How would you grade Obama's presidency?

Any metric scale is fine (A-F, 1-10, 1-100, etc.). His approval ratings are obviously positive at this point, but I am curious to hear some monkeys' thoughts about his administration and its legacy.

Just to get the ball rolling, these are a few questions that I think are relevant: What are some things he did well? Where did he fall short? What would you say are flawed perceptions of his administration? How would you characterize his legacy?

Comments (191)

Jul 17, 2017

Well, on a scale of 1-10 ...

Zero

Because he did nothing. Maybe -5 actually, for detracting value from our nation.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Jul 17, 2017

Uhh.. do you fuck with the war?

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Jul 17, 2017

was about to post this

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Jul 17, 2017

8/10 memes

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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Jul 17, 2017

You're asking the wrong crowd, OP

Jul 17, 2017

D+ for (misguided) effort

(I think he was trying?)

Jul 17, 2017

7/10. Negative points for expanding security state and generally being more hawkish than he campaigned on. Positive points for expanding healthcare coverage, recovery from great recession and generally being a thoughtful/insightful person.

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Jul 17, 2017

I think people put too much emphasis on a president being "thoughtful" though. I mean, we "hire" the president to get a job done, not be our mother/father.

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Jul 17, 2017

Being POTUS involves solving extremely challenging, complicated and nuanced problems. By thoughtful I did not mean the 'nice person' connotation, I meant that he has an appreciation for the complexity of the issues and weighs contrasting approaches carefully.

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Jul 17, 2017

Expanding healthcare coverage has been an unmitigated disaster, not sure what you're giving him points for? He basically massively expanded Medicaid and other forms of federal payment, furthering the welfare state, and consequently created an enormous hole in the federal budget. Besides, those things, it did nothing to roll back the cost of healthcare for the average citizen and only benefited the very poorest / oldest, on the backs of everyone else.

It will probably take several administrations and multiple decades to the right the heaping, smelly Obamacare turd he laid.

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Nov 11, 2017

Slowest recovery for any recession in the past 70 years...I wouldn't exactly call that an accomplishment. Go back and look at events like the crash of '87 and the savings & loan crisis. These were huge financial crises which did not require 7 years of recovery....

Also, markets in general trend back toward an equilibrium and recover unless really thrown off balance by dumb interventions. The market would eventually recover even if Obama just spent most of his administration playing golf.....oh wait that's actually what did happen.

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Jul 17, 2017

Scale of A-Z

N

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Aug 4, 2017

3/5 stars

Aug 4, 2017

50%. He didn't have to do shit. Just be a distraction for the people with true power. Delay reform while they reap billions.

Aug 4, 2017

His legacy was already stamped when he took office.

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Aug 5, 2017

Interesting point. Obama took the presidency after a dangerous Bush with a destroyed economy (fundamentals at horrible level from unemployment to markets).
He did not bad on this side: in their campaign he said to block WS follies but in fact he did nothing, and this is good for markets. He encouraged free market and good treats (eg TTIP with Eu).
I don't like Obamacare, I don't like his no interventionism about arabs spring.
Overall I think is a 6.5/10

Nov 9, 2017

F; the guy was a race-baiting know-nothing.

Only in America can you be a guy in your late-40s, have a law degree but have never held any real job, and gain the most powerful office in the world based on leftists promoting the hell out of you because of your skin pigment and ability to sound convincing when you read off a teleprompter.

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Nov 10, 2017

I give Obama a C/C- overall. To be fair, he did become President in the aftermath of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, so he was dealt a terrible hand. And his legacy as our first black President will be permanently enshrined in history.

In domestic policy, Obama made the correct decision to not nationalize the banks and surprisingly went easy on the bank CEOs. His calm and cerebral demeanor did reassure investors that he was not some firebrand socialist. I was not a big fan of the stimulus and auto bailout, largely because they were inefficient allocations of taxpayer dollars which were mere temporary stopgaps rather than actual solutions that addressed sluggish aggregate demand. I wish Obama pushed for genuine tax reform and bigger R&D and infrastructure spending when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress.

Obama's single most important domestic policy achievement, Obamacare, is a disaster and brings down his ratings significantly. Obama prioritized universal health care and coverage of pre-existing conditions above everything else. The only way to achieve that, however, is by using a hybrid system of government mandate and subsidies disguised as "free-market" in order to win over the lobbyists and moderates who hate single payer. Obamacare failed for several reasons: 1) not enough healthy people signed up to subsidize the sick, 2) insurance firms have no choice but to raise premiums and deductibles since Obamacare forces them to cover those who sign up for insurance AFTER getting sick and charge the same premiums for a given plan to everybody regardless of their health, 3) Medicaid expansion accounts for roughly 45% of new health care coverage under Obamacare, which is a problem because Medicaid recipients are not offered the same choices in primary care providers and thus have to resort to emergency room care, which is a lot more expensive, 4) the main reason insurance firms stay on the exchanges is due to the cost sharing reduction subsidies they get from the government, which is unconstitutional and amounts to massive government interference in the markets. Simply put, Obamacare is not a permanent solution of any sort but rather a temporary "transition" plan meant to eventually usher in single payer if the Democrats have their way.

Regulations were out of control during the Obama era. Dodd-Frank did not address the systemic problems within the financial system; rather, it made the big banks even bigger while crippling the small banks that could not afford the compliance costs. The EPA imposed a series of onerous burdens on the energy industry, becoming a tool of the environmental zealots.

In foreign policy, Obama has been a debacle. I opposed Bush's Iraq War, but to give credit, the surge in Iraq in 2007 worked and largely stabilized the region. Obama's premature withdrawal from Iraq before the Iraqis were ready, resulted in a power vacuum and helped usher in the rise of ISIS. In Libya, Obama decided to intervene by toppling Gaddafi, even though the dictator was nothing more than a paper tiger who would have been our servant if we let him stay in power. Now, Libya is a war torn mess. In Syria, Obama foolishly drew a "red line" that he could not enforce, undermining our credibility on the world stage. There was a window of opportunity in 2011-2012 when the Free Syrian Army was on the verge of taking Damascus, but Obama chose to stay put. Perhaps that was the right decision given that we do not want to get bogged down in a proxy war with Russia, but our foes took the message that Obama could be pushed around and would not assert U.S. power. During the Arab Spring, Obama did not encourage the pro-West democratic freedom fighters, instead siding with the radical Islamic Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi in Egypt, a baffling move. Morsi's successor, El-Sisi, is certainly not a nice guy, but he's a secular President who fights radical Islamic groups. Finally, Obama adopted an apologetic tone towards the world, giving speeches in which he constantly denigrated American exceptionalism in a pathetic attempt to reach out to the Muslim world. Did this convince radical Muslims to stop hating us? Of course not.

Obama's influence on America's cultural and social landscape has been harmful as well. Obama pushed the Democratic Party very far to the left, by transforming it from the centrist party of Bill Clinton into one obsessed with identity politics. Obama sliced the electorate into ethnic groups, pitting them against each other. The executive branch, most notably the DOJ and the IRS, were weaponized into political agencies that targeted conservative groups. Examples include the assault on Catholic nuns and DOJ's monitoring of FOX news reporter James Rosen. It's no accident that Americans feel that race relations are worse now than they were before Obama. Although he ran as a moderate uniter in 2008, his politics was deeply divisive.

Politically, the Democratic Party suffered massive losses during the Obama presidency. His brand of big government policies and cultural liberalism did not resonate with the American people when he was not on the ballot. Unlike FDR and Reagan, Obama was unable to use his personal popularity to truly expand his party and re-align the American electorate.

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Nov 10, 2017
Rufus1234:

I give Obama a C/C- overall. To be fair, he did become President in the aftermath of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, so he was dealt a terrible hand. And his legacy as our first black President will be permanently enshrined in history.

In domestic policy, Obama made the correct decision to not nationalize the banks and surprisingly went easy on the bank CEOs. His calm and cerebral demeanor did reassure investors that he was not some firebrand socialist. I was not a big fan of the stimulus and auto bailout, largely because they were inefficient allocations of taxpayer dollars which were mere temporary stopgaps rather than actual solutions that addressed sluggish aggregate demand. I wish Obama pushed for genuine tax reform and bigger R&D and infrastructure spending when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress.

Obama's single most important domestic policy achievement, Obamacare, is a disaster and brings down his ratings significantly. Obama prioritized universal health care and coverage of pre-existing conditions above everything else. The only way to achieve that, however, is by using a hybrid system of government mandate and subsidies disguised as "free-market" in order to win over the lobbyists and moderates who hate single payer. Obamacare failed for several reasons: 1) not enough healthy people signed up to subsidize the sick, 2) insurance firms have no choice but to raise premiums and deductibles since Obamacare forces them to cover those who sign up for insurance AFTER getting sick and charge the same premiums for a given plan to everybody regardless of their health, 3) Medicaid expansion accounts for roughly 45% of new health care coverage under Obamacare, which is a problem because Medicaid recipients are not offered the same choices in primary care providers and thus have to resort to emergency room care, which is a lot more expensive, 4) the main reason insurance firms stay on the exchanges is due to the cost sharing reduction subsidies they get from the government, which is unconstitutional and amounts to massive government interference in the markets. Simply put, Obamacare is not a permanent solution of any sort but rather a temporary "transition" plan meant to eventually usher in single payer if the Democrats have their way.

Regulations were out of control during the Obama era. Dodd-Frank did not address the systemic problems within the financial system; rather, it made the big banks even bigger while crippling the small banks that could not afford the compliance costs. The EPA imposed a series of onerous burdens on the energy industry, becoming a tool of the environmental zealots.

In foreign policy, Obama has been a debacle. I opposed Bush's Iraq War, but to give credit, the surge in Iraq in 2007 worked and largely stabilized the region. Obama's premature withdrawal from Iraq before the Iraqis were ready, resulted in a power vacuum and helped usher in the rise of ISIS. In Libya, Obama decided to intervene by toppling Gaddafi, even though the dictator was nothing more than a paper tiger who would have been our servant if we let him stay in power. Now, Libya is a war torn mess. In Syria, Obama foolishly drew a "red line" that he could not enforce, undermining our credibility on the world stage. There was a window of opportunity in 2011-2012 when the Free Syrian Army was on the verge of taking Damascus, but Obama chose to stay put. Perhaps that was the right decision given that we do not want to get bogged down in a proxy war with Russia, but our foes took the message that Obama could be pushed around and would not assert U.S. power. During the Arab Spring, Obama did not encourage the pro-West democratic freedom fighters, instead siding with the radical Islamic Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi in Egypt, a baffling move. Morsi's successor, El-Sisi, is certainly not a nice guy, but he's a secular President who fights radical Islamic groups. Finally, Obama adopted an apologetic tone towards the world, giving speeches in which he constantly denigrated American exceptionalism in a pathetic attempt to reach out to the Muslim world. Did this convince radical Muslims to stop hating us? Of course not.

Obama's influence on America's cultural and social landscape has been harmful as well. Obama pushed the Democratic Party very far to the left, by transforming it from the centrist party of Bill Clinton into one obsessed with identity politics. Obama sliced the electorate into ethnic groups, pitting them against each other. The executive branch, most notably the DOJ and the IRS, were weaponized into political agencies that targeted conservative groups. Examples include the assault on Catholic nuns and DOJ's monitoring of FOX news reporter James Rosen. It's no accident that Americans feel that race relations are worse now than they were before Obama. Although he ran as a moderate uniter in 2008, his politics was deeply divisive.

Politically, the Democratic Party suffered massive losses during the Obama presidency. His brand of big government policies and cultural liberalism did not resonate with the American people when he was not on the ballot. Unlike FDR and Reagan, Obama was unable to use his personal popularity to truly expand his party and re-align the American electorate.

Dude, you were probably a riot in college.

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Nov 11, 2017

I agree with most of this. Think that the impact of his weak foreign policy is likely to be felt over the next few years/decades as his lack of resolve emboldened great power adversaries like Russia, China, and Iran to asset themselves more regionally which has lead to what some academics have called "the slow return to great power politics."

The expansion of the regulatory regime is certainly unfortunate, and definitely has been a big drag on growth over the last few years of the expansion. I mostly agree vis a vis ACA but given the Democratic alternatives (single payer, nationalization of medicine) the ACA is at least a well-intentioned attempt to find a middle ground. Healthcare is essentially not provided by a free-market, and he though (a bit arrogantly) that he could throw money at the problem, make the government a bigger competitor to the private sector, and add a few regulations and could thus encourage more market behavior. It was missing a lot of the key nuances that could've made it work (actually the insurance companies got their way too much) but it mostly just costs money, at least it doesn't take away your right to get quality medical care from a private provider of your choosing (which most Democrats these days would do).

His blatant disregard for the separation of powers and the rule of law might leave a more important impact though, as he expanded the powers of the president to levels only paralleled really by Richard Nixon and FDR (Nixon's assertiveness we might note engendered numerous legislative checks on the executive). He was faced with congressional opposition so he carefully nurtured a pocket bureaucracy and tried to legislative by executive decree. The courts are still sorting through a lot of what he did, but I think Presidents in the future may be emboldened by Obama to expand the powers of the presidency, which could be disastrous for the rule of law and constitutional checks and balances.

The politicization isn't really his fault. He did go low in the 2012 election, but a lot of the racial and demographic vitriol attributed to him is a result of other factors and by simply being a black president a lot of the leftward movement of his party is attributed to him. In fact, a lot of the Democratic move towards socialism is likely a reaction to his centrism rather than his liberalism. He was elected as a relatively unknown quantity and campaigned pretty far on the left, but he governed considerably more towards the middle than many of his supporters (and even detractors although they'd never be caught admitting it) expected going into his first term.

As an establishment Republican, I would rank Obama somewhere in the middle of the pack for post-war Democratic presidents. Clinton, Truman and Kennedy would lead the pack, with Obama somewhat behind. At least he wasn't as bad as LBJ or fucking Jimmy Carter, who was by far the biggest cuck to ever be elected and the worst President in modern American politics.

Nov 10, 2017

I'd rate him 8 AVOCADOs out of SEX DUNGEON.

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Nov 10, 2017

On a 1-10 scale he's a negative.

Probably the worst and most incompetent president in history. Embarrassed to admit I thought he had a chance to be a pretty good president in 2008. But very spotty resume and unqualified.

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Nov 11, 2017

Inherited a horrible economic policy situation. Left behind a horrible foreign policy situation. Did very little to fix the former which eventually fixed itself and did very little on the latter which created our very predicament today with Syria, North Korea, Afghanistan, etc

I give him a C+....Going into his administration, the rhetoric was very socialist and but ultimately, he got nothing done. His rhetoric was an F; the reality of his administration was probably a C+.

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Nov 11, 2017

This would be pretty good if you elaborated on some of these and cited all of them. SB for the effort though.

Nov 11, 2017
undefined:

This would be pretty good if you elaborated on some of these and cited all of them. SB for the effort though.

All of these first are a load of BS. See link:

http://www.mythdebunk.com/obamas-presidential-firsts/

You know you've been working too hard when you stop dreaming about bottles of champagne and hordes of naked women, and start dreaming about conditional formatting and circular references.

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Nov 11, 2017

Worse than James Buchanan

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Nov 11, 2017

GW still way worse. A bunch of ticky tacky crap doesn't equal a pointless trillion dollar war and the stupidity of running supply side & keynesian economics at the exact same time.

I know every GOP person now says that GW wasn't a true conservative, blah blah blah. But I didn't hear a peep of that when he was in office.

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Nov 11, 2017
undefined:

GW still way worse. A bunch of ticky tacky crap doesn't equal a pointless trillion dollar war and the stupidity of running supply side & keynesian economics at the exact same time.

I know every GOP person now says that GW wasn't a true conservative, blah blah blah. But I didn't hear a peep of that when he was in office.

Not that got published in the media anyway. The libertarians always hated him, and his amnesty plan, then the bailouts, pissed off most of the rest of the party.

Nov 11, 2017

@coreytrevor

there's no true scottsman. Also did you guys know Obama's middle name was Hussein!!? "Barack Hussein Osama Obama Bin Laden", it says so right there on the birth certificate that doesn't exist.

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Nov 11, 2017

@ChimpinOut ... fox news much??

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Nov 11, 2017

This is troll-tastic.

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Nov 11, 2017

He's one of the worst presidents in American history. Not as bad as Pierce, Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Wilson, Hoover, and LBJ, but just above them.

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Nov 11, 2017
undefined:

He's one of the worst presidents in American history. Not as bad as Pierce, Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Wilson, Hoover, and LBJ, but just above them.

ITT WSO users make bold statements without any evidence to back them up

You know you've been working too hard when you stop dreaming about bottles of champagne and hordes of naked women, and start dreaming about conditional formatting and circular references.

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Nov 11, 2017

wtf do you expect @Zweihander. Who needs facts or rationale when you have Fox News to tell you what your opinion is?

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Nov 11, 2017
undefined:

wtf do you expect @Zweihander. Who needs facts or rationale when you have Fox News to tell you what your opinion is?

Or the WSJ,CNBC, or Bloomberg for that matter. I know for a fact about several extremely important pieces of information that they won't report on.

Here's a tip: If you want good information use either European media or small, independent financial media.

Nov 11, 2017

Original post reads like an e-mail from someone's great-aunt with a header like "FW: FW: RE: FW: FW: FW: You must read this!! Not pictures of kittens this time!!!".

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Nov 11, 2017

"Now pass this email along to 30 people and your next wish will be granted"

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Nov 11, 2017

The whole idea of the presidency is a joke. We might as well change the title of that job any way. The president should now be know as the "entertainer in chief". In reality that's what the job is supposed to be anyway.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Nov 11, 2017

You forgot about the important stuff:

  1. Lead the largest expansion of debt in human history, inflating bond bubbles and potentially triggering an international currency/debt crisis.
  2. Resided over the weakest economic recovery since the great depression
  3. Only president to see 0% median household income growth throughout his entire presidency
  4. Still less people working today than when he took office
  5. implemented policies leading to systemic consolidation within the banking system, magnifying the "too big to fail" phenomenon (systemic fragility)
  6. First president to assassinate two Americans for terrorism charges without trial or arrest
  7. Gave $500 billion in weapons to "Syrian rebel fighters" that turned out to be ISIS
  8. Gave Mexican drug cartels millions in weapons in order to "trace their activity." Verified that weapons were used to kill American law enforcement and has not resulted in a single arrest.
  9. Exacerbated race tensions by continuously and intentionally framing issues as race-related (Trayvon Martin) for political gain.
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Nov 11, 2017

The IRS sent my Tax forms back! AGAIN!!! I guess it was because of my response to the question : "List all dependents?" I replied -"16 million illegal immigrants;"3 million crack heads;"42 million unemployable people on food stamps,"2 million people in over 243 prisons; "Half of Mexico ; and "541 fools in the U.S. House and Senate."

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Best Response
Nov 11, 2017

I personally think Obama is a shit President, but reality is you need at least a couple decades to see how their policies have an impact. Maybe in 20 years we will look back at Obamacare as an amazing piece of legislation. Maybe his foreign policy will turn out to have worked. Who knows.

http://www.politico.com/f/?id=0000015a-4d99-d5b6-a...
So it takes 3 clicks to the source document and it turns out that this ranking is from 3 historians. I tried finding the individual ranking by historian, but it looks like a combo ranking. That being said, gotta love the headline.

""Although 12th is a respectable overall ranking, one would have thought that former President Obama's favorable rating when he left office would have translated into a higher ranking in this presidential survey," Howard University historian Edna Greene Medford said in a statement. "But, of course, historians prefer to view the past from a distance, and only time will reveal his legacy."

Yeah, exactly. Time will tell. Sorry, but my personal opinion is that Obama will end up in the bottom and I say this because of the hype he was elected into. If he was elected as a normal President I would say he was OK, but he came in as the second coming of Jesus.

  • Doubled the national debt
  • Left with horrible foreign relations (elected specifically to unify)
  • Divided the country racially
  • Obamacare (aka kick back to insurance companies)
  • Poor economic growth

Frankly, how any recent President could rank higher than the Presidents who helped form this country is beyond me. Pure political bullshit.

Nov 11, 2017
  1. Debt doubled because tax receipts declined due to lower economic output after the worst recession since the Great Depression. Obama enacted deficit spending consistently over his term because of anti-austerity thinking. It was a policy that, if we are comparing to the other developed parts of the world--Europe--made sense.
  2. Can you give us the narrative, statistics, and conventional thinking behind "horrible foreign relations"?
  3. How did a black man cause racial division? What is your genuine perspective on this, vs that cliche Trump supporter talk. And what are the statistics that say the country is more racially divided? As I recall, less blacks voted for Hillary than did Obama, and some even turned to vote for Trump.
  4. Obamacare needs improvement, but why are you calling it a "kickback" to insurers?
  5. The economy is in great shape right now outside of the manageable debt problems. Manufacturing unemployment is lower than the broader economy unemployment rate, 4.2% vs 4.9%. Output is beating all-time high levels set before the financial crisis in the first quarter of 2008. Stocks are rallying because of strong 4th quarter profitability, incurred during the Obama administration. And yields are set to rise, along with growth and inflation expectations. I'm confused where your arguments come from across the board.

Pic

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Nov 11, 2017

You are completely out of touch if you think the racial divide exists because of the President. There has been a racial divide in this country for decades. People life your self either didn't care or didn't pay attention. The notion that we were left divided is such bullshit. We were never unified as a nation.

Trump and Sanders popularity show that there were a lot of people left out of economic prosperity due to structural economic shifts. In reality there were two recoveries. One for high skilled workers and one for low skilled workers. It is the latter which has been anemic. The situation with low skilled labor is a long term problem that lacks any truly great solutions. That reality has nothing to do with who is President. Lets also not ignore the fact the poorest have made income gains.

Economic growth has been slow for a number of reasons (much of which has little to do with policy). Demographics, lack of capacity, skills gap, automation, globalization, smaller state and federal government employment,etc. In a perfect world you probably wouldn't hit 4% growth in an economy that has our demographics and is as developed as ours without a major innovation. It isn't a surprise that growth will increase at a decreasing rate over time.

You speak as if there isn't a reason the national debt doubled...

The economy and Obamacare are not the only components to this legacy. Other things such as furthering equality, his actions on climate change, growth of green sector, Iran/Cuba, etc also are things he will be remembered for. History will also remember how ineffective and unproductive his congress was for most of his terms. Don't know if there has ever been a congress so openly hostile and openly rooting for a Presidents failure. Even with unusually low congressional support he achieved quite a bit. Of course the jury is still out on much of the major legislation as would be the case for any President.

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Nov 11, 2017

You are on this forum way too much man, get a life.

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Nov 11, 2017

The article is a crock of shit. I don't care what the historians say a month after his presidency. Even ranking him during the presidency is a waste. As TNA correctly pointed out, it's what do they say 20-30 years after his presidency that reflects his legacy. We cannot see the impact of what has happened during his presidency without seeing the far reaching effects of it. Hell, we're only now starting to really see the effects of Bush and Clinton era policies coming home to roost. So saying that Obama deserves a ranking of 18 really doesn't say that he was a good president or not.

Just to prove a point here, there was a 1982 Sienna poll that ranked Reagan 16th best and he trended downward to as low as 26 in the Ridings/McIver ranking and 25 in the Schlesinger ranking (both were done in 1996, 8 years after he left office), before he began trending upward since the '99 C-SPAN poll and since '82 has an average ranking of 11th Best President. We've had ~30 years to see the effects of Reagan-era policies in action which has definitely affected his rankings.

Nov 11, 2017
Frieds:

As TNA correctly pointed out, it's what do they say 20-30 years after his presidency that reflects his legacy. We cannot see the impact of what has happened during his presidency without seeing the far reaching effects of it.

heister:

It's impossible to rank current presidents (Regan onward) against one another let alone against the entire history of the country.

Nov 11, 2017

It's impossible to rank current presidents (Regan onward) against one another let alone against the entire history of the country.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Nov 11, 2017

Saving all of the political none-sense and invalid historical comparisons, most people's lives weren't too bad under Obama.

Nov 11, 2017
LReed:

Saving all of the political none-sense and invalid historical comparisons, most people's lives weren't too bad under Obama.

Which is the case for 90% of U.S. presidents.

Nov 11, 2017

I would argue, by the way, that Lincoln should probably be ranked toward the bottom of American presidents. He's the only president who killed 260,000 (confederate war deaths) of his countrymen and destroyed American cities. I understand that Lincoln waged war on the southern states to preserve the union (a union that I do think makes us stronger), but I just don't understand killing a quarter million of your own people to keep those people from leaving. That's the action of a tyrant, not of a small "D" democrat (it actually smacks of Bashar al-Assad). That Lincoln is revered in American society sort of mystifies me.

Nov 11, 2017

Don't forget only President to suspend Habius Corpus.

But I would rank him, top five Presidents, arguably #2.

Nov 11, 2017

If he can get just 12th place when 33% of the historians asked is from a historically black college (a bit of selection bias, I dare say?) then he is in for a world of hurt in the real history books.

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Nov 11, 2017

I know I'm listening to an utter moron when he claims that "Obama racially divided the country ". And the reason given is always the harmless comment about how Trayvon could have been his kid. The truth is racial relations have continued to improve during Obamas tenure for everyone except the right wing dittoheads, whose thought masters decided it would be a clever sociopolitical strategy to state over and over again that Obama was divisive and hope some would start to believe it was true. Only the idiots bought it however. Which is why the guy left office with a high approval rating and could have hypothetically been elected to a 3rd term.

The truth about Obama is he did the job he was hired to do. He guided us out of the recession with minimal cooperation from a tea-party hijacked congress. The mess in the middle east was set in motion before he was elected. Hindsight is 20/20, but the troop withdrawal was already scheduled and there was no hope for Iraqi success so long as Al-Malaki was leading.

And whats with this sudden Russian apologism from the right?? America didnt decide to make an enemy of Russia. Putins actions are the sole reason relations are bad. And they are destined to sour with Trump too, and for the same reasons.

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Nov 11, 2017
Stratguy:

The truth is racial relations have continued to improve during Obamas tenure for everyone except the right wing dittoheads, whose thought masters decided it would be a clever sociopolitical strategy to state over and over again that Obama was divisive and hope some would start to believe it was true.

Really? So race riots and BLM was just made up? You can't seriously believe race relations improved under Obama, can you?

Stratguy:

and whats with this sudden Russian apologism from the right??

Seriously? The left has been apologizing for Russia since the 1920's. It wasn't until they realized that Putin was anti-gay rights that anyone on the left of the Democrat party even took notice of Russia (since in the last 10 years, gay rights has now become a religious right of passage for the left, despite voting for Obama in 2008, who was opposed to gay marriage). Almost all of Congress' long-standing anti-Russian warhawks are Republicans (i.e. Lindsey Graham, John McCain). You know that "Russian re-set"? Yeah, well Putin had been a complete tyrant for 10 years before that.

Nov 11, 2017

No, the Fed did their job and eased infinitely. Thanks Bernanke and Yellen for inflating the market and earnings and creating a financial market driven recovery. Thanks Obama for doubling the debt in 8 years right at the time rates will rise, which will soon make the interest expense in national debt the largest federal expenditure. Thanks Obama for bumbling countless racial issues and sending in Holder for every police shooting (end result is no bias was found and no charges).

We elected someone with zero experience, whose been stroked his whole life as being amazing, who talked a big game and had no follow up. Spent the first 4 years blaming Bush and then the next 4 years blaming Republicans for not going along with his endless regulations, increased taxes, and other failed policies.

Spin the story how you want, but Obama was a shitty president that people liked. Bill Clinton without any of the substance.

Nov 11, 2017

I know I'm listening to an utter moron when he claims that "Obama racially divided the country ". And the reason given is always the harmless comment about how Trayvon could have been his kid. The truth is racial relations have continued to improve during Obamas tenure for everyone except the right wing dittoheads, whose thought masters decided it would be a clever sociopolitical strategy to state over and over again that Obama was divisive and hope some would start to believe it was true. Only the idiots bought it however. Which is why the guy left office with a high approval rating and could have hypothetically been elected to a 3rd term.

The truth about Obama is he did the job he was hired to do. He guided us out of the recession with minimal cooperation from a tea-party hijacked congress. The mess in the middle east was set in motion before he was elected. Hindsight is 20/20, but the troop withdrawal was already scheduled and there was no hope for Iraqi success so long as Al-Malaki was leading.

And whats with this sudden Russian apologism from the right?? America didnt decide to make an enemy of Russia. Putins actions are the sole reason relations are bad. And they are destined to sour with Trump too, and for the same reasons.

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Nov 11, 2017

If you've witnessed some of the BLM protests that the DNC and Obama encouraged like I have (in Baltimore), you'd find anyone saying that Obama is improving race relations woefully uninformed. Encouraging a bunch of criminals to loot and destroy does not help relations. I've seen what they stand for and it is anarchy and death. Obama and his friends would be satisfied to turn the US into Venezuela while their masters take care of them with palatial mansions and nice speaking or consulting fees.

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Nov 11, 2017

Obama's the best at:

Bringing race relations to 1960s-level
Socializing the West
Donating US-won land in the ME back to ISIS
Regulating the Street

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Nov 11, 2017

What do you believe he has done that would be positive? Did his contributions to tech and privatization of space companies work or were these industries already well on there way without any of the policies he enacted?

Nov 11, 2017

This thread is all over the place. While I enjoy hearing people's horror stories about their lives under the Obama administration, I doubt people are actually looking at this term objectively. Look at the below graph showing presidential approval ratings going back to Ike. Democrats are going to view Obama favorably, giving him a very high ranking, while republicans are going to blame him for everything negative and rank him negatively. It's impossible to follow this thread as if there's even an ounce of objectivity, based on the current state of politics in America.

pic  supporters stay loyal, opposition intensifies

Also, ranking presidents by specific events, doesn't really amount to anything. For one, Lincoln was not a bad president for ending slavery, even if white Americans had to die in the process. The other side is that Americans died to fight and establish the Emancipation Proclamation and to unify the country.

It would actually make more sense to rank Madison lowest as an American president for being the sole leader to allow the capture of our nation's capital in the War of 1812. That is the only time that, as a nation, we've ever faced such loss in the grand scheme of things.

Nov 11, 2017

Uh the middle class gets its health care from employers, not from the exchanges.

He's done fine, who here wouldn't vote for an Obama 3rd term now given the alternatives?

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Nov 11, 2017
coreytrevor:

He's done fine, who here wouldn't vote for an Obama 3rd term now given the alternatives?

Exactly. Funnily enough I just saw some weird article about some guy who's afraid Obama is currently trying to change the constitution to be able to serve a third term...

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Nov 11, 2017

Maybe they were mentioning taxes on the middle class, I probably misheard it though. As for the second point, I think most people say they would vote Obama but Trump and Hillary got where they with the support of the people over Cruz Rubio Kasich for example (mostly Trump as the DNC was rigged).

"This world, it is a tempest sometimes. But remember, the sun always rises again."
-- Brandon Sanderson

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Nov 11, 2017

"Uh the middle class gets its health care from employers, not from the exchanges."

not sure how no one has asked this yet, but is this supposed to provide support that premiums have not increased since the implementation of PPACA?

Nov 11, 2017
coreytrevor:

Uh the middle class gets its health care from employers, not from the exchanges.

He's done fine, who here wouldn't vote for an Obama 3rd term now given the alternatives?

And that is a big part of why there is a much smaller middle class. Employers have responded to incentives and now hire more part time workers, more freelance "contractors" and fewer full time jobs with real career prospects.

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Nov 11, 2017

That is a terrible rationale, you don't know the link between healthcare costs and national average salaries? The higher the cost of health care the lower the average wage level. Since healthcare is part of your compensation package when it increases in costs your potential raises decrease.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Nov 11, 2017

Better than he will get credit for... maybe 20-30 years from now when this partisan environment (hopefully) chills out we will get an accurate assessment of his time in office.

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Nov 11, 2017

The consensus so far seems to be that he did decent. You think he did better than he gets credit for, why? (I'm not being snarky, trying to get a perspective from someone who thinks he did good).

"This world, it is a tempest sometimes. But remember, the sun always rises again."
-- Brandon Sanderson

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Nov 11, 2017
  1. Weakest, longest, most drawn out recovery in U.S. history;
  2. Largest expansion of debt in human history and raised taxes;
  3. Lowest level of labor participation in over 4 decades;
  4. Only U.S. president in history not to see a single year of 3%+ U.S. GDP Growth;
  5. Median household income did not increase from 2007 to 2014;
  6. Obamacare not looking good but early to tell (we all know about the skyrocketing premiums and the losses that the insurers are taking through the exchanges);
  7. Mass violations of human/privacy/constitutional rights (drone assassinations of U.S. citizens, Snowden and PRISM, thousands of civilians killed via drones);
  8. Complete deterioration of Middle East and North Africa;
  9. Rise of Islamic caliphate bent on pulling the U.S. into a war that will end civilization;
  10. Heightened tensions with Russia, China and North Korea (all nuclear powers).

The list can go on but these are simply the facts. The lefties can try to rationalize/spin them all day but they are what they are.

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Nov 11, 2017
  1. Widened the national divide along political and racial lines, compromising nowhere, and took publicly polarizing stances
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Nov 11, 2017

1.) considering we almost had a 2nd coming of the great depression, I'll take that weak & drawn out recovery. One has to ask: how have Europe, Japan, & China done in that period (hint: much worse).
2.) expansion of debt in real terms or nominal, because if this is nominal then the "human history" portion is just a rhetorical exercise that means nothing.
3.) Most economists agree the LFPR is too low, but not anything crazy considering we have America's most populous generation going into retirement and more kids are going to college after HS than ever before (which is counted in the LFPR
4.) Read (1) on near great depression and how our peers have done, the 3+ % figure is also irrelevant. A president can see 3+% growth 1 year and declines every other year of his term. Again, another rhetorical exercise.
5.) Fair criticism but wage growth stagnated long before he was in office, it is unclear how he impacted this.
7.) since you missed 6... Obamacare is obamacare in name only, we all know he wanted a true public option rather than this amalgamation of public-private we have now. He signed what could pass through congress. At least his administration tried to address the albatross that is healthcare reform.
8.) Agreed, the drone system is a travesty although idk how else we minimize casualties to our soldiers
9.) The mid east is always deteriorating
10.) ISIS, in some form, was inevitable when GWB alienated the Baath party - then it was made worse by the Iraqi electorate demanding U.S. troops be pulled out - contrary to what Obama and the U.S. advised.
11.) Putin's maneuvering towards a 2nd soviet union and China's bs in the South China sea led to heightened tensions, North Korea is North Korea, the new leadership is what "heightened" (how much more heightened could they possibly have been) tensions

While these may be facts, the spin you put on them are decidedly not, the blame or cause you ascribe to them is also certainly not. Give me a fucking break acting like you are speaking 2+2=4.

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Nov 11, 2017

Honestly, I don't agree with you often, but this is a pretty cut and dry list of what has gone on under Obama.

Bravo and plus a million banana's.

Nov 11, 2017

interesting article about Obama: http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-obama-anti-...
I voted against him both times. wouldn't vote for him again, either. I think ACA was hastily thought up and poorly executed. I firmly believe you either need 100% gov't sponsored healthcare or 100% private healthcare. the hybrid model doesn't work.

Obama was one of the best orators of our time, and I think that probably helped in uniting our country, but I can't get past his robin hood worldview and demonizing of banks and risk taking. dodd-frank probably needed to happen, but maybe not to the extent it did happen. essentially you've taken all the risk taking out of credit markets, which while may be prudent, it's anti-growth. credit is how the economy grows and when credit dries up, so does growth. I think he couldn't do much about the war in afghanistan, kudos to him for getting OBL killed though.

Obama's biggest issue in my opinion was that despite his public likability (passing the "I'd have a beer with him" test), he drew too hard a line on political matters, and never seemed to drift moderate when he could have. he's a president I'll remember for not fucking anything up too bad, but someone I will always disagree with on the most fundamental level.

historians will put him in the top half, but not top quintile of presidents of all time. he'll mostly be remembered for overseeing the end of the financial crisis, killing osama bin laden, and being the first black president. personally, I can't give him full credit for the recovery, because I believe market & economic cycles are independent of political policy, but I will say that infusion of capital is always good for morale, and obama did what he believed to be necessary, despite how much I disagree with it. I'll remember him for all of those things, but I can't help but think that we wouldn't be so partisan today if we had a more moderate democrat for the past 8 years. oh well, life goes on.

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Nov 11, 2017

He's definitely beheld to the base when it comes to things like business. That's a DNC issue more than an Obama specific issue. If he didn't have to keep Warren happy, I'd probably like him even more.

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Nov 11, 2017

you seem to be confused here imo: Obama tried to be moderate, a lot. At some point it was pretty obvious republicans were not willing to negotiate with him for whatever reason. He threw his hands up, exasperated at that, and begun pushing things through without negotiation. You seem to believe that he was against negotiation despite republicans ready and willing to do so.

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Nov 11, 2017

I wouldn't call him "anti-bank". Citi more or less nominated his cabinet and he actively shielded bank executives from criminal prosecution.

Nov 11, 2017

Despite what Fox News says, Pres Obama was quite moderate. Healthcare is a BIG part of way of life and he was able to get millions more insured. It's a program that bests Bernie's helicopter policy. And, he also has been quite good in terms of foreign policy, scaling back Middle Eastern operations while also remaining committed to the region in a rational way. He's a guy that had a strong stance on all of the issues and he didn't go out of his way for stuff he didn't really believe in. The economy has been slow but last quarter we saw 2.9% growth, which is probably about as good as we can realistically expect. Unemployment is down and consumer confidence is up. Unless you are a blind conservative, he really has done quite a good job up to this point.

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Nov 11, 2017

Obamacare is looking like a mistake.

Mistakes in Syria, Egypt. Libya is a wash. But nobody new is out there chanting "Marg Bar Amrika". Russia is getting themselves into trouble in Syria, IMO, but it will take 10 years to play out.

Good handling of Somali Pirates and Bin Laden.

Turned the Great Depression into 8 years of economic Doldrums.

No major scandals. This is after Reagan and Iran-Contra, Clinton and Monica, and Bush and Valerie Plame, Iraq, and Abu-Ghraib. (OK maybe Benghazi, but his hands in that are cleaner than Clinton's or Reagan's, and the damage was not as serious as Iraq)

Did something on climate change without destroying the economy. Energy intensity of the economy has decreased, fuel economies have increased; we are on track to become net neutral on energy imports/exports.

Wealth inequality has increased, but some of this is due to a re-rating of assets due to the low rates environment, which to be fair was necessary. More fiscal stimulus and infrastructure spending would have helped fix it, but I don't think things are going to get worse, and I even think we're above equilbrium right now.

Country is a bit more divided than when he entered office. He deserves a substantial part of the blame as CiC, but not all of it. Some of this is driven by stuff beyond politics, and some of this is driven by birthers and the Tea Party. People want economic benefits and subtle assistance, but they want to EARN it in a dignified way, and the automation and outsourcing economy is taking a lot of those opportunities away. Obama and the neoliberals haven't been able to understand this.

Overall, I give him a B. Not a B-, not a B+. Not Clinton, not Reagan, but not LBJ or Bush II, either. He took a tougher hand than Carter and played it to a much better outcome for the country by 2016 than 1980.

Had the Obamacare money been spent on infrastructure and R&D rather than healthcare, and had we gotten something out of that, he would have gotten a B+/A-.

Obama was not our worst Democrat, and Hillary won't be either. (That distinction may very well go to LBJ)

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Nov 11, 2017

I mean he didn't fuck anything up big time. Obamacare sucks but at least he tried. Overall I think we are not worse off because of him. Better off may be debatable.

I agree on your statement.

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Nov 11, 2017

BINGO. read a Ball State study that basically said over 85% of lost factory jobs are automation/tech driven and less than 15% due to trade. you want better low skill jobs? kill all robots. you want organic growth? improve college affordability, math scores, and reform education. it will take about 2 generations to play out, but this is what the country needs and no politician is willing to tackle (dem or rep)

take out Vietnam, LBJ goes into the top 10 imo. he did more for civil rights and the lower classes than any President before him. LBJ, unlike Obama, did not accept being a wartime/crisis president, instead focusing on domestic policy. Obama wanted to be a domestic policy president, but took the crisis in stride. I would argue that some of the legislation LBJ oversaw is the most important from a societal perspective today (maybe I'm biased, my family grew up in segregation so they usually look upon that aspect of LBJ favorably), but I see your point, it's hard to ignore the colossal failure of Vietnam and justify his inclusion on the proverbial mount rushmore with that on his resume.

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Nov 11, 2017

I like this commentary the best. Middle of the road. Certainly not the worst and certainly not the best.

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