Voters can do nothing until they have the facts---the hard, cold, true facts, and that is what Hugh Hewitt provides in THE BRIEF AGAINST OBAMA: The Rise, Fall & Epic Fail of the Hope & Change Presidency. Hugh makes the case that Obama's has been a disastrous presidency, a fiasco in fact, and reveals the president to be a wholly unprepared and incapable-of-learning ideologue whose nearly every move has been wrong, and whose almost every decision has been ill-conceived and poorly executed. But for the SEALs' dispatch of bin Laden and the military's removal of al-Awalki and other terrorists---whom the president still seeks to remove from Gitmo to domestic courts in the United States---Obama would be wholly without anything to claim as an achievement of his time in the Oval Office.
In addition to the monumental failures of Obamacare, the soaring unemployment rate, the 2009 "stimulus" and the massive debt, Hugh Hewitt examines the scores and scores of broken promises and fraudulent forecasts, dozens of dodges and hundreds of disastrous innovations that President Obama has inflicted on America. It has been a reign of incompetency not before seen in the country---ever. According to Hewitt, President Obama is not just a failed president, but the most spectacularly failed president of modern times, and Hewitt's precise and lawyerly indictment is made to help the American people see what has happened, and what desperately needs to be done in the upcoming election.
The path for the American people is clear and urgent: Barack Obama mustn't be allowed to run the country into the ground as the Commander-in-Chief for four more years.
About the Author
Professor Hugh Hewitt is a lawyer, law professor and broadcast journalist whose nationally syndicated radio show is heard in more than 120 cities across the United States every weekday afternoon. Professor Hewitt is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Michigan Law School, and has been teaching Constitutional Law at Chapman University Law School since it opened in 1995.
By Rich Stowell
Hugh's exhortation follows a 200 plus-page, blistering critique of President Obama, summarized in his book's next sentence: "But also pray that we never again indulge such an unserious campaign and such an unprepared individual with the Oval Office. The Republic is great and strong, but it cannot take another such term or president."
Hugh's latest book is important and will surely be influential in the effort to persuade the country to deny Obama a second term. The former because it is focused and thoroughly researched; the latter because it is engaging, well-articulated, and easily-read.
Hugh, a nationally-syndicated radio man, draws on the scores of experts who have expounded the important issues of the day on the Hugh Hewitt Radio Show, to outline the major reasons why Obama should not serve a second term.
The Brief Against Obama reads like his show plays—a blend of information, entertainment, and insight that satisfies intellectuals and political amateurs alike. He has mastered the art of cross promotion, citing on-air interviews and columns he has written over the past two years to support his main points. He is also candid and conversation in his writing style.
Hugh's thesis—his legal argument, as he puts it—is that Barack Obama has been "the most spectacularly failed president of modern times."
Ultimately, Obama's failures are ascribed to his inexperience, summed up by the utter foolishness of the Hope and Change campaign of 2008.
"Why should we have expected anything different?" Hugh writes on p. 170. "The president had been in the United States Senate for only four years when he won the White House: four years of missed hearings and votes, full-time campaigning, and book writing, little if anything in the form of serious study.…"
Obama was hopelessly unprepared for the office, in Hugh's estimation. In terms of domestic politics, he never evidenced any skill or even predilection toward negotiation. He feigned moderation and a penchant for compromise, but has delivered hyperpartisanship on an unimaginable scale.
Hugh describes two events that dismantled the non-partisan façade that Obama had managed to erect: the president's 2010 State of the Union speech, in which he belittled the Supreme Court over the Citizen's United decision, and his petty "ambush" on Rep. Paul Ryan at an economic address.
Both episodes are put into historical perspective—Hugh makes no apology for partisanship in Chief Executives, and allows Obama leeway where appropriate. But political missteps are usually a matter of degree, and Hugh's understanding of the landscape allows him to calibrate Obama's. In his calculation, they are massive.
The nine justices of the Supreme Court, for example, were sitting in front of the president during the aforementioned speech, "there to symbolize the unity of government, honoring the balance of the three branches, reminding viewers that there are parts of government that are not political." And Hugh notes that embarrassing Paul Ryan came after the historic 2010 midterm rebuke of Obama, and might have been a "bid by the president in a grand effort to gather both parties together to tackle the Medicare mess."
"Each of the modern presidents has known when it was time to put partisanship aside, to work across the aisle," Hugh writes on p. 185. "To aim for achievements that could genuinely be described as bipartisan. Not Barack Obama. He has proven to be the most relentless partisan of them all."
The president's inability to work with the opposition doomed even his legislative accomplishments. It resulted in bad legislation emerging via some of the worst partisan maneuvers, foremost among which was Obamacare, which Hugh condemns early and often.
On the foreign policy front, Obama's naiveté has made the world more dangerous, according to Hugh.
The case levels 24 very serious charges at the president, beginning with Domestic Policy Failures in Part I, comprising 1. Obamacare, 2. The stimulus, 3. stimulus 2.0, 4. spending and deficits, 5. housing, 6. unemployment, 7. energy, 8. Dodd-Frank, 9. Fast and Furious, and 10. attacks on Catholics. Part II is an indictment of the president's handling of foreign affairs, comprising chapters 12. Israel, 13. American military spending, 14. Russia, 15. Iraq and Afghanistan, 16. The US-Mexico border, 17. China, 18. North Korea, 19. The Arab Spring, and 20. Gitmo and terrorist trials. The final five chapters are dedicated to Barack Obama's failures of leadership.
Hugh has done a great service in explaining President Obama's failures so succinctly and starkly. "This book is about facts," he writes in the Introduction. "A book about facts written by a long time lawyer and law professor."
Each chapter (titled differently than I have described them above) begins with statements made by Obama, often in the form of a promise. Hugh proceeds to dismantle any claim the president has to accuracy or good faith, and usually in less than four pages.
"Does this chapter even need writing, or does the title say everything about the hopeless, dangerous, naiveté of the president and the ideological extremists populating his Department of Justice?"
Thus begins Chapter 20, "Gitmo and the Trials of Terrorists," but it could equally begin any chapter in the book. Indeed, there are so many broken promises that major ones—like, "If you like your health-care plan, you will be able to keep your health-care plan. Period."—seem diluted and trivial.
Transcending all of the serious charges against the president's competence is the breach of transparency, a theme Candidate Obama turned to often in his criticisms of rivals. Nearly every failure is accompanied by some combination of backroom dealing, bad faith negotiation, cover-up, and end runs around congressional oversight, all of which Hugh lays out cogently.
The Brief Against Obama is not a flawless broadside, however. Hugh's criticisms, though mostly backed by solid research, are occasionally interrupted by indulgences in rhetoric and hyperbole, at which he is skilled. En toto the case is strong, though in its weakest parts the author embellishes with polemics that might satisfy a right wing audience, while leaving a fence sitter sitting.
Chapter 8, "The 'Dodd-Frank' Head-Fake: Inmates Keep the Asylum," for example, was light on specifics. What did Obama have to do with it the law that most conservative think is disastrous? And why, specifically, is it bad for the American economy? The chapter is long on invective, but will fall short of convincing Obama's supporters and independents.
Likewise, Chapter 16, which deals with the US-Mexico border, contains plenty of accusations but little evidence. "Ignoring the Border" makes the claim that President Obama has summarily abandoned our southern frontier. Of course the president disagrees, which Hugh points out. A jury would have a hard time finding definitively for one side or the other in the he-said, he-said dispute over enforcement effectiveness.
Finally, Chapter 10, "The President's Attacks on Catholics, Congress, and the Constitution" is missing a discussion of Obama's recess appointments. An otherwise compelling chapter, its opening paragraph is the only one explaining how the president made the controversial appointments while the Congress was objectively not in recess. Not to include a lengthier argument about the illegitimacy of such an action was a missed opportunity.