A Preview of Obama's Big DNC Speech--and a Brief Review of His Presidency


President Barack Obama will take the stage in Charlotte tonight to make the case for his reelection. According to the Boston Globe, Obama's speech "will be about promise — the kind he'll say he has kept, and the kind of feeling he wants to stir once more. He will take people back to the start of his presidency to make a case why their lives are better, but his bigger imperative is to sell himself as better for middle-class America than Republican Mitt Romney."

If the Globe's preview wasn't clear enough, here's some plain English: Obama will not talk about the things you, dear reader, care about. Not the issues important to libertarians, not the issues important to anti-interventionists, not the issues important to transparency advocates or proponents of small government. While lesser Democrats may care about them, and the other promises Obama has broken, don't expect them to talk about them either between now and November.  

That's why we'll address a few of them here, on the President's behalf.

Despite his promise to reform America's health care system without kowtowing to lobbyists or draining the country's coffers, Obama did both. And then he lied about it. "Such fudges," Matt Welch wrote in a piece about the lies that sold Obamacare, "reveal a politician who, for whatever reason, feels like he can't be honest about the real-world costs of expanding health care."

Despite a decade spent criticizing the war on drugs, President Obama has done nothing substantial to alter American drug policy. "It would be going too far to say that Obama has been faking it all these years, that he does not really care about the injustices perpetrated in the name of protecting Americans from the drugs they want," writes Jacob Sullum in the most thorough piece to date on Obama's drug record. "But he clearly does not care enough to change the course of the life-wrecking, havoc-wreaking war on drugs."

Despite the reticence he once expressed about prolonging America's unnecessary wars, Obama has kept our two lengthiest engagements going, and started new ones when he didn't have to. This led Reason contributor Ira Stoll to ask two very important questions: "First, where are the antiwar protests? And second, where is the press?"

After Obama's most recent State of the Union Address, in which he railed against bailouts while simultaneously defending them, Peter Suderman forecasted what his reelection might mean for taxpayers: "If Obama's top example of successful policy is any example, more bailouts, more handouts, more special treatment for favored companies and industries, and more phony profits." 

After Obama declared earlier this year at a campaign rally in Ohio, "I refuse to take 'no' for an answer!", Reason contributor Gene Healy put an end to the myth that obstructionist Republicans had tied Obama's hands: "Bush never fought a war without congressional authorization—as Obama did in Libya. Nor did Bush ever publicly claim the power to assassinate American citizens via drone strike, far from any battlefield. And deeming the Senate 'functionally' in recess was a bridge too far even for Bush. When Bush's attorneys urged him to do it in 2008, he declined. The Rob Cordray appointment is just the latest instance where 44 has gone even further than 43 in the abuse of executive power."

You won't hear any of this tonight, because the Democrats are in denial. But go ahead and enjoy the show anyway. Your tax dollars, after all, are paying for it. We'll be livetweeting it right here at Reason.com.