The Bad Old Days During the Obama Administration – To Democrats and their allies in the legacy media, former President Barack Obama was calm, cool, and collected during his tenure. Wise beyond his years and highly intelligent, “No drama” Obama refrained from the chaos of the Trump years and led the country with aplomb, his fans would say.
Barack Obama: The GOP Are No Fans
But Republicans saw a much different picture of Obama.
He was condescending and arrogant, GOP critics believe.
He splintered the country in two and left many ordinary Americans not part of his elitist coalition out of his plans.
He campaigned as an uniter and moderate but governed as a divider and leftist.
There were also several scandals that bruised the country.
Allow me to remind you of some of the most terrible aspects of the Obama presidency.
The worst event of the Obama presidency was the Benghazi tragedy. This happened on September 11, 2012, at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Members of the terrorist group Ansar al-Sharia attacked the diplomatic compound in a pre-planned coordinated raid that killed Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and a State Department worker named Sean Smith.
Then in the early morning of September 12, another terrorist attack at a CIA annex nearby featured mortars and heavy gunfire. This action was also premeditated and coordinated. CIA contractors Tyrone S. Woods and Glen A. Doherty died in the battle.
There are many aspects of the attacks that came out in Congressional investigations that looked at Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s purported failures in security lapses that led up to the tragedy. But the worst aspect of Benghazi and Obama’s handling of the event had to be the craven and dishonest actions of Obama sycophant Susan Rice. Rice went on several television news programs and flat out lied about Benghazi and the origins of the attack in an attempt to cover-up the causes and protect the president.
Instead of admitting that the event was pre-planned and premeditated, she said the attacks were spontaneous and sparked by anger over an anti-Muslim video. Rice wanted to make it look like Benghazi was unavoidable and not anyone’s fault in the administration.
This showed that Rice was intentionally misleading the country so Obama could escape blame. The president was likely aware of Rice’s dishonesty and may have even encouraged her to lie to protect him.
IRS Weaponization Against Tea Party Groups
The second most damaging scandal of Obama’s presidency was the IRS effort to deny non-profit tax designation to right-leaning groups who were part of the Tea Party movement against the president. The IRS looked at political themes that were considered anti-Obama in tax exempt applications and purposely delayed or denied them the tax exemption.
This created an environment in which it would be more difficult for these conservative groups to raise money during the lead-up to Obama’s re-election campaign.
A criminal investigation was organized against the IRS official in question, Lois Lerner. Republicans claimed that conservative groups were targeted by the IRS and that the agency had been weaponized by the Obama administration.
While congressional investigators never found a direct tie between the IRS and the White House for this targeting of the Tea Party, it is difficult to believe that Obama knew nothing about the practice. One of the worst things governments can do is to use a powerful agency like the IRS to punish political rivals and that is just what the Obama administration did.
Next up is the Solyndra scandal. Solyndra was a green energy company in California that made solar panels. Solyndra was a product of an Obama administration effort to promote renewable energy projects. In 2009, Obama’s Department of Energy gave Solyndra $535 million in loan guarantees. The company later went bankrupt in 2011 and the energy department took a huge loss. This cost the U.S. taxpayers over half a billion dollars. The FBI and Department of Treasury investigated the company’s founders for wasteful spending. Solyndra was also probed for mis-stating its finances on its loan application to get favorable terms and the possibility that it may have conducted accounting fraud.
The Solyndra fiasco showed that Obama wasn’t as smart as the media thought he was. The scandal made it appear that the White House’s misguided policies on supporting certain companies over others was poor public policy and that picking winners and losers by the government is never a good idea. Solyndra was also evidence that the Obama administration did not conduct due diligence into the company in a prudent manner before it approved the loan guarantees.
These three case studies are major cautionary tales in American presidential history. They show that the Obama administration could be incompetent, dishonest, corrupt, and willing to punish its political rivals through the weaponization of government. Obama’s allies in the media made excuses for the administration in an effort to keep the president in a positive light, but the scandals are evidence that Obama was not as successful as his proponents made him seem.
Benghazi, the IRS versus Tea Party saga, and Solyndra are evidence that Obama was not the immaculate president his supporters made him out to be.
Author Expertise and Experience
Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.