In one way, President Obama has had it hard: He inherited a mess.
In another, he has had it easy: His predecessor blew it big time.
As James Bovard put it in his 2004 book, The Bush Betrayal, “George W. Bush came to the presidency promising prosperity, peace, and humility. Instead, Bush . . . spawned record federal budget deficits, launched an unnecessary war, and made America the most hated nation in the world.”
The election of Obama turned foreign opinion around, but his actual policies have proved no advance over his predecessor’s.
Bush started the bailouts; Obama bailed out more.
Bush pushed through an under-funded entitlement, Medicare Part D. Obama leveraged his political capital to take an even bigger step towards socialized medicine.
Bush understandably undertook the Afghanistan venture — but the Iraq conquest and reconstruction betrayed his promise to forswear “nation-building.” Then Obama lingered in Iraq, upped the forces in Afghanistan — long after the rationale became murky — and also attacked a number of other countries, including Libya. So much for the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
But when it comes to America’s misguided War on Drugs, Obama has been especially disappointing. No-one really expected much of Bush. But Obama? He said he’d reverse policy at least vis-à-vis the states that voted in medical marijuana. Yet federal agents continue targeting medical marijuana growers.
We aren’t being served well by the presidents we spend so much time thinking about.
Could it be because they don’t really think much about us?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.