Let us have done with you.

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AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Listen To You Tell Me Texas Friday 1/13/17

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Barack Obama leaves office next week but we now know that he won’t be leaving Washington. The ostensible reason is so that 15-year old Sasha can finish high school.

The cynic in me says there is more to it than that.

The first clue comes from Obama’s farewell speech Tuesday night. Rather than an Oval Office speech lasting 15 or 20 minutes – as has been the custom – Obama said “farewell” to a packed-house 18,000 seat arena in Chicago in front of a video wall showing a giant presidential seal.

That spectacle suggests that it is rather unlikely that Obama will follow the lead of his predecessor and slip quietly back into relative obscurity. He says that he intends to lay back. But he qualifies that by saying that on “foundational issues” he might “weigh in.”

I therefore expect that “foundational issues” will come up pretty quickly. And from his perch at a walking-distance remove from the White House, I expect Obama to “weigh in” on them soon and often.

How else to burnish a legacy lacking in lasting beneficial impact on the American people?

Obama’s sole legislative accomplishment is the now collapsing Affordable Care Act. It having passed totally on party lines, it is open to almost certain repeal on party lines.

Having lost a Democratic majority in Congress on his first mid-term election, Obama was forced to use executive orders to “accomplish” anything. For those “accomplishments” to last, he was counting on a Hillary Clinton victory. A Donald Trump victory makes the rescission of most of those executive orders a virtual certainty.

What we are then left with is what one can argue is the most disappointing presidency in modern history. Elected on “Hope & Change,” Obama’s presidency ends with two thirds of Americans saying the country is on the wrong track.

He leaves behind a health care industry of rapidly rising costs together with rapidly diminishing care.

He leaves a military so depleted as to be at risk of being incapable of even its most basic mission.

We have a massive expansion of the welfare state, an explosion of the national debt, the completely avoidable rise of ISIS as terror threat to the free world, increasing belligerence from China and Russia, a nuclear North Korea and a nuclearizing Iran; all topped by an economy that has seen median family incomes decline, the middle class shrink and the rate of business deaths exceed the rate of business births.

At the end of another disappointing administration, Jimmy Carter had the good sense to leave town and (initially, at least) lay low. Barack Obama should follow that example but likely won’t.

It recalls 1940 and Leo Amery, quoting Oliver Cromwell, and speaking in Parliament to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain during which Amery said,

You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go.”

Indeed, Mr. President. Please. In the name of God, go.

Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of Gleiser Communications, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The Team FM & KYZS in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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11 Responses

  1. I tried to listen to Obama’s whole farewell speech, given it would be his last, but I just couldn’t take it to the end. Thank God the man will soon be just so much bad history.

  2. Linda E Montrose says:

    I didn’t watch or listen to the farewell speech. In the whole time he has sat in the Whitehouse, I have not watched him because he is something I can not even look at, much less listen to. The evil he has done to this nation is being prepared to be overhauled. He can not stand the fact he has been a dismal failure to the American people. Trump has already shown he is preparing to step in and start to make America GREAT AGAIN. I have one piece of advice to the out going fauxpresident and that is: It is not wise to poke a rattlesnake and expect it not to strike and bite you.

  3. Things were MUCH better before he took-over.

  4. steve says:

    Anything is better than trump. Anything.

  5. Jeff says:

    I can’t begin to say how inaccurate and hypocritical this article is. Maybe you need to check your facts (even the little things) in this before you decide to publish it.

    • Paul Gleiser says:

      Check my facts? No problem.

      The mood of the country: See the Economist/YouGov poll of 1,069 registered voters taken Jan 6 – 10, 2017. Wrong track: 60, right track 25. Worth noting that these numbers have IMPROVED since polls taken in late October before the election.

      Obamacare: Take your pick of literally hundreds of articles detailing insurance premium increases of 20, 30 and 40 percent, soaring deductibles, insurance companies pulling out of exchanges and a rapidly growing shortage of primary care physicians. Truly, take your pick from HUNDREDS of articles.

      State of U.S. military: See this DoD report from 2015. Things have not improved since. https://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/604355/military-leaders-report-concerns-on-long-term-readiness

      Has ISIS not expanded on Obama’s watch? Of course it has since ISIS didn’t even exist in 2008. Has the national debt NOT doubled during Obama’s two terms? That’s simple math. Have the welfare, food stamp, et.al. rolls NOT expanded during Obama’s years? Again, numbers are easily obtained. The same with data on median household income, the state of the middle class, etc.

      I could go on.

      If you want to point out a specific factual error, by all means do so. But until you do, I’m standing by the piece.

      • Neal Derren says:

        It’s interesting that two thirds believe the country is on the wrong track, but President Obama has an approval rating over 50%. Maybe the people attribute that “wrong track” to some other entity.

        For Obamacare, you are spot on. Obama and the Democrats own it. It will be interesting to see how the new administration fixes Obamacare while still leaving in some of the more costly provisions like pre-existing conditions.

        The military budget increased each year from 2009 until 2011. At that point the Budget Control Act of 2011 (i.e. sequestration) kicked in. Keep in mind that Republicans in the house voted 3 to 1 in favor of that bill.

        ISIS seems to have arisen out of the ashes of the war in Iraq and the ongoing civil war in Syria. The troop withdrawal in Iraq was set in motion by an agreement President Bush made with the Iraqi government. As for Syria, our meddling may have contributed to ISIS, but it’s altogether possible that had we done nothing, it would have formed anyway. Do you have some links to articles that were written predicting it’s formation?

        The national debt also doubled during the Reagan and Bush administrations. Maybe you consider those failed administrations as well.

        Median household income did fall precipitously after the economic crash in 2008. Since then, it has been climbing in a mostly upward direction.

        • Richard Anderson says:

          To those individuals who were polled and gave President Obama a 50% approval rating, clearly are in DENIAL of the facts, basing their assumptions on the reporting of “the opinions” of the liberal MSM and NOT of “the facts” on the ground as proved out by a complete and utter REPUDIAITION of President Obama and his protégé Hillary Clinton on November the 8th 2016 by the American people. It was an electoral landslide in favor of Donald J. Trump, the 45th President Elect of The United States.

          Also, to note, as a matter of record, the national debt has MUSHROOMED under Obama’s time & tenure to more than all previous Presidents of our Republic COMBINED.

          • Neal Derren says:

            Mr. Trump did not win with an electoral landslide. Why do people insist on perpetuating this fallacy? When comparing the margin of victory for our nation’s 58 presidential elections, Mr. Trump came in at number 46.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_presidential_elections_by_Electoral_College_margin

            On September 30th of 1980 (just prior to President Reagan’s victory), our nation’s debt stood at almost 908 billion dollars. On September 30th of 1988, our debt stood at 2.6 trillion. So during President Reagan’s tenure, our country spent almost twice as much as every other administration combined.

            On September 30th of 2000 (just prior to President George W. Bush’s victory), our nation’s debt stood at almost 5.7 trillion dollars. On September 30th of 2008, our debt was a little over 10 trillion dollars. So during President Bush’s tenure, our country spent almost as much as every other administration combined.

            https://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt.htm

            It is quite disingenuous to deride Mr. Obama for doubling our nation’s debt without acknowledging that the same thing occurred during other administrations as well.

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