How to Grade Obama’s Presidency in 10 Minutes – or Less
“Reach for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land in the stars!”
These words appear on a sign outside a nearby elementary school. They apply to President Obama’s presidency as he departs.
To be respectful, objective and thorough in evaluating eight years of Obama in office, this commentary is a little lengthier since a breezy, superficial treatment doesn’t serve us or Mr. Obama well. Let’s begin.
Barack Obama believes his presidency has been a success. Speaking recently before a sea of “standing o” supporters in Chicago, he beamed as he rehearsed what he views as his landmark
achievements: Iran accord; recession “recovery”; outreach to Cuba; Bin Laden capture; ObamaCare; and, “unleashing the longest stretch of job creation in our history!”
He used his rhetorical skills to also highlight climate change advances; “race relations better than they were 10, 20 or 30 years ago;” and, “healthcare costs rising at the slowest rate in 50 years.”
His farewell address was longer than that of Reagan, Clinton and G.W. Bush combined. He referenced himself 75 times! He tearfully concluded, assuring us that “America is a better, stronger place” igniting the throngs to shout along with him, “Yes we can! Yes we did! Yes we can!”
Question: Is it possible for leaders to project prosperity and peace while it’s contrary to reality? Of course! Jeremiah 8:11 exposes officials saying, “ ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.”
I’m convinced Barack Obama believes it when he says. “By almost every measure the country is better off than when we started!” Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt that he’s unaware of the scriptural admonition, “Let another man praise you and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips” (Prv. 27:2).
Others identify more with Wall Street Journal’s editorial, “[Barack Obama’s] presidency has been a disappointment at home and abroad, a fact ironically underscored by Mr. Obama’s relentless insistence that he has been a success” (Jan 9, 2017).
In his “hope and change” pledge to “unify us” and “fundamentally transform America,” he certainly reached for the moon, did land among the stars but the time has come to evaluate his record.
This following evaluation of our 44th president is not personal but based on his policies and performance. I prayed for him every single day (encouraging others to do likewise) yet can’t concur with how he sees himself and his legacy.
Dealing With Reality
Have you ever faced a situation in management where your team affirmed qualities in a well-liked co-worker yet had to face the reality of incompetence? Someone can be generous… friendly… have a beautiful family… yet doesn’t get the job done? As gut wrenching as it is, the person has to be let go.
In our case, the person is not Obama, who can’t run again, but his “anointed” successor, viewed as an extension of himself and his policies. America overwhelmingly said, “No mas!” This follows eight years of his party losing almost 1,000 State House seats, 12 Governorships, 13 Senate seats and 69 House seats!
Leadership is about real results. When Alabama lost to Clemson in the recent national championship game, their coach, Nick Saban, retained his proven record of five national championships. Alabama’s football program was 67-55 in the decade before he arrived. His record is 119–19 these past ten years.
Because millions have an emotional attachment to Obama and others want to avoid bigotry charges, his approval rating stays high. Yet the reality is this: Much of what President Obama did is not going to survive this next presidency, some not even the next month! Therefore it behooves us to carefully look at his record and learn lessons for future generations.
Ten Areas to Assign Grades
Jerry Seinfield said, “Obama was the coolest guy to hold this office.”
Let’s go deeper, looking through the lens of Scripture and measure fruit, as Jesus taught, with a Biblical worldview.
God directs us to be faithful stewards of finances (Lk.16:11) and steer clear of debt (Rom.13:8). We do not want to foist upon our children and grandchildren an avalanche of debt that crushes them.
Obama pledged to reduce the national debt one-half by the time he ended his first term in office. Instead he allowed it to double from $10 trillion to $20 trillion by his lack of leadership regarding reckless spending, entitlements and waste. Forty-seven percent of America’s more than 200-year debt has been accumulated during these past eight years! Grade: F
2. Recession “Recovery”
God commands us to be truthful and not lie (Ex. 20:16). While
wages have been stagnant for eight years, Obama’s Administration uses cleverly worded statements to camouflage facts, confuse the unsuspecting and convey the impression that the “propped up” economy is roaring. The number of people on food stamps exploded from 30 million when Obama started to 46.5 million! A record 93 million Americans are not in the labor force and home ownership is at a 48 year low!
His $831 billion “Stimulus Package” doled out millions to automakers encumbered with pensions; gave $535 million for the boondoggle Solyndra, the solar-powered manufacturer that went bankrupt; $1.3 million for road signs hailing the success of the Stimulus Package; plus millions in wasteful spending for so-called “shovel ready projects” that never materialized. Grade: F
ObamaCare is a disaster and will be repealed. God commands us not to lie yet Obama promoted ObamaCare with what has been called the biggest lie of the decade that, “You can keep your doctor and you’ll save money!” Twelve out of 23 co-ops failed at a cost of $1.2 billion. Seven-hundred-forty thousand Americans have been forced to find new health insurance. As foretold, premiums and deductibles skyrocketed amidst calls for more and more government subsidies. Obama’s “affordable healthcare” is not affordable but a total disaster. Grade “F”
4. National Security and Terrorism
Government’s God-ordained role is to protect its citizens (Rom.13:1-6) yet our president’s track record here is appalling as he refused to identify ISIS as the world’s greatest threat, deflecting us to climate change instead. Telling us that “ISIS is not Islam,” “They are a JV squad” and are “being contained” all the while they advanced globally and in our nation. Former House Speaker, Newt Gingrich, finally threw up his hands and declared, “Obama is the greatest national security threat to ever occupy the White House.”
Withdrawing our troops from the Middle East prematurely and contrary to our military adviser’s counsel brought about the birth of ISIS; hundreds of thousands of innocents were slaughtered; irreplaceable holy sites were demolished; and, a heartbreaking refugee crisis resulted as migrants fled to Europe with multitudes dying and families devastated. Grade: F
5. Illegal Immigration
God calls to care for immigrants and orphans but He established borders (Acts 17:26) and required the immigrant to keep the laws of the land just like the native people (Ex. 12:48-49; Ex. 23:12). Jesus made it crystal clear: “I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of the sheepfold rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber” (Jn. 10:1). When people argue, “We need to bring people out of the shadows,” there is a reason lawbreakers are there in the first place! Jesus also said, “Everyone who does evil, hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed” (John 3:20).
Refusing to act responsibly to protect our nation from illegal immigrants, drug transporters and sex traffickers, our president promoted open borders and amnesty for any and all while guaranteeing privileges and entitlements. Laws were disregarded and lives endangered by his feckless approach. Add to this powder keg, hundreds of sanctuary cities emerged where lawless officials ignored the safety of citizens and protected illegal criminals.
One of the primary reasons for the unprecedented popularity of Donald Trump as a presidential candidate was tens of millions of Americans resonated with his message of stopping illegal immigration, establishing a fair and compassionate pathway to citizenship, and building a wall already on the books but not enforced. Grade: “F”
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