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One of the most damaging legacies of this distressing president will come from his assault on the police. Given an opportunity to address the disintegration of the country’s inner city life, he has instead exacerbated this disastrous dysfunction. And the trashing of police started from get go. Here he is opining on the Cambridge arrest controversy of Henry Lewis Gates in 2009; “I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that. But I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home, and, number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there’s a long history in this country of African Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately.” Heather Mac Donald reviews the record.
There is no precedent for Barack Obama’s relentless attacks on the nation’s police officers and criminal-justice system. Simply put, the man twice elected to the country’s highest office routinely and repeatedly charges that cops and the courts are awash in systematic racial bias. “Too many young men of color,” the president told the Congressional Black Caucus in September 2014, “feel targeted by law enforcement, guilty of walking while black, or driving while black, judged by stereotypes that fuel fear and resentment and hopelessness. We know that, statistically, in everything from enforcing drug policy to applying the death penalty to pulling people over, there are significant racial disparities.”
Addressing the nation in November 2014 at a moment of extreme racial tension, after a Missouri grand jury declined to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the death of Michael Brown, the president seized the opportunity to accuse the police of discrimination: “The law too often feels like it’s being applied in a discriminatory fashion….Communities of color aren’t just making these problems up….These are real issues. And we have to lift them up and not deny them or try to tamp them down.” …
… It is bad enough for a president to undercut the legitimacy of the police and the criminal-justice system. But the most galling aspect of President Obama’s crusade against law enforcement is that it rests on falsehood. …
… In March 2015, the Justice Department issued a 100-page report demolishing the Black Lives Matter narrative about the shooting of Michael Brown. That narrative held that Brown had been shot in cold blood by a racist police officer. After an exhaustive review of forensic evidence and eyewitness accounts, however, Justice concluded that Brown had assaulted Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson and had tried to grab his gun—exactly as Wilson had maintained from the beginning. Wilson reasonably believed that he was facing a lethal threat, the Justice report found. Physical evidence demonstrated that Brown had not been shot in the back.
President Obama could have provided an enormous service to the nation had he embraced the Justice Department findings. Instead, he asserted that the Brown-Wilson encounter was still shrouded in mystery. “We may never know what happened,” Obama said during a town hall at South Carolina’s BenedictCollege on March 6, 2015. This claim is irresponsible and false. …
… When officers fail to receive political support, they will shy away from challenged forms of policing. At the present moment, pedestrian and car stops, as well as so-called Broken Windows policing (the enforcement of low-level public-order offenses), are most under attack and declining precipitously. This decline in enforcement is an understandable and predictable reaction to the vitriol that has been directed against the cops over the last year. Officers across the country tell disturbing stories of being pelted by rocks and water bottles when they try to make an arrest or conduct an investigation in urban areas.
The data are clear: At the same time police are pulling back from discretionary enforcement, violent crime is going up in major cities across the country, as FBI Director James Comey confirmed in an October address at the University of Chicago law school. According to FBI data, in the first six months of 2015, murder rose 45 percent in Baltimore, 58 percent in St. Louis, 50 percent in Oklahoma City, 50 percent in Tulsa, 27 percent in Dallas, 44 percent in Houston, 108 percent in Milwaukee, 51 percent in Louisville, 29 percent in New Orleans, and 12.3 percent in New York City, compared with the first six months of 2014. The Washington Post has found a nearly 17 percent increase in homicides in the 50 largest cities during all of 2015, compared with 2014—the greatest increase in lethal violence in a quarter century. Dozens of children, from Baltimore to Cincinnati to Cleveland, were struck by drive-by shootings in 2015. The bloodbath is continuing in 2016: 120 Chicagoans were shot in the first 10 days of the New Year, 19 of them fatally. …
… The victims of 2015’s violent-crime spike were overwhelmingly black and will continue to be so if policing remains under attack. Blacks gained the most from the crime drop over the last two decades, enjoying a newfound freedom to raise their children in relative safety. But as a result of Obama’s delegitimation of policing, urban-dwelling Americans are seeing their communities fall back into criminal squalor and their lives shrink again to the four walls of their homes. Their fundamental civil rights are at risk. Someone needs to speak for them even if their self-appointed leaders will not.
Kyle Smith has more on the administration’s disrespect for law-abiding citizens.
It’s only May, but I think I’ve found the euphemism of the year: According to Team Obama, criminals should now be declared “justice-involved individuals.”
The neo-Orwellianism comes to us from the bizarre flurry of last-minute diktats, regulations and bone-chilling threats collectively known to fanboys as Obama’s Gorgeous Goodbye.
In another of those smiley-faced, but deeply sinister, “Dear Colleague” letters sent to universities and colleges this week, Obama’s Education Secretary John King discouraged colleges from asking applicants whether they were convicted criminals.
An accompanying pamphlet was called “Beyond the Box: Increasing Access to Higher Education for Justice-Involved Individuals.”
So rapists, burglars, armed robbers and drug dealers aren’t criminals anymore. These folks are simply “involved” with “justice,” according to Obamanoids. …
From Front Page Magazine we learn how liberal policies have destroyed black families.
… The calamitous breakdown of the black family is a comparatively recent phenomenon, coinciding precisely with the rise of the welfare state. Throughout the epoch of slavery and into the early decades of the twentieth century, most black children grew up in two-parent households. Post-Civil War studies revealed that most black couples in their forties had been together for at least twenty years. In southern urban areas around 1880, nearly three-fourths of black households were husband- or father-present; in southern rural settings, the figure approached 86%. As of 1940, the illegitimacy rate among blacks nationwide was approximately 15%—scarcely one-fifth of the current figure. As late as 1950, black women were more likely to be married than white women, and only 9% of black families with children were headed by a single parent.
During the nine decades between the Emancipation Proclamation and the 1950s, the black family remained a strong, stable institution. Its cataclysmic destruction was subsequently set in motion by such policies as the anti-marriage incentives that were built into the welfare system. As GeorgeMasonUniversity professor Walter E. Williams puts it: “The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery couldn’t do, what Jim Crow couldn’t do, what the harshest racism couldn’t do. And that is to destroy the black family.” Hoover Institution Fellow Thomas Sowell concurs: “The black family, which had survived centuries of slavery and discrimination, began rapidly disintegrating in the liberal welfare state that subsidized unwed pregnancy and changed welfare from an emergency rescue to a way of life.”
Kevin Williamson turns our attention to the president’s economic legacy.
… What can we actually say about Obama administration policies? One is that the so-called stimulus underperformed on one front and failed on another. It may have provided some meaningful stimulus (economists debate the question still) at a cost — there always is a cost — that will remain unknown for the foreseeable future. What it did not do — we have the president’s own word on this — is dramatically improve public infrastructure. Indeed, every time the Democrats call for a dramatic new campaign of infrastructure investment, it is an implicit indictment of the failure of previous campaigns. The stimulus mainly operated as a covert bailout for badly governed Democratic cities and states. Recovery and reinvestment? Weak, at best.
The Affordable Care Act is a failure. Again, we have the Democrats’ own word on this, as they labor feverishly to keep its least-popular features (such as the taxes that pay for it!) from taking effect. In fact, Obama’s would-be successor, Hillary Rodham Clinton, seeks to partly dismantle Obamacare, repealing the so-called Cadillac tax that vexes her public-sector supporters, whose health-care plans are a great deal better than yours. The woefully misnamed Affordable Care Act hasn’t been a dramatic job-killer, but there is evidence (from the Congressional Budget Office and other sources) that it creates some headwinds against employment, undercutting the equivalent of 2 million full-time jobs. It hasn’t solved the problem of health-care inflation, and probably has made it worse, at a very high cost in terms of actual outlays and economic distortion. …
More details on the sorry economic legacy from Dan Mitchell.
Let’s take a look at President Obama’s economic legacy.
The Washington Examiner opines on President Obama’s remarkable claim that he saved the world economy.
President Obama…wants to be remembered for…[being]…the savior of the American and global economies. “There are things I’m proud of,” he said, citing Obamacare, then added, “Saving the world economy from a Great Depression, that was pretty good.”
Not so fast. Looking at the economy’s anemic numbers the editors are less than impressed.
Obama will end eight years in office without presiding over a thriving economy of the sort America enjoyed in the past. It also suggests that even the mediocre growth of recent years depended on high oil prices, which have collapsed by more than half. This is the bitter fruit of creationist economics, the erroneous belief that government activity can somehow conjure new wealth and value.
The Wall Street Journal is similarly dour about Obama’s economic legacy. …
Not content to bring our country close to ruin, the president went to Great Britain and interfered in the Brexit vote. Janet Daley of the UK Telegraph asks “why should we take advice from a president who has surrendered the world to chaos?”
… The withdrawal of the US from world leadership – from being what Mr Obama’s people refer to disparagingly as “the world’s policeman” – has been one of the most dramatic developments on the international stage of the past eight years.
Into the vacuum left by that withdrawal has stepped (or strode) Vladimir Putin, who can’t believe his luck. At just the moment when Russian national pride desperately needed a renaissance after the mortifying collapse of the Soviet Union and the infuriating rise of all those Lilliputian upstarts in the old Eastern Bloc, along comes a US president who announces in no uncertain terms that America wants to pull out of the global power game. Make no mistake, this began long before the funk over removing Assad in Syria – which Mr Obama has outrageously blamed on David Cameron’s failure to win a parliamentary vote – or the “leading from behind” fiasco in Libya, which Mr Obama also blames on Mr Cameron for having the audacity to think that the US might have been prepared to lead from the front. No, the Obama isolationist doctrine was there from the start: deliberate and consciously chosen.
It began in his first term as president when he visited Eastern Europe and gave a series of speeches to make the point: the countries that had once required America’s protection from a Soviet superpower were now emerging democracies and fledgling free-market success stories. They could take care of themselves militarily in future. The interceptor missiles that had been scheduled to arrive in Poland, courtesy of the US, would not be delivered. Although they had never been intended as any sort of threat against Moscow, Obama still allowed this move to be seen as part of his “reset” of relations with post-Soviet Russia. …