Its been rare that one would expect to a hear a WTF statement from President Obama; but in the waning days of his Presidency Barack Obama served up just such a message to his good friend and campaign cohort, David Axlerod. We don’t even have to paraphrase it because its all caught on tape.About Hope and Change, President Obama concluded “I am confident in this vision because I’m confident that if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could’ve mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it”. In sum, I would have defeated Donald Trump.
To which His Highness in Waiting tweeted the very next evening: “President Obama said that he thinks he would have won against me. He should say that but I say NO WAY! – jobs leaving, ISIS, OCare, etc“. Is this a case of two Political Sumos comparing topknots? Perhaps:
Each is saying “Don’t rain on my parade”.
But more broadly, President Obama is staking out his position of leading the Democratic party going forward into the Era of The GOP Dismantling of Progressive Federalism. Despite the prospect of tough Democratic times, Barack Obama is clearly stating “Hillary, you didn’t win – and you should have despite Comey and the media”. And to Bernie Sanders the message again in the Axlerod interviews is that you are just a second string guy that does not count in the Democratic top rungs. But clearly, President Obama has some leadership questions he has to answer for.
Mr. Obama , You Have Some Serious Splainin’ To Do
First and foremost, he let George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and his War Cabinet off the hook for the Irag War, WMD and other grievous deceptions. Ditto for George Bush for running up a sky rocketing Federal Budget Deficit with huge tax giveaways to the Trickle Down Rich while letting the Housing Bubble and the banks get disasterously out of hand. No investigations and prosecutions on these matters allowed Mitch McConnell and his Scorched earth GOP-ers unfettered sway because Obama had no bargaining chips to keep the GOP in line.
Second, during his total 8 years in office Obama incurred the following grave, unforced errors:
1)No improvement in the young black unemployment rates hovering above 22% in 2009 and around 21% in 2016;
2)No financial and Wall Street executives have been successfully prosecuted, gone to jail, or been barred from practicing in the financial sector despite a litany of Financial abuses that started in 2006 and have continued to this day. The 2009-2010 excuse offered by Attorney General Eric Holder [“the financial executives are too big to jail at this time”] does not hold water 7 years later with a continuing stream of of financial crimes epitomized by the Wells Fargo board and top executives deliberate shafting of their customers . None of the Well Fargo Team of Financial Bandits have been prosecuted, none of have gone to jail for another defiance of Finacial Norms and broader Rule of Law. Thus when Hillary said she was going to be tough on banks and financial institutions, it fell on deaf ears because “If Obama couldn’t do anything, could Goldman’s Hillary rein them in?”
3)Israel has with its aggressive settlements on Palestinian lands, has made a two state solution in Palestine/Israel a non-starter. Thus Israel under Benjamin Netanyahu is working for a Handy’s frog solution – all of the Palestinian territory will be absorbed into a Greater Israel as a permanent Apartheid State. Greater Judea has already been created and more of the income, wealth and the territory of historical Palestine will be absorbed by Israelis.The last days in office condemnation of Israeli settlements policy is way too little, way too late by Mr Obama.
4)The whole issue of a worldwide Jobs Shortage as threatening to the Earth’s well being as Climate Change. Both are set to wreak Havoc even sooner and more substantially than predicted. This imminent jobs has been stealthily ignored by the Democratic party in deference to its segment of the Elite. The ironic upshot is that Donald Trump was able to ride the issue to victory with his promise of $1trillion over 5 years of Infrastructure Spending and Tough Trade negotiations with China and other low labor cost nations accused of currency manipulations and unfair trade practices.
The bottom line is that globalization and automation have hurt all the developed countries with 20%++ unemployment in Europe from Portugal, Spain, Italy to Greece. South Amaerican countries in greater economic turmoil lead by Venezuela, Bolivia, even Argentina and Brazil. And in the USA, the labour participation rate has reached new lows while incomes have declined as the replacement jobs for automation and displaced workers earn less in immediate wages and benefits. Obama failed to raise the issue, jawbone against Businesses ignoring the middle class job crisis and left the GOP to scoop up an issue that should be in the Democratic Party’s wheel house.
Third, President Obama’s one major victory, the Affordable Care Act, will be dismantled in the first 100 days Blitz by the Trump GOP Wrecking Crew. And the GOP Wreckers wont have a replacement for it despite ObamaCare’s popularity in white, rural American states like Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvannia. Hmm who won those states? Seems, Obama has a legacy just a notch below Hillary’s winning the popular Presidential vote by 2.9 million.
So as his legacy gets pummelled by President-elect Trump, President Obama can be excused for a little counter-Trumpeting of his own. But if he wants to take the reigns of leadership of the Democratic Party, Barack Hussein Obama has some tough Desi Arnaz-like political questions to answer for.