Despite Hillary Clinton’s primary loss, the Obama presidency essentially became the second Clinton administration that she and her family’s entourage had been planning for, with Obama surprising John Podesta by tapping him to lead his transition. Podesta staffed top posts with Clintonite neoliberals, ensuring their ideology, and corruption predominated in the administration. This was compounded by the thinness of Obama’s own bench of personnel, with Podesta remarking, “He travels light.”
Below is a hilarious, yet accurate critique by Canadian social philosopher Sefan Molyneux:
The big disconnect is that Americans want to know that their President cares more about their upward mobility than fighting inequality. They want to know that elected officials are more preoccupied with their job prospects than with climate change.
President Obama’s call to a just economy only reinforced this incongruity. He called for “a new social compact to guarantee all our kids the education they need. To give workers the power to unionize for better wages. To update the social safety net to reflect the way we live now. And [to] make more reforms to the tax code so corporations and the individuals who reap the most from this new economy don’t avoid their obligations to the country that’s made their very success possible.”
But the new social compact sounds too much like the old social compact: an overly regulated marketplace in which workers lack either the skills for today’s economy or the proper incentives to find work in the first place.
Eight years in office, and there’s not much to show for it. Economic growth never did take off. Hope and change ended in frustration and fear. The last month of the Obama years has been spent in a frenzy to do something, anything, important to secure his place in history: releasing prisoners, imposing new regulations, putting on the final spin.
Despite his intelligence, erudition, earnestness, and public-relations genius, and the mastery of Hollywood-style theatrics the central problem was his failure to address the driving concern of all of American life: the economic quality of our own lives. His administration, and he, never understood economics and he had very little appreciation for the power of freedom to create wealth and prosperity. Most Americans struggled financially for the whole of his term. Basic economics at the undergraduate level could foresee that the ACA would fail. Anyone familiar with the history of socialism would know failure was baked into the entire command-and-control apparatus.
Economic recovery was just a bunch of bailouts — bank bailouts, auto bailouts, insurance bailouts.
The Obama administration saw its job as achieving cosmetic gains for the poofy causes of social justice, cultural inclusion, and progressive government management.
Obama never had a framework for thinking about economic fundamentals. He was windbag policy wonk, nothing more. He never got that wealth comes from freedom, not government intervention, the role of property rights in securing prosperity, much less how government controls and mandates hold back growth.
Despite his vast knowledge and intelligence, his limitless grace and charm he missed the major points. Wealth is not a given; it must be created through enterprise and innovation, trade and experimentation.
People have to have the freedom to do this, not being controlled by a regulatory state.
Below are just five (there are more) Barack Obama Used the Government to Attack His Political Enemies:
5. Senator Robert Menendez
I previously mentioned how Barack Obama protected Senator Bob Menendez by delaying the arrest of an illegal immigrant sex offender who was a Menendez intern, but to demonstrate just how vindictive Obama can be, I have to mention that Obama was just as quick to use the government to punish Menendez when he stepped out of line. In 2015, the Department of Justice suddenly decided to move forward with criminal charges against Menendez on a five-year-old case. What happened that made the Obama administration suddenly decide to go after Menendez? According to Washington insiders, the decision was politically motivated, since the criminal charges against Menendez came soon after Menendez spoke out against Obama regarding his plan to normalize relations with communist Cuba and his nuclear deal with Iran.
No one believed that to be a coincidence.
4. Dinesh D’Souza
In January 2014, Dinesh D’Souza, the conservative author and speaker who wrote several books critical of Obama and produced the widely popular anti-Obama documentary 2016: Obama’s America, was indicted for campaign finance violations for having orchestrated $20,000 in straw donations to the campaign of a friend who ran for U.S. Senate. Legal experts saw it as a partisan selective prosecution. Harvard Law School professor and Obama supporter Alan Dershowitz called it “an outrageous prosecution and is certainly a misuse of resources. It raises the question of why he is being selected for prosecution among the many, many people who commit similar crimes.”
“This sounds to me like it is coming from higher places. It is hard for me to believe this did not come out of Washington or at least get the approval of those in Washington,” he added.
National Review’s Andrew McCarthy also noted that the Obama administration essentially charged D’Souza twice for the same crime. “By gratuitously piling on another felony, Obama and Holder portray D’Souza as a serious crook and subject him to the onerous potential of seven years in prison—all for an episode that ordinarily would not be prosecuted at all.”
3. James O’Keefe
Project Veritas, the undercover journalism outfit founded by James O’Keefe, has been a thorn in the side of the left for years, and the Obama administration tried to make them pay for it. In 2014, O’Keefe found himself targeted by the Obama administration after a recording himself dressed as Osama bin Laden crossing back and forth from the United States to Mexico and back again without getting stopped.
The video went viral, and while he was traveling into the United States was detained by U.S. customs agents because of the video exposé, and experienced excessive questioning several times upon reentering the United States. “It is our contention that this is retaliation for our journalism along the Mexican border,” O’Keefe said in 2015. “It’s troubling that they are doing this to a citizen reporter. […] These questions have nothing to do with national security or border issues or smuggling narcotics into the country. They are questions that they would never ask a Washington Post reporter, that they would never ask NBC News.”
2. Ben Carson and other individuals targeted by the IRS
We’re all aware of how the Obama administration used the IRS to illegally target Tea Party groups before the 2012 election. But, the Obama administration also improperly conservative individuals with audits.
The most notable example is Dr. Ben Carson, who criticized Obama during his speech at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast. It was an embarrassing moment for Obama, and when Carson refused to apologize after the Obama White House demanded an apology, Carson was audited by the IRS. Does anyone really think that was a coincidence?
Oh, but there’s more. A cancer patient who appeared on Fox News to discuss how Obamacare cost him his health insurance was audited by the IRS shortly after his interview aired. Also, individual donors to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign also found themselves the target of IRS audits, some within weeks of donating.
Hollywood’s only conservative group, Friends of Abe, became another target of Obama. Their tax-exempt status was kept under review for over two years, and the IRS even demanded to see their membership list. Talk about a shakedown.
1. Donald Trump
Nothing defines using the government to target political enemies more than Obama’s spying on Donald Trump’s campaign. We know it happened. We know that this spying was justified using a bogus dossier funded by the Hillary campaign. We know an FBI lawyer altered evidence. What began as a means to undermine Trump before the 2016 election ultimately became a means to undermine his presidency. The Mueller investigation, a 22-month effort to uncover alleged Russian collusion turned up nothing—as expected. The Inspector General’s investigation proved political bias in the FBI’s investigation of President Trump’s campaign.