The Obama Presidency: The Triumph of (Lots of) Experience Over (a Little) Hope?

It has been an awful two decades.  Say what you will about Ronald Reagan, he did not leave people feeling depressed, even hopeless.  Then came four years of George H.W. Bush—an honorable man, but hardly an inspiration.  And his tax and regulatory policies were largely indistinguishable from those of the Democrats.

Then we endured eight years of the Clintons.  Bill was embarrassing enough, devoting perhaps too much attention to the White House intern program.  This freed Hillary to spend her time attempting to socialize the medical system and punish the Clintons’ enemies.  Given his nonsensical interventions and wars (Somalia, Haiti, Kosovo) and the mere presence of the atrocious Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, January 20, 2001, could not come quickly enough.

That was before President George W. Bush and his neoconservative Greek chorus took us on a glorious crusade to Mesopotamia while letting Osama bin Laden get away; before the President centralized control over education and created a vast new welfare program, the Medicare drug benefit; before the White House baptized the elections in Palestine that brought Hamas to power; before the President followed Louis XIV in declaring “L’État, c’est moi,” claiming the right to declare an American arrested in America an “enemy combatant” beyond the reach of the Constitution; and before the...

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