By: Hayden Cunningham
Hey, Barack Obama. It’s not “your house.” The White House is referred to as the “people’s house” because it was the people who put you in there. The statement is a perfect example of your attitude in office.
Criticizing the Obama presidency has nothing to do with race. We are not going to ignore his failures because he broke a large barrier in American history. And we are not going to assume his presidency was one of the greatest in modern history simply because the mainstream media tells us that. His election, in all honesty, was his greatest accomplishment. Obama’s election and his act of taking office was the greatest thing he would do for this country. Even though he was presumably voted in because of his race more so than his actual proposed policies, his greatest success was showing the country that a person of any race can be president. This aside, here’s a list of some of the top scandals and failures of the Barack Obama administration:
Obama offers Russia ‘More Flexibility’ after the election
Sounds pretty similar to the accusations of President Trump’s phone call with Ukraine. But where’s the impeachment for abuse of power? He just promised a foreign government that if they weren’t tough on him until after he got re-elected into office, then he would be more flexible in cooperating with them for the rest of his presidency. This being the same government the Democrats now accuse of hacking our election in 2016.
The Iran Nuclear Deal
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, or the ‘Iran Deal’) was an agreement with the Iran government to stop them from attempting to build nuclear weapons. In return, the U.S. gave them billions of dollars. Iran is the world’s leading sponsor of terror with many of its high-ranking military officials being associated with terrorist groups. The phrase ‘we do not negotiate with terrorists’ was clearly unused. From the time the Deal was put into affect to today, the Iranian military had grown. Clearly they used the money to make their military presence stronger.
The ‘Fast and Furious’ scandal
In 2009, the Obama administration developed a plan for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to track semi-automatic firearms with known criminals. The government instructed gun stores to illegally sell firearms to suspected criminals along the southern border. ATF agents were ordered to not intervene, and let the guns be smuggled into Mexico and into the possession of Mexican cartels. ATF would instead track those guns as they made their way to high-level cartel leaders. The government could then pinpoint those high-ranking leaders. However, it didn’t work. Once the guns crossed the border, ATF was no longer able to track them. Seven months later, a murder occurred with a weapon from this plan. More crimes eventually occurred with these weapons as time went on. Attorney General at time was Eric Holder, who resigned in 2014 for his involvement in the operation.
Common Core failure
Years later after the implementation of Common Core standards in the public school system, we begin to see the failures of the program. In one study by the group “C-SAIL”, results showed that declines in fourth-grade reading and eight-grade math scores have occurred. Another study by “NAEP” showed that the first Common Core high school graduates are the worst-prepared for college in the last fifteen years.
The trade for Bowe Berghdal
In 2009, U.S. Army soldier Bowe Berghdal became a prisoner of war, captive to the Taliban for five years until he was released in 2014. When news broke out that he went missing, Obama began talks with the Taliban. In return for giving the United States Berghdal, Obama would release five Taliban terrorists that had been in U.S. custody. Following the swap, Berghdal was accused of abandoning his post in Afghanistan. He was court-martialed and discharged dishonorably. Lawmakers argued that the deal was highly illegal, and several of the terrorists returned are suspected to have reconnected with their terrorist associations. Again Obama negotiated with terrorists, and he did so to bring back a deserter.
Using the IRS to target Republicans
In the 2012 election year, a spike in the number of Conservatives being audited by the IRS occurred. This included Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. The IRS later admitted in federal court its bias targeting towards conservative groups.
NSA Spying on citizens
Edward Snowden’s whistle-blowing about the NSA spying on American citizens called into question what President Obama’s involvement was. Snowden points that the NSA’s misconduct happened during his presidency, and he did nothing about it. In 2016. allegations arose that Obama spied on the Trump campaign, after Lisa Page and Peter Strzok’s messages revealed anti-Trump sentiment in the FBI.
EPA Scandals and promises for Green jobs
President Obama broadened the scope and power of the Environmental Protection Agency, giving un-elected bureaucrats power that should belong in the Congress. Many of the various bureaucratic regulations hurt the economy, and were unnecessary to protecting the environment. Obama also approved a half a billion dollar loan to the company Soyndra, a solar panel company. The money was used to build a facility to mass-produce panels. The company shortly filed for bankruptcy, and an Inspector General report in 2015 found that Solyndra over-inflated the value of several contracts where clients received the goods at a discount rather than paying the full price it was reporting. This gave the impression to the government the company was more successful than it really was.
The ‘Apology Tour’
president Obama went on several global tours where he made several speeches in the Middle Eat, Latin America, Asia, and Europe. He apologized to countries such as Cuba and Japan about the way America had treated them in the past. Rather than gaining the respect of other countries, he sympathetically apologized.
Ending the ‘Wet foot / Dry foot’ policy
The “wet foot, dry foot” policy was a U.S. policy where Cuban immigrants arriving to America were granted immediate citizenship. It was originally created due to the large amount of Cuban citizens attempting to flee the communist regime, often by makeshift rafts that would carry them through the ocean to Florida. Obama argued that it was an attempt to treat Cuban immigrants the same as immigrants from other countries. He also pointed out the conditions of Cuba have improved since the creation of the policy. Regardless, it fails to treat immigrants the same as countries such as Mexico, where illegal immigration was heavily tolerated.
Blaming Police officers in inner cities
As the “Black Lives Matter” movement rose, many riots and protests were predicated on false information surrounding police shootings of black men. Many of these protests were violent, and Obama was reluctant to condemn such actions. Such rhetoric led to the Dallas shootings, where officers were targeted by a gunman. This is not to blame Obama for these incidents, but provide an example of a potential Liberal accusation at a time where Donald Trump’s rhetoric is accused of leading to violence. Neither are to blame, obviously. Their rhetoric does not cause the horrific actions of an evil individual. Obama stated “What I can say is that all of us as Americans should be troubled by the news. These are not isolated incidents. They are symptomatic of a broader set of racial disparities that exist in our criminal justice system.…”
The rise of ISIS
Barack Obama did not create ISIS, but his decisions may have led to its rising. The time that Obama quickly began to withdraw troops from Iraq in 2011, ISIS had began to form by 2013. Pulling our troops out prematurely allowed the terror group to form and grow. By the end of 2016, CNN reports that ISIS had “conducted or inspired more than 140 terrorist attacks in 29 countries.”
“ISIL”, failing to recognize Muslim extremists, and taking credit for the assassination of Bin Laden
Remember how Obama would always say “ISIL” instead of “ISIS”? The last S stands for Syria and the L stands for Levant. Levant is a geographical region that includes Syria, but it also includes Israel. Many saw this as an attack on Israel by the president. Another careful word choice Obama made was refusing to refer to ISIS as “radical Islam.” Ted Cruz rightfully pointed out, “What we have is a president and commander in chief who refuses to recognize our enemy… our enemy is radical Islamic terrorism.” In regards to Bin Laden, it was the Bush administration that executed the search for the world’s most wanted terrorist. The military found him during the Obama administration and the president gave the go-ahead to execute him.
Obama also conducted more than 2,800 strikes on Syria and Iraq without congressional approval. These strikes resulted in over 500 civilian casualties.
Trying to close GITMO
Guantanamo Bay in Cuba is home to some of the worst terrorists that the U.S. has in custody. It is there that America houses them, off of U.S. soil. Because they are off American soil, they are not given due process, and are often water-boarded for vital information that saves lives. The concept of GITMO did not sit right with Obama, and thus he promised to close it in 2009. However, it still remains open today.
Doubling the national debt
One of the biggest threats to our country is the national debt. Under the Obama presidency from 2008 – 2016, the national debt increased from $10.26 trillion to $19.95 trillion. This was due to his massive expansive of medicare/medicaid. The programs, as well as social security, are unsustainable and changes will inevitably have to be made.
“If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”
The biggest blunder of his presidency. This statement was labeled “lie of the year” for 2013 by Politifact. When Obama’s Affordable Care Act began to take effect, he promised the country that they would not be forced to change their doctor and their plan if they did not want to. That was a complete lie. If your plan did not meet the new standards, you were forced to change it. Also take into account the controversial “individual mandate” in the ACA, that made it illegal for an individual to not have health insurance. Never has there been a law in America that forced an individual to purchase a product. The Supreme Court ruling on the mandate is heavily criticized for this reason. The soaring prices in health insurance have since followed.