Saturday, September 8, 2018

Barack Obama Returns

Clever and witty, smooth and glib, oozing charm and empathy from every pore, Barack Obama stepped back on the public stage yesterday. In a speech at the University of Illinois, Urbana he rode to the defense of his own miserable record… record that had been soundly repudiated in 2016.

Yet, he took the repudiation personally; he took it as a species of racism-- because he sees America in racial terms. He forgot that the 2008 election roundly repudiated George W. Bush and the Republican Party.

For all I know, it could be that the nation repudiates parties and officials who have failed.

Obama spoke mostly about himself. It’s his favorite subject. He did mention Donald Trump but never deigned to refer to him as the president. He extolled the greatness of his own administration, giving himself credit for all good things that happened during and after his presidency. And, of course, he blamed Trump and Republicans for everything bad that happened since. Many politicians indulge this form of rhetorical dishonesty. Obama is not alone... though he is especially good at it.

Obama sounded good. He sounded good until you bother to check some of his claims and assertions. Then, he does not sound so good at all. He sounds like a politician who will happily skew the facts to support his own ideological bias, in the service of his own special form of self-aggrandizement.

So, let’s examine some of his assertions.

Obama, on why he had not spoken out until yesterday:

I was also intent on following a wise American tradition of ex-presidents gracefully exiting the political stage and making room for new voices and new ideas.

Most modern presidents have adhered to this norm. And yet, to be fair, if you read what Theodore Roosevelt wrote about President Woodrow Wilson from 1914 until 1919, you will see that TR criticized his successor viciously… and, from my perspective, correctly.

Having been a decidedly divisive president, Obama wants to blame everyone else for the nation’s divisions:

More often it’s manufactured by the powerful and the privileged who want to keep us divided and keep us angry and keep us cynical because it helps them maintain the status quo and keep their power and keep their privilege.


It did not start with Donald Trump. He is a symptom, not the cause. He’s just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years, a fear and anger that’s rooted in our past but it’s also born out of the enormous upheavals that have taken place in your brief lifetimes.

Who better than Obama to fan and to capitalize on resentments. After all, he declared war on racism and on all forms of bigotry. He was far more worried about Islamophobia than about Islamic terrorism. He stoked resentment of white male privilege and attempted-- intersectionally-- to organize a political movement around everyone who did not enjoy white male privilege. Thus, he divided the nation between the oppressors and the oppressed, between the toxic white males and the rest.

Obama is quite right to say that Trump is a symptom, not a cause. He should know. He himself was the proximate cause.

Of course, Obama gives himself full credit for the current strong economy:

I mention this just so when you hear how great the economy is doing right now, let’s just remember when this recovery started. I’m glad it’s continued, but when you hear about this economic miracle that’s been going on, when the job numbers come out, monthly job numbers and suddenly Republicans are saying it’s a miracle, I have to kind of remind them, actually, those job numbers are the same as they were in 2015 and 2016 and -- anyway. I digress.

Obama makes no mention of the fact that the Federal Reserve took the lead on the economy by flooding it with money.

Among his foreign policy successes, he says:

Even though we took out bin Laden and wound down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, got Iran to halt its nuclear program, the world’s still full of threats and disorder that come streaming through people’s televisions every single day.

Fair point. Obama did order the assassination of bin laden. But, he walked away from Iraq like a coward and handed a third of the country to ISIS. He did not get Iran to halt its nuclear program, since we are not allowed, by the terms of his agreement, to inspect Revolutionary Guard sites. And he does not mention that Iran has taken the money he gave it to pursue activities in Syria-- another monumental Obama failure-- and to fund terrorism, especially terrorism against Israel.

Obama went on to attack:

… wild conspiracy theories like those surrounding Benghazi.

Four Americans died in Benghazi, including the ambassador to Libya. The Obama administration, like any other administration, is responsible for the security of its ambassadors. The Secretary of State, in particular, is responsible. Benghazi was a monumental failure… one that Obama will never take any responsibility for. Neither will Hillary Clinton. It’s an exemplary instance of moral cowardice.

Having exploded the national debt in his eight years in office, Obama is naturally happy to blame Republicans for increasing the deficit:

Suddenly deficits do not matter. Even though just two years ago when the deficit was lower, they said I couldn’t afford to help working families or seniors on medicare because the deficit was in existential crisis. What changed? What changed?

If Obama cannot admit that he blew up the debt, he should shut up about the current deficit.

Obama seems especially appalled that Trump seems to be cozying up to Russia:

They’re undermining our alliances, cozying up to Russia. What happened to the Republican party? Its central organizing principle in foreign policy was the fight against communism, and now they’re cozying up to the former head of the KGB.

Seriously?? Which president was cozying up to then Russian president Medvedev on a hot microphone, to ask him to tell Vladimir that after the 2012 election he would be able to go easier on Russia. Which president handed Syria over to Russia? Which American president stood by while Russia annexed Crimea? Which American president canceled an order of anti-missile missiles that the Bush administration had sold to Poland and the Czech Republic.

Obama consistently did Putin’s bidding. Now he accuses Trump to cozying up the Russia. If you do not care about facts, Obama’s your president.

As for politicizing the criminal justice system, Obama said:

It should not be a partisan issue to say that we do not pressure the attorney general or the FBI to use the criminal justice system as a cudgel to punish our political opponents.

Compare and contrast with what Holman Jenkins wrote in the Wall Street Journal today:

The FBI became a vehicle by which unknown foreign agents, plus one known foreign agent, plus various U.S. partisan confederates, tried to insert unsubstantiated allegations about Mr. Trump into the campaign.

The shambolic and self-defeating public intervention of the FBI director on behalf of Hillary Clinton was set in motion by secret Russian intelligence about which the public is still being kept in the dark.

As for Trump’s attacks on the media… media that is, incidentally, unremittingly hostile toward Trump… after having been completely devoted to making Obama look great, no matter what he did.

Obama said:

I complained plenty about Fox News, but you never heard me threaten to shut them down, or call them ‘enemies of the people.’”

In truth, the Obama justice department spied on Fox reporters, seized their emails and phone records… and declared the Fox reporter James Rosen an enemy of the state.

To display his own brand of courage, Obama denounces the Trump administration for not saying that Nazis are bad:

We’re supposed to stand up to discrimination, and we’re sure as heck supposed to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers. How hard can that be? Saying that Nazis are bad.

In fact, it isn’t difficult at all to denounce Nazis… especially since there are, effectively, no Nazis. The Nazis were defeated in 1945. People like Obama like to fight the last war because they are incapable of fighting the present war. A man who finds it easy to say that Nazis are bad quivered in fear and could not bear to say that Islamist terrorists were bad. When it came to facing a real enemy, Obama was hunkering down, denouncing the racists in our midst.

As for today’s heirs to Nazism, they are in Tehran and Gaza and Hezbollah… doing everything in their power to kill Jews… using money that Barack Obama graciously handed over to them.


trigger warning said...

"Thanks, Obama."
--- B. Obama (12/17)

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Obama weaponozed the most intrusive agencies of the federal apparatus to attack ordinary citizens. That is his legacy. Pure corruption and lawlessness. The Apology Tour, bowing to despotic leaders, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, Iran... just the tip of the iceberg. Still waiting for someone — anyone — to explain how the Iran “deal” is at all in our national interest. Anyone? The Big Media never asked one question about this issue. Not one. Queue up more Stormy Daniels, please...

And cry me a river about the precious news media, our warriors of truth, the vanguard of our transparent, open democracy. No group on earth has lost total credibility the way the Fourth Estate has the last 22 months. Big Media is the communications arm of the Democrat Party, ideological apologists for the Left and enablers of the Globalist economic agenda. This cannot be denied.

Wanna do some real, intrepid investigative reporting? Follow the Obama Administration NSA 702 about queries and unmasking. And the trail that goes all the way to the top — Barack Obama and Valerie Jarrett. Susan Rice and Samantha Power were leading that racket. When we talk about “follow the money,” that’s the money. Are any bona ride journalists doing any work in this area? Nope. The Deep State, nonprofits, NGOs and the Democrat Party are all in on this. Washington, D.C. is an incestuous rogue power structure, thick as thieves. Brennan, Clapper and Comey...

Ares Olympus said...
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Ares Olympus said...
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Anonymous said...

One could say that now Trump voters have a reason to go and get out the vote if the media was not enough for a start. Amazing that some people, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Joe Biden, et al and especially Obama seem not to know when it is time to exit stage Left. I would posit that they have all reached the point that they do far more damage than they do good. Bush at least understood how to become the elder statesman by not constantly reminding everyone of his supposed mistakes. Obama cannot leave well enough alone.
I have always tried to remember when it is time for me to "put it in the case" and have people remember me when I was great at what I did. Leave them with a good feeling about you and not constantly trying to justify what you did.


Sam L. said...

Obama! He just CAN'T be happy. I'm not bummed about this.