Lust of power is the most flagrant of all passions.
- Tacitus, Roman Historian (55-117 A.D.)
You know it’s pretty bad when even those ensconced in the comfortable confines of academia rank Obama’s presidency as somewhere between mediocre and poor.
From the left-of-center Brookings Institute:
We decided to conduct our own, original poll of several hundred members of the American Political Science Association on the topic of presidential greatness and President Obama’s current place in history (more on the methodology below * .) The results of our survey of political scientists with expertise in the American presidency include findings similar to other such polls and some intriguing new evidence, as well.
- Those who view Obama as one of the worst American presidents outnumber those who view him as one of the best by nearly a 3-1 margin.
- Nearly twice as many respondents view Obama as over-rated than do those who consider him under-rated.
- Obama does not perform well on more specific dimensions of presidential greatness, often viewed as average or worse.
What can we take away from this? First, it is easy to infer that scholars and the public alike expected greatness from Obama early on and awarded it to him prematurely. Compare, after all, the fact that Obama’s first ranking in a major greatness poll was at #15; one must go back a half-century to Lyndon Johnson to find a president who entered the rankings at a higher number (#10), and LBJ was a well-known figure on the national stage who entered office after the national tragedy of his predecessor’s assassination. Second, scholars seem to hold Barack Obama in high regard personally, but view his skills and performance as mediocre to poor. Few think of Obama as an excellent president, while many more rate his presidency quite low, with the bulk of experts appearing to give him a passing grade but not one that would get him on the Dean’s list.
source: Brookings Institute
I remember being surprised at the tears of pride in my eyes when I saw Barack Obama being inaugurated president. It took me by surprise because up until then, his skin color had rarely even crossed my mind. Then I heard him utter this during his inauguration: “Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath . . . ” Uh, no Mr. President, I thought you were supposed to be the smart guy. Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States, meaning you were the forty-third American to take the oath. It may seem like a minor quibble, but in taking the office of the presidency, for a president and his speechwriters to not even know how many presidents have stood before him, that was just a bizarre, surreal moment.
Just as it is with the people who said the same of Bush, the people who say Obama is the worst president ever are either unhinged or just ignorant of history. I think consensus of the academic denizens is correct – Barack Obama is a likeable guy, but he’s a guy who has never come close to living up to all the hype and his presidency itself ranks somewhere between mediocre or poor.
Let’s hope we choose better in 2016.
* 391 members of the American Political Science Association’s Presidents & Executive Politics section, the premier organization of experts of the American presidency, were invited to complete the online survey, which was administered by Brandon Rottinghaus of the University of Houston and Justin S. Vaughn of Boise State University. 162 surveys were completed online between May and November 2014. For more information, please contact the authors.
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So yesterday, a secret recording was released of L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling in which he was exposed as a full-blown racist:
– “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?” (3:30)
– “You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that . . . and not to bring them to my games.” (5:15)
– ”I’m just saying, in your lousy f******* Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with, walking with black people.” (7:45)
– “…Don’t put him [Magic Johnson] on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don’t bring him to my games.” (9:13)
No way you can walk back those comments. And in a sick way, I bet you Donald Sterling probably thinks of himself as a liberated mind, you see, he doesn’t have any hangups if his girl is having sex with them black folks (interracial sex is usually the biggest nightmare in the minds of these mental defectives) no, he doesn’t care if you sleep with them, he just doesn’t want to have to see it or hear about it on social media and at his sports arena. Seriously, I bet he really believes that somehow makes him a bit elevated from your garden variety racist.
When the story broke, after I got past the nausea and disgust that people like this still are still walking the earth and have yet to be completely shamed into non-existence, my very next thought was, “Please don’t let him be a Republican, please don’t let him be a Republican . . . ” While I know that racists come in all shapes, sizes and party affiliations, if this guy had turned out to be a Republican, the media would never let us hear the end of it.
Well, if you want to know what political party someone subscribes to, just follow the money. It turns out that racist Donald Sterling is on the books as having donated to disgraced California Democrat Governor Gray Davis, he’s donated to Democrat Senator Leahy, the lefty from Vermont, as well Democrat senator and presidential candidate Bill Bradley.
So he’s donated to Democrats and no one but Democrats. How else can you tell that Don is a dyed in the wool Dem?
- MSNBC has yet to switch into full 24/7 coverage of Donaldgate, and you know if they’re not pushing the story and doing everything they can to promote the racial divide, the perpetrator has to be a Dem.
- The L.A. chapter of the NAACP is scheduled to honor Donald Sterling at a May 15th banquet. Proof positive the guy’s a Democrat right there. The NAACP has never met a Republican they wouldn’t shun or a Democrat they wouldn’t honor.
This is only one of many examples in recent memory of Democrats showing their true inner racist when they didn’t know they were being recorded:
- Lyndon Baines Johnson pushing fellow Democrats to support the Civil Rights Act: “These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”
- Bill Clinton to Ted Kennedy on why he should support Hillary over Obama: “A few years ago, this guy would have been carrying our bags.”
- Harry Reid’s private remarks on Obama’s racial appeal: “He was wowed by Obama’s oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama — a “light-skinned” African American “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,” as he said privately. Reid was convinced, in fact, that Obama’s race would help him more than hurt him in a bid for the Democratic nomination.”
- Joe Biden on Obama: “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
- Obama’s explanation of all the suburban Pennsylvania Democrats who dared support Hillary instead of him: “And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
And of course, nothing of recent memory compares to this one . . .
150 years ago, the nation was fighting a war to liberate blacks from Democrat plantation owners, today the NBA has to liberate itself from a Democrat team owner. On both moral grounds and from a purely business standpoint, there is no way the NBA can allow itself to continue associating with an owner who is on public record spewing that level of bigotry.
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Schadenfreude is an ugly thing, I avoid it as much as I can but I cannot lie here, it brings a smile to my face to hear reports that the Obamas are headed for divorce. That’s terrible, isn’t it? But it’s the honest truth, that’s just how I feel. Barack Obama had a monumental opportunity to be a great uniter and healer for America, but instead of uniting us, his strategy for winning elections was focused on dividing Americans and pitting us against each other. Barack Obama could have been the great uniter, but instead he has been the most divisive politician of our age. In everything he’s done as president, he has worked to place government as the all-powerful center of every aspect of our lives and then he scornfully accused any fellow American who dared disagree with him as the “enemy”.
So yeah, I will readily admit that seeing him have to divide his own house will bring me no small amount of pleasure.
Are the stories to be believed? Well, if a picture’s worth a thousand words, there’s no denying the stories told in the sequence of photos here:
Will the Obama’s become the first couple ever to go splitsville after being elected First Family? Your guess is as good as mine as to whether they stick it out, but I can tell you this, if Barack Obama does get divorced, don’t be surprised when he blames it on Bush.
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I really don’t understand why all the wingnuts on the right are making such a big deal about Obama’s latest statement:
You know I love Obama, he is a man with a heartfelt conviction that it is he and only he who could remake America into some sort of college thesis utopia – if only it weren’t for that pesky Constitution. (And it’s a damn shame for the entire world that Barack Obama has kept his college thesis under lock and key.)
So when Barack Hussein Obama says, “I am not a dictator,” you have to feel for the man because he knows he’s smarter than any man who ever started a business and actually created jobs by hiring employees.
Go to hell all you right-wing wingnuts! The comparison between Obama and Nixon and Clinton is totally unfair because in the case of Nixon and Clinton, they made those two quotes knowing they were full of shit.
In Obama’s case, he says “I am not a dictator” as a statement of fact, which he deeply regrets.
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Barack Obama does not like people.
Don’t take my word for it, take it from three people who have known him the most and supported him the most:
“The truth is, Obama doesn’t call anyone, and he’s not close to almost anyone. It’s stunning that he’s in politics, because he really doesn’t like people. My analogy is that it’s like becoming Bill Gates without liking computers.” – Neera Tanden, former top aid to Barack Obama and current President of Center for American Progress.
source: NY Magazine
Richard Cohen of the Washington Post is about as liberal as liberal gets and he’s supported Obama since the very beginning, but even he couldn’t help but notice these peculiar quirks in Obama’s personality:
“I see a failure to embrace all sorts of people, even members of Congress and the business community.”
“The crowd adored Obama, although not as much as I think he adored himself.”
“Obama never espoused a cause bigger than his own political survival.”
“It’s hard to care about someone who seems not to care in return… I will vote for Obama with regret. I wish he was the man I once mistook him for.”
source: Richard Cohen at WaPo
In the lead up to the 2008 election, no reporters anywhere in America had closer access inside the bubble of the Obama campaign than John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. (They also had great insight into McCain’s campaign, though it didn’t have the same feeling of intimacy.) Came Change is truly one of the greatest books you could ever read on the inside workings of modern politics. It was such a great work of journalism, but there were more than a few spots where you could read behind the lines and tell that the authors’ hearts were with Obama.
John Heilemann: Obama is an unusual politician. There are very few people in American politics who achieve something — not to mention the Presidency — in which the following two conditions are true: one, they don’t like people. And two, they don’t like politics.
KC: Obama doesn’t like people?
JH: I don’t think he doesn’t like people. I know he doesn’t like people.
What do you get when you get a leader who doesn’t like people?
You can end up with a sociopath like Nero, who would think nothing of throwing the Christians to the lions and then laugh at the very thought of it, as portrayed in the 1932 Cecile B. DeMille classic, Sign of the Cross:
Take the rare mix of a man with enough oratory skill and charisma to become Messiah to his fainting followers and who at the same time doesn’t actually like people, showing disdain for Democracy in telling his supporters to seek “revenge” and to “punish our enemies,” and give power to that man who was mentored by a Communist, who uses well-known Communist slogans and spouts Communist ideas about “redistribution” and “spreading the wealth around” . . . what’s the worst that could happen?