President Obama will leave office after eight years of strutting even while sitting down, of preening even while standing up, of swanking while playing 18 holes. Yet he remains the first president in American history to cast no shadow. Jimmy Carter cast a pale and minuscule shadow. Lyndon Johnson cast an obscene shadow. Mr. Obama leaves absolutely no shadow, even in the moonlight.
Provide me with a picture of this president, standing beneath the white columned portico of the White House, the sun on his face, a gray shadow behind him and I will eat my hat. I might even eat your hat. The reason he casts no shadow anyplace is that there is no substance to him, not even a smudge. He is almost a totally illusory figure.
The last time I drew attention to Mr. Obama's lamentable condition some readers scoffed at me and pointed to Obamacare, which has practically wrecked the health care system of millions of Americans. Surely that disaster casts a long and dark shadow behind the 44th president, they admonished. I remained serene. And what about Mr. Obama's dealings with Israel, our most loyal ally in the Middle East? Just the other day one of his henchpersons ambushed Israel in the U.N. Security Council. Admittedly, there have been setbacks suffered by the United States while this incompetent was in office but I believe they will be short-lived. Donald Trump is coming to town and he is bringing with him an exceptional Cabinet. Already he is threatening to erase Mr. Obama's foolishness, and he is doing it on Twitter. Wait until he is seated in the Oval Office with the power of the other two branches of government behind him. In the end, it will be seen that I was right, as I was right in calling the last election: Mr. Obama leaves no shadow, not even a legacy; Donald Trump won on Nov. 8.
President Trump will arrive at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue carrying an attache case bulging with executive orders to rescind and agency regulations to nullify. I am sure he is aware that for years the 44th president and his servitors have been promulgating regulations large and small to give the bureaucracy ever more intrusive control over business and the citizenry. Mr. Trump will as he promised cut the waste, rein in government, and "drain the swamp."
For weeks President Obama - between rounds of golf and dabbling on the putting green - has been with the swipe of his pen dispatching executive orders banning oil drilling, establishing new environmental monuments, and encouraging regulations on a wide scale always as surreptitiously as possible. He has secured funding for Planned Parenthood into eternity and ordered the transfer of prisoners from Guantanamo, possibly into the New York City public school system. For weeks his administration has been filling every job opening with its stooges, all planning to ambush the incoming administration. Even the janitorial staff is not exempt from Mr. Obama's politics.
I certainly hope Donald is watching. As I pointed out a few weeks ago, a stalwart band of us cool-headed conservatives supported him precisely because he would, as he says, "drain the swamp." By the way, the Mainstream Media (MSM) is proceeding to ignore us - much as they did during the Reagan years - by focusing on and interviewing mediocrities and extremists. Of course, it is the MSM that is being left in history's wake. As I say, Donald is watching and tweeting, and preparing to take power from the man without a shadow.
When he does, he will have the Congressional Review Act to assist him by which members of his party will, by virtue of a simple majority, vote to eliminate anything passed since June 2016. Then, too, the conservative House Freedom Caucus has reviewed the Obama administration's nuisance regulations and found hundreds that are vulnerable to disapproval. Finally, in 2011, 2013 and 2015 the House Republicans passed an act entitled the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act. Despite its unhappy name, the act would have prevented practically every one of Mr. Obama's power grabs in the realm of climate change and employment. Now it will be sent to President Trump for his signature. Happy days are here again.
On Jan. 20, President Obama will pack his bags and head home, and in the months ahead he will watch his legacy disappear. Soon it will be like his shadow. It will be invisible.
• R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is editor in chief of The American Spectator. He is author of "The Death of Liberalism," published by Thomas Nelson Inc.