American Elephants

The End Of the Obama Administration Or Just the Beginning of Something Very Different? by The Elephant's Child


As we leave 2016, it becomes the time when journalists attempt to sum up the past year. I’m afraid that Obama’s desperate flurry of executive orders and regulations as he leaves the White House will merely add to the recriminations as he tries to finish up the wrong-headed promises he made upon being elected. He has completely disgraced himself and his administration with instructions to abstain from the Security Council’s vote on Israeli “settlement policy”— a vote intended to tilt the “peace process” towards the Palestinian terrorists.  He is attempting to empty Guantanamo, sending the “worst of the worst” to other countries so they can quickly go back to terrorism, as they are doing. The funerals of their victims will be Mr. Obama’s real legacy, and real journalists are already writing the epitaphs.

Here’s Bret Stephens in the Wall Street Journal: The betrayed: Obama’s decision to allow the UN to censure Israel, Iranians, whose 2009 Green Revolution whose protest of a stolen election Obama failed to endorse. Iraqis, who were promised a diplomatic surge to secure the gains of a military surge, Syrians, Ukrainians, and most of all, and most betrayed: Americans.

Mr. Obama promised a responsible end to the war in Iraq. We are again fighting in Iraq. He promised victory in Afghanistan. The Taliban are winning. He promised a reset with Russia. We are enemies again. He promised the containment of Iran. We are witnessing its ascendancy in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. He promised a world free of nuclear weapons. We are stumbling into another age of nuclear proliferation. He promised al Qaeda on a path to defeat. Jihad has never been so rampant and deadly.

These are the results. They would be easier to forgive if they hadn’t so often been reached by disingenuous and dishonorable means.

Perhaps you remember back in the change of administrations in 2000, when the departing Clinton administration left the White House in a mess, and the “W”s missing from all the computer keyboards, out of pure spite. The Bush administration took a bipartisan tack, and tried to be helpful to the incoming Obama administration. George W. Bush recognized the change, that his time was past, and the real assessment would be done by future historians. He has refused to comment on his successor’s policies and actions, and simply continued with his efforts to help returning veterans in any way he could.

Mr. Obama has not only not appreciated the help he was provided, but not grasped the gentlemanly way the transfer of power took place. There were major lessons there, but Obama didn’t get it. He told David Axlerod today that if the Constitution didn’t prevent him from running again, he could have won the election. A snide comment on Hillary’s campaign.

As always, it is all about him. I doubt that he could have persuaded the American people to give him another term to run our national security into the ground. Though the American people like Mr. Obama as a person, they think the country is going in the wrong direction, both economically and internationally. ObamaCare is collapsing. Terrorism is increasing, and Obama has been more interested in increasing the numbers of Syrian refugees in expectation the they would become Democrat voters, than in any possibility that they might be members of ISIS.

The Obamas will remain in Washington D.C. for the next year at least, and Mr. Obama has said he will spend the time “rebuilding the Democrat Party.” He will use his community organizing skills to build a hard-left version of the old Democratic Party, and with his old “Organizing for Obama” Team which has become “Organizing for America,” and now “Organizing for Action.”

Daniel Greenfield says that Obama wants to force radical change, building networks across the urban elite and into the halls of power. He intends to force radical change from outside the White House by using the network he’s built. Obama believes that he can rule America from outside the White House, and he may be right.

The Democrats are ceasing to be a national party. Instead they are becoming a nationalizing party. They are losing their presence in much of the country, from state legislature to state legislature, and becoming the party of major cities and the national government. Their agenda is to move power from local areas to central ones, from the villages and the suburbs to the cities, from states to D.C. and from locally elected legislators in D.C. to the satellite bureaucracies of the Federal government.

Obama sees Hillary’s defeat as an opportunity to burn the Dem’s last bridges with the larger country and its “bitter clingers”, to double down on nationalizing power and to define the political narrative around the agendas of urban elites. The left crippled the Democrats. Now it wants to utterly consume them.

The election was a catastrophic disaster for the Democrats, but it opened all sorts of doors for Obama.

You need to read the whole thing. Daniel Greenfield is a columnist, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He has his own blog, and writes at David Horowitz’ Front Page Magazine as well as many other outlets.  He is very perceptive, and in this case, very scary. But Mr. Greenfield’s writing seems to follow closely with everything we know about Obama’s character. You read “Obama Plans to Rule America Outside the White House” and see what you think. Forewarned is forearmed.

Angelo Codevilla, writing in the Claremont Review of Books explains:

But whenever progressives have gained power, all manner of contradictions have remained and new ones have arisen. Progressive movements have reacted to this failure by becoming their own reason for being. Theoretically, the Revolution is about the power and necessity to recreate mankind. In practice, for almost all progressive movements it is about gaining power for the revolutionaries and making war on those who stand in their way.

This is a long, but important article, widely recommended. You will be glad you read the whole thing.


2 Comments so far
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As has been observed many times over, Obama does not learn, and cannot be taught. A so-called “constitutional scholar” that has never published anything, an “exceptional orator” who fails to inspire (and who is sadly lacking in extemporaneous speaking skills), and a “deep-thinker” whose grasp of critical thinking would have gotten most people tossed from a first-year philosophy class.

He has written (or had ghost-written) two books based supposedly on his life that contain errors of fact, fictitious people, and apocryphal anecdotes.

As a political “leader”, he has overseen the decimation of his own political party, to the point where his lack of coattails has reduced the Democrat Party to its lowest number of officeholders in close to 100 years. And now this man who has never shown any affinity for working with others and demonstrated no special political talent save for getting himself elected wants to help rebuild the party that he, more than anyone else, has reduced to virtual irrelevancy. While we’re at it, let’s have Mrs. O’Leary’s cow serve as the Chicago Fire Department mascot.

So now we will be treated to another three weeks of Obama throwing a tantrum, from his shameful action at the UN toward Israel, to executive orders and new regulations that have no purpose other than to try and hamstring the incoming administration. Obama gives laughable advice about not overusing executive orders while writing new ones every day, tells Trump about the importance of working with Congress while he avoids doing the same, and trumpets his transparency while hiding and obfuscating everything about his administration as he can.

I do actually wonder what could possibly be a centerpiece of the Obama presidential library that wouldn’t be a complete embarrassment. Maybe if it were presented as some sort of cautionary tale, a means to show future generations what the failed presidency of a man who entered office with few accomplishments and left with no situation that he didn’t make worse looks like.


Comment by Lon Mead

And re-reading the Greenfield article, no I don’t think Obama will have any more success in “ruling America from outside the White House” than he had trying from inside the Oval Office. Among the many reasons I think he can’t do it are:
– By his own admission, he’s lazy. He may start with a grand idea, but starting anything like that takes work.
– He massively overestimates his abilities. The idea that he is the best at anything is belied by the evidence of the past decade.
– He does not work well with others. This is a big one. Obama has never wanted to share any spotlight, has never shown any patience for mentoring, and doesn’t explain things very well. He also doesn’t take any kind of criticism well.
– His circle of trusted friends is almost non-existent. Apart from Valerie Jarrett, how many close friends and advisors can you name? How many have you heard about, even if you can’t name them? He can’t do what Greenfield suggests without trusted people around him, and Obama doesn’t have them.
– He’s too impatient. Even if if he were able to get something like this started, his desire for something immediate would wreck any progress by overreaching within a year (remember, the goal is to take power and the spotlight off of Trump; Obama isn’t going to wait).
– He brings little to the table. Obama is burning through what little remains of hi political capital, and he’s going to very quickly squander the goodwill his approval numbers give him. And while the media will use his proximity in DC to get his take on the current administration, he will no longer have the bully-pulpit.
– Reality will pass him by. If the new administration is able to improve on ANYTHING (higher wages, job growth, economic growth, foreign policy), the empty shell of “Hope and Change” will be revealed, and what Obama will have to offer will be ignored.

There are many other reasons, but it all boils down to this: Obama is going to be a negligible force in politics after he leaves office, and will likely suck all the air out of any Democrat Party revival as long as he has any media spotlight.


Comment by Lon Mead

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