Though President Barack Obama's first term was characterized by anemic economic growth, decreasing household income, prolonged joblessness, an unpopular health law, foreign policy blunders and bitter partisanship, the electorate seemed stubbornly unwilling to lay any of it at his feet. As late as July 2013, 35 percent of Americans assigned George W. Bush a "high degree" of blame for the economy versus only 19 percent who named Obama alone.
Here's a not-so-bold prediction: After the press loses interest in the Veterans Affairs scandal, after the investigations have been completed and one or two officials have resigned, nothing will change.
The latest mass-casualty shooting spree -- this one in Santa Barbara, Calif. -- has touched off the usual debate about how to put a stop to these hideous spasms of murder. These random massacres have become, as I wrote in a previous column, an American psychosis.
This story has a very troubling start, but a pretty satisfying conclusion -- if it really is the conclusion.
There's a debate among economists about why a college degree is worth so much. That the credential is valuable is not in doubt. According to the Pew Research Center, college graduates earn about $17,500 more annually than high school grads. Why?
The Ben Rhodes memo revealing the duplicity of this administration on the subject of Benghazi reminds us about the character of those involved. That President Barack Obama could lie so evenly and so passionately (remember the second presidential debate?) is not perhaps surprising at this stage. But let's not forget what it took for Hillary Clinton to lie to the grieving father of an American hero.
Remember poverty? It was once a chief preoccupation of the Democratic Party. Lyndon Johnson made war on it. An entire ecosystem of federal, state and local programs has been created over the course of the past half-century to combat it, costing taxpayers more than $1 trillion annually.
The Republican Party is roiling with internal conflicts, say the analysts. The tea party is confronting the establishment. The noninterventionists are at war (forgive the expression) with the interventionists. The libertarians would like the party to endorse same-sex marriage.
In the aftermath of the mass shootings in Aurora, Colo.; Newtown, Conn.; Tucson, Ariz.; Virginia Tech; the Washington Navy Yard; and sadly, other locales, conventional wisdom held that the epidemic of mass shootings was a problem of gun control. I wrote columns attempting to draw attention to the mental health system in America that so wrongheadedly fails to treat the dangerous mentally ill.
The most febrile of George W. Bush haters liked to claim during his tenure that the former president "scared" them. There is far more reason to be frightened by President Barack Obama, because fecklessness and inconstancy trigger wars.