Former President Barack Obama continues to be the very embodiment of the Democratic leadership and project his own failings and political venom on President Donald Trump and his supporters. He demonstrated as much in a recent “60 Minutes” interview that focussed on his latest memoir, and was laced with bitterness for the Trump phenomenon.
“Obama is still in his 50’s, and he’s already written his second autobiography. The new one drops next week with a thud.”
He is as adamant as ever to insist Americans reside with him in “Barack’s World,” a sort of alternate universe where Obama’s version of the truth is the only one that really matters. Sure, there might be competing versions of that reality, but can you really trust them when you know the source is some contemptible deplorable who really never accepted his presidency?
Obama’s November 15th appearance on CBS News’ “60 Minutes” was similar to all of his other huddles with a national news media that never seems to tire of Obama’s apparent charm. And, if nothing else, as we continue to watch the chaos and uncertainty surrounding the 2020 presidential election, it is somewhat reassuring that some things remain the same-like the corruption of the Democratic Party, Obama’s overwhelming and overblown ego, and the obsequiousness of the liberal media towards one of its political gods. (In his first 60 days as President, Obama’s media coverage was 740% more positive than Trump’s in the same period of his presidency.)
The always oleaginous, self-serving Obama, who has a talent for occupying the center stage wherever he might be, was on the show to promote his long-overdue book, A Promised Land, which is the latest installment in the Obama memoirs that promise to continue as long as the earnest autobiographer is still breathing.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson noted the potential for several more volumes of Obama’s tall tales when he quipped on his evening program, “Obama is still in his 50’s, and he’s already written his second autobiography. The new one drops next week with a thud.”
“Here is Barack Obama’s explanation for why [President] Donald Trump won in 2016, quote: ‘For millions of Americans spooked by a black man in the White House, he promised an elixir for their racial anxiety.’” Looking straight into the camera, he added: “So Trump won because you’re a racist. That’s his explanation.”
Incredibly, Obama is still feeling the sting of perceived racism in America, even after white people voted in huge numbers to elect him as their President-not once, but twice. Obama and wife Michelle are worth in excess of $40 million and can be expected to continue to amass a fortune as a result of their extensive media ventures that include an upcoming Netflix movie. Yet Obama can still play the victim and bemoan all those Americans who are still clinging to their “guns or religion” instead of embracing Obama’s every inspired word. (Obama did reveal in his memoir that the choice of words he used in 2007 “still nags” at him, though his actions call that regret into suspicion).
As Obama explained in the interview, citing the specters of “discrimination and Jim Crow,” it is important to recognize that “we’re all responsible for [discrimination]. And if we’re gonna actually put an end to racial bias in the criminal justice system, then we’re gonna have to work on doing something about racial bias in corporate America and bias in where people can buy homes.” (That discrimination, of course, has not stopped the Obamas from purchasing a luxury $11.7 million mansion in the toney district of Martha’s Vineyard that sits on 29 acres of land, far from the madding crowds of rioters, and deeply insulated with private security.)
So while the votes were still being counted in this swamp-fest of a federal election, why was former President Obama on what was ultimately a book tour? Why to offer advice, of course. And nobody can dispense with advice so liberally (pun intended).
When asked what President Donald Trump should do when President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on January 20th, Obama chided:
“At that point, the outgoing President is a citizen like everybody else and owes the new president the chance to do their best on behalf of the American people. Whether Donald Trump will do the same thing we’ll have to see. So far, that’s not been his approach. But you know hope springs eternal. There’s a promised land out there somewhere.”
Ah yes, and never miss an opportunity to drop the title of your 768-page, already best-selling memoir into a line of televised speech! Ultimately, this media appearance was a book tour-a marketing scheme and another invitation to inhabit the recesses of “Barack’s World.” This is precisely why it is even more difficult to glean any sincerity from Obama’s words or actions in his post-presidential life-because he rarely misses an opportunity to sell a book, hype a media project, or promote his monument to his own greatness.
“TRUTH DECAY” AND THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION
Obama likes to frequently insist that he did nothing to impair the transitional period before President-elect Donald Trump was inaugurated, But there is sufficient evidence to conclude that Obama was spying on the Trump campaign in 2016, and was already working to suggest Trump and his key officials were colluding with the Russians. Obama reportedly directly intervened in the prosecution of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn-and had undoubtedly read transcripts of all of his wiretapped phone calls.
“I understand why there were times where my supporters wanted me to be more pugilistic, to, you know, pop folks in the head and duke it out a little bit more.”
During the interview, Obama worried that he may not have been aggressive enough in opposing the evil empire of Donald Trump and should perhaps have been a more active participant in the “RAY-SIS-TENCE.” A resistance that added up to four years of listening to the half-witted meanderings of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) as he lied about his secret trove of Russia collusion evidence or watching said congressman and others execute a completely baseless impeachment. Obama did nothing to derail, undermine or discourage either the Russia collusion hoax or the sham impeachment, but he could still manage to tell CBS, “I understand why there were times where my supporters wanted me to be more pugilistic, to, you know, pop folks in the head and duke it out a little bit more.”
The former President persists in being a moral judge of other administrations, particularly one led President Trump. He further remarked:
“We have gone through a presidency that disregarded a whole host of basic institutional norms, expectations we have for a President, that had been observed by Republicans and Democrats previously and maybe most importantly and most disconcertingly, what we’ve seen is what some people call truth decay. Something that’s been accelerated by outgoing President Trump. The sense that not only do we not have to tell the truth, but the truth doesn’t even matter.”
It’s like there is no evidence-not even speculation!-of Obama’s dark intrusions into the sphere of authoritarianism.
Did the truth matter during the entire Benghazi fiasco when four Americans died in a terrorist attack? Recall the scathing report by the House of Representatives Select Committee on Benghazi, which castigated the Obama administration for its incompetence in responding to the September 2012 invasion of a United States embassy in Libya, and for its feigned outrage that the attacks were all the result of a YouTube video. (Then-United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice claimed, “What sparked the recent violence was the airing on the Internet of a very hateful, very offensive video that has offended many people around the world.”) Truth seemed to matter very little to then-President Obama in that instance.
Then there was the central deception of Obamacare; who can forget the line Obama endlessly parroted about the Affordable Care Act: “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it. Period,” as Obama succinctly but quite inaccurately put it. According to a November 2013 Fox News poll, half of Americans believed that Obama was “knowingly lying” when he said that.
Obama responded to the lingering recession that his presidency faced with what was called the “President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness”-a glorified infrastructure program. He suggested all of the projects in his recovery plan were “shovel-ready,” only to joke a few days later that he was taking some liberties with the truth.
“Truth decay” in an Obama administration was a source of humor and never a suggestion of dark forces overwhelming the republic.
Instead of answering for these crimes of dishonesty, Obama spent much of his 60 Minutes interview attacking President Trump for daring to question the results of the 2020 election-suggesting that it is both dangerous to the American democracy and an essentially infantile exercise to ensure the integrity and accuracy of a federal election!
“The president doesn’t like to lose and never admits loss. I’m more troubled by the fact that other Republican officials who clearly know better are going along with this, are humoring him in this fashion. It is one more step in delegitimizing not just the incoming Biden administration, but democracy generally. And that’s a dangerous path.”
He went further, suggesting that President Trump was acting juvenile, suggesting that no competent parent would tolerate that kind of behavior “out of our own kids if they lost-right? I mean, if my daughters, in any kinda competition, pouted and and then accused the other side of cheating when they lost, when there was no evidence of it, we’d scold ’em,” parental expert Obama insisted.
He then suggested that President Trump not accepting the 2020 election results was all part of his overall psyche.
“I think that there has been this sense over the last several years that literally anything goes and is justified in order to get power. And that’s not unique to the United States. There are strong men and dictators around the world who think that, ‘I can do anything to stay in power. I can kill people. I can throw them in jail. I can run phony elections. I can suppress journalists.’”
Such a moment of abject hypocrisy from a President who spent much of his time in office persecuting journalists who wouldn’t fall at his feet in worship. In 2013, Obama instructed his Department of Justice to seize transcripts of phone conversations between reporters and editors according to the Associated Press. Even the American Civil Liberties Union proclaimed that electronic surveillance without a warrant under Obama skyrocketed.
This President also targeted Fox News correspondent James Rosen with surveillance in 2009 when the journalist refused to reveal a source for a story on North Korea. Obama’s White House Communications Director Anita Dunn described Fox News as the official opposition: “We’re going to treat them the way we would an opponent,” she told The New York Times. “As they are undertaking a war against Barack Obama and the White House, we don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave.”
As for killing people, Obama had some experience in this regard too. On December 12th, 2013, on Obama’s orders, a United States aerial drone sent four Hellfire missiles to take out a convoy of 11 vehicles en route to a wedding in Yemen. It was supposed to be an anti-terrorist action, but the dozen or so people who were killed were just innocent bystanders, caught in the grip of some bad intelligence, according to the liberal Human Rights Watch.
Apparently Obama was the first to assert that “I can kill people”-if he felt himself justified.
THE POLITICAL CLEAVAGES THAT 2008 WROUGHT
Obama comes perhaps closest to the truth (while, paradoxically, straying farthest from it) when he is asked about the current political cleavage in America that has already resulted in months of protests, riots, and looting and that threatens to devolve into a chronic state of violence and civil disobedience. Obama wasted no time in depicting an America under Trump as a descent into tribal warfare-and said so during a speech to a Canadian audience in Montreal in June 2017.
In “Barack’s World” you can be a two-term black President, and still perform as though you are the victim of callous, systemic racism.
When asked how he would assess the results of the recent presidential election, and American political life in general, Obama responded, “Well it tells us that we’re very divided. And as I said, it’s not just the politicians now. The voters are divided. It has now become a contest where issues, facts, policies per se don’t matter as much as identity and wanting to beat the other guy.”
But has Obama ever assessed his own contributions to this great divide? Could it have had anything to do with eight divisive years of rule under Obama, who never failed to lecture his opponents like they were ill-informed school children? Instead of reflecting on that reality, Obama has continued to project his failings as a President on others. His predecessors have been humble in acknowledging their failures. John Kennedy famously pronounced a “mea culpa” for the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. But can you recall Obama ever admitting he made a mistake? Instead, he would prefer to claim his actions and policies have done nothing but edify, enrich and educate those masses that he hasn’t had to rub shoulders with for decades.
It has all been the media’s fault:
“I do think the current media environment adds to that greatly. This democracy doesn’t work if we don’t have an informed citizenry. This democracy doesn’t work if we don’t have responsible elected officials at other levels who are willing to call the President when he’s not doing something right, call him on it.”
For Obama and the Democrats, that media environment has been greatly polluted by conservative media like Fox News-a news outlet that Obama never tired of deriding during his presidency and beyond. And those “responsible elected officials” who don’t have the brains or balls to call out a reckless president-they have to be Republicans.
Obama reveals nothing new in his interview but confirms something we always knew.
In “Barack’s World” you can be a two-term black President, and still perform as though you are the victim of callous, systemic racism. You can be richer than 95% of the population and live like a maharaja, but still believe your country is essentially febrile and dysfunctional. You can believe these things because you are not only the center of your own universe, but the center of everyone’s universe-God, family, friends, and the rest of the world be forgotten.
As we have seen from the excerpt above, where Obama essentially calls Trump a phenomenon of racist resentment, his book offers the same monotonous discourse: that Obama has never known failure, but has had his political career frustrated by the failures of others.
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