Below is the best summary I’ve seen of Obama’s first term. If you’re talking to someone who has finally gotten a clue and wants to play catch up before November, I doubt you could do better than to give them a copy of this article. Something will surely jump out, begging to be investigated more thoroughly and there are plenty of names and keywords provided for googling.
Contempt: The Defining Characteristic of the Obama Presidency By Mark W. Hendrickson – July 7, 2012
From the very beginning, many writers, scholars, and commentators have attempted to define the essence of Barack Obama’s presidency.
It isn’t easy to find a simple label for such a multifaceted individual. On any given day, Obama may seem like a play-for-keeps Chicago pol who rubs elbows with some shady characters; a hardcore environmentalist wedded to a radical green agenda; a crony capitalist with surprisingly close ties to deep-pocketed corporate interest groups; a progressive wanting to sunder the chains of the constitution to hugely expand government à la Franklin Delano Roosevelt; a Jimmy Carter clone, whose foreign policy is marked by turning his back on America’s allies while wooing, if not embracing, the leaders of unfriendly regimes; a Fabian socialist, too cagey to advocate outright socialism, but always in favor of more government economic planning and more redistribution of wealth; a hardcore radical with close personal and ideological ties to various militant revolutionaries (e.g., Bill Ayers), political revolutionaries (e.g., Saul Alinsky), and communists (e.g., Frank Marshall Davis, who is the subject of my colleague Paul Kengor’s newest book, The Communist).
All these assessments ring true, but they are incomplete. The ideological influences acting upon Barack Obama are multifarious. There is, however, an attitudinal quality that seems to be the common denominator linking those ideological underpinnings. The salient, definitive characteristic of the man and his presidency was crystalized for me when Congress cited his attorney general for contempt.