President Barack Obama's second term is off to a woeful start, plagued by deceit, scandal, and standoffs—and Governor Mitt Romney saw a lot of it coming last fall in his unsuccessful bid for the White House.
Romney warned at the first presidential debate that Obamacare would be fully installed and cause many to lose their health insurance plans should Obama be re-elected.
Romney was hardly the first Republican to see that coming, but President Obama pledged at the same debate, as he had dozens of times before, that Americans could keep their health insurance if they liked it under the Affordable Care Act.
Now that his promise has been fully debunked, Obama actually apologized last week to Americans who had their plans dropped. Millions have already lost coverage, and the number is expected to continue rising, particularly with the employer mandate not even fully implemented yet.
However, the past year has seen consistent antagonism by Russia toward the U.S. over matters like the Syrian crisis, where the Vladimir Putin-backed Bashar al-Assad regime used chemical weapons against its own people in August, crossing the “red line” set by Obama a year earlier.
In a diplomatic embarrassment for the United States, Obama’s threat to use military force for crossing the line was deeply unpopular both home and abroad, and a Russian-brokered deal to have Assad remove his chemical weapons made Putin an international hero of sorts. Forbes even listed him first over Obama on the "World's Most Powerful" list.
The Russian president, whose human rights record is abysmal, even had an editorial published in the New York Times scolding Obama for promoting American exceptionalism, and the Obama administration was practically reduced to being a bystander in the negotiations.
Russia has also continued to block U.N. resolutions condemning and sanctioning another U.S. enemy, Iran, and its nuclear program, and a defiant Moscow granted NSA leaker Edward Snowden asylum in August rather than grant American requests to send him home to face espionage charges. Obama told Jay Leno, "There have been times where they slip back into cold war thinking and a cold war mentality."
On the campaign trail, Romney criticized Obama’s inability to work members of Congress and vowed that would continue. He cautioned that the debt ceiling debate would come up again, and a threat of government shutdown and default would loom. Indeed, those predictions all were thrown into sharp relief when a budget impasse was reached, in large part due to fierce fighting over Obamacare, and the government partially shut down Oct. 1.
Obama’s famously icy relationship with House Republicans was never more apparent when he said he would not budge in negotiations.
The widening partisan split Romney continually foresaw under Obama was also self-evident when the IRS was caught in May targeting conservative groups for extra scrutiny, a matter that is still being litigated.
The American people seem to be regretting their decision a year after sending Obama back to Washington. His approval rating has dropped to record lows, and his trustworthiness levels are underwater.
[H/T Ben Howe]