This response to Sam Tanenhaus’s defence of Obama will be published as a letter in Prospect’s December issue, out next week
Sam Tanenhaus’s piece on Obama is correct in one crucial respect; his election, as that of a black man in America, to the Presidency, did change the way the country sees itself; and it did engage African-Americans and others to vote at unprecedented levels. Nobody can ever take that historic achievement from the presidency. But in advance of what will be a disastrous set of elections for Obama later this month, Tanenhaus wilfully ignores the ceaseless drumbeat of scandal and failure both abroad and at home that have made Obama toxic even to his own party. At home, the much-criticised Obamacare has been followed by the Benghazi, AP, IRS, VA, child migrant, Secret Service and “Fast & Furious” scandals (the latter is a real doozy—I recommend a Google). Abroad, Obama’s administration has been comprehensively embarrassed by Putin in Ukraine and Syria, flat-footed by IS, and revealed as chaotic in its response to Ebola infections, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) changing its protocols five or six times so far.
Americans can forgive much skullduggery in a president, but they can never forgive weakness. The upside for Hillary Clinton is that, in comparison, she appears competent, strong, and practically a Republican.
Read Sam Tanenhaus’s defence of Obama