Reports are flying off the presses (prematurely in some cases) that Joe Biden is getting ready to finally step into the race.
In case it happens, people are already analyzing what it means. For National Review‘s Kevin Williamson, it’s “Barack Obama’s last act.” Nevermind that there have been no reports or even credible rumors reported to the effect that Obama will support Biden over Hillary. Pundits don’t always need evidence to speculate, especially about what the president thinks privately about other politicians’ personalities or character.
“[T]he Clintons aren’t Obama’s people,” Williamson speculates, but regardless of whether or not they like each other, Biden could decide to run with or without Obama’s support. (CNN did report Biden received Obama’s “blessing”, whatever that means–far from “support” or “endorsement.”)
Worse, the column falls apart in the first paragraph in arguing that Obama hasn’t accomplished anything. Really? Then what have conservatives and Republicans been complaining about all these years?
He is going to exit the White House having accomplished almost nothing substantive on the policy front — his health-care program is not going to survive,
Really? For Republicans to repeal Obamacare, they would need to win the presidency and a commanding majority in both houses–perhaps a supermajority, if they need to get a filibuster-proof majority, though some are thinking they could repeal much of the law through reconciliation procedures with a simple majority–not impossible but a tough challenge.
Gitmo is not going to be closed,
What’s this about how Obama is “emptying Gitmo”, decreasing its population from a high of 680 to less than 120 now? And conservatives say half the prisoners should never have been released. Insincere politicking? Anyway, Gitmo was largely a figurehead. Obama is still capturing and killing terrorists.
we are not leaving Afghanistan, and he is sending troops into Iraq
Again, here, this argument is dismissed by the criticisms of conservatives and Republicans themselves. Obama was criticized for “pulling out of Iraq,” letting ISIS take over, in some views, and for not being strong enough fighting ISIS to put troops on the ground.
This isn’t to make a judgment on which side is right or wrong in any of those disputes. It is just to say that you can’t deny there are disputes. If Obama didn’t really do anything relevant, then those who disagree with his political ideology wouldn’t have anything to disagree on.
And the above issues don’t even get to some other major issues that his ideological combatants on the right disagree with him on, most notably policy towards illegal immigrants. He has given defacto temporary legal status to many illegal immigrants by use of executive order, and Republicans are so angry about it–not just the policy but also the way with which he did it unilaterally–that House Speaker John Boehner sued him on behalf of the Congress.
Republicans argue that Obama’s immigration policies will bring in too many new Americans and encourage more people to illegally immigrate in order to hope for similar benefits in the future. They also argue it will cause the precedent for future presidents to abuse the separation of powers and make defacto laws on their own. If he does accomplish that, that is not “nothing”; it is very much “something.”