When the dust settles and historians contemplate the legacy of the Obama presidency, what will the consensus be? Will Democrats forgive this president, whose ascension to office was so promising – the most progressive president in a generation buttressed by Democratic majorities in both chambers of Congress – for squandering his second term capital on a failed effort to pass stricter gun laws and an unpopular intervention in the Middle East? They will not.
When the president is out of office and his successor takes the reins of government, and Obama’s liberal allies no longer feel compelled to defend him from attacks, an honest appraisal of the first months of his second term will not be kind. Obama, the first president to win over 50 percent of the popular vote twice since 1956, squandered his opportunities and failed Democrats.
Obama’s most stalwart fans will blame “obstructionist Republicans” who they will say managed to overcome broad public mistrust to block the president’s agenda. But this, too, is a damning verdict on Obama’s presidency. If an unpopular GOP can govern the country from one chamber of Congress where a relatively popular president could not, what does this say about the president’s competency in office?