A lot of people have conveniently forgotten that it was Barack Obama who gave us Donald Trump.
Eight years of a presidency wobbly on foreign policy, oblivious to the stifling impact of heavy-handed regulations and uninterested in the large swath of Middle America left the country ready for the sort of restorative change Trump promised.
All the other stuff that came with Trump spoiled the experience and opened the door for Joe Biden.
But the president-elect is making a mistake in interpreting his victory as a call to return to the good old Obama days.
There are reasons to worry. The appointment of former Sen. John Kerry as “climate czar” is one. Kerry, like Biden, is a septuagenarian who spent his entire career weighing policy on a political scale without regard to the impact on businesses and workers.
After a feckless stint as Obama’s secretary of state, he’s become a climate change zealot, convinced only radical restrictions on the economy will save the planet from incineration.
Trump moved America out of the costly and ineffective Paris Climate Agreement; our departure became official earlier this month. Biden and Kerry promise to put the United States back in at a cost of trillions of dollars, without any assurance it will make a significant difference in global warming.
Biden makes the unsubstantiated claim that fulfilling the Paris mandates will create jobs. More likely, higher energy costs and manufacturing restrictions will lead to heavy job losses.
Even while ignoring the Paris pact, the United States managed to decrease greenhouse gas emissions 2% in 2019, beating the performance of most of the nations that remained in the accord.
Similarly, the naming of former Obama official Antony Blinken as secretary of state promises to return the U.S. to the former administration’s lead-from-behind foreign policy.
While Blinken, the stepson of a Holocaust survivor, is said to be friendly toward Israel, he advocates reversing Trump’s decision to abandon the Iran nuclear deal. The outgoing president favors a more muscular approach to containing the rogue regime.
Obama, Biden and Blinken believed they could buy Iran’s good behavior, including with a secret shipment of $1.5 billion in cash. That was never going to work; Iran began violating the deal almost as soon as it was signed and used America’s money to fund terrorism.
The Obama/Biden conviction was that peace in the Middle East depended on a resolution of the endless Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Trump reestablished sanctions to squeeze the Iranian economy and began building a counterforce in the region through deal-making that bypassed the Palestinians’ myriad grievances.
The so-called Abraham Accords resulted in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and other countries offering their recognition of Israel without conditioning it on a peace deal with the Palestinians.
That’s a huge advance, and stands in sharp contrast to the mess Obama made by leading the Palestinians to believe they had a chance of forcing Israel to meet their demands.
Not everything Trump did was wrong, and much of what Obama did failed.
Abandoning Trump policies that are working while returning to Obama polices that didn’t would be a foolish decision by Biden.
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