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The President’s Abysmal Record

Is this the week the Obama administration’s remarkable incompetence begins to be the narrative? If so, he’s toast.

The president’s astonishing, not to mention indefensible, lecture to the Supreme Court this week, in which he turned 200 years of American constitutional history on its head, has been the talk of the blogosphere. But it’s not just the fact that he pretends to have not heard of Marbury v. Madison, it’s the anger behind his remarks that he is having trouble concealing. Even his old professor at Harvard felt he had to weigh in.

It is not hard to see why he might be angry. His single major domestic accomplishment, Obamacare, is in mortal peril in the Supreme Court. InTrade has the chances of its being overturned at 63.8 percent this morning. And it remains deeply unpopular with the public at large. His other domestic efforts have been largely a bust. The stimulus did not produce the promised economic boost and recovery from the recession remains stubbornly slow and unemployment stubbornly high. Green energy is failing and failing and failing. The price of gas has nearly doubled since he became president, despite the recession, while domestic production of oil and natural gas has been rising despite his policies, not because of them.

And, of course, the country continues hell-bent towards the fiscal cliff at the rate of $1 trillion plus per year. Obama, and the Senate Democrats, have not even tried to do anything about something the people in poll after poll have called their number one concern.

As for his foreign policy successes, I’d list them except there haven’t been any. His failures are numerous. Our antagonists, such as Iran, Korea, Russia, and China have little or no respect for him, and thus no inclination to play ball. He has managed to alienate such important allies as Britain and Israel. Indeed, his very first foreign policy act was to insult Britain by summarily returning a bust of its great national hero, Winston Churchill–the man who saved the world in 1940–to the British Embassy. It’s only gotten worse. Last week, his open-mic gaffe with the Russian president was greatly embarrassing. This week’s summit with Mexico and Canada revealed deep problems within the North American alliance, problems that were hardly noted in the American mainstream press–a wholly owned subsidiary of the Obama re-election campaign–but were widely on view in the Mexican and Canadian media.

In sum, it’s a remarkable record, especially for a man who thinks of himself as a transformational figure in American history. The president looks in the mirror and sees FDR. Increasingly, the rest of the country look at him and see Jimmy Carter, perhaps even James Buchanan. They were both one-term presidents.