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The president has pronounced that Trump is not qualified. That’s like Hillary calling someone else deplorable. They both have first person knowledge of unqualified and deplorable. Let’s go through a grab bag of items on the failures left in this president’s wake. First is Claudia Rosett posting on China’s dis of the poseur.
Claudia Rosett posts on the China snub of the president.
President Obama took office in 2009 promising that his brand of engagement would yield global respect for the United States. We’ve since had more than seven years of leading from behind, standing “shoulder to shoulder” with the “international community,” snubbing of allies, appeasing of enemies and cutting America down to size. As Obama makes what will likely be his final official visit to China, how’s it going?
Well, China, as host of the current G-20 summit, rolled out the red carpet — or at least the red-carpeted airplane stairs — for the arriving leaders of such countries as Britain, Australia, Germany and Russia.
For President Obama, arriving yesterday on Air Force One, there was no such dignified reception. Instead, there was a shoving match with the press and a confrontation with National Security Adviser Susan Rice, in which a Chinese official shouted “This is our country. This is our airport.” For lack of any portable stairs rolled to the front door of the presidential plane, Obama was left to jog down the aircraft’s own stairs at the back.
Obama downplayed the insult, telling reporters “not to over-crank the significance.” …
… Which brings us back to the matter of respect, and which leaders get the red-carpet treatment in China these days, and which don’t. Xi and his colleagues see an American president who treats his own country’s Constitution, voters and national interests with no respect. For Beijing, that amounts to an enfeebled America. That translates into an opportunity, a wide-open invitation from the White House, to drive home to the world a message that China is on the rise — receiving at its latest summit an American president who arrives with tribute in his pocket. For such an emissary, no red carpet is needed. Of course he can exit from the back of his plane.
Walter Russell Mead posts on obama’s foreign policy turkey on the other side of the globe.
.. Erdogan’s pivot to Russia is the latest indicator of the ruins of U.S. foreign policy. In President Obama’s original strategy of bringing peace to the Middle East and marginalizing terror by reaching out to democratic Islamists, Turkey’s Erdogan was supposed to play a major role. Indeed, Obama was widely reported to have spent more time on the phone with him than with any world leader.
Meanwhile, of course there was also the “reset” with Russia—with “more flexibility” for Moscow promised after Obama’s re-election.
Yet America’s relations with both Turkey and Russia are in shambles. Domestically, Putin and Erdogan have gone in a more authoritarian direction. In geopolitics, Moscow and Ankara have refused to go along with the White House’s plans. This is not all President Obama’s fault of course—he doesn’t and cannot control other world leaders. But it’s hard not to notice that Obama’s early maneuvering hasn’t had the results he promised. The opportunities first-term Obama saw in Turkey and Russia have either been squandered or were never even there in the first place. Even after Obama has left office, it will be difficult for the U.S. to repair the damage caused by the president’s early geopolitical misreadings.
Richard Epstein writes on the failed presidency.
The week after the Fourth of July is a good time to take stock of the presidency of Barack Obama. It is highly unlikely that he will change course in his six remaining months in office, so he will be judged by history on his current record. That record reveals an enormous gap between his grandiose promises and his pitiful performance over the past eight years. …
… It is sobering to examine how and why his presidential performance stacks up so poorly against his ideals. An important question for any president is what issues fall in the domain of government action, and which should be left to the private sector. Any sensible answer starts with two presumptions that are antithetical to Obama’s progressive frame of mind. First, the government should seek to avoid interfering in economic affairs to allow the forces of competition and innovation to increase the size of the social pie from which everyone can benefit. Second, the government should focus its exercise of national power on defending the nation and its allies from aggression. Obama inverts these key relationships—a fundamental mistake. He is all too willing to use coercion in domestic economic affairs against disfavored groups, and all too reluctant to use it against sworn enemies of the United States and its allies.
A mistake of this magnitude cannot be corrected by marginal adjustments in office. The sad truth is that the United States today is weaker economically, more divided socially, and more disrespected across the globe than it was before Obama took office. With few exceptions, he made the wrong choices in all the areas in which he declared the dawn of a new era. Consider: …
… Foreign affairs, for their part, have been an unmitigated disaster. Everywhere one looks—Russia, China, the Middle East—the situation is more dangerous than it was before President Obama took office. That is the inescapable consequence of a presidential reluctance to trust military affairs to generals, and to rule out of bounds, virtually categorically, the use of American ground troops to stem the violence in the Middle East. The relative stability that George W. Bush bequeathed to Obama in 2009 has been shattered in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, and by the rising power of Iran. ISIS commits atrocities nearly daily, most recently in Baghdad and Bangladesh. …
… Nor has Obama done better on an issue close to his heart: race relations. Instead of firm moral leadership, the president has raised tensions. He announced, for example, that “if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” And even after his Department of Justice exonerated Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown, it buried that story behind a searing denunciation of Ferguson, Missouri for the alleged racism of its ticketing practices. The “Ferguson effect” has made policing ever more difficult in African-American communities. No wonder crime rates are rising across the country, even in cities like Chicago that have strict, but largely ineffective, gun control laws, which the president relentlessly champions without any explanation of how they are likely to do any good.
Behind all of these social ills lies a president who lacks the skills of a leader. Sadly, his frayed political legacy has left us with a choice between two undesirable candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, neither of whom has the capacity and temperament to correct the many ills that President Obama has created at home and abroad over the past eight years.
Craig Pirrong, The Streetwise Professor, posts on racial divisions fostered by the president.
Obama’s greatest opportunity as president was to advance race relations in this country. They have obviously improved almost miraculously since the Civil Rights and Jim Crow eras, but in 2008 they could have definitely improved even further. Sadly, in the past seven plus years, they have regressed rather than progressed. Obama squandered an opportunity that he was uniquely placed to exploit.
Uniquely placed, but sadly not uniquely qualified, as events have made all too clear. For rather than pour oil on troubled waters, Obama has thrown it on the fire. He does it with such regularity that I must conclude that is hardwired, or a conscious choice: which is worse, I can’t say. The horrific events of the past days represent the zenith of this behavior–at least I hope so.
The crux of the problem is that Obama is an echo chamber for Black Lives Matter memes, and a defender of and advocate for the organization. BLM is a divisive, confrontational, and frankly racist organization that is exacerbating tensions, rather than doing anything to reduce them, or to correct the underlying problems. BLM marches routinely involve chants advocating the murder of police (“Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon”). Obama has hosted leaders of this group at the White House, and praised their effectiveness, saying that he was “confident that they are going to take America to new heights.” A sobering thought, that. …
More on this from David Harsanyi.
… When Obama calls for unity (you’ll recall this was a big part of his first campaign), he’s not talking about a nation that maximizes its freedom so that there is space for an array of cultural outlooks and ideas. He means a nation of diverse people who can all agree that progressivism is right for the nation.
This administration has made a habit of using the power of the state to coerce and compel others to accept its cultural attitudes. For him, unity means little dissent. In his last State of the Union, for example, Obama laid out a progressive agenda, then implored us to embrace “American ideals” as if they were the same. (He offered Trumpism as the only other choice. It’s not.)
Obviously, the nation is divided because Americans have deep-seated, legitimate, and meaningful disagreements about the future. One man can neither unify us nor break us apart on his own. But it’s been a long time since we’ve had a president as divisive as Barack Obama.
The administration’s war on for-profit schools claims another victim. Two years ago they ruined Corinthian Colleges and now it is ITT Technical facing collapse. Minding The Campus has the story. For the Corinthian saga see Pickings July 14, 2014. Yet more ruin in the wake of this knee jerk left wing ideological presidency.
… While the government is indulgent towards wasteful state colleges, it has a very different, hostile attitude towards for-profit colleges. It will sometimes financially destroy them even without any proof of wrongdoing. The Washington Post editorial board gives the latest example of the Obama administration doing this, its destruction of ITT Technical Institutes:
Never mind that the higher education plans of tens of thousands of students will be disrupted. Or that 8,000 people will lose their jobs. Or that American taxpayers could be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in forgiven student loans. What is apparently of most importance to the Obama administration is its ideological opposition to for-profit colleges and universities. That’s a harsh conclusion, but it is otherwise hard to explain why the Education Department has unabashedly used administrative muscle to destroy another company in the beleaguered industry.
ITT Technical Institutes, one of the nation’s largest for-profit educational chains, on Tuesday abruptly announced that after 50 years in business it was shutting down more than 100 campuses in 38 states. The announcement, displacing an estimated 40,000 students, follows last month’s decision by the Education Department barring the school from enrolling new students using federal student aid and upping its surety requirements. The department said it was acting to protect students and taxpayers, noting the school had been threatened with a loss of accreditation and that it was facing a number of ongoing investigations by both state and federal authorities.
What is so troubling about the department’s aggressive move — which experts presciently called a death sentence — is that not a single allegation of wrongdoing has been proven against the school. Maybe the government is right about ITT’s weaknesses, but its unilateral action without any semblance of due process is simply wrong. “Inappropriate and unconstitutional,” said ITT officials.
Such unfairness sadly is a hallmark of the Obama administration policy toward higher education’s for-profit sector. …