We have had a series of American presidents who never should have been elected but who had amazing luck. We also have had our share of good ones of excellence who simply would not subject themselves to what this democracy imposes on those who would lead us. Again, our loss.
No one was going to beat Ike. Nor was FDR going to lose amid World War II. And Hoover, who may have been one of the best we ever elected, was elected at the wrong time. On the other hand, Lincoln seemed accidental to many. Yet history challenged him as it had challenged few before him, and he uniquely rose to the moment. And so it has gone.
Reagan was a man greater than the American people were prepared to elect, but G-d shed His grace on our country and history by pairing him alongside the worst of presidents, Jimmy Carter. With Carter driving the economy into the ground, failing abysmally on foreign affairs, and simply projecting malaise, Reagan's optimistic vision of a new "Morning in America" persuaded fence-sitters to give him a chance. Once elected, Reagan proved his mettle from day one, staring down traffic controllers who thought they were confronting a buffoonish actor who once had played a comic role alongside a monkey. Indeed, Reagan established himself even before day one: the Ayatollah, who defiantly had held Americans hostage for 444 days under the hapless Carter, immediately released his captives the moment he got word from his Farsi interpreters that Reagan had been elected. Khomeini knew that any hesitation would result in the "holy city of Qom" joining Pripyat, Ukraine; Hashima, Japan; and the Roanoke colony of North Carolina as places that once existed.
And so it has gone. Reagan got to run against Carter — what luck! And then he got to run the next time against a guy who actually campaigned on a promise to raise taxes. On the other hand, Barry Goldwater found himself running against John Kennedy's successor less than a year after the assassination. No chance. Later, Nixon got to run against George McGovern, such a weak and extreme-left candidate for his time that even the advancing clouds of Watergate could not forestall a massive landslide, mixed metaphor and all.
In the recent period, it seemed that Bill Clinton ultimately was the Man Who Had All the Luck, albeit tempered by marriage. He got to run against a George Bush who had promised "Read my lips — No new taxes!" and then lied, helping crash the economy en route. And since even that was not enough for Clinton to hoodwink a majority, he further was endowed with Ross Perot. So with a paltry 43 percent of the vote, Clinton sneaked into another bedroom, this one in the White House, as Perot snatched 18.9 percent of the vote alongside Bush's 37.4. If that was not lucky enough, Clinton next got to run against Bob Dole, a war hero and patriot whose stultified manner and demeanor never had a ghost of a chance to capture an American majority. Dole's vanilla chances were confirmed soon after defeat when he began doing Viagra commercials. An interesting reach to blue states. By contrast, the testimonies of Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, Monica Lewinsky, and others indicated that Clinton had not yet entered that urology stage.
Perhaps the luckiest of all was Obama. Through focused research, his people first uncovered a messy divorce in Chicago, replete with spousal abuse, that knocked out Obama's leading Democrat foe for the Senate, Blair Hull. Next, bolstered by more focused research, Obama's henchmen uncovered yet another messy divorce and accompanying sealed court papers, revealing his Republican opponent's outlier sexual antics and alleged spousal abuse. Such luck never stopped. A felon, destined for federal prison, helped the Obamas become wealthy. And then Obama got to run against John McCain, a Bush-league Republican who was too politically hazy to inspire the GOP base. And, just as Clinton got an extra bonus from Perot's entry, so Obama miraculously inherited a windfall: the cataclysmic Bush economic collapse smack in the midst of the campaign's home stretch.
Obama promptly proved so unsuited for office during his first term, a period that began with massive Democrat control of the House and a filibuster-proof Senate, that he persuaded America to evict Democrats everywhere they could be found, even in state and municipal governments, and even to give Ted Kennedy's Massachusetts Senate seat to a Republican. Obama defied economics by failing to boom the economy after it had bottomed. He wasted American influence and power throughout the world, from the Crimea and Ukraine to Cuba and Venezuela to Iran and the ISIS caliphate. Yet as badly as he did — neither were his jobs shovel-ready nor was he — he was gifted remarkably with Mitt Romney as his opponent in 2012. In a nation recoiling from Obamacare's excesses, the Republicans managed to nominate the only person who had crafted and implemented his own Obamacare first. Beyond that, Mitt Romney proved unable to speak to the common working person: he offered a $10,000 bet to underscore a point at a debate yet was caught speechless in another when CNN moderator Candy Crowley, whom Romney and his team obliviously had approved, interjected herself. Thus, Lucky Obama did not win; rather, Romney lost. And so did America.
Could anyone ever hope to be luckier than a Clinton, an Obama? We would have guessed no. But the Democrats have toiled mightily for four years to prove that lightning can keep striking the White House.
No one among the learned psephologists saw any path for Donald J. Trump to be elected president. Even on Election Night 2016, the experts who do the Democrats' work by masquerading as news analysts were popping the champagne in the early hours. Reports of huge lines of Hispanic voters flooding Florida's polls to vote against Trump. The "blue firewall" in the impregnable Democrat midwestern states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, and Pennsylvania. And yet Trump won. Yes, he was unique. His stadium crowds were unbelievable. He spoke to the common person, something that Romney could not do and that McCain should not even have tried. But Trump also had the luck of a Hillary on the other side. A Republican's dream come true: emails, servers in the bathroom, felonious spoliation and cover-ups, lies about yoga and wedding dresses, bungling and then more lies and then cover-ups about the Benghazi disaster, demeaning half the country as "deplorables" — all accompanied by the years upon years of Clinton baggage that came with her candidacy. What luck!
But what of 2020? Will Trump's luck hold out? President Trump's first three years have zoomed the economy, set Dow Jones records for investors, and brought unemployment numbers to record lows for everyday people of all demographics while boosting their wages after eight years of Obama stagnation. Moreover, as proven by his not having been awarded a Nobel Prize his first days in office, Trump has restored respect for America in the world. He has NATO countries coughing up money they owe. Canceled the disastrous Iran Deal, renegotiated NAFTA to America's advantage, got us out of the ridiculous Paris Climate Accord that took us for chumps, and stopped the Trans-Pacific nonsense, too. He has canceled scores of business-killing regulations, taken steps to address the restriction of First Amendment freedoms at universities and to protect the falsely accused, and he methodically has been remaking the federal courts, district judge by appellate judge. He has overseen America's emergence as a net exporter of energy, has advanced veterans' health-care options, and even has advanced religious freedoms. And of course the muscular effort, against all odds, to reshape America's shattered immigration policies. But could such success, amid so much sustained 24/7/365 opposition from the Democrats and their media wing, stand a chance for reelection?
Yes. The guy has all the luck. Painful, indeed — but luck that cannot be described. His opponents have squandered three years in opposition, the last year while holding the House majority, in ways that historians will not fathom. An opioid-like addiction to impeachment. Impeach for Russian collusion — oops, Mr. Mueller, no collusion? Impeach for Stormy Daniels' revelations — oops, Mr. Avenatti, how much bail? Impeach for Michael Cohen's secret tape recordings — oops, Mr. Cohen, how long is that prison sentence? Impeach under the 25th Amendment for mental incompetence — oops, Mr. McCabe, was Rosenstein going to wear that wire or not? And, oops, Mr. Biden — what mental incompetence? Impeach Kavanaugh — oops, Mr. Avenatti, thanks for returning, this time with Ms. Swetnick. And oops, New York Times, the victim does not remember a thing, and everyone else says it didn't happen? Impeach by virtue of a Washington Post op-ed written by "anonymous" — oops, WaPo, no go. And endless diversions from Omarosa to the Mooch.
Impeach. Impeach. And now, 13 months from elections but with no impeachment left, would the Democrats endeavor to salvage something of their remarkably unproductive tenure in the House? Would they assume a veneer of addressing trade and the MCA deal, the economy, infrastructure, present their own solution to Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, the southern border? If nothing else, would they at least tell America forthrightly what they propose on the Green New Deal front: A nationwide ban on plastic straws but mass distribution of syringe needles? A ban on all meat except during Iowa State Fair campaigning? Bottom line: Having accomplished and done absolutely nothing through their year of House tenure, would the Democrats shift modes and fabricate a posture of seriousness?
Nope. Got to impeach. Got to. Need one more fix.
And so off to Ukraine, where, thanks only to the opioid of impeachment, Democrats not only will spend the remainder of this 116th Congress on another Impeachment Train to Nowhere but also will compel their own corrupt media wing, unwittingly but finally, to reveal to the American people the story of Ukraine, Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, Burisma Holdings, Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, and the corrupt leveraging of an Obama vice presidency to rake in millions and become one of America's wealthiest families overnight. Spasibo. And what luck!