|The rose-colored glasses of Ezra Klein|
No doubt we’ll all be filled with glee when we can finally stop talking about Barack Obama, but unfortunately that time hasn’t quite come. In the waning days of the Obama presidency, with his so-called signature “achievements” ostensibly slated to be undone to the best ability of the next administration, those on the Left are busy misremembering things as only liberals can do, as in this charming piece by liberal columnist, Ezra Klein:
Obama's "decency?" Isn't this the same guy who wouldn't vote 'no' against partial birth abortion? “Decency,” it seems, is about to join the ranks of so many other words redefined by the Left in their quest to shape reality as they want it to be. The proof of Obama’s decency, according to Klein, was:
“…[Obama’s] scandal-free administration. The seriousness with which he approached his job. The faith he had in the American political system, and in Americans.”
Scandals aren’t limited to being caught with your pants down in the Oval Office, Mr. Klein. Don’t forget about the “phony scandals” (a lie which in and of itself was a scandal) which indisputably occurred. The IRS DID target conservative groups, the V.A. DID mistreat our veterans, the Obama Administration DID lie about Benghazi, Obamacare WAS based upon falsehoods, and that’s just off the top of my head.
As for “the seriousness with which he approached his job,” is Mr. Klein unaware that the number one job of a POTUS is to uphold and protect the Constitution? Based upon the record number of challenges Obama lost with respect to the constitutionality of his actions, clearly he didn’t take his job seriously at all. And by all rights he should have lost on Obamacare as well. Nor did Obama take his job as Commander-in-Chief very seriously, as he worried far more about the detainees at Gitmo and the futures of our illegal immigrants than he did about winning our military conflicts. Obama took plenty of things seriously, but his job wasn’t one of them.
Mr. Klein then said:
“Hope was the basis of Obama’s politics. It’s the basis, in ways I did not truly appreciate until the end of his presidency, of Obama’s personality. His political career is built on a vision of who we could be, and the absence of that vision will be felt as he is succeeded by a man whose politics are built on a nostalgia for who we were.”
You know, there are a lot of preachers in this world, some good, some bad. The way we distinguish who’s who is not by the loftiness of their rhetoric, which any practiced salesman can manage, but by whether or not their actions live up to their words. The reality of Obama’s actions as POTUS routinely belied his soaring words. He governed with duplicity against the American people and presided over the least transparent presidential administration in modern history. He dealt with genuine scandals where real people were hurt by mocking his critics and dismissing them as “phony.” Instead of providing a forum for open, serious debate on climate change – a cause which threatens to inspire sweeping changes for all Americans -, Obama unilaterally announced “the debate is over.” He proudly bypassed the will (and therefore the democracy) of the American people with his pen and his phone.
But there’s an even bigger point to be made here. Klein waxes poetic about Obama’s unfulfilled vision of “who we could be.” What gives Obama the right, within the limits of his sworn duty to uphold and protect the Constitution – our Constitution – to treat us as if we are all of one mind lining up behind him like children behind the Pied Piper? We are individuals living in autonomous states, and that’s what the Constitution sought to preserve and protect. It was never meant to be used to herd us around like sheep.
Klein continues: “…Obama remained popular to the end of his presidency.”
The Left are really clinging to Obama’s personal popularity as if his ability to charm is some grand achievement and validates their faith in him despite the message of the massive political losses they’ve suffered since he took office. Obama’s popularity, which at times dipped into the low 30’s, by the way, is a testament to how childlike Americans have become in their ability to separate one’s rhetoric from one’s real motives. Time to grow up.
Klein goes on: “This is, and was, Obama’s theory of campaigning. Politics often brings out the worst in us, but there’s no reason it can’t bring out the best.”
Obama has a gift, that’s for certain. The gift of reflecting his own behavior onto others and then lecturing us about it as if he himself was pure as the driven snow. But the jokes, toothy smiles and friendly waves didn’t change the reality of the incessant ridicule and the clever lies shrouded in strawman arguments (the last refuge of intellectual cowards) that were his trademark on the stump. Politics brought out the worst in Barack Obama.
“…[Obama] managed to ask the right questions of the country. Did we want to feel less divided by political party? Did we want to feel less divided by race? His candidacy wasn’t just hopeful, it was aspirational — it was a statement, at least at the beginning, more about the kind of country we wanted to be than the kind of country we were.”
But Klein concedes:
“He was the most polarizing president on record, and on his watch the blue states became bluer and the red states redder.”
Yep, in fact I just saw polling which showed that just after Obama took office in 2009 60%+ of Americans thought race relations were getting better but now that number has dropped to 30%+. Maybe you’d like to explain that, Mr. Klein. If Obama was so aspirational and so determined to do the right things, how did it all go so wrong?
The truth is that your wonderful president has done everything he could to sow the seeds of hostility between blacks and whites in this country. He ignored the epidemic of black on black violence at the same time that he brought national attention to a handful of racially charged cases before the facts were in. He staked out his favorites, and his behavior has inspired hate groups like BLM and brought on an unprecedented increase in hostility towards our nation’s police. His actions were with purpose and intent and proved his “aspirational” candidacy to be a myth from the very beginning.
I wonder if you really are so naïve as to believe that our country’s polarization under Obama was an accident? Have you never heard of Saul Alinsky or of Cloward and Piven? It’s no unlucky coincidence that Barack Obama’s actions as president have followed the advice given by these foes of American liberty practically step by step.
“There is an America that sees its growing diversity as a strength, that refuses to believe in the limits set by its own past, that yearns to be less divided than it is. It’s not the only America. But it’s a real America.”
What are these boogeyman “limits” you speak of? America, the nation where so much of the world longs to immigrate to, puts no limits on what a person can do and be and achieve, the living proof of which is Barack Obama himself. How’s that for irony? The only caveat is that you can’t infringe upon the rights of others to get there, so I can only presume that these are the limits that offend you.
America was a great country long before anyone knew the name, Barack Obama, and it will persevere in spite of him because of the foundation for freedom and prosperity laid by our Founders in the Constitution. They were the great ones, not Barack Obama.
“I think Obama will be missed by many Americans who didn’t agree with his policies but agreed with his sense of hope about America, and his daily efforts to be worthy of the country he saw before him.”
I think Obama will be remembered by many Americans as a liar, a fraud and a divider who, in his temporary role as father of the country, treated his child with cruelty and disdain. We won’t miss him but will celebrate the end of his presidency with a giant sigh of relief. If only he were going away for good.
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