Obama’s Legacy Will Be Undoing Clinton’s
It’s clear just how far left Democrats have gone in 20 years.
When comparing the presidency of Bill Clinton with that of Barack Obama, it’s clear just how far left Democrats have gone in 20 years. Not only that, but it seems Obama’s primary legacy will be to undo that of his Democrat predecessor.
Just one day after Obama delivered a speech before the NAACP in Philadelphia to declare criminal justice reform, Clinton took the stage to admit that his prison reform policies actually made things worse.
“I signed a bill that made the problem worse, and I want to admit it,” Clinton confessed. “In that bill, there were longer sentences. And most of these people are in prison under state law, but the federal law set a trend. … And that was overdone. We were wrong about that. … The good news is we had the biggest drop in crime in history. The bad news is we had a lot of people who were locked up, who were minor actors, for way too long.”
Obama is now poised to
fix undo Clinton’s policy by pushing for prison reform, which both conservatives and liberals agree needs to be addressed. Clinton’s approach was viewed as tough on crime, and crime did decline. Obama’s approach is essentially to go the other direction — to focus on the community, the courtroom and the cell block by spending money on pre-kindergarten education, reducing or eliminating mandatory minimum sentencing and allowing convicted felons the right to vote. Perhaps Obama recognizes that Hillary needs all the help she can get.
But the legacy rewrite is more than just prison reform.
Clinton’s legacy also includes enacting the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for the military, which allowed homosexuals to serve in the military as long as no one asked and no one told. Obama pledged to end this “discrimination” and urged Congress in December 2010 to repeal Clinton’s policy over the objections of the Service Chiefs and the majority of military members.
Then we have the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which Bill Clinton signed into law after receiving “overwhelming congressional support.” In 2011, Obama and then-Attorney General Eric Holder deemed DOMA to be unconstitutional and stated that the administration would no longer enforce the law. But it didn’t stop there. Under pressure from Obama and Holder, numerous lower courts overturned state marriage amendments. Ultimately, we saw the results of Obama’s political goals to fundamentally transform America when five black-robed despots of the Supreme Court forced same-sex marriage on the entire country.
Under Clinton, the federal budget was balanced, though the credit really belongs to the Republican Congress. Obama did the opposite of balancing the budget, spending more money in six years than all of the presidents before him combined. Deficits and the debt skyrocketed to record highs. It’s quite apparent that Obama thinks the position of commander in chief means spender in chief — unless it’s spending money for defense.
Clinton (and his wife) even tried and failed to engineer a federal takeover of the health care system. With ObamaCare, Obama achieved what Clinton could not.
Clinton is also known for welfare reform during his tenure. In 2012, Clinton said of his reform (read: the reform passed by a Republican Congress), “This is personal to me. We moved millions of people off welfare. It was one of the reasons that, in the eight years I was president, we had a hundred times as many people move out of poverty into the middle class than happened under the previous 12 years. A hundred times as many. It’s a big deal.”
By contrast, Obama greatly expanded welfare, keeping more people mired in poverty and dependent upon the government. In fact, there are currently more than 45 million Americans who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, a.k.a. food stamps. There are more people receiving help from the federal government than there are in the entire population of Canada. Thanks Obama.
Perhaps the only place Obama has really followed Clinton’s legacy is on foreign policy — and that’s not a good thing. As Ken Blackwell notes, “On October 21, 1994, President Bill Clinton announced a deal with North Korea aimed at ending its pursuit of a nuclear weapon.” Clinton claimed it was a good deal because North Korea would freeze and dismantle its nuclear program, which would better protect our allies. In addition the North Koreans would be monitored by the United States and international inspectors to ensure they were keeping to their commitment. We know the results of this deal — on Oct. 9, 2006, North Korea conducted its first successful test of a nuclear weapon.
Obama has now
negotiated accepted a similarly terrible nuclear agreement with Iran. Obama claims his deal will prohibit Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon and claims that inspectors will have access to Iran’s supply chain of nuclear material, as well as conversion and storage facilities. We hope Congress rejects it. But even more so, we hope Iran doesn’t achieve what North Korea did thanks to a Democrat president.
In light of all this, we’re left with a simple question: If the last seven years has been about undoing the Clinton legacy of the ‘90s, why should the nation election Hillary?
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