As for the rest, in specific policy terms, Trump and the Republican Congress have succeeded in undoing Obama’s work to an extent I barely anticipated.In economic policy, Obama’s slow winnowing of the deficit even in times of sluggish growth has been completely reversed.
No European government can or should trust America from now on: They know they’re on their own.
And then there is the volte-face in the Middle East.
Bush’s profligacy — and it’s telling that the Democrats and the liberal intelligentsia have accommodated so swiftly to it.
Nothing is so unfashionable right now as worrying about debt.
He began as an alleged opponent of marriage equality, even though, of course, he was bullshitting.
He wouldn’t touch the marijuana issue in his entire term and even at one point dismissed it as trivial.
Nils Gilman has an insightful piece on this in Obama began his speech by noting the “nation’s original sin of slavery,” but declared that the aim of his campaign was to continue “the long march of those who came before us, a march for a more just, more equal, more free, more caring and more prosperous America.” Although “we may have different stories, we hold common hopes,” Obama averred. And the animating goal of progressive politics is unvarnished race and gender warfare.
“We may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place,” he continued, “but we all want to move in the same direction.” That there might exist people in this country who desire very different things from a racial perspective was out of the question; instead, Obama observed everywhere “how hungry the American people were for this message of unity.” Nothing could be further from the left’s current vision, which is that the very concept of post-racial integration is an illusion designed to mask the reality of an eternal “white supremacy.” Today’s left-liberal consensus is that Obama, however revered he may still be as president, was and is absurdly naïve in this respect: that there is no recovery from the original sin, no possible redemption, and certainly no space for the concept of an individual citizenship that transcends race and can unite Americans. What matters before anything else is what race and gender you are, and therefore what side you are on.
And in this neo-Marxist worldview, fully embraced by a hefty majority of the next generation, the very idea of America as a liberating experiment, dissolving tribal loyalties in a common journey toward individual opportunity, is anathema.
There is no arc of history here, just an eternal grinding of the racist and sexist wheel.