Bill O'Reilly did his best to prop up a bunch of the faux "liberals" that are regularly featured on his network and to pretend that anyone should take seriously their evaluation of what the Obama administration's "greatest accomplishments" should be. He also used the occasion to pretend nothing's been accomplished and to do some revisionist history on the economy and the debt over the last five years.
I'm not happy along with most people that I talk to about where we're at and that more hasn't been done to get Americans back to work and to adequately address the record income disparity in the United States. That said, to act like nothing has been done when the Bush administration left us purging about 700 thousand jobs a month and on the edge of another great depression and to ignore that more would have been done if it were not for the obstruction we've seen from our members of Congress in the last five years, is just patently ridiculous. That's exactly what we got from Bill-O during his Talking Points Memo this Thursday evening.
It's more than fair to argue that President Obama has not used every means at his disposal to fight against the obstruction or that he's not progressive enough on a lot of issues. But if O'Reilly wants to pretend nothing's been accomplished, I've got a web site or two that he ought to take a look at.
I know there are a few similar sites around with even longer lists if anyone wants to share them in the comments section. I don't count on O'Reilly reading any of them any time soon. He's been happy to cheer on our obstructionist Congress and then carps about the fact that supposedly nothing's been done and the economy isn't recovering quickly enough to suit him.
Sadly that's about what we should expect from someone who is still pretending that tax cuts for the rich and trickle-down economics are the solution to the problems with our economy.
Full transcript below the fold.
With the President taking heavy criticism over the Syrian situation, and believe me that will be part of his legacy, it is instructive to look back at what Mr. Obama has done over the past five years.
So we asked five liberal Americans who sometimes appear on THE FACTOR to tell us what President Obama's best accomplishment has been.
Kirsten Powers believes that preventing a depression is the high water mark for Mr. Obama. That's kind of speculative, but the President did pump enough assets into Detroit to save some car makers from bankruptcy. However "Forbes" magazine rates the bounce back from the recession under the President as the weakest economic recovery since the Great Depression.
Alan Colmes says passing health care reform is Mr. Obama's best achievement. Jehmu Greene agrees with that. But if you look at Obamacare you see two things. It has slowed hiring, at least among small business concerns, and the implementation of it is chaotic to say the least. And so there is that.
Marc Lamont Hill cites bringing the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan as the President's signature achievement. No doubt the President did that. History -- history will define the consequences but that will take time. So we don't really know.
And finally Leslie Marshall opines that killing Osama bin Laden is Mr. Obama's biggest accomplishment. I'd expand that. I believe that Barack Obama's legacy will be positive on the terror-hunting side. With his tough policy on drones, he's devastated al-Qaeda and badly hurt the Taliban leadership hiding in Northern Pakistan. Ironically, the President's core left wing supporters generally oppose the high-tech attacks on the terrorists.
But "Talking Points" believes that is Mr. Obama's strongest positive.
Now he's overall legacy. The economy is still soft after five years with working Americans actually losing ground in salaries -- not good. Not likely to turn around because Mr. Obama's administration generally does not help business.
On his watch, the national debt has risen by an astounding $6 trillion -- that's a scandal. And there is no end in sight as Democrats do not want to cut spending. The national debt is America's biggest problem.
On the President's watch, Americans believe that China has overtaken the USA as the most powerful economy according to a Gallup poll. And U.S. foreign policy is confusing to say the least as the Syria debacle proves. Iran continues to develop nukes, but Putin -- Putin is supplying materials to them; North Korea also upping its nuclear the program. No resolution on Benghazi or on Palestine and Egypt is in chaos.
In fact you may remember that during my Super Bowl interview with the President in 2011 I challenged him on Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: The Muslim Brotherhood, great concern to a lot of people. Are they a threat to the USA?
OBAMA: I think that the Muslim Brotherhood is one faction in Egypt. They don't have a majority support in Egypt. They are -- tut they are well organized and there are strains of their ideology that are anti-U.S. there is doubt about it but here is the thing that we have to understand there are a whole bunch of secular folks in Egypt, there are a whole bunch of educators and civil society in Egypt that wants to come to the fore as well. And so it's important for us not to say that our only two options are either the Muslim Brotherhood or a suppressed Egyptian people.
O'REILLY: But you don't want the Muslim Brotherhood.
OBAMA: What I want is a representative government in Egypt and I have confidence that if Egypt moves in an orderly transition process that we'll have a government in Egypt that we can work with together as a partner.
O'REILLY: Those are tough boys, the Muslim Brotherhood. I wouldn't want them anywhere near that government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: And of course it happened that the Muslim Brotherhood seized power, it's chaos, and the military is running the show. And there you go.
So all in all, the President after five years, not really accomplished very much. Congress is in disarray and we're a divided nation. Syria has spotlighted the weakness we have in Washington and it's disturbing. Today meeting with the Russians in Switzerland Secretary of State Kerry trying to find a way out of the Syrian mess by embracing a plan that would allow somebody, we don't know who, to disarm Assad's chemical arsenal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: The expectations are high. They are high for the United States and perhaps even more so for Russia to deliver on the promise of this moment. This is not a game. It has to be real. It has to be comprehensive. It has to be verifiable. It has to be credible. It has to be timely and implemented in a timely fashion. And finally there ought to be consequences if it doesn't take place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Now Kerry is the main hawk when it comes to confronting Syria, but few now believe him when he talks tough because his boss, the President, looks tentative.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I am hopeful that the discussions that Secretary Kerry has with the Foreign Minister Lavrov as well as some of the other players in this can yield a concrete result. And I know that he is going to be working very hard over the next several days to see what possibilities are there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Hopeful with Putin? But in the end "Talking Points" believe there will be some kind of deal whereby Syria promises to give up the chemicals. They really won't, but the promise will be made.
And so a military strike will most likely be averted and Mr. Obama can declare a victory. But most Americans are finally realizing and I mean that, finally realizing that this country is losing power on almost all fronts and if that trend is not arrested and soon, that will be Barack Obama's legacy.
And that's "The Memo."