When it rains, it pours. Right now President Obama must feel like Noah, disdain, anger and disappointment raining down on him with every day’s headlines. Or maybe it’s more like Rodney Dangerfield — who was famous for declaring he got no respect.
Forget affection — once-loyal constituencies now pin his ears back on TV. Hispanics attack him for failing to deliver on immigration reform. The Post reports:
Obama was appearing at a town hall-style event at the Newseum to encourage the Latino community to sign up for health-insurance policies under the Affordable Care Act. But the hosts, Jose Diaz-Balart of Telemundo and Enrique Acevedo of Univision, turned their sights on another issue: immigration.
“Your reputation has been tarnished among Latinos over deportations,” Acevedo said, referring to the administration’s removal of nearly 2 million immigrants who were in the country illegally. “How can you ask the Latino community to trust you?” . . .
The sharp exchange — one of several contentious moments at Thursday’s event — illustrated how far some Latinos have drifted from Obama since the heady days after his November 2012 reelection, in which 71 percent of Hispanic voters supported the president over Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Obama’s historic legislation isn’t really doing what it would say; it’s neither affordable nor expanding greatly the universe of insured people. Republicans now gleefully scan the headlines looking for the latest bad-news story about Obamacare’s flaws. The Post notes the latest problem. “Only one in 10 uninsured people who qualify for private plans through the new marketplaces enrolled as of last month, one of the surveys shows. The other found that about half of uninsured adults have looked for information on the online exchanges or planned to look.” All that trouble, all those taxes and that’s all the help it gives to the uninsured? It would be easier and cheaper just to send them tax credits to pay for their own, modest-priced insurance if they want it. (Now there’s an idea!)
The stream of Obamacare delays, flaws, inconveniences, unintended consequences and burdens render Obama’s declaration that everything is “working the way it should” laughable. And in ads, press releases and speeches, the president is coming under a torrent of derision these days. Obamacare has become the equivalent of a house that turns into an uninhabitable money pit.
It is worse on foreign policy, where Republicans now openly acknowledge they are trying to help a hobbled and inept president. After passing Ukraine loan guarantees, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor stated, “Time is of the essence, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to pass this bill swiftly so we can provide the president with the tools he needs to help stabilize Ukraine.” Even more cringe-worthy than the House having to goad the president into action is the series of pathetic calls, first 90 minutes on Saturday and then 60 minutes on Thursday, to Vladimir Putin. Putin evidently remains unmoved (maybe even encouraged) by the president’s naive pleas for compliance with international law. (You can just imagine Putin cupping the receiver and smirking to his aides, “I told ya — he’s still harping on international law! International law, my . . . .) The longer Obama talks, the less effective he is, which must come as a shock to the man who was convinced his mere presence on the international stage was sufficient to resolve centuries-old conflicts. Every time he picks up the phone, one worries Putin becomes ever more convinced to annex a chunk of Ukraine.
The president’s evaporating aura of authority leaves congressional allies more likely to abandon him, as they did on his controversial assistant attorney general nomination. He sets up his fellow Democrats for a pummeling in November. But more ominous is what may occur as foes around the globe conclude he is weak and even foolish. During the 2008 campaign, Vice President Joe Biden foretold that the young president would be tested by foreign powers early in his presidency; Obama regrettably failed to impress his adversaries and now the United States, its allies and free peoples are paying the price.