Only amid the most bizarre, most tawdry, most addictive election campaign in memory could the real story of 2016 be so effectively obliterated, namely, that with just four months left in the Obama presidency, its two central pillars are collapsing before our eyes: domestically, its radical reform of American health care, aka Obamacare; and abroad, its radical reorientation of American foreign policy - disengagement marked by diplomacy and multilateralism.
This, as the program's entire economic foundation is crumbling. More than half its nonprofit "co-ops" have gone bankrupt. Major health insurers like Aetna and UnitedHealthcare, having lost millions of dollars, are withdrawing from the exchanges. In one-third of the
Young people, refusing to pay disproportionately to subsidize older and sicker patients, are not signing up. As the risk pool becomes increasingly unbalanced, the death spiral accelerates. And the only way to save the system is with massive infusions of tax money.
What to do? The
The Obama Doctrine.
The president's vision was to move away from a world where stability and "the success of liberty" (JFK, inaugural address) were anchored by American power and move toward a world ruled by universal norms, mutual obligation, international law and multilateral institutions. No more cowboy adventures, no more unilateralism, no more
This blessed vision has just died a terrible death in
After endless concessions to Russian demands meant to protect and preserve the genocidal regime of
He blatantly violated his own cease-fire with an air campaign of such spectacular savagery - targeting hospitals, water pumping stations and a humanitarian aid convoy - that even
At the outset of the war, we could have bombed Assad's airfields and destroyed his aircraft, eliminating the regime's major strategic advantage - control of the air.
Five years later, we can't.
Obama did nothing before. He will surely do nothing now. For Americans, the shame is palpable.
What's left of the Obama legacy? Even
In 2014, Obama said, "Make no mistake: (My) policies are on the ballot."
This time around, Obama says, "My legacy's on the ballot." If the 2016 campaign hadn't turned into a referendum on character - a battle fully personalized and ad hominem - the collapse of the Obama legacy would indeed be right now on the ballot. And his party would be 20 points behind.
Credit: By Charles Krauthammer For the