- - Tuesday, February 28, 2012



With all the creepy preaching from Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney’s disastrous attempts at relating to earthlings who don’t own a couple of Cadillacs or hobnob with owners of NASCAR teams, it is understandable Republicans might be a wee bit depressed these days.

But, if you step wa-a-a-a-a-ay back and look at the much larger picture, Republicans just might have some reason to be optimistic once this whole agonizing primary is over.

Remember, in the months leading up to Ronald Reagan’s landslide annihilation of Jimmy Carter, the polls almost exclusively showed the Gipper in a dogfight too close to call with one of the most disastrous presidents of all time. Looking back now, it is impossible to imagine that anyone thought Mr. Carter had the slightest chance to win considering what a horrible steward he was to the economy, foreign relations and domestic policies.

And, of course, President Obama is currently doing all he can to serve out Jimmy Carter’s second term.

On the domestic front, he has halted all efforts turning back the waves of illegal aliens streaming across the Mexican border. He has jammed down America’s throat an unpopular government takeover of health care that runs roughshod over our most cherished religious freedoms.

On the economic front, his health care boondoggle only promises to hurl us further into quicksand deficits. The hundreds of billions he has spent on “stimulating” the economy has done little more than cause paralysis.

Unemployment remains at more than 8 percent despite his administration’s promises to dramatically lower it. And the truth is that with all the people who have quit looking for work, that rate is much higher.

Mr. Obama modestly promised to be a new kind of political leader who would rise above partisanship and make bold decisions. What a laughingstock.

In truth, he has led timidly just as he did serving in the legislatures in Washington and Illinois, where his record of “leadership” became a mockery of indecision for all the times he couldn’t take a stand and instead voted “present.”

It is precisely because of his inability to make hard decisions that he has basically voted “present” on crucial issues such as saving entitlement programs, curbing deficits and turning back illegal immigration.

Even on the Keystone Pipeline, Mr. Obama nixed it only because, he whined, Republicans forced his hand and didn’t give him all the time he wanted to dawdle and stall over the important issue that could provide jobs for thousands of workers.

The only area for which Mr. Obama might be commended is in foreign affairs, where he has doubled down on so many of his predecessor’s policies aimed at killing terrorists. He has kept open the prison at Gitmo, oversaw two surges in Afghanistan and expanded drone assaults to new heights. And he deserves credit for ordering Osama bin Laden killed.

This, of course, only hurts him among his base on the left. And applause from the right is quickly dampened every time he opens his mouth to once again apologize to the Muslim world for America.

All of this amounts to a disastrous presidency rivaled in modern times only by Jimmy Carter. And then this week we saw the Obama campaign’s formation of a group called “African Americans for Obama.”

Not only is this a naked assault on decades of efforts by good Americans to purge racism from politics, it is also a desperate admission of just how much trouble Mr. Obama is in. If he needs to shore up his support among black voters, then his goose is really cooked come November.

• Charles Hurt can be reached at charleshurt@live.com

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