As I’ve said previously, I believe advances in gay legal equality and social inclusion will be the great legacy of the Obama administration, and I suspect Obama may realize this.
Perhaps health care exchanges will last, although the labyrinth of business mandates under Obamacare are likely to be scaled back by a future administration and Congress. Otherwise, the debt-spiraling misspent trillions in the great redistributive give-away that Democrats called “stimulus,” the ever-expanding growth-deterring over-regulation of businesses, and the hapless foreign policy will be seen for what they are.
Even so, beginning at the very end of his first term with repeal of don’t ask, don’t tell (which heretofore he seemed willing to let Harry Reid block along with the Employee Non-Discrimination Act), followed by the administration’s opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act and support, eventually, for marriage equality, up through making an issue of gay rights internationally, Obama got one big thing right.
More. Sadly, he’s gotten so much else wrong. Columnist Daniel Henninger writes in the Wall Street Journal (7/30/15):
The American anxieties Donald Trump has tapped into are real and rational. … It’s what everyone in politics, including Hillary Clinton, knows has been the No. 1 concern of the American people for years: the U.S.’s underachieving economy. …
The U.S.’s average postwar growth rate is 3.3%, and has often been higher. Across the entire 6½ years of the Obama presidency it has been about 2%, and often lower. … The labor-force participation rate, 62.6% last month, is at its lowest level in 38 years. In human terms, 432,000 people dropped out of the workforce in June, and nearly two million are called “marginally attached to the labor force” by the government. … For much of the private economy, the Obama presidency has been almost seven years of “Survivor.” …
Here is what Reagan’s tax and regulatory policies produced from 1982-89: an economy that grew by a third and a standard of living, as measured by real disposable income, that grew by 20%.
Henninger concludes, “The result [of Obama’s economic policies] is a populace that is becoming resentful, surly and anxious for a way out,” and increasingly receptive to populist demagoguery.
Also from the WSJ, The Six-Year Slough: New GDP revisions show the worst recovery in 70 years was even weaker.
And yes, Reagan on gay legal equality/social inclusion, not so good. No party has a monopoly on the truth.