In the United States is a hot political season. On a pre-election Congress of the Republican and Democratic parties, which should put an end to the question of who will fight for the presidency in the November elections. And now is the time to ask the question: what legacy leaves Barack Obama his “replacement” or “substitute”? What he managed during the eight years of his presidency and where he remained a loser? In Fazil Iskander residents of the village of Chegem said about Lenin: the one who wanted a good, but not in time. Does not this remind Barack Obama? About it “MK” spoke doctor of Economics, chief researcher of the Institute of USA and Canada studies, Vladimir VASILIEV, senior researcher of the sector of internal and external policy of the USA, IMEMO ran Victoria ZHURAVLEVA.
photo: Alexander Astafyev
In the same row with Roosevelt
— What achievements in domestic Affairs at the end of his tenure as head of the United States to boast of Barack Obama?
Victoria Zhuravleva: “Obama’s Presidency has been held under the auspices of the pledges of the concept of “smart power”. He examined it in the broadest sense changes both inside the country and outside. The political transformation was to improve America’s image in the international arena. It was one of the tasks that put Obama came to the White house to improve the country’s image shattered under President George Bush. Therefore, it is possible to sum up. There are things that Obama failed. In domestic politics is primarily a reform of the health system, revolutionary for American social and political system as a whole. This is an example of how gradually changing American socio-political system that usually changes progressively, without any revolutionary breakthroughs, but the answer to external changes it step by step. Obama and his reform implemented just one of those adaptation points of the system in the changed environment. Obviously, the social system of the United States demanded reform and health care reform is only the first step to greater social orientation of the American state. This is a very strong push and very strong call to the whole political system in the United States, political culture, political consciousness. The challenge, contrary to the basic matrices inherent in the development of the American state. Therefore, the reform has caused a serious resistance both at the level of government and at the level of society.
Despite this resistance, the reform was a success — and the movement will continue, despite very strong criticism from Republicans. Obama laid vector. This achievement puts Obama right in the category of historical President — regardless of his further failure or failures, this one puts him on a par with Roosevelt.
Obama was faced with a very serious resistance in the Congress associated with the ideological split in the American government and society. And these resistance and the split is not too allowed him to advance his agenda. To go beyond the single reform he could not. Although he had big plans and immigration reform, and a change in the law regarding weapons. All that remained unfulfilled. But I would not say that it is the result of the weakness of its President. Rather it is the result of ideological crisis facing the system as a whole. In these conditions the President can not do more.”
Polarization gave rise to the phenomena of Sanders and trump
Vladimir Vasilyev: “the Major achievements of the Obama — political. First and foremost, came in the midst of the economic and financial crisis, the administration has set the task to stimulate the development and bring the us economy out of the crisis. Today we can assume that the economy brought to a more or less steady pace of development. Although the main problem when in late 2010 the economy has overcome the crisis in terms of GDP, was low growth rate. The fact that the recovery today is the most sluggish during the entire period after 1960. In the beginning of this year there has been a slowdown in the growth rate. But in principle a number of indicators we can say that with the task the Obama administration has done. The result of this was the fact that Obama was re-elected for a second term in 2012 because the economy was the most important issue.
Another problem in the economy is that during this period in America has greatly increased the inequality in income distribution. The phenomenon of Bernie Sanders, and to a certain extent Donald trump in this election also reflects this point. In the years after the crisis has changed the mechanism of distribution of fruits of economic growth. In particular, 58% of growth total GDP based on the rate of personal income accounted for by the richest 1% of the population. And 42% is accounted for by the other 99% of the population. This is an acute problem, which probably can’t be blamed for the Obama administration.
In 2010, managed to create the foundations of a universal health insurance system (Obamacare) — the administration promised to do it, and she did. This system is imperfect, complex, distributed 30-40 million people who were entitled to medical insurance. It is rejection of the Republicans. In any case this achievement.
Given the crisis, failed to conduct a “reform wall street”, giving the stability of the financial system of the USA. Managed three times to reduce the Federal budget deficit — $1.4 trillion to $450 billion.
The problem of the national debt, now over $19 trillion, the Obama administration has not decided. This is the price that you paid to bring the US economy to a trajectory of even a sluggish but steady development.
It is a legacy that leaves Obama — and how to solve this problem, no one in America today does not know. By the way, Donald trump is just a politician who thinks economically and says that this problem of time to decide. And the current administration, this problem is not solved at all, based on the principle of “on our century will suffice”.
During the eight years of the Obama presidency in America — and he admits it sharply increased political polarization, the confrontation between Republicans and Democrats. The legacy of this polarization and two phenomenon — Sanders and trump.
The outcome of the stay in the White house of George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009 was the global economic and financial crisis, which peaked in autumn 2008. Dissatisfaction with the Bush administration led to the emergence of the phenomenon of Barack Obama. If there was a crisis, Obama would never have become President. Today, Obama has created the phenomenon of trump. All the dissatisfaction with the domestic policies of the country’s foreign policy, which have accumulated over the past eight years, palliative, cosmetic problems and has led to the emergence of the phenomenon of trump: need to do something drastic because the current administration thus can not act.
There is the eternal problem — to strengthen control over arms trafficking. This was not possible for political reasons. Control of Congress in 2010 was in the hands of the Republicans, who received a blocking stake in the house of representatives, and after in 2014, they took the Senate, they blocked all domestic initiatives of the White house. Absolutely everything!
The crisis of American nationhood stems from the fact that for the past six years, Congress did nothing. And this paralysis in Washington — a consequence of this balance of forces. This is another part of the heritage of Obama — paralysis.
In 2014, surveys show the extent of outright rejection of political parties. When questioned Democrats about the degree of their acceptance/rejection of the Republicans (a similar question was asked and the Republicans), and any such wording as “a threat to national security” or “endangering the welfare”. So, 27% of Democrats in the survey considered Republicans a threat to national security”. We have a category of “enemy of the people” — and that’s a quarter of the surveyed Democrats felt the Republicans (more precisely, their political) “enemies of the American people.” Among Republicans, the percentage was even higher: 36% of Republicans thought the policies of the Democrats threatening the national security of the country.
Another important point — immigration reform, which was stalled. Obama signed January 20, 2014 the decree that are beyond the legal field, the beginning of reform, the meaning of which was the legalization of illegal immigrants. It has split America. And in many ways contributed to the emergence of the phenomenon of trump. And it is the question of immigration reform is almost the main during the current presidential campaign.”
“Achievements can be counted on the fingers”
Didn’t Obama become President during his first term, as he was awarded the Nobel peace prize. In the opinion of many, unfairly. Does it justify this “advance” of its foreign policy?
Vladimir Vasilyev: “Speaking about foreign policy — the White house has promised to withdraw troops from Iraq. The withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan have not been made, although the administration took the policy of curtailing its presence in the region. The Iranian “nuclear deal” appears as one of the major achievements of the Obama administration, but Republicans have said that if the President will be a Republican, he the very next day this deal will be sent to the trash. Not to say that this is a stable situation. Where the Obama administration can put a plus is the normalization of relations with Cuba.
As for the rest… you Can quote the words eliminated from the race Marco Rubio, who said that many years will pass before we scraped away the rubble in the foreign policy left behind by the Obama administration.
Debris associated with changes in the international situation, it is primarily the situation in the middle East. When the Americans began to leave Iraq and Afghanistan, when they began to provoke the “Arab spring”, the result was the emergence of ISIS (“Islamic state” banned in Russia terrorist group), radical extremism. It is a product of the actions of the Obama administration. As the migration crisis in Europe.
In relations with Russia “cold war 2.0” — is also a product of the Obama administration. Like Ukraine as destabilizing actions in Eastern Europe, the complication of relations with China, relations with North Korea remain tense.
In short, foreign policy achievement of Obama can be counted on the fingers”.
Victoria Zhuravleva: “If you look at foreign policy, is Obama often criticized, calling a weak President. In particular, it’s trump who claims that Obama “has passed America.” In fact, Obama was a successful foreign policy. If we consider US foreign policy through the prism of the crisis in Russian-American relations (which are charged with that is Obama), then in General, the head of the White house was able very much to organize Europe. That is what actually destroyed the Bush for its aggressive actions, triggering protests from the European Union and the European allies and destroy the relationship between America and Europe, Obama was able to recover. Today Europe rows that should be in the American mainstream, clearly fulfilling all the instructions and requirements. And this is definitely the achievement of “smart policies” of Obama — the minimum power and aggressive pressure, maximum recognition of the United States part of a single system and underlining the fact that the United States is playing by the General rules. And while economic pressure on the allies that eventually helped to build the campaign against Russia.
In addition to this achievement, Obama’s laid the vector to build transnational alliances as transatlantic and Pacific. This is a serious step from the point of view of restructuring the world order and to control this procedure. And here again the United States because of the actions of Obama’s continued leadership. They set the rules and structure of world community”.
In 2008, when Obama won the first time at the election of the President of the United States, many have a kind of euphoria. With Obama’s name was associated with many expectations, he was a sort of “Golden boy”, a child Prodigy from the world of politics. What to eat this euphoria?
Victoria Zhuravleva: “In many ways, it was associated with the arrival of the White house non-white President in the society in which, despite the declared equality, segregation at the level of everyday consciousness is preserved. That to the highest rungs of the political ladder came to non-white U.S. citizen, is a very serious signal about changes within society, within the American consciousness. This signal called a lot of hope for change. How they met, hard to tell, but start this process, put it Obama. Further smoothing of the different positions of the white and black populations is only possible due to the fact that already was the first African-American President. In addition, the euphoria around Obama has been associated with the fact that it is generally symbolized the hope for change. And the American public is tired of Bush, even against the backdrop of the unfolding crisis of 2008, pinned to Obama very high expectations. People thought that since he is different, he can find other ways to respond to the aspirations of the electorate and society. But the President (like all previous) was a very restricted system in their capabilities — and hope quickly gave way to disappointment. To the end of his presidency he was never able to recover from those dashed hopes. And once fallen, the rating never went up.”Related posts: