The legacy Mr. Obama imag­ines

Shad­ing the facts is ex­pected, but he abuses in­dul­gence

The Washington Times Weekly - - Editorials -

Apres­i­dent on his way out of town, like a din­ner guest who frets the next morn­ing that he talked too much and stayed too long, is ob­sessed with how he’ll be re­mem­bered. As the days dwin­dle down to a pre­cious few, he spends his time bol­ster­ing his im­age and pol­ish­ing what he imag­ines will be his “legacy.” He’s prone to in­flat­ing ac­com­plish­ments and shad­ing the truth about the dis­as­ters that oc­curred on his watch. Pres­i­dent Obama is in­dulging him­self only a lit­tle more than usual.

He boasts in an in­ter­view that his pride swells when he re­gards his eight years in the White House as “scan­dal free.” It’s true that no one was jailed for tak­ing a bribe, but call­ing his ad­min­is­tra­tion “scan­dal free” is more than a stretch. All pres­i­dents live in a bub­ble, but Mr. Obama ap­pears not to have sub­scribed to a news­pa­per, not even The Wash­ing­ton Post or The New York Times, over these past eight years. If he had, he could have read about scan­dals.

Scan­dal free? His sec­re­tary of State vi­o­lated ba­sic se­cu­rity di­rec­tives, as well as the law, by set­ting up a pri­vate email server and sell­ing ac­cess to the fa­vors of her of­fice. His at­tor­ney gen­eral was held in con­tempt of Congress for il­le­gally with­hold­ing in­for­ma­tion and block­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the Jus­tice De­part­ment’s gun-run­ning oper­a­tion in Mex­ico, sev­eral at­tempts to ig­nore Congress and gov­ern by ex­ec­u­tive or­ders were struck down by the fed­eral courts as un­con­sti­tu­tional, as were ap­point­ments when Congress was out of town and un­able to con­firm or deny, and the In­ter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice un­der his watch was caught sin­gling out groups out of fa­vor with the ad­min­is­tra­tion for “spe­cial treat­ment.” When the tax man cometh, he can be counted on to st­ing.

Those were scan­dals enough. But there was also the em­ploy­ment of well-con­nected out­side ven­dors to con­struct the gov­ern­ment’s Oba­macare web­site, which never worked, at a cost not of mil­lions but bil­lions, and the fun­nel­ing of gov­ern­ment mil­lions into failed crony en­ter­prises like Solyn­dra that The Wash­ing­ton Post ob­served were “in­fused with pol­i­tics at ev­ery level.”

Mr. Obama’s first at­tor­ney gen­eral, Eric Holder, was caught snoop­ing into the tele­phone records of re­porters for the As­so­ci­ated Press and tar­get­ing James Rosen, a re­porter for Fox News. Mr. Holder au­tho­rized the at­tempt to “get” Mr. Rosen and then lied about it. The ghosts of old sol­diers who died wait­ing for treat­ment at Veterans Hos­pi­tals might dis­pute Mr. Obama’s boast that his ad­min­is­tra­tion has been “scan­dal-free.” Such ghosts were not im­pressed when the VA de­clined to hire enough doc­tors and spent the money on press-re­la­tions hacks to say ev­ery­thing was OK.

“I will put the ethics of this ad­min­is­tra­tion and our track record in terms of just abid­ing by the rules and norms, and keep­ing trust with the Amer­i­can peo­ple — I will put this ad­min­is­tra­tion against any ad­min­is­tra­tion in his­tory,” the pres­i­dent says. He has clearly been spend­ing too much time on Planet Pluto. His legacy, over which he has no con­trol, will show him oth­er­wise when he re­luc­tantly re­turns to Planet Earth.

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