Quote of the Day:
That wasn't the last insult Barack Obama absorbed in Hangzhou. The president of the Philippines, long considered a U.S. ally, called him a name family publications usually don't print. It's rare for an American president to be treated with such contempt. It's what happens when you draw red lines and do nothing when people step over them.
Barone's column is headlined "How's That Fundamental Transformation Going?" and the answer has to be, both on the international and domestic front: not so good.
You remember the global euphoria when President Obama was elected, and the world realized that he would make the United States less of a dominant figure on the world stage?
Well, it turns out that when the U.S. isn't a world power the president isn't that respected. Nor is the country. And the world is not safer. Barone's column is today's must-read and it delineatesthe failure of President Obama's "fundamental transformation" at home and abroad.
ObamaCare is the biggest failure at home, becoming more obviously a disaster with each passing day. How did the Democrats mess up so badly with health care reform?
One reason for Obamacare's problems is that it was jammed through Congress in defiance of public opinion and contrary to legislative regular order. The public, speaking through the unlikely medium of the voters of Massachusetts, made clear their views when Scott Brown won a January 2010 special election after promising to cast a decisive vote against Obamacare.
That left Democrats with no ideal options. In December, the Senate, with Democrats' 60-vote supermajority, had passed a placeholder measure with plenty of wrinkles to be ironed out. With the 60th vote gone, their options were to jam that bill through a reluctant House or to drop back and negotiate with Republicans on a more limited alternative.
Politicians have to act without the luxury of knowing the future. Barack Obama, at the urging of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, decided to push ahead, in the hopes that after the bill was passed and (as Pelosi said) people learned what was in it, it would be popular. Don't people always want more free stuff?
Well, not necessarily, says Barone. ObamaCare is enormously unpopular and has not worked as the president hoped. Nor has Iran. After the nuclear deal (we can't say treaty because a treaty would have to have been approved by Congress–come to think of it, diktat might be a better word than deal), and all the cash transfers to Iran, the world's prime exporter of terrorism has not given up on its nuclear ambitions.
Yeah, the world has been transformed.
Great column from Barone.