from any history book! Obama is a living example on why socialism is destructive. Just watch all the racebigot Democrats!

  • Bonkim

    Obama is a pragmatist – he had seen the limits of US’ power militarily and economically – many other players are emerging on the world scene – China, the EU, India, Russia, even Japan and Brazil. Gone are the days when the US was supreme and it is useless pretending otherwise.

    Technological changes now enable relatively small players to exercise power beyond their size or national borders. World population as a whole is also better informed and see through the bluff of politicians.

    On a pessimistic note the earth is overpopulated and resources running out – US leadership has been lacking in important areas such as global warming and climate change. The economics of Adam Smith has has hit the buffers of population and resource limitations.

    The rest of the world has matured and need to take a grip on their future – not wait for the US to lead. Many have come to realise that the US will not save them when the crunch comes.

  • willow

    Only Obama could end two wars, kill osama bin laden, bring the stock market to its best EVER in history, completely turn around the recession, open up millions of jobs, bring gas down to under $2 and still be called a failure.

    • Guest

      what a bloody imbecile!

      your poor wife

      • willow

        I’m a straight girl why would I have a wife. ad hominem is the last defense of the indefensible

        • Guest

          oh sorry, my bad

          your poor cat!

    • npbinni

      u r clearly out of touch with reality, willow!

    • dixierat

      Declaring victory and pulling out is not winning a war. As pointed out above, the CIA and SEALS got bin Laden, not Obama. He just said “GO!” and watched from his bunker. The stock market is at record highs to pay back the cronies who helped him stay in office. The recession has only been turned around for the very wealthy (more crony capitalism) and most of the jobs created (by the private sector, not Obama) are part time jobs. Oil and therefore gas prices are down in spite of the President, not because of him. So yeah, he is a failure.

      Also, North Africa is burning in large part because of the Arab Spring he encouraged and actively supported with military assets.

      You should probably get out more. Your blinders are causing your ignorance.

      • willow

        reaching.jpg

  • global city

    Obama’s suitability only for the gutter race politics of Chicago has become obvious….that’s what happened to Obama!

    • twopartysystem1

      So true – he’s only good at stirring up the Takers vs. Makers thing,

  • Roy

    His agenda got in the way of dong anything substantial for his country. His agenda is what many in America will not admit to, it is too diabolically awful.

  • jeffersonian

    “How could such an obviously gifted President, swept into office on a wave of immense expectations, have managed to accomplish so little in his attempted management of global affairs?”

    How was he ‘obviously gifted’ exactly? Infamously mediocre Harvard Law review editor (appointed perhaps for reasons other than merit?), followed by a few years in state politics and finally junior US senator. (Sorry forgot to mention that he was a Chicago community organiser as well.) In other words woefully underqualified. His Harvard degree alone should have been a warning sign.

    This is just a silly sycophantic puff piece usually found at the Huff Post..

    • Bows05

      And we still don’t know his grades so he may well have graduated last in his class. For a man who only thinks in terms of “I” and “ME”, do you think if he had superior grades he would not be out there flaunting them?

      • jimb82

        I am not an Obama fan by any means, but a few facts are needed here. First, the President of the Harvard Law Review is elected by the members of the incoming 3L class of Law Review editors, not appointed. I understand – and this is more speculative – that the election was very close, but Obama won with the assistance of the few conservative editors, to whom he had pitched his desire to make the Law Review more open to alternative points of view (in a time when the campus was very divided).

        Second, as to his grades, I was there, and I was told by a faculty member at the time (not after the fact) that then-student Obama had a chance to graduate summa cum laude but blew it in his third year. At the time, graduating summa was done about once every ten years or so by someone at the Law School. So he was very good at taking law school exams, which is a narrow skill that has nothing to do with actual knowledge of the real world. It would be interesting to know what courses he took, and in my opinion far more interesting to know about his undergraduate record than his law school grades.

        There is some question as to whether he attended Columbia College or the Columbia School of General Studies, which is an open-admission school. He obviously took no standard economics, but may have taken Marxist courses. Was he a “foreign student” based on his Indonesian passport and Kenyan ancestry, as has been alleged? And how did he pay for college and law school? All unresolved questions.

        • Bows05

          My understanding is that being elected President of the Harvard Law Review is essentially a popularity contest (which as we can see, he is very good at) and the position itself is largely symbolic.

          Your second statement “…..that has nothing to do with actual knowledge of the real world….” is, once again, quite self evident.

          Your last comment, I believe, is Obama’s one true gift is his ability to convince people to help him and give him things/access/whatever…..and then he largely betrays those gifts. There is always a quid pro quo to a certain extent and he has proven that he will take and never return the favor. Current example – Obamacare, the Cadillac Tax, Unions.

    • Zachary Turgeon

      A “puff piece”? Did you even read it?

      • jeffersonian

        Yes. And the fact that this masquerades as a ‘critique’ is doubly damning.

        • Zachary Turgeon

          Yeah, yeah. Go spew your GOP bitterness somewhere else.

          • jeffersonian

            I find your complete lack of argument quite encouraging. And although only ‘a cousin across the pond’, I sincerely hope someone like Senator Rand, Cruz or Rubio succeeds in 2016. For the sake of both the United Kingdom as well as the United States 🙂

          • Zachary Turgeon

            Shut up, you ignorant Brit.

          • montague_stjohn

            Devastating!

          • Zachary Turgeon

            Doesn’t your country still recognize royalty? LOL

          • Suzyqpie

            America must be very care in selecting our next President. Cleaning up the debris field, domestic and international, that 0bama has created will be a daunting task.

  • Polly Radial

    Or maybe he’s just a teeny bit dim.

  • raydrnayshon

    Is he really “very smart”? What has he done, or written BY HIMSELF to demonstrate that?

  • asg749d

    This is a myopic, partial view of President Obama’s work. For a complete assessment consider his domestic achievements.

    • post_x_it

      Go on!

  • gerronwithit

    Hubris, Arrogance, Remoteness, Golf all spring to mind.

  • npbinni

    ‘President George W. Bush’s place in history is already guaranteed’

    Indeed, as a very brave and decent man!

    George W Bush will never be as smooth or articulate as Obama, but he was a far better president than Obama, and anyone with a titter of wit knows it! Bush made some mistakes, and learned from them, but Obama is a complete failure.

    • Suzyqpie

      George W Bush did not hate America or it citizenry.

  • donqpublic

    Interesting–though you gloss over Billy Boy Clinton’s world leadership peccadillos leading up to 9/11–surely Bill’s forcefully annexing Kosovo from Serbia for Albania under Madam Albright exceeds even Vlad’s wildest dreams for the Crimea and the Ukraine after Hillary’s reset? Remember Hillary care, not to mention her recent Libyan fiasco? For a post colonial, post racial, nay, anti colonial post American president of the world with a Nobel Peace Prize, it certainly is par for the hypocrisy course seeing a democratic health care reform law with an imperial neo-colonial economic relationship for the nation’s subjects: Pick and purchase a corporate insurance policy or pay the secular version of the imperial Muslim jizya head tax collected by the IRS as an indirect tax on income. If the individual mandate was only good for seven years it would resemble the traditional indentured servant contract, but without the whippings. Now that we have an expensive all volunteer standing army of imperial storm troopers with a high suicide and desertion rate ((although how can one, strictly speaking, “desert” from a volunteered association? Can not one un-volunteer?) perhaps recruitment incentives should be sweetened now that a draft is out of the question for a “chicken hawk nation?” Extending the Obamacare colonial health care model, what Americans need is a shared military responsibility income surtax levied on all males that never volunteer for the volunteer military, but with an exemption from state and federal income taxes for duly certified (form dd214) veterans of foreign wars–of course Indians, previous colonial victims, on tribal reservations and the ancestors of former American slaves are exempt from paying that tax. And while were at it, let’s extend Title Nine to playing hand grenades and Selective Service–except for Indians on tribal reservations and ancestors of former slaves of course: females, like beige Madam Nancy and Madam Albright, are grossly under represented in the military while still getting equal pay with the males who do all the dying. A one time last hurrah affirmative action draft of beige females–excluding Indians living on tribal reservations and ancestors of former American slaves of course– is the only way to have a fair and equitable war with equal dying for equal pay between the genders, and, even better, wars are now called over seas contingency operations against man made natural disasters and only take a presidential memo to authorize to get the girls dying at the same rate as the males for equal pay. And as a bonus everyone gets free condoms in the ranks for re-enlisting.

  • mf

    It is a curious piece. It at once says that Obama failed because he subscribed to American propensity to believe that America should run the world, but then accuses him of failing to run the world after all. Which is it now?
    The Iraq war resumed because the structure of Middle East is disintegrating in the last act of post-colonial redress. It is going to be a long war there. And before we say that Arabs are incurable, let us remember Auschwitz.
    Curiously, this article fails to mention the biggest elephant in the room, the seizure of Crimea and invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Here Obama could have done more, but some hesitant progress has been made.
    The problem with Obama is that he is who he said he was. Foreign policy is just not his thing. He was trying to wind down American overstretch as he was instructed (by voters, including prominently the author), and events interfered. It appears that the holiday from history is for the time being over.
    And finally sir, the West did win the cold war. A good chunk of Soviet Empire departed the Russian (aka Soviet) way of live and voluntarily joined the Western way of live. It is the best victory, the victory of ideas.

  • afhack62

    As full as this article is of the “standard collection of platitudes and cliches” about the US one could be forgiven for assuming it was written by someone with little firsthand knowledge of the country. Bacevich should know better. But he doesn’t because he’s pandering to non-Americans and using facts about the US, or about Obama for that matter, is not required in any of his hyperventilating paragraphs.

  • Beauceron

    Obama’s failure and success stemmed from the same root: he’s a radical Leftist who ran on being a moderate Leftist.

  • Kathy Young

    Obama is “obviously gifted”?? What are his “obvious gifts”? He can read? He is a snappy dresser? He has friends in high places that seal his records from those who have a right to know about him, permitting those who want to know to be called alarmists and racists because we don’t fall under his spell? He is a liar? He has no shame? Please, Mr. Bacevich. Enlighten us.

  • jacknyc

    Mr B -I am a Right wing extremist, Mr W did a good job and Mr O has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory; I belive, from scanning comments here, that the majority agree with me

    Hereabouts, Islam’s war against the infidel is 1300 years old, a permanent war, fought ta tactically and strategically but which will not end until the heat death of the sun, and not then

    AND the war is also and more deeply Green on Green, if Islam cannot make peace with itself, we should not expect peace with us

    Mr O got a pretty good trouncing in midterm elections and won (stole) reelection via the IRS (revenge of Florida 2000??) and other feral agencies a massive show of competence at governance to control and thereby suborn our entire ‘independent’ civil sergvice bureaucracy

    Some of us students of Marx recall ‘the withering away of the State’ – I guess that was lost in translation, as apparatchiks stole the proletariat’s revolution

    Newt Gingrich, of squeaky voice and funny name called this bureaucratic socialism

  • rakesh wahi

    you had me till you described Kissinger and Zbig as demigods. I disagree. Had Carter not had the narrow minded anti sovietism of Zbig dictating all his policy moves he would have achieved far more. Kissinger wanted to attack India and his actions in letting Israel continue hostilities after the agreed ceasefire in 1973 led to Defcon 3.
    The problem with American foreign policy, of which you complain, is a lack of available talent which is politically acceptable to the major .stakeholders. I have trouble coming up with five names that Obama could have picked that would have passed congressional scrutiny. I also think that the office of Presidential security adviser is a serious source of mischief.

  • Donafugata

    G W Bush and those who did his thinking for him, never had any other ambition than to enrich themselves at every opportunity.

    As W himself smirkingly told an audience of his own kind,

    “There are the haves and then there are the have a lot mores ….”

    And it would now seem that they have dynastic ambitions.

    Obama at first appeared to be a disappointment but he had his hands tied.
    In his present lame-duck form he is still managing to do a heck of a lot of damage.

  • Donafugata

    Ironically or perhaps not, under the first black president relations between races has been set back decades.

    A black Christian, Baptist or Episcopalian, might have been a better choice but black and Muslim was pushing it, especially now.

  • ttaerum

    Having begun laying out a framework to evaluate Obama, Bacevich leaps to the conclusion that, “Obama’s more strident critics… denounce him as a far-left radical. …The charge is plainly goofy.” Huh? Apparently any evaluation which might suggest shortcomings must be balanced by a gift of atonement to the gods of the left. Yes, Obama enjoyed using drones and never grew weary of pointing out he killed UBL – apparently there’s a certain joy which comes only from being a “warrior far away”. In point of fact, his legacy will be defined by the game he loves to play so much he forces real warriors to change where they’ll have their weddings. Now there’s a legacy.

  • http://westernhero.blogspot.com/ Silverfiddle

    Obama obviously gifted? In what way?

    It was obvious to thinking people that he had displayed no gifts beside writing two self-praising books about himself and giving lofty speeches long on billowy rhetoric and short on details

    • bowhowdy2

      I agree, but to his credit, the only thing he did that was remotely smart was to realize that 2008 would be likely be his only chance to win the presidential election. The conditions, given the “hope and change,” climate were fairly unique. Jimmy Carter did have the same chance in 1976, but it wasn’t until 30 years later that another such opening existed. Obama, like Carter has proven to be a terrible president, and hopefully, the mistake won’t be repeated — although it likely will some 30 years from now.

  • http://baarswestside.blogspot.com/ Bill Baar

    Re: How could such an obviously gifted President, swept into office on a wave of immense expectations, have managed to accomplish so little in his attempted management of global affairs?

    Geez, obiously? What gifts? He was a foot soldier in Emil Jones 8th ward organization with a series abstentions in the State House. He got lucky on the Illinois Senate seat when his opposition got caught up in a sex scandal. He’s the first sitting presentment to by deposed by the FBI in a Criminal investigation before he was ever sworn into office. The obvious has been overlooked for a very long time by people who should know better. The only wonder is things haven’t been worse. There’s still time for that though. I’ve long said he’ll unleash some real violence that will make those “terror tuesday” meetings in the oval office small stuff.

  • whatsso4me

    Obama’s gift is that of a silver tongued used-car salesman.

  • OBUMYA

    Translation
    If not for bush obama would have been amazing
    cliff note version for media
    its bush’s fault
    translation for 20 somethings
    Obama failed due to racism

  • ditPoitiers

    Funny how we are always told how smart Obama is, yet see so little evidence of it.

    • Gene_Frenkle

      He parlayed a senate win in which both of his major opponents self destructed into millions of dollars by republishing a book that nobody bought when it first came out! He used his time in the senate to write another book that made him even more money! He became president after being an undistinguished and inexperienced senator! He won the nomination despite having fewer popular votes than Hillary! He will be remembered as a mediocre president despite doing everything in the worst possible way all the while improving his golf game!

      The guy is clearly highly intelligent but ACA architect Jonathan Gruber is clearly a genius whatever that is worth.

      • Becker300

        Mediocre is generous, and i doubt his intelligence. Let’s not confuse speaking prowess with deep thought.
        BTW, what community did he organize?

        • Gene_Frenkle

          The fact he parlayed a speech lacking any substance into becoming president is proof of his intelligence. He was a community organizer because he saw that as a route to politics, nothing more. The guy has vision and his graduation from Harvard Law School with honors is solid evidence of him being highly intelligent.

          I personally think he is solidly below average as president which is consistent with his life story of seizing opportunities and leveraging those opportunities for bigger opportunities while not really being outstanding at any level. I think his only great success at any level was making Harvard Law Review and he didn’t use that to clerk for a Supreme Court Justice as most probably did so even that did not result in outstanding achievement.

          That said, even though I think he is below average he has been intelligent enough to ignore progressives with regard to fracking, the Bush tax cuts, Bush bailouts, drone strikes, single payer, and prosecuting enhanced interrogation and that is why he will be remembered as a mediocre president.

  • Retired military

    One
    Big
    Ass
    Mistake
    America

  • sebastian2

    Obama’s mixed ancestry and obscured background, and a legacy of family experiences may have indeed influenced his outlook – it would be surprising if it hadn’t. Whether those influences were balanced, judicious or overcome is perhaps impossible to say. I somehow doubt it. Celebrated as the first “black” (whatever that means) President but suspected because of his mohammedan connections (which many mohammedans saw as islam’s ultimate conquest) much was anticipated. To mohammedan’s dismay, however, the war with islam hardly let up and the prematurely awarded Nobel prize brought itself and him into disrepute. Whether US “blacks” have since altered their early delirious optimism I cannot say – though I see few signs of satisfaction. Pride, it seems, really does come before a fall, and would Obama have got in at all if he’d been exactly as he is, but “white”? Perhaps the US fell for the biased politics of race rather than the impartial politics of excellence.

    All that aside, isn’t part of the wider difficulty due to the Europeans’ unwillingness or inability to pull more of their weight in world affairs? This places a huge burden on the US which may be impossible to sustain. And when America grows faint, Europe is never there to lend sufficient strength. We cannot expect the US continually to do the needful so as to exempt ourselves. The European economies are generally in a mess; its defences quite weak; its foreign outlook confused; its obsession with a crackpot EU debilitating and costly. Our own houses are hardly in order.

    Before we start scoffing at the US Presidency (whoever is in office) or sneering at US setbacks, we should look much more to ourselves to see what we can do better.

  • Bob Lindamood

    Lost me when credit was given to the global warming hoax

  • Red 2

    I think Obama’s problems are numerous. I think that he views himself as being intelligent and rational and when faced with opposition he thinks that if he could simply explain his position then those who disagree would change thier minds. As a result he doesn’t see himself as being far left because there are people further to the left than he is and so in his mind he’s a centrist and those farther to the right than he is are either extreme or wrong. I think he also thinks that the legislative branch is not his responsibility and beneath his need to work with. As a result, instead of being like Clinton who was constantly wheeling and dealing with Congress, or Reagan who acted as the executive leader whose job it was to set the tone, Obama instead simply says what he wants and in the first two years had Reid and Pelosi take charge of doing anything without him lifting a finger followed by four years of bitterness at how Congress doesn’t want to do anything with or for him. I also think that he began his presidency with what he thought was a bold new approach to foreign policy to which reality has shown instead to be a very niaive and ignorant attitude.

  • ChangeHopeInAZ

    The author is waaaayyyy to kind to Obama considering that his failures go well beyond foreign policy and if you think shoving his junk healthcare law down everyone’s throat a success, well lets just say we have different definitions of what success means.

  • DisgustedwithElitism

    BHO is a narcissist in love with the sound of his own voice. He convinced himself he could charm the birds out of the trees and that once he spoke, the world would follow.

    Both domestically and abroad, those who look past his words to his intentions and his deeds do not want what he is peddling.

    His biggest failure will always be the childish, grade-school manner in which he met political opposition – “If you don’t like me, I won’t like you either! So there!”

  • Gene_Frenkle

    It is easier to do less than more and when one does the easy thing the short term results often look good. Obama decided early on that he was not going to be defined by foreign policy in contrast to Bush. Obama chose to do relatively easy things and while he was doing those things the private sector was developing fracking.

  • Liberty_First

    Not everyone thinks President Obama is “such an obviously gifted President” and his record belies such a statement. He is our first affirmative action President who has a thin resume and little experience but performs well and is glad to sit at the head of the table deferring to the those who have held him high.

  • twopartysystem1

    It’s the blatant lying that did Obama in. Luckily most Americans still find it distasteful.

  • Dracovert

    All psychopaths fail. Obama has the characteristics of a clinical psychopath:

    * Glibness/superficial charm

    * Grandiose sense of self worth

    * Pathological lying

    * Cunning/manipulative

    * Callousness/lack of empathy

    * Failure to accept responsibility for own actions

    * Parasitic lifestyle

    * Poor behavioral controls

    * Irresponsibility

    * Early behavioral problems

    * Criminal versatility

    * Etc., etc., etc

    Obama’s “own naivety and inexperience?”

    No shot, sheerluck! You did not see this as disqualifying in 2008? Quite apart from the fact that Obama was obviously a political psychopath well before his first election to the presidency.

    Just out of curiosity, I would like you to detail the “monumental blunders” of the Bush presidency.

  • montague_stjohn

    Odd. This president managed something that every Democrat since FDR has wanted: healthcare reform. Whatever one thinks of this it is hard to see him as a failure in achieving it.

    • moderate Guy

      While the jury is still out on whether this health care reform, which devastated health care access for millions of Americans, will stand; Obama did very little to “his” signature achievement except give it a (bad) name,
      It was the Demokrat Congress that wrote and rammed the law through with very little input from Obama until it was time to sign it at the very end.

      • montague_stjohn

        Where is your evidence that the ACA “devastated health care access for millions of Americans”?

        • moderate Guy

          Insurance costs are up, deductibles and co-pays are up several fold, access to doctors and medical procedures is being limited. I’d say that more than qualifies as devastating.

          • montague_stjohn

            If it were all true — then I’d agree. But your Heritage/Fox talking points are contradicted by work done on the ACA by Brookings, the CBO, and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

          • moderate Guy

            I call them facts, you call them talking points. We are talking about the same thing; it’s just that you need to get past the ideological blinkers of your MSM echo chamber.

          • montague_stjohn

            MSM echo chamber? Is that what you call Brooking, the CBO and the KFF?

          • moderate Guy

            Liberal lies are liberal lies however dressed up

          • Thomas_Paulick

            There are too many stories of people finding sudden 50% (or more) increases in their insurance costs, and losing their choice of doctors, to ignore. You can’t simply write off Fox News; there’s a reason why more people watch Fox than CNN. Brookings is a stranger situation. I believe that they’d be called “centrist” or even slightly “center-left”, but their positions are all over the place. With regard to airline deregulation, for instance, they sound like Chicago-school economics.

            And: the mechanism of payment for ACA will eventually lead to huge increases in the national debt, because the public won’t stand for the taxes that would be needed to pay for it ourselves.

            But IMHO, ACA is doomed more by the dishonesty used to sell it than anything else. The architects of ACA know things that they don’t dare say, and we’ve only seen the beginning of implementation.

          • Thomas_Paulick

            Here’s one (very) recent source. I don’t have the time, personally, to exhaustively sort out truth from political talking points with regard to ACA, but Mirengoff references USA Today, hardly a right-wing propaganda outlet.

            http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/01/obamacare-and-the-deterioration-of-private-health-insurance.php

    • Becker300

      Success is measured by failed results?

      • montague_stjohn

        If you decide that all Presidents that have policies that you dislike are failures then a discussion with you is pointless.

        • Becker300

          It’s not a matter of dislike. O-care is, and will continue to be, failed policy.
          aka: Income re-distribution.

          • montague_stjohn

            Is income re-distribution your definition of failure?

          • Becker300

            Yes.

  • Buck Ofama

    Hey, “author”, why don’t you just admit to your secret luv fantasy for “president” OVOMIT, and dispense with the drivel journalism?

  • phadras

    Essentially the author is saying that the bamster is very smart but not smart enough to handle the job. I concur. He never was and never will be a leader of any caliber. Darn tough to lead a people and a nation for which you have no affection and little regard.

  • shatzy48

    Nothing in Obama’s background prepared him for this job, and he compounded the problem by surrounding himself with an insular inner cirlce that filtered way too much of what he really neede to hear.

    • Becker300

      Agreed to a point. I doubt the assertion that the inner circle shielded him form what he needed to hear.
      I don’t think they knew what he needed to hear, and had little clue as to the proper filters.

      • Hayek+Fan

        That he(the community organizer) could understand…comprehend?

      • shatzy48

        I was trying to be charitable, but honestly, I can’t disagree with you. The Republican Defense Secretaries were strictly for show.

  • HoratiusZappa

    >this very smart man

    Widely asserted, but never proven. Team Obama and its apple-polishers never miss a chance to try to shine up his resume. If there were any hard evidence that he is a high intellectual achiever, we’d have seen it. We have not; so most likely none exists. All we get are the assurances and wishful projections of biased – some highly so – observers.

    Failure to question the premise that Obama is highly intelligent undermines all of the essays that seek to explain away his mediocrity.

    If you instead start with the premise that his intelligence is college-level but otherwise unremarkable, and add the observations that his resume (of achievements, not appointments) is sparse and that he is thin-skinned and prone to use first person when discussing success and third person when discussing failures, nothing about the outcomes should surprise you.

    • phadras

      When you have an entire media and intelligentsia constantly proclaiming his infallibility it is a wonder any question his brilliance.

  • Poppa

    Obama has been the single worst mistake America has ever made. The whole world is suffering from his policy failures because you cannot run America from the farthest left on the spectrum. Carter proved it and obama has reinforced the fact.

    • montague_stjohn

      More left wing than LBJ and his “Great Society” and massive state-run TVA? More left wing than Truman who nationalised the steel industry to settle a strike in labour’s favour? More left wing than FDR who threatened to pack the Supreme Court with hand picked justices when his socialistic NRA was ruled unconstitutional?

  • Summer Tyme

    The article sites he got bin Laden did the China deal.

    okay but how does that help your thesis?

    he also took out Kadafi and ended two wars.

    if that’s failure we need more.

    Article states the W Bush was an enormous failure in that is certainly true.

    we know that already

    • HoratiusZappa

      The “two wars” are not ended. The conflation of “ended” and “tried to walk away” is widespread but incorrect.

      The wisdom of trading Qaddafi for another tyranny is open to debate.

      The “China” deal was examined and panned by both climate alarmist skeptics and enthusiasts as essentially nothing of real consequence. The difference is the former used tones of relief, and the latter tones of regret.

  • tess

    NOT QUITE SMART ENOUGH! he’s a complete and utter dumb fool with absolutely NO understanding of what america and it’s values are about. and what he does know, he hates! his ‘legacy’ will be that for 8 years the united states of america was in complete ruin and historians will be hard pressed to explain how that could have happened. the ONLY explanation will be that he was black and people thought if they voted for him it would prove they weren’t racist. that being his ONLY qualification shows we need to go back to real color blindness – affirmative action has proved a disaster!!!!!!!!

  • Dan045

    “How could such an obviously gifted President…”

    Why “obviously”? What had he done previously that was suggestive of “gifted”, or even “basic competence”?

    • Hayek+Fan

      Me too. I never got the “intellect”, “gravitas”, “smartness” et al.
      The guy is as dumb as a box of rocks.
      It should be “obvious” to most.

    • charliehorse

      I’m with you Dan. The idea stated in the end of the article is what boggles me. “Obama should have understood how little he knew”. Now what overblown assistant professor will admit to not knowing the basic requirements of the job he is ineptly trained to perform? Not this guy for sure.

  • Kurt NY

    George W Bush failed because he overestimated American power and the degree to which it could be wielded to change the world. Barack Obama has failed, and in an even greater fashion, because his idea of America is not that it won the Cold War and must run the world, but because he (just like the majority of the modern Democratic Party) is a believer in the narrative of the 1960’s counterculture that the world is filled with good people only prevented from working sweetness and light by American malevolence and ignorance. He sought not to restore America’s position but to consciously reduce it because he believes its past influence to be evil.

    And it shows in his policies and their failures. He seized the excuse to exit Iraq as soon as possible, even though it should have been clear such would lead to the present disaster. When ISIS is growing and Iraq collapsing, John Kerry sees the fundamental problem as Israel, and pushes a peace plan acceptable to nobody and repeatedly shown to be so. He insults friends such as Great Britain and cossets adversaries. He promises Russia to be “more flexible” once he no longer has to answer to those ignorant voters. He stayed in Afghanistan not because of any belief in it, but similarly to LBJ’s mistake in Vietnam because he didn’t want to present his opponents a cudgel with which to delay his domestic priorities. Just as sanctions on Iran seemed to be working, he lessened them in a vain attempt to get the Iranians to sign an agreement they have no intention of honoring.

    Again, agreed that GW Bush’ overreach severely damaged America’s capability to manage. But Obama’s hands-off, apologetic foreign policy has resulted in increasing disorder and challenges with greater potential dangers not only to us, but to much of the rest of the world as well.

  • jcambro1

    The smartest man to ever sit in the White House just wasn’t smart enough? That’s the assessment that is “most likely to stick” according to Professor Bacevich?

    How about this assessment – Obama and his supporters were wrong on the issues that matter. Obama’s brand of liberalism and the distorted view it presents of the world – from economics, Islamism, race and gender politics and healthcare to the role of American power, all of it – It’s all just wrong.

    President Obama, like so many elite modern American liberals, lives in a echo chamber. And more dangerously, he’s part of a powerful, mutual self-congratulation society. Those who bestow Nobel Prizes, Pulitzers, academic titles and assorted accolades upon one another are increasingly of one ideological mind. They are old classmates. They send their kids to the same prep schools. They attend the same fundraisers and cocktail parties. They are all so smart because they tell each other so. The new left that used to shout up to the walls of the castle are the new royalty. It’s good to be the king – It’s just not good for the rest of us.

    The old WASPy elites, the corporate 1950’s-style organization men, the Cold Warriors and upper class tycoons of old were this way too. But they have been chased out of academia and replaced.

    Now the Ivy leagues and big banks are dominated by the new left. And in just a few short decades, these elites have developed a world view that is arguably more calcified, less intellectual and more obviously unrealistic than the old order it replaced.

    Look what the left, NOT the right has wrought in recent years – The poor are poorer. The rich are richer. The middle class is smaller. Government has failed to tax and spend us into prosperity. Our public education system continues decades of decline under the direct supervision of leftists who dominate our teacher colleges. Race relations are more rife with recrimination and division than at any time since the 1960’s.

    And abroad, a thoughtless retreat of America from the world stage, absent any coherent strategy, has emboldened a growing China, a sinister Iran and a violently nihilistic form of Islam. And to add insult to injury, instead of reaping the benefits of winning the Cold War, we see a fascistic Russia on the rise.

    Professor Bacevich’s “He just didn’t hire enough smart policy gurus to get the job done” alibi would be comical, but for the fact that so much damage has been done.

    The fact is that we made the likes of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Paul Krugman, Larry Summers and so many others, into our policy gurus. And when the gurus are wrong? When liberalism is wrong? This is what you get – America in decline.

  • Scottvan949

    “Members of Obama’s dwindling fan club can accurately claim that he has
    avoided the truly epic gaffes that marked his predecessor’s term in
    office.” Really? Obama’s withdrawal of troops from Iraq I think qualifies as a truly epic gaffe. He snatched defeat from the jaws of victory! In addition, I think there is an excellent chance that Obama is going to let Iran go nuclear, which would be really, really bad.

  • Bernd_Harzog

    So Obama is arrogant and inexperienced.

    Tell me something new.

  • dailypenny

    I’m not sure this analysis posted above, which is a very hasty and inconclusive look at Obama is worth really trying to reply to. Obama’s troubles go far beyond what has been mentioned in this article- and are systemic to the nature of the modern Democratic party and it’s supporters and the way modern electoral politics is conducted. I don’t believe Obama is smart enough to be the ‘leftist’ that so many people ascribe to him- but I do believe he was-and is caught up by the image and the self-enclosedness of being president-and after awhile all you hear is ‘your so right Mr. President’. But this would not be so bad if it wasn’t also a case where he had to learn on the job-as almost every world leader has commented on. And so, you have a guy who has succeeded in destroying his party’s standing-in both houses and in the states. Really quite remarkable. Well, at least he has New York and California… But what is more remarkable is how much he has really lost support among his own party, because he really never cared for them-just for his stuff- the mark of a truly poor leader.

    • Kennybhoy

      “I don’t believe Obama is smart enough to be the ‘leftist’ that so many people ascribe to him…”

      Agreed. lol

  • Browns Fan42

    Imagine the crap Andrew Bracevich had to eat to write this article. He writes, “How could such an obviously gifted President, swept into office on a wave of immense expectations, have managed to accomplish so little in his attempted management of global affairs?”

    Really? Perhaps Andrew can describe how “gifted” Obama was. Gifted in politics? In Business? In leading bipartisan groups? What???

    It was entirely predictable Obama would be a failure. His greatest (and only) asset is he’s able to read. From a teleprompter. Off script, he sounds like the idiot he really is.

  • Jmaci

    When are even moderately critical analyses of the president going to drop the boilerplate assertion that Obama is “obviously gifted”? Where’s the evidence? As Mr. Bacevich says the Persident has surrounded himself with “mediocrities, hacks and time-servers.” Birds of a feather and all that…

  • Browns Fan42

    To the author’s credit….he equates Obama’s qualifications to be president to Kim Kardisian’s qualifications to run a Wall Street firm.

    • longlance

      Kim has maximized her assets & taken a profit without harming the global economy or mongering for war. Too bad our “leaders” can’t do as well.

  • Bob O’Connell

    ‘very smart man?’ Good one!

  • longlance

    What “climate change”? Why bring that farcical hoax into a serious article about war & peace?

  • RO

    We have heard for years now how smart our emperor Obama is. The reason he is the smartest guy in the room is because he surrounds himself with idiots. There is not one person giving him advice who knows what they are doing. But at least he is consistent- everything he does is wrong (and probably unconstitutional). If only his 17 day vacation could be 17 months maybe this country would have a chance of recovering from this disaster of a president.

    • Orleans

      He doesn’t want his advisers advising anything that he isn’t already thinking.
      They know that, and are obedient to their leader.

  • maxbert50

    No, Andrew. Obama did not simply surround himself with mediocrities; he surrounded himself with academics, like you, whose “distinctive world-view” does indeed exist, and even now remains as clueless as his own.

    First, his acolytes NEVER believed that the US is a benevolent hegemon. They believe it instead to be the root of all the world’s evils. Capitalism did in fact win the cold war, but much to their left-wing, socialist fury, making them constitutionally incapable of seizing whatever opportunities that victory may have presented.

    Second, Obama’s lack of positive results travels directly through the puerile hero worship accorded him by the media, a bubble universe of hopey-changey adoration that prevented any real critical examination the magical thinking and elitist, gross incompetence of both Obama and his minions.

    Despite your overdue criticism of Obama’s many, indisputable failures, you still embrace his basic outlook. You persist, for example, in the delusion that saving the world through climate treaties with China and “reset” negotiations with Islamist theocracies is anything but more of the same old, silly-assed, faculty-lounge fantasy. Will you never connect the dots?

  • SenatorSting

    Bamster should have stuck with the Choom Gang. They knew how to have fun when they were doing nuthin’.

  • Liberalism_is_mental_AIDS

    Obama’s epitaph as an American president will be; “he had so much potential but this is what you get for an affirmative action hire with no experience.”

    May America never lay itself open to the same error again.

  • mulp

    The author is a failure in his criticism.

    For one, the Iraq war has not restarted. A new war has started that does not involve the US military as an enemy, but rather people against nihilists who are committed basically to killing everyone who does not agree with the nihilists who do not agree with each other over time and then kill those who want something other that death as victory.

    For another, Obama has reset with Putin/Russia and now Russia is substantially isolated with a future of irrelevance likely ahead. Surely Europe will find alternatives to dependence on Russian gas and end up free of Putin’s hostage taking. But most important, it is not the US against Russia or Putin, but Europe against Putin with the US obviously a European ally.

    By not creating FUD in energy, the private investment in oil and gas delivered the increased production that the conservative central planners of Reagan, Bush, Bush, Newt, et al failed to deliver from the executive action of picking winners of big oil and losers of small US oil drillers with all the Federal dictates of oil and gas drilling on government land. The high monopoly profits of big oil lured in thousands of investors who have drilled on private land and boosted US production 50%, leading to a crash in oil prices and an end to the monopoly profits so critical to the “enemies” conservatives have needed for political reasons. Obama is able to let economic market forces do the work that conservatives try to do with the military and war.

    Obama has actually accomplished what the author has called for – taking the US out of the center of every conflict in the globe. But he has not done so the way the author thinks it should be done by taking the US out of every conflict and having the US be the victor in every case, something impossible. Afghanistan will be decided by Afghanis. Russia and Ukraine will be decided by Russians and Ukraininans. Iraq will be decided by Iraqis. Syria will be decided by Syrians. Egypt will be decided by Egyptians. Libya by Libyans. Africa by Africans. Cuba by Cubans.

    • Liberalism_is_mental_AIDS

      Affirmative action hires do tend to screw things up.

  • Bitter Klingon

    Sure Obama is gifted. He can say nothing better than anyone.

  • Zachary Turgeon

    Yeah, it had nothing to do with the GOP who vowed to shutdown the government because the black guy was elected.

  • TakuanSoho

    >How could such an obviously gifted President<

    Based on????
    Being President? Well George W Bush did that as well.
    How about his legal articles?
    How about his grades at Harvard?
    How about success in his career?
    How about his legislative success in Congress?
    How about his accomplishment's as a President with an absolute majority in both chambers of Congress for two years?
    How about how his party has prospered during the next four years?
    How about his speeches that will be recorded for prosperity?
    How about his professed desire to improve racial relations in the US?
    How about the success of his "signature" government program?

  • Timbones

    BEST LINE EVER: Obama moved into the Oval Office about as well equipped to serve as global CEO as Kim Kardashian is to run one of Wall Street’s larger investment banks.

    • montague_stjohn

      Was that machine translated? Its gibberish man.

  • ebola131

    “Here’s an assessment that is more likely to stick: when it comes to
    foreign policy, this very smart man was not quite smart enough to
    appreciate the magnitude of the problems he inherited, to understand how
    little he knew, and to recruit a team with sufficient talent to help
    him bridge the yawning gap between the first two.”
    My take….PROVE IT.
    There is no evidence that Obama is a “very smart man”; only evidence that he is a “flexible”, very leftist idealogue trained in the Alinsky/Cloward/Piven doctrines.
    He didn’t “inherit” the problems. Nobody forced him to seek the Presidency he is unqualified to hold.
    The “Affirmative Action” student, self described as lazy, brought no distinguishing skills, other than community organizing, to the position and has acquired none while there.
    Prove me wrong.
    III/0317

  • Nessie509

    For better or worse we are stuck with this president for two more years. Next time we need to choose someone a little less historic and slightly more experienced. Let us hope the next one isn’t such a narcessist that he won’t understand the limitations of his pen and phone.

  • tomgriffith

    Can you back up this assumption? “How could such an obviously gifted President”. Gifted how? What had he accomplished of significance prior to becoming president? Did he start any successful companies? Discover something? Write a significant piece of literature (a semi-factual autobiography is not really a significant piece of literature like say, Of Mice and Men – or even a Harry Potter novel)
    Oration?? He’s blamed all of his failure to get the general public on his side for legislation on poor communication.
    So what is his obvious gift?

  • U Nderwater Glockenspiel

    This is just racism, all hail the Magic Mulatto, the spectator is just another pocket of resistance to be hassled into submission.

  • mhjhnsn

    This article is wrong in almost every respect. Bush ran in 2000 on the basis of domestic policy (“compassionate conservatism”) and denounced the idea of foreign involvement and “nation building.” Gore was much more the muscular internationalist. Rumsfeld was supposed to manage the DoD’s transition to a smaller, leaner, less expensive force by leapfrogging a generation of technology, during a time of peace; he was a manager, not a warrior. They only became internationally engaged after 9/11/2001 changed everything
    Obama and the liberal wing of the Democratic party in 2008 were likewise not interested in foreign policy and certainly did not and do not seek domination, probably carrying this too far. They have rushed to unwind such foreign entanglements as they inherited, to the extent events and domestic politics allowed. They wished and continue to wish to be a European social democracy and are only deflected from that by the fact that there is no United States to assume our defense role, as the US does for Europe.
    Yes, the Obama Admin has not produced any bright lights to compare to Truman’s foreign policy team, but given their lack of interest in military and foreign policy that is not surprising–the larger surprise is that in matters of domestic and esp. social programs, they have also failed to produce anyone of talent, despite this being their true interest.
    Beyond that, I can only write that if Mr. Bacevich thinks that the Bush or Obama Administrations came into office with exaggerated foreign policy schemes, it says more about him than those administrations.

  • Historianted

    More biased drivel from delusional liberals. No wonder Obama is the “Blamer-in-Chief”…all of his insane liberal minions are as well!

  • Colorado Patriot

    I think Mr. Obama has steered our ship of state deftly. He has kept us out of unnecessary foreign entanglements which is why the majority of American voters returned him to office. I believe history will be kind to him.

  • Wanye Kest

    ‘drawing a bead on Barak Obama’? Sounds exciting!

  • MisterEd13

    We DID win the Cold War, you ditz!!! Look at the Soviet Union afterward, and compare that to US afterward, then tell me again we didn’t win. and, you are trying to tell me The Traitor-In-Chief is no worse than Bush. BS!!!!!!!! D’Souza is right, Obama DID set out to ruin our standing in the world. That is why he was prosecuted.

  • dilsin

    When I read the first sentence about Bush’s monumental blunders,” I knew what kind of a piece this would be. But then when I read the sentence about the “obviously gifted” Obama, it went from partisan hackery to pure fantasy. Wasn’t necessary to go any further.

  • Victoria Sazani

    Yes and McCain and Palin would have just rocked our world

  • Anton

    ” a promising climate change agreement with China”!!!
    And you call Obama naive 🙂

  • MickeyD69

    I find it interesting that you term Obama a failure, but then devote most of your article to denigrating his predecessor and his advisors. Obama is a manufactured phenomena. He was never qualified for the job, and would have never been elected had he been either White or Republican. But, the media overlooked EVERY negative and puffed up his few attributes to assure his election in 2008; and then compounded the error by ignoring the obvious vote fraud and manipulation of the system in 2012 to give his a second term. Obama is the logical outcome of the age of Multiculturalism and Diversity… and empty suit with all the right fabrics.

    History will be kinder to George Bush than it will to Barack Obama. Had a Republican presided over ANY of the scandals, or tried to hide as much of his past as Obama did, the media would have gone apoplectic. But, there was NOTHING more important than installing a Liberal; a BLACK Liberal in the White House, the Country be damned. It may very well be.

    • Kennybhoy

      “History will be kinder to George Bush than it will to Barack Obama.”

      Wholeheartedly agree.

  • billireland

    The author declares that Obama’s supporters “were counting on Obama to restore the United States to its proper
    place as unquestioned global leader. In foreign policy, this defined his
    mandate.” This is the exact opposite of the truth. Obama’s supporters were counting on him to reduce America’s impact on the world.

    If Professor Bacevich gets this so wrong, is it surprising that he gratuitously bashes George W. Bush–without a shred of evidence or serious analysis? “Bush and his lieutenants” thought the US should “run the world,” he declares.

    Au contraire, they thought the US should and must exercise leadership in the world–or chaos would follow. The last six years have proved them right.

    And needless to say, Professor Bacevich is wrong.

  • kidmugsy

    “historians are likely to have a hard time drawing a bead on Barack Obama”: since he’s a Democrat, they will scarcely try.

  • Fritz

    I dispute the initial premise: I think GWB, like Truman, will be much more highly regarded by future historians than he is this close to his terms. W was elected on domestic issues and then was thrust into a wartime presidency. And I thank the Almighty it was he, and not Al Gore, in the White House on 9/11.

    As for Obama, it is hard to find much good to say at all.

  • psytx

    The central problem with the authors argument is that he assumes that Obama is obviously very intelligent. There is no proof of Obama’s intelligence. Obama has never released his academic transcripts, he has no professional paper trail of articles, books, positions papers and the like. All he has are two autobiographies. Furthermore, if you listen to him (and I have listened extensively to his speeches) you will realize the poor man can barely string together a sentence without the aid of his trusty teleprompter. He is completely inarticulate. He stammers, he stutters, he has lots of verbal pauses–he’s AWFUL. Beyond that if you listen to the content of what he is trying to communicate, he has nothing to say. His arguments amount to long litanies of clichés and straw man arguments.
    So why has Obama failed? The main reason he has failed is that he is a narcissist who has surrounded himself with a sycophants (including the media). No president in America’s history has every been propped up by the media the way Obama has. Obama has been/is currently/and will always be, out his league. he has no clue what he is doing. He is a real life version of Chance the Gardener from the Peter Seller’s classic, “Being There”.
    The real tragedy, the real indictment, is on the media, and the American public for electing and continually propping up this clown.

  • Swanky

    Okay, the first sentence testifies that the writer is politically… nuts. I shan’t bother reading the rest. The Bushes were two of the best presidents America has ever had. But the Left muffs everything, especially political judgement.

    The first ‘Affirmative Action’ president (meaning: he was the darling of the Left because he believed in Leftism and was dark) has been a disaster for my country. He does not believe in democracy which is why he tries so often to govern by executive order — even though his recent one regarding immigration was condemned by a very brave judge as being unconstitutional. But who knows what will happen. This man thinks he is above the law, and above the Founders, who are superior to him in every matter of politics and philosophy.

    We shall survive and we shall undo him, the best we can.

  • itzik basman

    Geez, Bacevich thinks he’s God’s gift to foreign policy, geopolitics and international relations, when he’s just another hackademic. Fine it is for him to provide his views, but more than a little humility would be in order for him, as I read his know-it-all words.

  • John Byde

    Andrew, you need to get out more. In the real world. This article is so ludicrously off-target that it’s hard to know where to start. Firstly, you call Obama “an obviously gifted president” – where on earth do you find evidence for that statement? BO achieved nothing before 2008 that remotely prepared him for the role of POTUS. So you think he has achieved a good climate change deal with China? Leaving aside the fact that you are one of the few people left who believes in “climate change/global warming/wild weather” or whatever it’s called this week, the deal is a classic BO effort – it gives the other side everything and demands nothing in return. As for the Iran situation, his “deal” with the world’s foremost pusher of terrorism will only have one denouement: a nuclear Iran. An article of appalling naivety and obtuseness!

  • Phil

    Obama is a media creation. nothing he has done in his life warrants him being a great president or a mediocre president. He was a community organizer. Never ran anything in his life, not even a lemonade stand and it shows and he’s a gifted president, please. The American people are going to suffered dearly for this guy being elected twice.

  • A Smith

    Uh, you lost me at “obviously gifted.” Where did that come from?

  • Evan Strong

    He failed because he is a true, text book, 100% narcissist who truly believes he can do no wrong, is the smartest guy in every room and listens to nobody. Nothing is ever his fault. He can’t fail in his own eyes. It is impossible given how incredibly special he believes he is. He is incapable of being a team player or of learning from his mistakes, because he eventually decides he didn’t make any.

  • alan wong

    “How could such an obviously gifted President” — LOL!

    • Historybuff

      That was an early tipoff that this article is just more leftist coverup of obama.
      HB

    • Swanky

      Well he won he Nobel Peace Prize you know. Without doing anything. [slap forehead, pour whisky….]

  • http://henrikmoller.me/ Henry Miller

    Mr Bacevich’s assessment of “smart but not smart enough” is far too kind. We’ve no evidence at all that Obama is smart enough even to tie his own shoelaces without assistance.

    The truth of the matter is that, for his entire unfortunate tenure as the American President, Obama has exhibited the arrogance of profound ignorance and the over-confidence of the utterly incompetent; fundamentally, Obama isn’t even smart enough to understand the extent of his own incompetence.

    Obama is a well-tailored but empty suit who nicely reads from a teleprompter words written by others.

    • Swanky

      And that’s probably the nicest thing one could say about him. I view him in far bleaker terms. He is the farthest Left president we have ever had — and the most dangerous on that account.

  • Climax

    Obama has failed as President for many reasons. First, he lacks the qualifications and spine to lead, plus he has never had executive experience in his life. Second, his view of the world is naive, dangerous and mostly wrong. Third, the man has no credibility at home or abroad. He lied and deceived the American people to ram the ACA through Congress and his foreign policy red-lines in the sand carry no weight with our adversaries. His word means virtually nothing. Fourth, he accepts almost no responsibility or accountability for his administration when events go poorly. Fifth, he has divided the country along racial and economic lines and turned many Americans against their own government. Sixth, the man is arrogant and does not even try to learn from his mistakes. Obama has been a utter failure and nearly everything he touches has turned to crap. The only reason he has been allowed to screw things us as badly as he has without withering criticism from the media is because he is black. And who says he is smart? He might be smooth talking and book smart, but many of his policies are idiotic and harmful to most Americans.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    0bama wouldn’t of accomplished much if not for smarter people who carry his water and a main stream media that protect him.

  • Historybuff

    Silly article… that stumbles to the right conclusion.

    obama failed because he lies, he is not a team builder/player, and he plays petty self-ego politics.
    HB

  • Brian McGrath

    The Democrat Party:
    – growing government
    – creating poverty
    – promoting victims
    – perpetuating racism
    – dividing people.

  • leslem

    Obama is not as smart as he would like you to believe. His speeches run around and then run around so it goes. He is a preacher wanting you to buy his goods. Americans are smarter than that

  • Bill Litsheim

    More excuses for Obama, how original.

  • nobama1267

    Another story by one of berry’s butt buddies.

  • sailplanepilot

    What a waste of six years.

  • Who dat?

    It’s not that difficult: hussein is anti-American, and by extension, anti-Western. And foolish American voters fell for his lefty rubbish

    • Gray Wolf

      The only country in history stupid enough to elect a leader a man who didn’t like them

  • CapitalistRoader

    The US had not ‘won’ the Cold War. Rather, with the Soviet-American rivalry having inflicted massive damage on principals and bystanders alike, the Soviet leadership had finally called it quits…

    Um, yeah, when your opponent “calls it quits” it means you won, he lost. Is that so hard to grasp? Even for an old red-diaper baby? We won, they lost. It’s a pretty easy concept to understand. There was no detente. There was no armistice. The good guys won. The bad guys lost.

    • Who dat?

      Bingo, winner!

    • RufusChoate

      You do know that Andrew J. Bacevich is an American and a former Colonel in the US Army. I am also an American but believe supporting Western Civilization from barbarians whether Islamic or Russian is a moral duty that America must fulfill.

    • Cyril Sneer

      Vlad won’t be invading Poland or the Baltic States. To think so reveals a distinct lack of knowledge on what Putin wants.

      Russia is not the biggest threat to world peace either – that accolade goes to the USA.

  • Agent__86

    “Barack Obama…such an obviously gifted President…moved into the Oval Office about as well equipped to serve as global CEO as Kim Kardashian is to run one of Wall Street’s larger investment banks.”
    ———————–
    This guy’s really gifted and logical. Tingly-leg syndrome does that to ’em. ROFL!

  • fredgill

    “This very smart man” was just not very smart. His worshippers, who included 90% of the media, certainly thought he was. Oh, well.

  • mertsj

    Written by a George McGovern fellow. Enough said.

  • Ziv Bnd

    Obama is an empty suit. It is a tragedy that it took 6 years for America to realize it. The man couldn’t lead 6 feet of string around the block without tripping over it. But even after he fails, he blames it on the people he let down, not on his own inadequacies.
    The 2014 elections were the “teachable moment” he spoke of, but he failed to realize it.

  • Joe_NS

    Poor, pathetic Andrew Bacevich. His son was, sadly, killed in Iraq, so of course George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are the authors of all evil in the world forever, and Bacevich must begin his pitiful essay establishing George Bush’s place in history. That is what is really important, you see. In fact, the reader can skip everything else from the first sentence onward. The anti-Obama critique is sheer opportunism, a chance to chew the bitter cud yet again.

    Let it go, Mr. Bacevich. You are a grotesque fool if you seriously believe that you can assert today what George Bush’s place in “history” will be. We know how you hope ‘history” will regard him. We also know why you hope that. But it’s not enough. It’s not within your power to pronounce definitively on future events. It simply isn’t, so get a grip.

    This never-ending vendetta of yours is frankly sick and sick-making. Your son was proud to serve his country in Iraq.

  • Gray Wolf

    “How could such an obviously gifted President,………”

    “Obviously gifted” ONLY to people who are bad readers of people.
    Bacevich expected Obama to fully reverse all of the Bush policies.
    He didn’t, so Bacevich is disappointed.
    As far as the cold war:
    If my opponent quits and leaves the field, that means I won.
    Bacevich has an illogical view of “winning.”
    I have read one of his books and this essay is consistent with a shallow pseudo-intellectual ingratiating himself with the far left academic world that he has joined.
    Typical academic bloviating – why use 100 words when 1000 words will do?

  • Tyrone Slothrop

    “President George W. Bush’s place in history is already guaranteed, fixed by a series of monumental blunders that no amount of revisionism will ever be able to whitewash. By comparison, historians are likely to have a hard time drawing a bead on Barack Obama.”

    Extraordinarily biased and short-sighted pronouncement. Once GWB’s administration has outdistanced small minds like Bacevich’s, it will be granted that Bush was the one who was dealt a bad hand, and that he played it as well as any president could have. As for “drawing a bead” on Barack Obama, there will scarcely be a place he can stand and not be a target. Obama’s administration will long be reviled as the most corrupt, incompetent, divisive and destructive administration the nation has ever experienced.

  • mwayne09

    It must drive you liberals crazy that barack Hussein obama makes G W Bush look like Albert Einstein .

    I did also take note that in order to bash obama , the author just had to bash Bush as well.

    Even in obamas downfall, Bush ‘has to be’ damned as well.

    History will be kind to Bush, but obama ………………………………..not so much.

    • Guest

      4 short sentences, that say it all
      I will use your first one in the future with your permission, it’s perfect

  • G Tegs

    Very smart man??? There has been nothing to substantiate that claim.

  • oracleofwinder

    Classic Obama GARBAGE:
    1. Blame it on Bush
    2. Blame it on everyone else
    3. It’s not the “Anointed One’s” fault !

  • craigvan

    It’s not that Obama’s foreign policy is a failure, but rather he completely disagrees with Bacevich. Listening to Obama’s speeches would never give one the idea that he believes humanity would be better served by the US withdrawing.

  • tjb357452

    Columbia’s George McGovern Fellow. Well, that explains everything, doesn’t it.

  • Twoiron

    Andrew queries: “How could such an obviously gifted President, swept into office on a wave of immense expectations, have managed to accomplish so little in his attempted management of global affairs?”

    “Immense expectations?” Yes, among low-information voters, perhaps. “Obviously gifted?” REALLY, Andrew???? Was it the plastic Greek columns in Denver or the photos of him body-surfing in the Pacific that won you over, Andrew?

    It can surely be said that America has never had a prezzie quite like Hussein Obama.

    To begin with, he was virtually un-vetted in spite of a two-year election campaign.

    Obama is an enigmatic combination of vacuous experience doing anything meaningful…a paucity of legislative accomplishment as both a State representative and a US Senator…a self-admitted lazy person…a narcissistic and petulant personality and social skills in dealing with people and problems…and a divisive character about him that separates and divides people in countless ways.

    And what about the promiscuous lying???

    Obama’s grade as prezzie: F. (I don’t believe you can give a person an “F-” which is what he really deserves.)

  • Smargalicious

    The O-man, Barack Hussein Obama, is an eloquently tailored empty suit. No resume, no accomplishments, no experience, no original ideas, no understanding of how the economy works, no understanding of how the world works, no balls, nothing but abstract, empty rhetoric devoid of real substance.

    He has no real identity. He is half-white, which he rejects. The rest of him is mostly Arab, which he hides but is disclosed by his non-African Arabic surname and his Arabic first and middle names as a way to triply proclaim his Arabic parentage to people in Kenya . Only a small part of him is African Black from his Luo grandmother, which he pretends he is exclusively.

    What he isn’t, not a genetic drop of, is ‘African-American,’ the descendant of enslaved Africans brought to America chained in slave ships. He hasn’t a single ancestor who was a slave. Instead, his Arab ancestors were slave owners. Slave-trading was the main Arab business in East Africa for centuries until the British ended it.

    Let that sink in: Obama is not the descendant of slaves, he is the descendant of slave owners. Thus he makes the perfect Liberal Messiah.

    It’s something Hillary doesn’t understand – how some complete neophyte came out of the blue and stole the Dem nomination from her. Obamamania is beyond politics and reason. It is a true religious cult, whose adherents reject Christianity yet still believe in Original Sin, transferring it from the evil of being human to the evil of being white.

    Thus Obama has become the white liberals’ Christ, offering absolution from the Sin of Being White. There is no reason or logic behind it, no faults or flaws of his can diminish it, no arguments Hillary could make of any kind can be effective against it. The absurdity of Hypocrisy Clothed In Human Flesh being their Savior is all the more cause for liberals to worship him: Credo quia absurdum, I believe it because it is absurd.

    Thank heavens that the voting majority of Americans remain Christian and are in no desperate need of a phony savior.

    He is ridiculous and should not be taken seriously by any thinking American.

    And yet he got elected, not once but twice. Thanks to those that did not think it was important to vote for freedom and those that were willing to give up their freedoms for entitlements.

    Remember you don’t have to be on a southern plantation to be a slave, if you are dependent on government entitlements you just have a different slave owner.

  • RufusChoate

    This is risible nonsense being proffered by a dolt who might harbor some animus to President Bush for the loss of his son in Iraq: Andrew J. Bacevich, who was an early supporter of Obama is trying to rescue his tarnished integrity from his opting for a man so inept and unaccomplished in any adult craft that a homeless person living under a Washington,D.C. Bridge would look experienced in comparison. Epic stupidity is unforgivable.

    • Smargalicious

      Well said.

      • RufusChoate

        Thank you. Cheers.

  • Terry Simpson

    A truly dumb article. The first paragraph blew it when he said that Bush’s legacy in history is fixed. That is anything but true. If th author truly understood history he would remember that historians initially rated Harry Truman’s presidency at the bottom. Historians finally took the time to look at his decisions and have now moved him up to one of the best Presidents. In time, Bush will be moved up as the ugly hate filled politics of this era are set aside and a more unbiased assessment is made. Regarding Obama, he was all bluster from the beginning. He was a flim flam man who drew in every naive person in the country in believing he was the Messiah. What a joke his entire presidency had been…a costly joke at that.

  • Fthoma

    Obama is damned with faint praise, even by this boot licker.

  • gracepmc

    Not bad analysis until he played the Fox/WSJ cheap shot and revealed his hand. Sloppy for someone who is even dabbling in military analysis and education.

  • GWAR44

    fraud ….top to bottom….

  • michael

    Maybe Obama isn’t as bright and gifted as you all told yourselves he was. What did he ever accomplish before winning the noble peace prize that suggested anything?

  • MikeofAges

    Obviously gifted? An obviously gifted campaigner. But someone who had spent his entire adult life in a community noted for its extreme insularity and idiosyncratic view of the world. He was someone who had no real vision of his own, not one that would truly resonate within American society. His greatest and never to be exceeded achievement was getting elected at all. For that, he wrote his name forever in the stars. But down here on Earth, he hasn’t done so well. He never was equipped to bring the hope and change he promised. He doesn’t know what hope is, on the American ground. Never did. Never will.

  • TSURACI

    Why do we keep hearing how smart this man is? I have seen no evidence to support this claim. If he were, we would likely not be having discussions about all his failures. Please don’t give me some line about Republican “obstructionism”. A smart man would find a way to work it all out…for the good of the Country. His constant and consistent whining about his “problems” and the shifting of blame for the regression of America’s world standing are just boring now. His Administration is weak and corrupt. His actual leadership skills are weaker still.

  • Leveut

    Have you ever driven a road along a river in the early morning, where you drive through alternating patches of dense fog and clear? That is what this article reminds me of.

    Obama has not failed. He has succeeded in achieving HIS goals beyond his wildest expectations. And the results that have come, and have yet to come, from his actions are beyond the comprehension of this author.

    • Thomas_Paulick

      And I do believe what professional commenters prudently avoid saying: there’s an element of malice — not only toward the United States, conscious or otherwise, but toward people generally — that goes deeper than the ideological program that everyone recognizes. This guy is basically a turd.

  • starfire_92010

    The anatomy doesn’t have to go any farther than Obama’s brain. He’s a moron.

  • Truth Gun

    “end the Iraq War, shut down Guantanamo, and forswear torture”

    Pie in the sky.

  • Louis Thorndon

    I believe Obama is a great success by his own personal, Marxist metric.

  • LegallySpeaking

    Columbia University’s McGovern fellow….his left wing bona fides are secure….I wonder if he needed to take a full week of paid leave off to deal with the pain of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin decisions (/snark)….and yet he even he thinks Obama is a failure….

    of course, still insisting Obama is smart…well, hilarious

  • Darby42164

    One thing Obama definitely did and this author either willfully missed it or is uninformed: inequality in the U.S. is FAR worse under Obama. Obama has helped the very rich get a lot richer. Under Obama, inflation adjusted wages for the 99% have gone DOWN. Now why wouldn’t the author mention this? Obama has “fixed” the economy liberals say but in what way? He made the rich richer and the rest of use poorer. That is fixing the economy? Then those of us in the middle class now have to subsidize the poor with Obamacare through our now much higher health care premiums. It is NOT the rich who are subsidizing the poor in Obamacare, it is the family of 4 making $80K a year. So inflation adjusted wages are down, add to that health premiums going WAY up, Obamacare plans have HUGE deductibles of $6K a year, yeah, we all are doing just great. Obama said he wanted to spread the wealth around, it is just that we thought he meant the rich, not everyone BUT the rich.

  • George Scoresby

    If you had not drunk of the Obama hysteria, you would not now be scratching your head and asking how it all went wrong. Obama is probably the most unqualified human being to ever become president.

    • Thomas_Paulick

      (Even Harding was a newspaper editor and then a Senator…Even Carter was a businessman, governor, and Naval Officer…The three worst above Obama — Buchanan, Pierce, and A. Johnson — had long and occasionally distinguished public careers, and Johnson had been a craftsman of the most ordinary sort. Obama really has no precedent or comparison…)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Marks/1266358046 Paul Marks

    A deeply dishonest article. I am no fan of the RINO (“Progressive Lite”) George Walker Bush but neither he his advisers wanted to “run the world” – indeed they were not very interested in the outside world till 9/11, then Bush became convinced (what I believe to be the false theory) that spreading democracy in the Islamic world (overthrowing vicious dictatorships such as the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam in Iraq) would make such attacks (indeed Islamic holy war in general) less likely in future – the “neocon” project of spreading social democracy (Progressive style government health, education, and welfare schemes and political democracy) to places like Afghanistan – the very “nation building” that Bush had attacked in 2000 when John McCain (also mistakenly) suggested it in the Primaries.
    As for Barack Obama – any article on this man should start from Mr Obama’s life long hostility to the United States which comes from his Frankfurt School political philosophy. But a “George McGovern Fellow” at Columbia University (ground zero for the Frankfurt School in the United States since the 1930s) is hardly likely to write an honest article on anti American socialists such as Mr Obama. Yet again I ask the question – why does the Spectator magazine hire these leftists to write articles on the United States?

    • jimb82

      Because they don’t know anyone else?

    • Kennybhoy

      Good analysis.

      The Cold War ended in 1989 but for the author history begins in 2000 with the election of Bush. No mention of the liberal interventionism of the 1990s under Clinton/Blair. And no mention of 9/11. As you say, “deeply dishonest”…

  • Suzyqpie

    Charles Krauthammer was correct, “Given the administration’s extravagant ambitions, incompetence is its saving grace.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Marks/1266358046 Paul Marks

    Look how Andrew Bacevich describes the effort to oppose Marxist world conquest – it is reduced to value free “Soviet – American rivalry”. I suspect that, like the rest of the Legion of collectivists who dominate academia, Andrew Bacevich’s only real (private) objection to President Obama is that the person they once considered Comrade Barack (after all Mr Obama went to Columbia himself – and was a personal friend of the leading collectivists there) has “sold out” – that he, Mr Obama, likes being President a bit too much to work as hard he could (as much as the academics would like him to do) to utterly destroy the evil “capitalist” United States.

  • bbwh

    What a bizarre piece. Complete with “Fox” and “Kardashian” references.

    Journalism? Oh, how we miss ye.

    Quote: “Granted, Obama can claim a handful of successes. He ‘got’ bin Laden. He has negotiated a promising climate change agreement with China. And he may yet cut a deal with Iran that places curbs on that country’s nuclear programme.”

    Digging deep to try to find “positives,” for sure. Bin Laden was an effort started way before Obama, and ended with our superior forces capturing Bin Laden, not Obama. As far as China and Iran, this is laughable. Words. Both countries will do as they please and laugh at what Obama, and obviously this author, thinks they accomplished. And, what did the US give away, for what most likely will turn out to be sour deals? Journalism, anyone?

    It’s “goofy” and “silly” to NOT claim Obama’s very far left leanings. Amazing, actually. This author has not done his homework.

    Journalism? Oh, how we miss ye.

    “Smart” isn’t what this author thinks it is.

    Obama just does not live in the real world, and does not deal in reality. This has nothing to do with being “smart.” Ideology is not “smart” power.

    Ugh. This was painful to read.

    • Suzyqpie

      I have observed a leitmotif. Whenever an author is attempting to laud the grand achievements of 0bama, they always wander into the sophomoric and pedestrian detritus as illustrated by the Fox and Kardashian reference. I guess it is because a shallow fund of knowledge is challenged to, uh, explain another shallow fund of knowledge.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Marks/1266358046 Paul Marks

    Does the “self described conservative” Andrew Bacevich (in reality a “George McGovern Fellow” at Columba University) denounce the 50 year decline in the United States armed forces? That has taken the military to about 3% of the economy and the number of ships, aircraft and so on down towards 1930s levels at a time when China is massively expanding its armed forces. What about the vast increase in Federal government health, education and income support spending? A conservative (rather than a self described one) would know that it is not Constitutional for the Federal government (as opposed to the States and local governments) to get involved in such matters (that the Federal government massively cutting back what it should be doing, national defence, and vastly expanding what should not be doing – such as “Common Core” in education, or “Food Stamps” – a scheme that did not even exist in 1960 and now has more than 50 million people made dependent upon it) – and that, turning to local government, government regulation and spending as seen in New York City (where Mr Bacevich himself is based) must lead to economic and cultural collapse – not that the pro Ortega and pro Castro Mayor of New York City will be upset about that.

  • bbwh

    The view of an academic.

    LOL

  • Greg Ruland

    Absurd misreading of the President’s place in history with a cherry-picked selection of intransgient foreign policy challenges no American president other than George W. Bush faced. The modern world, geo-politically speaking, is nothing like the world faced by FDR, Eisenhower or Nixon. The proliferation of technology and terrorism, the rise of a united Europe and the disintegration of the Eastern block multiply the foreign policy challenges of a 21st century president 100-fold. The body county in the Middle East is so much higher and so fixed in the hate-filled minds of the leaders there only a President with magical powers could hope to resolve the differences. Israel, a democratic actor and our ally, is also a provocateur led by a narcissistic bully. Meanwhile, Obama withdrew our nation from endless, expensive wars the American people no longer supported and kept us safe at home. He rallied the world to confront Putin’s aggression and has exacted a price on the neo-imperialists there that did not cost American treasure or blood. No mention of his domestic agenda, of course, which must surely be considered before declaring the President a “failure.” The U.S. economy – and therefore , the world’s – is back on its feet in no small part because of Obama’s efforts to pull us back from the brink. Other than Obama, only Bush confronted the post 911 world and that dismal record speaks for itself. The actions of this President to clean up the messes left behind by the dolt and his manipulating, testosterone-crazed entourage must be considered a major improvement if not an outright success. I will concede this, the increased spying on Americans and foreign leaders is a black mark. My biggest regret is that Obama did not unravel the mostly incompetent CIA and treacherous banking interests that advance a secret government unaccountable to the people.

  • victorvictor

    Andrew is still suffering from that Kool-Aid hangover.

  • Stop2think

    If I screwed up this nation as the president of the U.S. like Obama has and got a “critique” like this one, I’d count myself blessed. What a slap on the wrist. He is not smart. Don’t delude yourselves. He was woefully inexperienced and is in fact a Leftist (there is no conservative in US politics who associates with far right groups and criminals like Obama is with the likes of leftists Sharpton and Ayers). The left can’t even criticize their own small god…how pathetic.

    • Simon_in_London

      The Left has been dominant in the US* since the 1960s, so there is no equivalency between the treatment of the far left and far right. Same goes for UK and pretty much all the Western world.

      *With the possible exception of the Louisiana State Senate.

  • Simon_in_London

    I don’t think he’s particularly talented – maybe compared to his predecessor. He had a useful insight into the mindset of the Pakistani elite due to his student experiences, which helped him ok the hit on Bin Laden – he knew it was plausible the Pakistani Deep State was shielding the head of Al Qaeda. Domestically he tends to show a small-minded bigotry against non-elite whites, and has consistently appointed bad sorts like Eric Holder. Internationally he has mostly not been appalling, but recently the neocon types (Power/Nuland/Kagan) have been running things again – luckily they didn’t get to attack Syria, but they did overthrow the government in Ukraine and provoke damaging conflict with Russia. Nothing disastrous to the extent of the 2003 Iraq invasion, but not good. Financially, Wall Street remains dominant.

    Overall Obama has been a third-quartile President; not as bad as I feared in 2008, but certainly nothing of the messiah his fans expected.

    • Kennybhoy

      “…but they did overthrow the government in Ukraine and provoke damaging conflict with Russia.”

      An EU project rather than a US one.

  • peter white

    Iraq and 911 overreaction is the salient characteristic Bush demonstrated.
    Racial, class and political division is the salient characteristic Obama demonstrated.

  • http://batman-news.com The Commentator

    His work on drones is certainly pioneering: by any interpretation of international law Obama is a war criminal, personally authorising the extra-judicial killing of US citizens. Great achievement for a Nobel peace prize winner.

  • mhortman

    Lost me at “gifted”.

  • http://citizen5408.com/ gregcontreras

    Ummm, OK, and he’s not far, far left by what assessment? Granted, his foreign policy has been akin to a George McGovern Democrat: “America is generally the problem, so it’s best that its power should decline,” but his embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was certainly not mainstream. And, I’m disappointed you didn’t detail how Putin effectively mopped the floor with Obama every which way. As to domestic policy, he is a regulation-issuing machine, he’s a modern day Lilliputian, restraining the American Economic Gulliver. C’mon, your mostly fair assessment is diminished by your worldview. The vast majority of Americans still believe free markets are the best path to prosperity, and prosperity is devoutly to be wished, as it is more fairly shared. Whereas, government share its fruits with its friends, private industry actually hires the lumpen, not just lawyers and bureaucrats. Far left ideologues don’t believe in widely share prosperity because “the planet” or something. You, the geniuses in the Academic echo-chamber, are becoming a parody of yourselves. Otherwise, bangin’ analysis.

  • jbspry

    “When it comes to foreign policy, this very smart man was not quite smart enough to appreciate the magnitude of the problems he inherited, to understand how little he knew, and to recruit a team with sufficient talent to help him bridge the yawning gap between the first two.”

    A less charitable reading:
    “When it comes to foreign policy, this man who believes himself so very smart found that the greater world was less impressed with his intellect than he himself is, and this hubris born of privilege led him to surround himself with obvious inferiors, to the detriment of his administration, his country and the world at large.”

  • The Masked Marvel

    He has negotiated a promising climate change agreement with China.

    That farce is a success?

    Obama’s more strident critics — the types who appear on Fox News or publish shrill op-eds in the Wall Street Journal
    — denounce him as a far-left radical. Obama, they contend, is way, way
    outside of the American political mainstream (and by implication does
    not really qualify as fully American).

    The charge is plainly goofy. Here’s an assessment that is more likely
    to stick: when it comes to foreign policy, this very smart man was not
    quite smart enough to appreciate the magnitude of the problems he
    inherited, to understand how little he knew, and to recruit a team with
    sufficient talent to help him bridge the yawning gap between the first
    two.

    On the contrary. Read various speeches and statements of his second adviser on foreign affairs, Susan Power. Obama had a team of far-Left ideologues working on ‘smart diplomacy’. That didn’t happen by accident. And don’t mention Valerie Jarrett, whatever you do.

    It’s also a bit, er, misleading to suggest that Obama’s most strident critics are calling him a far-left radical based on foreign policy alone. It’s much more about domestic policy, on which there can be little doubt of his ideology. Most of this article seems to be blaming someone else, or exterior circumstances beyond Obama’s control. History will likely treat him more harshly. Depending on who the victors are, of course.

  • Todd Sargent

    If Obama is so “very smart,” as the author claims, then why is he in a job the author says he is quite unsuited for, and why has he surrounded himself with unqualified people?

    • CLEmom

      Agree.
      There is zero proof of Obama’s supposed great intellect.
      Zero.
      Frankly, when he speaks off-prompter, he sounds like a dolt, and his grammar isn’t so hot, either.

  • CLEmom

    This piece lost me by the 3rd sentence: …”How could such an enormously gifted president”…
    What in his past could possibly lead anyone to view this man as exceptionally gifted at, well, anything?
    He admittedly spent his early academic years totally stoned.
    He somehow (??) made it through the Ivy League, attempted a career as a lawyer (apparently not very well), then embarked on an illustrious tenure as a community organizer (whatever that is).
    Then, thanks to a dirty Chicago political machine, he gets to the Senate, where he spends most of his time voting “present”.

    This is a “gifted” man?
    Lucky, yes.
    Unethical/corrupt to get into the WH? Probably.
    Gifted? No.

    • Summer Tyme

      What in his past could possibly lead anyone to view this man as exceptionally gifted at, well, anything?

      ^ Did he not demolish two consecutive GOP Presidential campaigns and become one of only 4 Presidents in the last century to win two consecutive absolute majority terms?

      Did he not inherit a dying economy, but now 6 years later sits atop the strongest economy in the world?

      Did he not end two wars, and dispatch America’s greatest enemy to the bottom of the Persian gulf?

      Did he not save our auto industry, and reform wall street?

      Is the stock market not at an all time record high.

      Did we not create the most jobs in 2014 of any time since the Clinton Boom of 1990’s?

      Is our deficit not declining at a faster pace now than any time since WWII?

      If this doesn’t require a gifted leader then please do this —->

      Type out a list of YOUR accomplishments, so we can make an objective comparison.

      I won’t hold my breadth waiting. :eye roll:

  • Andre Hospidales

    America’s economy grew by a staggering 5% in the last quarter. No other country in the world has experienced that type of growth especially at a time when most countries in Europe especially, are stagnating and facing the real prospect of recession. Gas prices are the cheapest in America they’ve been in 7 years mainly as a direct result of Obama’s policies. Bush or Romney would nver have allowed gas prices to get that low. They are oil men. He’s cut supplies from many oil producing countries, which has been largely instrumental in the fall. The bullying from OPEC is a thing of the past. This is down to Obama. Obamacare is a work in progress, but has given healthcare to millions of people that never had a chance of getting healthcare. The stock market is buoyant, and creating new records every week. Consumer confidence is at its highest its been for years, most Americans describe themselves as happier than they’ve been for years, the deficit is down, unemployment is down. He saved the auto manufacturing industry in hist first term, he wouldn’t compromise on Keystone because of the potential damage to the environment even though he could have scored huge popularity points by approving it. He’s turned the arrogant Russian bear into a curb, and North Korea suddenly look vulnerable.

    This is failure??? What would you term success?

    I think not dealing with the ISIS problem is the only failure I can point to. But to describe him as a failure, just doesn’t bear out.

    • Summer Tyme

      I think not dealing with the ISIS problem is the only failure I can point to.

      ^ I will agree but even here ISIS was created in 2003 and is a direct consequence of what George Will called:

      -> The worst decision in American history: The Iraq War.

      That’s right – George Will said this.

      Why?

      Because the US responded to 9-11 an attack staged by religious fanatic Al Qaeda in Afghanistan – by overthrowing a secular government in Iraq.

      Supposedly this was about WMD’s but this was a complete lie.

      It was really meant to misdirect the American people from W and Cheney’s failures on 9-11

      There were no WMD’s in Iraq.

      And perversely because of Saddam – a secular ruler’s iron hand, there was no Al Qaeda in Iraq either.

      And there was no ISIS – because ISIS did not exist.

      Religious fanatics are the result of the overthrow of the secular regime.

      W and Cheney created this insanity via cynical twisting of America’s and their guilt.

      We need to bring our troops home: and NOT fight Dick Cheney’s chicken hawk Jihad!

  • Roger Choate

    The comments are generally sillier than the article. American presidents are seldom if ever well versed in foreign policy which plays second fiddle to domestic politics. Obama probably chose among the best available to guide him. They didn’t always suffice.

  • Alexandra S

    Oh I get it! Obama’s blunders are all Bush’s fault. And again democrats find ways to blame someone else.

    • Summer Tyme

      ^ Wrong. No one blames Bush for finding Bin Laden, ending the wars, reviving the economy, or saving the auto industry I assure you.

      I have heard desperate GOP delusionals attempt to “credit” Bush for the above though.

      Either way, they are good for a laugh!

      • Cyril Sneer

        Obama didn’t find Bin Laden, he watched Bin Laden get shot on TV, that’s all. To make a claim that he found Bin Laden is the stuff of lala liberal unicorn land.

        “Ending the wars” – I’m not seeing any wars that have ended, quite the opposite. Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya all failed states and of which Obama has either been directly or indirectly responsible for – Syria especially, he has the blood of 500k Syrians on his hands as well as being responsible for the Wahabi Islamic caliphate that has arisen whereby minorities are being exterminated.

        The world is less safe now than it was before Obama came to power.

        I didn’t think it could be possible to get worse than Bush, I was wrong.

  • Thomas_Paulick

    President George W. Bush’s place in history is already guaranteed, fixed
    by a series of monumental blunders that no amount of revisionism will
    ever be able to whitewash.

    The year is young, but this is the stupidest sentence I’ve seen so far. And the author himself fears that it isn’t true, or he wouldn’t have stated it so strongly. Like Peggy Noonan, he evaluates Bush entirely on the basis of his own emotional state.

    • Summer Tyme

      ^ You only make the author’s point again, there is nothing you can say to whitewash Bush failures.

      WMD, Guantanamo, 9-11, Katrina, Economic meltdown.

      ^ But go ahead…and try ->

  • Thomtids

    Like our own PM, he got the job because he can learn his words and deliver them. Unfortunately, the job description omitted integrity, or intelligence. Nor the need to have any work experience, sense of History or a grip on reality.

  • Carter Lee

    Obama is no more of a failure than Jack Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton and Bush 43. Every one of them was a failure in the larger sense.

    • Jide Pearce

      America’s economy grew by 5% in the last quarter. How in the world can this be failure?

      • Summer Tyme

        It’s not a “failure” of course.

        When you have to plead the case for failure that’s a sign of a weak argument.

        Failure – W. Bush, Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon – is most often self evident.

        Obama has given us 60 straight months of private sector job growth, 11 million new jobs, and an almost unprecedented combination of:

        – low unemployment
        – low inflation
        – low interest rates
        – low gas prices
        – rising wages
        – high rate of job growth
        and….
        – record stock market

        The article is so warped as to dismiss the economy as if it were a lone bright spot, and focus instead on whiny b*tchment on a series of foreign problems which are not any of my concern or Obama’s business.

        Weak stuff in spite of the grotesque cartoon, and resultant hyperbolic vitriol which actually reflects the author’s lack of class and dignity while saying nothing about the President.

        I can personally say that *right now*, our economy is in the best condition since the 1990’s.

        Obama has been a success.

        • Summer Tyme

          BTW: the American people seem to agree.

          Obama is back up to a 49% approval rating per gallop, similar to Reagan’s at this point in his presidency.

          Compare to the 13% approval for the GOP congress, or W Bush’s approval rating which had already fallen into the low 30’s by now – and this was *before* the economic meltdown which this incompetent GOP FOOL caused.

      • Rifleman1853

        And how has America’s national debt grown since Obama took office?

      • Vern Shotwell

        …economy grew at an ANNUALIZED 5%. Meanwhile, the debt grew at a REAL 6 %. Horrific!

  • D17 man

    1st nobody will EVER forget G.W. and Co, and for all the wrong reasons.
    2nd Obama was not elected to run the world – he was elected by citizens of
    the USA to run the USA, To try to correct some of the excesses of greed
    of the previous years and to try to get some reality into Washington
    politics. Wrong person – for that you need MERLIN the Magician !!

    • Summer Tyme

      Lol. Nice reply

  • Summer Tyme

    President George W. Bush’s place in history is already guaranteed, fixed by a series of monumental blunders that no amount of revisionism will ever be able to whitewash.

    ___________

    This is true though it doesn’t stop the far right from trying. Maybe Liz Cheney will be the last one to turn the lights out on GOP goofiness.

    However….

    The article is completely wrong about Obama, because it imagines that America’s job is to engage in some kind of Western-values Jihad.

    It is not.

    Obama promised two things only out of foreign policy:

    Find Bin Laden and end US war in Afghanistan.

    And end the silly/god awful pointless criminal war in Iraq.

    He has done both…..

    He has done lots more – that is good, but even if he does ***nothing else*** he is one of the best foreign policy Presidents of this generation.

    Period – all the rest of the article is just babbling to no avail, to an American public that is sick and tired of GOP_Jihad, or America – World_POLICE and savior.

    Enough!

  • Featuredplayer

    I would submit that Obama is the most virulent racist in America.

    “The organizer dedicated to changing the life of a particular community must first rub raw the resentments of the people of the community; fan the latent hostilities of many of the people to the point of overt expression. He must search out controversy and issues, rather than avoid them, for unless there is controversy people are not concerned enough to act. -Saul Alinsky

    My contempt for Obama has nothing to do with his skin pigmentation or national origin. It has everything to do with who he is as a person. He is bigoted towards those who don’t agree with him. He sees color and race as the defining characteristics of a person. He has no idea what it means to judge a person by the content of their heart.

    This “experiment” of the first black president ought to be very instructive about race in America and Liberalism in general. Namely, it is this: acquiescence and indulging them does not placate them, or fill them with any kind of appreciation or gratitude that things have changed. No, it seems to enrage them more, animate them, and convince them that the very virtue and righteousness of their cause demands that they reach for more. Rather than seeing progress, grievances they carry seem to be amplified, making them appear to be implacable. In short, their success makes them more unreasonable and reactionary, not less.

    How far we have traveled from the laudable vision of Martin Luther King, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” to a president who was elected because of the color of his skin in spite of his character.

    This man, Obama, is exceedingly dangerous to the cause of Liberty for the citizens of the United States of ALL colors.

    • Thomas_Paulick

      (This is only two cents worth…

      Two things make his racism more contemptible than it otherwise would be.

      a) He had no connection with slavery, or Jim Crow, or even “African Americans”. His “identity” isn’t based on the rotten history or racism in the US, or on any personal prejudice he’s experienced, but on race itself — in a vacuum, as it were.

      b) He was given an upbringing of extraordinary privilege — private secondary education, Occidental, Columbia, Harvard — that most kids can’t even aspire to, entirely by his white relatives. The only significant blacks in his whole life were the father who abandoned him and the “preacher” who conflated “Christianity” with racist resentment.

      He chose to be racist. It wasn’t an outgrowth of anything else>)

      • Rifleman1853

        Good points, Thomas, and very clearly put.

  • Wideawake

    I would also like to say that the cretinous lot at the Spectator a right winged propaganda trash posing as suave political journalism, played a poor hand badly themselves! Obama has the courage to step aside from the Jewish lobby in the USA and include all sides in peaceful dialog instead of the bullish triumphalist shout of war- He dares to respect even his foes but has shown an equally cold and calculating thinker who often catches his enemies ( media included ) off guard.
    He has presided over unprecedented growth in all sectors of the American economy when the doubters said it was not possible, unemployment, interest rates, the deficit, Wall Street, all are doing better than the nay sayers. The spectator and other right winged propagandist media, fails to credit him for anything worthwhile. The world is tired of wars and rumours of wars that is all the world conservatives crave for as it is their bread and butter. Obama’s legacy would be after he has gone and as usual confessions made down the line.

  • Tim

    A weak President. But the last strong President was Nixon. And everyone hated him and still does! You get the President you deserve; nay that you are.

  • 1Mojo_Risin9

    There are those who thought Obama didn’t have the slightest chance of succeeding and I count myself among those. Remember the honest vetting that was done to his qualifications, past accomplishments and associates? No, neither do I…!

  • Wideawake

    Judging by the quality of the comments below I could see where the spectator is headed. it is now reaching out to intellectual lightweights with articles written by said!

  • Pebbles

    Republicans plunged the entire world into recession, America was heading for a depression and is now one of very few countries showing growth but noooo because he is black none of you will ever see anything positive in anything he has done. He lived up to what he promised, he brought people’s children back from Iraq and Afghanistan where they were being slaughtered, he introduced a better medical system for ordinary Americans, he caught Osama bin Laden something the Republicans could not do, he has made it better for immigrants who have lived and worked in the US making positive contribution to that country, he has ended the cold war between the US and Cuba… but oh no… that is all nothing because he is a black man. Did you all want him to walk on water too?

    • MRHapla

      those artificially high OPEC prices, no shale oil on market, Democrat home loan BS, amateur Negro in the WH? How does Cuba help the US?
      Obozocide is not “better medical system” it is a medical INSURANCE Ponzi scheme, and a poorly thought out one at that.

      Take your PCLibBS and choke on it from both ends.

      • Pebbles

        Kills you doesn’t that a black man had to clean up the mess made by people of your ilk when all along you were thinking you were so superior. It is your self centred and greedy attitude which plunged the world into disaster in 2008, the same attitude which would see Americans of all racial types die for the want of medical care. People like you are leeches who think that you should suck up the world resources just because you are a particular shade which gives you some type of entitlement. Get this right you nonentity, the world is not for you alone so step back and shut up and find your place. The future does not recognise you, racists like you have been condemned to the past and you will now have to navigate your way through life on intelligence alone and given your diatribe it is obvious that the two brain cells you possess have been put into retirement so your day is over.

  • chris

    Hey, it seems you are ignorant of Obama’s achievements. Or possibly you are racist or just pretending to recognize his achievements. Hypocrisy of the highest order. How can Obama be compared to Bush. Be fair to all in your judgement. The highest academic achievement does not guarantee performance. I think Obama has done creditably well than Bush.

  • fizzo

    If this failure were a Republican, this author wouldn’t be so charitable. Our enemies laugh at us while they decapitate American Jews & Christians. Meantime our allies don’t balieve we have the rocks to help them .
    Failure is an understatement

  • Donna Lasater

    Obama’s just not that smart.

    • Jide Pearce

      By your standards, he may not be smart, but he’s achieved more than any other American president in history. When was the last time America’s economy experienced 5% growth at a time when most other countries are facing recession? Which president has been able to put Putin in his place? Iran and North Korea suddenly look vulnerable for the first time ever. Teh smirking is gone. This is all Obama. Obamacare is a work in progress, but how many more people now have a chance at healthcare? The bullying from OPEC is a thing of the past. Obama has “quietly” strengthened restored America’s place in the world as a leading force without the rhetoric. The man is quite simply exceptional. And I’m going by the facts, not emotions unlike most of you guys.

      • Donna Lasater

        All of which you write is JUST NOT TRUE! I don’t have time to go through point by point where you are wrong but you are.

        • Jide Pearce

          Sweetie, you don’t have to go through point by point. Pick ONE point that is not true. ONE single point. I guess its just too painful for you to accept, isn’t it. Well the man’s not done yet.

          • Donna Lasater

            You’re a liar plain and simple. Not one thing you wrote is true. That’s all you progs can do is lie. Every thought and every word you utter is a lie. Live with it.

          • Donna Lasater

            You revel in your lies. Live with it.

  • Terry Simpson

    The author completely blew his credibility when he said the Bush’s place in history is guaranteed. Talk about uninformed and biased. History has shown that most past president’s records and decisions are re-evaluated and their positions changed. Harry Truman is a prime example. He was very unpopular when he left the WH, and was rated a mediocre President. Decades later, historians decided many of his decisions and policies were right and he is now labeled among the best Presidents. Bush will similary be re-evaluated and moved up. The curent biased and hate-filled politics will be set aside in future decades and a more objective evalution will occur. The author of this article should look for another line of work…such as flipping burgers.

    • jimb82

      He is a Democrat hack. In 2008 he wrote an article about why conservatives should support Obama.

  • FreedomFan

    Democrats now must turn on Obama. Otherwise they would hafta admit that marxism is a failure…. again.

  • Charlie

    Obama is the best president he has not shed single drop of American blood stupid spectator article throw to the dumps! !!!!

    • Rifleman1853

      “Obama is the best president . . “

      . . when it comes to increasing America’s national debt? For sure – he’s in a class all by himself.

      ” . . he has not shed single drop of American blood.”

      Apart from in Iraq, Afghanistan and Benghazi. But, as his Sec. of State said, afterwards:

      “At this point in time, what difference does it make?”

      But I note that she never had the guts to ask that question of the children left fatherless by the stupidity of herself, her department, and that of her boss.

  • helen souza

    He has proven to be a serial liar. Capable of saying I didn’t say that when we are watching video of him doing it. He is thin skinned and surrounds himself with the likes of Tommy Vietor and Valerie Jarrett. He is never responsible for his mistakes. He either just heard about it on the news or still hasn’t gotten to it. When he’s asked to comment, he can’t because of an ongoing investigation. It just goes on and on. I am so tired of this man and the low quality staff he has handpicked. It all went wrong and it was all predictable.

  • John Huizinga

    A balanced and respectful assessment — but to say that Obama is a ‘very smart man’ is not believable. The earlier statement that he’d assimilated platitudes that substituted for careful analysis seems closer to the mark.

  • michael

    well, if we go back to 2008, I doubt anyone would have read your article since most of us were losing money right and left. The entire economy of the western world was going down fast. Thanks to Obama we, were able to get through that. It was a much bigger problem than Obama or anyone else thought it was. It will happen again and guess what, we won’t have the right person around to fix it next time. I promise.

    • WFB56

      You’re taking economic illiteracy to new depths. Obama’s role was negligible and after the fact.

    • theloquaciousliberal

      Amen!

  • http://twitter.com/WinstonCDN WinstonCDN

    So cute when communists like the author see their former idol as a failure. Love it.

  • A Simple Guest

    do you know that there is an article from 2008: “Obama will trigger World War III starting from the Crimea peninsula”

    ”Under the new U.S. President Barack Obama in the Crimea will be implemented scenario of armed conflict.” It is the American scenario, and under Obama the probability is much higher than under McCain, ” – said at a roundtable in Kiev, Russian political scientist Andrei Okara, said ” New Region ” .

    Expert explains : “It became clear when it was announced that what people will represent the Obama team . These are people whose professional registration – Wall Street. These people are engaged in a technology called ” technologies of controlled chaos . ”

    According to Okara, after Georgia area ”controlled chaos” in the first place , was to be the Ukraine, namely – Crimea . ”This is the point of a fire, including global conflicts that escalate into a world war, which, unfortunately, is one of the scenarios, the implementation of which at the moment from the real” – says the
    analyst. […]”

  • Meltonmark

    I think America, like several other ‘Western’ countries confused technological pre-eminence with moral might. They thought the former automatically conferred the latter. The world has woken up to the sheer corruption and wickedness of Western leadership. Sadly, such leaders are usually a reflection of the electorate who ultimately put them there.

  • Bridget

    What a bitter pill to have to swallow for all the propagandist of Barrack Hussein Obama. An almost 100% praising of their dear leader from political to cultural and all they have is one failed policy after another and gittmo is still open and al sharpton is 0’s right hand race man. This is what “leading from behind ” gets you and then all those lies. You know Andrew possibly you might want to read the shrill op-ed’s in the WSJ and watch Fox News more often at the very least you will learn what journalism is as opposed to delusionalism ( my word). Hopefully 0’s golf game has improved, Lord knows he’s had plenty of practice.

    • theloquaciousliberal

      The Lord knows everything, including the facts, and we Christians are exhorted not to bear false witness (that means “don’t tell lies”). During his 8-year presidency, George W. Bush took 879 days of vacation. So far Obama has taken about 150 days. Before his two-week trip to Martha’s Vineyard in August, Obama’s count was 125 days and Bush’s total at the same point in his presidency was 407.

      So… the crack about his golf game is pure “delusionalism.” I’m curious, did you hear that word from a disoriented bubble-headed blond on FOX News? Just a friendly warning, don’t repeat anything you hear on that channel unless you want to sound like a 900-year-old racist idiot.

  • Cindy Brooks

    Obama is the captain of the jv team that works in the White House. He’s just not smart enough to realize it.

  • AAA

    I have gone through almost all the arguments you Guys have posted, I realise that Racism can never become dinosaurs(extinct). No wonder there are many Autistic Children nowadays because of the brainless fathers and Mothers.
    If God were to come down from Heavens and rule the World, some of you brainless guys will still criticise His governance.Can anyone point to me just a country with perfect government in the World today OR in the past?
    I know that you want to say something, but before you open your mouth, search yourself first, could you have done better than Mr Obama OR can you suggest one person who you think could have done better than him? Do not allow envy or jealousy to destroy your life. You can not even govern your family, how many ex’s have you got? some of you are bunch of hypocrites!
    98% of you guys have racial bias against Mr Obama, but PLEASE do not pass it to your children. I am afraid, it’s might be in your gene/DNA, that may be difficult to get rid of, but do not evangelise racism!

  • Dodgy Geezer

    …He has negotiated a promising climate change agreement with China. …
    It’s not ‘promising’ – it’s a fudge. For the very good reason that climate change was always a scam, and the science has now collapsed. All climate change policies will have to be reversed – this one will be easy to do…

    …For my money, the Obama legacy is likely to be defined by two developments that have not yet fully matured: drones and cyberwarfare. …

    Nothing, of course, to do with Obama. These are technologies which have been developed by engineers and come to fruition in his presidency. He did nothing to create them, and has done nothing to control them or direct them – in any case it’s a bit early to see which way they are taking our world. It may be wise of him to do nothing about them for the present, but I can’t see that as a legacy…

  • Rifleman1853

    “By comparison (with the Bush presidency), historians are likely to have a hard time drawing a bead on Barack Obama.”

    Oh, I don’t think so, Mr Bacevich. As you say yourself, they’ve got the failure to close Gitmo, failure to achieve any peace agreement re. Israel, failure to achieve a meaningful nuclear agreement with Iran – plus a couple you didn’t mention, such as an all-time record for increasing America’s national debt, the relentless trashing of the Constitutional rights of American citizens, his repeated actions which go far beyond his Constitutional authority (vide Executive Orders), and the utter shambles that was Benghazi.

    “How could such an obviously gifted President . . . “

    Gifted? In what respect? What ‘gifts’ had he shown before he was elected? Apart from great skill in portraying himself as some kind of political superman?

    ” . . swept into office on a wave of immense expectations . . “

    . . expectations which he and his team deliberately hyped up to a frenzy . .

    ” . . have managed to accomplish so little in his attempted management of global affairs?”

    Well, the obvious answer is that he wasn’t anywhere near as ‘gifted’ as you seem to think; and the obvious second point is that he was an idiot to make such preposterous claims based on nothing more than self-delusions on his part, and wishful thinking on the part of his voters.

    I used to work with a saleswoman who’s approach was exactly that of Obama; “The answer is YES! Now, what’s the question?”

    Though she was great at getting the customer’s signature on a first contract, her record for getting repeat business was abysmal; the customers found, to their anger, that she had promised them things without telling anyone else in-house, AND she had promised things the company could not deliver.

    Take, for example, Obama’s promise to close Gitmo – a promise made well before he was elected. Over a year after he was sworn in, a reporter asked him when was Gitmo going to be closed. Obama replied:

    “We’re working on it.”

    So he made the promise to close it down without having either a method or time-scale in place? Yep – just like my ‘colleague’; make a rash promise, and hope that somebody else could deliver it for her.

    As you say yourself:

    “Obama moved into the Oval Office about as well equipped to serve as global CEO as Kim Kardashian is to run one of Wall Street’s larger investment banks. Little evidence exists to suggest that prior to becoming President he had evolved a distinctive world-view.”

    Ignorance is forgivable, up to a point; no incoming president knows it all. Stupidity and arrogance, on the other hand, are not forgiveable – and especially not in someone who puts himself forward for the job of one of the most powerful politicians in the world. It was HIS responsibility to make sure that he had the knowledge, the skills and the supporting team to work effectively before even considering running for office. Your own words, quoted above, show that you admit he failed on all three scores.

    And you call him ‘smart’? SMART?? I shudder to think how bad he’d have to be for you to call him as thick as a brick.

    “Granted, Obama can claim a handful of successes. He ‘got’ bin Laden.”

    Really? When did he join the US Navy Seals?

    “And he may yet cut a deal with Iran that places curbs on that country’s nuclear programme. Let’s hope so.”

    And I may yet get a hot date with Rachel McAdams – but there’s a huge gulf between ‘may’ and ‘will’.

    And you end by reinforcing your previous words with this final damning assessment:

    “Here’s an assessment that is more likely to stick: when it comes to foreign policy, this very smart man was not quite smart enough to appreciate the magnitude of the problems he inherited, to understand how little he knew, and to recruit a team with sufficient talent to help him bridge the yawning gap between the first two.”

    Yep – I think that assessment will stick like superglue to a fluffy blanket, but I think it needs a couple of corrections:

    “This ALLEGEDLY very smart man was too ignorant to understand the magnitude of the problems which (LIKE ALL PRESIDENTS) he inherited, too lazy to bother checking it out beforehand, and too arrogant to admit that he was going to need a damn good team to cover for the gaps in his ability, understanding and knowledge.”

    PS I find it quite laughable that, despite the litany of failure which you yourself describe, Mr Bacevich, the poster AAA is convinced that the only thing we have against Obama is the colour of his skin!

  • ItinerantView

    “The first and most important is that the expectations to which Obama–mania gave rise were from the outset utterly unrealistic”

    of which the Western MSM were the main perpetrators and still are.Uncross your fingers, the demons are released.
    Technology might change the possibilities and reach but not the human condition.
    Drones carrying out assassinations, that’s an old game.Cyber warfare allows the same possibility for sabotage,another old game.

    I would cross your fingers Obama’s legacy doesn’t mark the decline of the Western world.Hyperbole ? cross your fingers for that too.

    “The Cairo initiative launched with great fanfare and intended to mark a new beginning in US relations with the Islamic world fizzled”

    The real question should be into what and with what ramifications for the US and the West ?

    But that would be off the political correct MSM narrative and expose Obama and the ‘team’ he has surrounded himself, to some real scrutiny.

  • Zoltaire

    It is sad that the editor would give a platform to such a twisted and partisan contributor. If The Spectator readers can be satisfied with this kind of drivel, they will find a lot of it from the average left wing troll on the Internet.

  • The layman’s voice

    History will judge him kinder than his current approval ratings would have you believe (although they’re only as bad as Reagan’s). The affordable care act may well be revised but it will stand as the moment the US got it and made the poor have an option to secure healthcare – not a small thing.

    • theloquaciousliberal

      I concur.

  • al_frick

    1) He doesn’t possess an ounce of skill, experience, or talent for the job.

    2) His advisors, like him, are high on ego and low on talent – like Valerie Jarrett.
    3 He believes his own cult of personality is enough to overcome any obstacle.
    4) He thinks that winning implies that he has a mandate for ruling without compromise.

  • Alexandros HoMegas

    Obama was made by the Chicago jewish elite (Their OWN words!) : http://www.bollyn.com/chicago-thuggery-the-jewish-mob-obama/

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2008-12-12/news/0812110155_1_barack-obama-bettylu-saltzman-jewish-vote

    He was the perfect Black guy after the Cowboy Bush and the (jewish) Neocon Wars.

  • lojolondon

    Wow – Obummer’s three ‘successes’ ??
    1″He ‘got’ bin Laden”. YES.
    2.”He has negotiated a promising climate change agreement with China”. NO. The most one-sided ‘agreement’ since Versailles – the USA promised to cut omissions and China “agreed to look into the matter”.
    3.”And he may yet cut a deal with Iran that places curbs on that country’s nuclear programme.” DESPERATE, AREN’T YOU?
    The fact that you saw fit to not mention Obamacare absolutely sums up his presidency!

    • theloquaciousliberal

      Like you, I’m not sure why the writer failed to mention Obamacare. It was about time America joined the rest of the civilized world by providing universal health care to its citizens. Better late than never! Perhaps now Congress and the President will work together to fine tune the Affordable Care Act to save taxpayers money by reining in price gouging by Big Pharma, among other things, to get a handle on costs. I know… I know… this is not likely with obstructionist Republicans in charge of both houses, but an optimist can dream…

      • lojolondon

        My friend, it is apparent that you certainly can dream! Let me explain – the reason that Obamacare was not mentioned is because it is very, very far from a success, in fact, appears to have failed on every single measure. Enjoy the next 2 years until you get your country back!

        • theloquaciousliberal

          You say that like it’s a bad thing. Yes, I’ll keep dreaming and hoping, thank you very much. I wonder how much better the ACA could have been by this point if legislators had chosen to serve the needs of their constituents rather than their campaign contributors AKA special interests. Health care costs were bankrupting our nation, often because the uninsured didn’t get medical attention until their conditions were acute and extremely expensive to treat—costly in terms of money, but even more so in terms of human suffering. Something needed to be done, but instead of working together to come up with solutions, both parties chose to squabble and point fingers and postpone the inevitable. As a woman, I scratch my head and marvel at the lack of cooperation by men (primarily) who were allegedly weened on team sports and esprit de corps. You call Obamacare a failure “by every measure.” To what measures do you refer? Is it failure that poor young mothers can now get prenatal care? Isn’t this an invaluable benefit to society as a whole? Is it failure that people with pre-existing conditions can now receive treatment for their cancer, heart conditions, etc.? Should a rich child with leukemia live while a poor child with the same affliction die? Is it failure that my young adult children can stay on my health insurance until they are established in their careers and can afford their own? The roll out of the ACA website was a failure, I’ll grant you that, but it has been corrected and the program itself was badly needed. Is it perfect? No. But the goal should be to improve it, not abolish it.

  • theloquaciousliberal

    President Obama took office at a time of great global turmoil. The economy was in free fall and America was locked in a cycle of endless, pointless war that destabilized foreign regimes to no good end; brutal dictators were replaced with vicious, murderous zealots. Through the use of torture and the violation of the most basic human rights—internally and abroad—the Bush Administration had struck a mortal blow to America’s standing in the world. Obama represented hope for something different. Voters, perhaps a bit unrealistically, clung to the hope that a man who had not been taking bribes and favors as a career politician in the whorehouse known as Congress might, just might, turn out to have the voter’s interests at heart, not those of Big Oil, Big Coal, Big Gas, Big Banks, Big Pharma, and on and on. Since he took office, Obama has achieved much despite endless harassment and opposition. Fox tells bald-faced lies and half-truths with the aim of propagating hatred of him—not his ideas or policies—but hatred for him as a man. Idiots and oldsters and racists lap it up. They never stop to question the truth of these false assertions because the fairy tales fit their jingoistic world view. The truth of the matter is that since Obama took office the economy has improved. There is significant job growth. Americans have universal access to health care. We are making strides toward fair treatment for immigrant workers who are vital to our economy. Gay citizens now have the right to marry in 36 states. The stock market is doing well. We still have a long way to go, but we’re making progress. These facts are misrepresented or willfully ignored by rightwing columnists and the haters on Fox. But their bitter narrative will not stand the test of time. History will look on Barack Obama kindly.

  • Great Grandmas Cat

    Andrew J. Bacevich, sadly, has over estimated our current president. However, time will surely tell who saw the future correctly.

  • Julie

    Barack Obama has done a remarkably good job considering the bad hand he has been dealt with, such as a hostile Congress and poorly performing economy (for reasons outside his control). Notably Obamacare (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), which for all its faults is a positive step forward for many low income Americans.

  • Real Flavors

    In some related video, a delusional Obama claims that he will magically stop the oceans from rising: http://bit.ly/MoreObamaDelusions

  • Harriet R Duran

    When one compares that ass hole little boy bush to our current President Barack Obama then it puts georgie jr in the group of stupid idiots. He was nothing as a president except to drink and not do anything for the people in our country. One thing that he along with Cheney done was killing so many of our young men and women in the Iraq War for there pleasure. Bush Jr was nothing more than a stupid idiot and could have cared less about our country or our citizens of our country. He deserves nothing but the worst when he goes to bed at night and dreams of all the young lives that was lost because of this idiot. GO OBAMA! You are a president that we can trust. Thank you Sir. H. Duran

  • Brian

    This is a very good article.

  • jack

    pathetic article that ignore the realities of politics in the USA and blames Obama for what has been a massive failure by the press, on the whole, to relate facts.

    The ignoring of racism is most noticeable. Those that give a shit find it hard to blame Obama because the people of america decided to let Ron pauls followers and the Pissed and burned hilleryites to scream, lie after lie.

    Seriously flawed article that basically assumes the right wings position isn’t based on a lack of facts.

    Care to consider a nationm in a civil war?

    nah because desopite the opportunity to ignite one Obama played polite with the right. Many of whom were very seriously looking for a revolution.

    You can talk it down but the whole country doesn’t need to be on board for Bundy ranches to pop up in every county of the USA. Just enough and they were there after the election. armed and ready.

    Iraq war ended. A new one started when the press and the internet erupted with support for revolution in Syria.”gay girl in damascus” etc Something Obama tried to keep the world out of.

    Sht me I think he may have been right.

    but hey, forget that and pretend this is the same war.

    It seems most have very short memories and are most concerned with looking like they did the right thing. Obama saw what could happen down the line. Political realities in the US caused by apathetic and pathetic voters meant there was not much he could do.
    This following paragraph is quite comical. Complete bullcakes .

    “a Obama moved into the Oval Office about as well equipped to serve as global CEO as Kim Kardashian is to run one of Wall Street’s larger investment banks. Little evidence exists to suggest that prior to becoming President he had evolved a distinctive world-view. His life to that point had offered him little opportunity to do so. ”

    and just look at the comments.
    the writer has lived in a bubble on the moon it seems

  • Karl Hungus

    Fuck every single one of you pompous British assholes who think Obama is legit. Obama is only good at three things: Lying, doing stupid shit and being weak.

  • N Bedford Forrest

    This demon possessed liar obma is a perverted fagg

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