Thursday, January 19, 2017

Obama's legacy at the dawn of the Trump Family Business Presidency

Just as the Obama Presidency is in its last hours, Democracy presents William Galston's helpful look at Obama’s Uncertain Legacy 01/17/2017.

Galston emphasizes that the stimulus package of 2009, the auto bailout and the stabilization of the US banking system were substantial and very important accomplishments. They allowed the US economy to come back from the 2007-8 crash more strongly than the eurozone was able to under Angela Merkel's Herbert Hoover/Heinrich Brüning economic policies.

Galston also notes the critical fact that Obama and the Democratic Party were unable to turn Obama's popularity into a similar popularity and success for the Democratic Party:

If President Obama’s policy legacy is in doubt, his political legacy is not. The coalition that elected him twice turned out to be as much personal as structural. Despite his strenuous efforts, he was unable to transfer enough of the support he enjoyed from minorities, young adults, and even the white working class outside the South to elect his chosen successor.

Hillary Clinton’s narrow loss exposed a basic reality — the pervasive weakening of the Democratic Party during the eight Obama years, in part because the party machinery stepped away from its party-building mission. Democratic majorities in the House and Senate have disappeared and seem unlikely to return until at least 2020. Republicans have seized control of governorships and state legislatures across the country. Numerically, the party is at its lowest ebb since the 1920s.[my emphasis]
Al Jazeera's Empire program also presents a look at Obama's outgoing Presidency, The Reckoning: From Obama to Trump 01/19/2017:

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