Second-Term Blues For Obama

by Ryan on May 14, 2013

in International Relations,Media,Media Bias,Politics,Stupid government

Every President who has been reelected has had a hard time in their second terms.  Some had major scandals, others passed away, others suffered from the public’s fatigue and lame duck status in a way which harmed their legacies.*  No one was immune.

Neither is Obama, apparently.

Right now Obama’s second-term agenda is slowly disappearing as four (at last count) potential scandals inundate the Obama Administration:

  1. Benghazi:  the scandal which just keeps growing.
  2. The IRS’s improper targeting of the Tea Party and other conservative groups.
  3. Dubiously obtaining phone records from the Associated Press (AP)
  4. HHS Secretary Sebelius improper soliciting money to promote Obamacare

Doesn’t look too good right now for Dear Leader.

*Below is a list of two-term Presidents and their elected second term blues.

George Washington:  The Jay Treaty (1796) — a favorable treaty with the British at a time too close to the Revolution not to elicit a major public backlash.

Thomas Jefferson:  The Embargo Act (1807) — in order to avoid taking sides in European conflicts, Jefferson decides not to favor trade with anyone, leading directly to the impressment which led to the War of 1812.

James Madison:  The War of 1812 (1812-1815) — the wrong kind of “British Invasion” dominated Madison’s second term.

James Monroe:  Unclear.  The so-called “Era of Good Feelings” only spawned factions within the old Republican Party which will tear at each other until a political divorce by 1828.  Add in the sectionalism institutionalized by the Missouri Compromise and America was on edge by the time he left.

Andrew Jackson:  Censure by the US Senate (1834) — for withholding documents related to the unauthorized Second Bank of the United States, Jackson became the only President officially censured by the Senate.

Abraham Lincoln:  Assassinated just over a month into his second term (1865).

Grover Cleveland:  The Panic of 1893 — the only non-consecutive President (he was #22 and #24) was reelected just in time for the worse recession of the 19th Century, which ruined his second term.

William McKinley:  Assassinated in his second term (1901).

Theodore Roosevelt:  Panic of 1907 — Here’s the thing… TR was technically only elected President once in 1904, but nonetheless had to endure a major financial panic, making it easier for him to let someone else run in 1908.

Woodrow Wilson:  Failure of the Treaty of Versailles — Wilson sucks in general.  He ran for reelection on peace and got Congress to declare war only a month after his second inaugural.  That, and the Espionage and Sedition Acts suppressed political dissent at home, the beginning of the First Red Scare freaked out Americans, Prohibition (’nuff said), and his failure to win Senate approval of the Treaty of Versailles — a labor so intense that Wilson had a stroke while unsuccessfully trying to sell it to the American people — ruined term number two!

Franklin Roosevelt:  Court-Packing Scandal (1937) –  Coming off his 46-state reelection, FDR was upset at the Supreme Court striking down his unconstitutional programs, so he devised a plan to “pack” the Supreme Court with six more judges, while forcing everyone over seventy to retire.  The Republicans picked up a net 72 House seats in the 1938 midterms and FDR’s further New Deal plans were over.

Dwight Eisenhower:  U2 Incident (1960) –  Disregarding the Soviet rejection of Eisenhower’s “open skies” plan, we continued to have high-altitude flights over the Soviet Union.  In early 1960, the last of those flights was shot down, the pilot captured, and a show-trial in the Soviet Union embarrassed the United States greatly.

Richard Nixon:  Watergate (1972-4)

Ronald Reagan:  Iran-Contra Scandal (1986-7)

Bill Clinton:  The Lewinsky Scandal (1998-1999)

George W. Bush:  Name it — Valerie Plame was really just a blip, but a slow drip of bad news and failures ruined his public image:  the Iraq quagmire, the public perception of Dubya’s response to Hurricane Katrina, the housing collapse, TARP, etc.  It’s too early to tell which of these second-term blues will stand out as his major albatross.

Barack Obama:  …

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