“Generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children […] this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal. This was the moment when we ended a war, secured our nation, and restored our image as the last bastion of hope on Earth.” – Barack Obama
In 2008, Barack Obama inspired millions with soaring rhetoric and a promise to heal the world. He spread hope where there was none, pledging to illuminate a nation shrouded in darkness. He was supposed to be our political messiah, a man of unmatched ability who would lead us to the Promised Land. We never arrived.
Five years later, here we stand, far from paradise. President Obama came into office declaring he could do it all, believing America would follow him to the end. He promised to reduce partisanship, provide “jobs for the jobless” and affordable health care for all, and spur a strong economic recovery. He failed. Instead, compromise is dead, labor force participation has dropped to its lowest level since March 1978, premiums are rising, and we’ve suffered one of the worst economic recoveries in American history.
My friends, the honeymoon is over. Obama built his Presidency on promises he couldn’t keep and America is finally waking up. I may be a moderate, but I reserve the right to criticize bad leaders. Barack Obama is a bad leader.
Crippled by pride, or at the very least, chronic naivety, Obama hasn’t delivered. He thought his election would mark the moment “our planet began to heal” and “our image as the last bastion of hope on Earth [was restored].” That hope could not have been further from the truth.
The last five years have been some of the most divisive in American history, wracked by extreme partisanship in the government and across the country. From gun control and the Travyon Martin case to health care and spending, the President hasn’t healed any divides. He’s deepened them, pitting friend against friend, neighbor against neighbor. He allowed a political skirmish to become an ideological war.
Do not mistake what I am saying, or rather, what I am not saying. Congress is equally responsible for our miserable state of affairs. In fact, one could convincingly argue the House and Senate deserve more blame than President Obama. To be candid, I agree with that assessment. Since the day Obama took office, Republicans have been wholly unwilling to work with him and his administration (see: Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz).
That said, Congress did not make the promises Mr. Obama did. He pledged to work with the House and Senate to craft bipartisan solutions to America’s woes. He hasn’t done that; in reality, his equally frustrating unwillingness to compromise has fanned the flames of division and pushed the GOP further from the negotiating table.
That is why I’m criticizing Obama: not because he’s uniquely culpable for the partisanship we see today or the lack of progress crippling our nation, but because he must be held accountable for his words.
Credibility matters; President Obama doesn’t have any left. Scarred by misrepresentations, lies, and failed expectations, his administration is crumbling. Five years after being deified by the media, he must reap what he sowed. He must live with the consequences of promising the world and failing to deliver.