Barack Obama has a flawless record closing the deal during his election campaigns. He’s three for three, including a senatorial win and two presidential wins. But that’s where Obama’s stellar record as a closer ends. His efforts to lead, enact legislation, and keep campaign promises have been abysmal.
Here are five examples of President Obama not finishing what he started.
1. Obamacare Versus Jobs
In his first term, Obama was focused on his legacy. He had big plans for America and wanted to be the next F.D.R. Medical reform was supposed to be the president’s signature accomplishment. Universal health care has been the Holy Grail for liberal politicians for years
Obama has not closed this deal yet. His initiative was ill-conceived, too expensive, and the wrong focus for our government at the time of its conception. Obama’s reform includes health care for all those uninsured and lower health costs for everyone else. At the outset, the plan’s objectives made sense because there was something for everyone. The original trillion-dollar cost for 30 million people was supposed to be accompanied by a reduction in medical expenses for the other 300 million Americans. Unfortunately, costs are now much higher.
Exacerbating the problem is that a large number of uninsured Americans do not want to pay for coverage. But, as we know, unless everyone participates, the plan will place an undue burden on taxpayers.
But most frustrating is that while Obama was in his legacy mode, millions of Americans were losing their jobs. Medical coverage is not going to happen until 2014, but in the meantime America has fallen apart economically.
Legislation was going to pass and afford millions of illegal residents a path to citizenship, but it proved to be a very fragile agreement. In fact, two radical Islamic men derailed the legislation when they detonated explosives during the Boston Marathon. After the event, Americans and their representatives in Congress began to have second thoughts about open immigration in this country. Ironically, these despicable terrorists from Kazakhstan disrupted the efforts to embrace millions of Hispanics residing in America illegally.
The president was unable to control the controversy. His flowery oratory and exhortations about “not blaming an entire group for the actions of a few” did not resonate. He could not convince Americans to accept the tragedy as a one off event. Instead, immigration has been put on the back burner as everyone reconsiders his or her position. He did not close the deal.
3. Civil Liberties
Obama promised a lot and delivered very little. He has had few exceptional moments in this area.
Frankly, no one is sure what the president wants to do about GITMO. As a candidate, he was intent on closing down the facility. Today he says it must remain open for some indefinite period of time; the Bush administration danced around this controversy similarly.
Drones are being used to fight a secret war against terrorists. Personally, I do not object to the assassination of terrorists with drones. But there are many unanswered questions about this strategy. Who are the terrorists? Who makes the ultimate decision to kill? What about collateral damage? Is it legal for the U.S. to be killing people with drones in other countries?
And what of domestic drone operations? Do Americans want these devices flying overhead and spying on us? Once again, I’m okay so long as the rules of engagement are clear, legal, and constitutional. Currently, the rules are known to a select few.
4. Middle East Policies
The Obama administration policies in the region are perplexing and his accomplishments minimal. Initially, Obama expressed support for the Palestinians in their struggle against Israeli “aggression.” Now Netanyahu has become Obama’s best friend forever.
Afghanistan is a biohazard for American soldiers and its peace loving citizens. The Taliban is as strong as it was ten years ago and waiting for the U.S. to pack up and leave before they overrun the country. So much for Obama and Bush democracy building.
Iraq is a powder keg and civil war is just around the corner. The only U.S. accomplishment was the elimination Saddam Hussein. The thousand year sectarian war will continue indefinitely when the American occupation ends.
Iran makes American look foolish every day. Our threats are ignored. Iran is making a nuclear device and stirring up trouble in every country in the region in support of their Shia bothers.
Syrian relations are in complete disarray. The global community does not know what Obama is thinking because he is unsure and indecisive. In the meantime, John Kerry is shuttling between Middle East countries trying to make friends. And by the way, thousands are dying and becoming refugees as this all takes place.
5. The Keystone XL Project
Although this controversy is small potatoes compared to the situations described above, it is emblematic of the indecisiveness of the Obama administration. Keystone was supposed to be an environmental disaster waiting to happen. After months and months of jawboning by the administration, Obama is now caving and seeking ways to save face as he allows the project to proceed. In this case, he will close a deal that he demonized for months.
It is disheartening that a sitting president acts so sheepishly and is uninvolved in so many important areas. In this day and age, indecisiveness is a reputation killer. The U.S.’ status in the world has diminished over the past four and a half years because of President Obama’s inept leadership and inability to close.