September 10, 2018

Obama Back on Campaign Trail

We're officially on Insta! Did I throw on a blazer at 5 am for all you lovely people? You bet I did!

“Former U.S. President Barack Obama assailed President Donald Trump and Republicans on Friday, urging Democrats to deliver a check on the administration’s ‘abuses of power’ and restore a sense of sanity to politics by voting in November’s elections." Reuters

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From the Left

The left is generally elated that Obama has decided to get back into politics to take on Trump.

“[Obama’s] reappearance [in] the public square is an important development at a moment when President Donald Trump's governing style has generated tremendous concern about the stability of our democratic institutions. While it is true that ex-presidents often remain out of the public limelight, these are not ordinary times."

CNN

“Watching the contrast between Trump and Obama... one couldn’t help but be reminded of how the former president presented an idealistic — even arguably naive — vision of America, one full of hopeful, hardworking, good-hearted citizens eager to come together to solve problems... Whatever you thought of his policy choices, no one can say Obama didn’t regularly call Americans to be their best selves."

Washington Post

“Obama’s return to the public arena... was a wake-up call for what many of us seem to have forgotten — that we alone hold the power to change whatever we don’t like about America... Trump does not pass legislation that gives tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. He does not get a vote to take away our health care... Those decisions are left to the people we elect to represent us in Congress. And soon, we have a chance to clean house."

Chicago Tribune

“No one does the cool burn quite so deftly as Barack Obama... Will Obama be able to move the coalition that elected him twice — including minorities and young people — to show up for Democrats when his name is not on the ballot? It is an unexpected opportunity. Trump has given Obama a chance to write a new postscript to his own legacy."

Washington Post

Counterpoint: “The shopworn nature of Friday’s rhetoric might give Democrats pause… These tools worked very well for [Obama]... but when others have tried to borrow them, they have found the tools unwieldy in their own hands, and the Obama era gave way to Trump’s election in 2016... If Obama’s high-minded impulses couldn’t prevent Trump from becoming president, how likely are they to unseat him and heal the damage?"

The Atlantic

Regarding the economy, “in the 19 months starting after Mr. Trump’s inauguration, the economy has created 3.58 million new jobs — but that is still shy of the 3.96 million created in the last 19 months of Mr. Obama’s presidency. The nation’s economy has grown at a steadily higher pace in the past year than it did during the end of Mr. Obama’s term, reaching an annualized rate of 4.2 percent in the second quarter of this year. But the last time it was that high was in 2014 — when Mr. Obama was in charge."

New York Times

From the Right

The right is accusing Obama of hypocrisy and criticizing his policies while in office.

From the Right

The right is accusing Obama of hypocrisy and criticizing his policies while in office.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) tweeted (sarcastically): “Pres. Obama is right. It is wrong for a President to use divisive language, such as:
1.  Call all opponents of same-sex marriage bigots
2. Call the Pro-Life movement a ‘War on Women’
3. Call all immigration enforcement advocates racists
4. Call the GOP the enemy of Hispanics”

Twitter

“Trump is a symptom of the slow-rolling collapse of [civil] institutions, brought about in large part by the disingenuous gaslighting in which Obama engaged for a decade: promoting a better discourse while engaging identity politics, championing supposed honesty in politics while simultaneously presiding over an administration rife with malfeasance... Obama drove the Right mad. Now Trump has driven the Left mad.”

Daily Wire

Regarding his policies, “we can’t pretend that Obama somehow respected the press while his administration actively targeted them... it obtained the records of more than 20 phone lines connected to the Associate Press over a two-month period back in 2013. It also seized records from five phone lines connected to Fox News."

Daily Wire

Obama claimed to have made the world more secure... How easily he forgets his ‘Russia reset,’ his cancelation of U.S. missile defense in Europe, his rush to eliminate America’s nuclear weapons, his retreat from Syria, his open-mic promise to show ‘more flexibility’ to Putin after the 2012 election."

Breitbart

“Economic growth during the Obama years should have been unusually high, since he took office the year after a financial collapse and stabilization. Growth is usually strongest after recessions. But during the Obama years, economic growth averaged only around 2 percent... Annual economic growth is now averaging about 3 percent and the last quarter saw rapid growth at an annualized rate of 4.2 percent... Unemployment for women and minorities is near historic lows, as it is for all Americans.

Fox News

Finally, Obama initially “set out with two goals, publicly to unite the country and privately to unite it under the Democrats... He transparently failed at the former goal—the country is more divided than before—and the only political realignment he engendered was a strange and raucous one that favored the Republicans, who picked up more than 1,000 state legislature, gubernatorial, and congressional seats during his presidency."

Rare

Counterpoint: “after the War of 1812, President Madison… enacted the Tariff of 1816 to price British textiles out of competition, so Americans would build the new factories and capture the booming U.S. market. It worked. Tariffs [also] financed Mr. Lincoln’s War. The Tariff of 1890 bears the name of Ohio Congressman and future President William McKinley, who said that a foreign manufacturer ‘has no right or claim to equality with our own… He pays no taxes. He performs no civil duties’… [A tariff’s] purpose is not just to raise revenue but to make a nation economically independent of others, and to bring its citizens to rely upon each other rather than foreign entities.”
Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

A libertarian's take

“The scoop reflects poorly on Trump, who willfully misled the public for a decade in hopes of fraudulently representing himself as a man with a Midas touch. But he could not have succeeded without the assistance of many Americans, some mercenary, others over-credulous, who helped to spread the deceit and deception, generating countless newspaper articles, magazine stories, and TV segments that misinformed the public about the publicity hound’s record in business. New evidence of his staggering losses in that decade therefore provides an apt occasion to reflect on the media’s complicity in Trump’s brazen deceit and deception… Let [this] be a lesson for today’s tabloids, gossip columnists, over-credulous or mercenary journalists, and reality-television producers.”
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

On the bright side...

You can hang out with pythons while sipping on your latte at this Cambodian cafe.

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