Who cares if Obama belatedly cheers for transparency and accountability? He should admit that he made the government more dangerous at home and abroad.
James Bovard’s short but detailed and meticulously-sourced essay should be a must-read in every high school and college political science class – and since that’s not going to happen, it deserves to be shared, forwarded, and otherwise spread as widely as possible. Doing my bit, here!
Bovard is no cheerleader for the current President, no rider of the “Trump Train” – he comments that “Americans should be alarmed at Trump’s power grabs” (in one of his few failures to cite-and-source, he gives no indication of what those are), and reminds us that “Obama is correct that Americans should be on guard against any ‘absolutism’ from the Trump administration.”
But he also reminds us that “Obama declared Friday that Americans are ‘supposed to stand up to bullies, not follow them.’ But Trump won in 2016 in part because many Americans considered the federal government the biggest bully in the land.” And he cites example, after example, after example of how Obama either maintained or, in many cases, increased government power and intrusiveness, at the expense of transparency and freedom.
- the Transportation Security Administration became far more punitive and intrusive during Obama’s presidency
- Obama expanded federal secrecy and prosecuted more journalists and whistleblowers than any previous administration
- he campaigned in 2008 on a peace platform and then proceeded to bomb seven nations
- he flip-flopped on illegal surveillance and unleashed the National Security Administration to target anyone “searching the web for suspicious stuff”
- When Obama took office, the United States had the 20th-most-free press in the world; by 2016, it had fallen to 41st
And these are only some of the examples he cites – and, as I say, carefully sources. And after all this, Obama presumes to lecture us on Trump, or to present himself as some sort of moral leader? It’d be a joke, if it wasn’t so un-funny. The truth is, as Bovard accurately notes, “Nothing that Trump can do or say should be permitted to expunge Obama’s derelictions.”
I am in complete agreement! And as for Obama himself, he should do what nearly every former President has done, which is ride off into the sunset – or sit quietly on his porch, enjoying his substantial Presidential retirement income – and cease and desist his attempts to undermine a sitting President.
P.S. Needless to say, the Obamacrats in the public square were less enamored of Bovard’s conclusions. As he pointed out in a follow-up on his personal blog,
“I am chagrined that not everyone liked yesterday’s USA Today oped, ‘Obama Fueled the Distrust that Led to Donald Trump.’ I expected the piece to spur thoughtful exchanges by folks with different perspectives.”
If so, I fear he was either hopelessly naive, or at least excessively optimistic. He continues,
“Alas, my hopes for a rebirth of civility have been mercilessly crushed. Here’s some responses generated via Twitter, email, and elsewhere online.”
As I commented, both on his blog and on his Facebook page, I suspect that most of the above “respondents” (if one can even dignify them with such a title) failed to read past the headline. And if they did, they clearly failed to comprehend what they were reading – or, just as likely, flatly refused to do so, lest their preconceived notions be disturbed by facts.
[Bovard’s] op-ed piece is spot-on, and (as I mentioned above) should be required reading in every high school and college-level political science class in the nation.
If Democrats dislike Trump, they should reflect on the fact that they have only themselves to blame, by tolerating Obama and nominating Clinton.
But frankly, I doubt that most of today’s Democrats are capable of that level of reflection. Sad to say!