s historians begin to assess Barack Obama’s record as president, there’s at least one legacy he’ll leave that will indeed be historic—but not in the way he would have hoped. Even as Democrats look favorably ahead to the presidential landscape of 2016, the strength in the Electoral College belies huge losses across much of the country. In fact, no president in modern times has presided over so disastrous a stretch for his party, at almost every level of politics.
Legacies are often tough to measure. If you want to see just how tricky they can be, consider the campaign to get Andrew Jackson off the $20 bill 178 years after he left the White House. Working class hero? How about slave owner and champion of Native American genocide? Or watch how JFK went from beloved martyr to the man whose imperial overreach entrapped us in Vietnam, and then back to the president whose prudence kept the Cuban Missile Crisis from turning into World War III.