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Hope and change 🙄

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This is just me, but I always saw Obama as another unremarkable post-Cold War President with a pretty typical progressive/technocratic outlook. I never really understood what his supporters loved about him so much, and still don't really understand to this day. I also don't have the burning hatred some have towards him either. He's clearly not as brilliant, farsighted, visionary, or whatever his vocal supporters claimed, nor is he some demonic, traitorous communist or whatever some on the right may think.

I can understand seeing his presidency as a "tragedy" if one had been hoping for some miraculous social-cultural-racial-ideological unification to come from it, but that was never realistic. That was the stuff people projected onto him. So ultimately I guess I don't see his presidency as tragic because in order to be a tragic figure you have to attempt something great, which I'm not sure he did.

I'd only speak for myself, but I think some others with a more small-L libertarian bent, like me, view Obama more as just a continuation of Bush and prior Presidential trends, rather than a markedly different phenomenon. On a fundamental level we're still living in the Progressive era that began 120-something years ago.

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OK. But can you be more specific? What is it that President Obama failed to do? Specifically what did he promise but not deliver? The Health Care Act is enormous. Looking back, my gripe was, to me, that he never stepped down from the podium to talk to the common American. There was a residual void that Hillary should have filled (visiting those perceived places suffering in America). Trump came in and tragically appealed to their worst nature.

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I prefer Biden's FTC and approach to actually breaking up monopolies/starting them from forming as well. In a lot of ways, I don't think Obama was a "change" president, but one who embodied his executives appreciation of just being in the room, and not actually doing much.

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Biden's FTC has been wholly toothless and focused on the wrong issues. Stopping Microsoft from buying Activision? Why? They think this one stupid trick will allow Microsoft to dominate video games somehow? Stopping Facebook from buying a VR company? Why? Apple isn't competing in VR? Why haven't they taken on Google's search algorithm or Amazon's predation of sellers on its own marketplace?

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It would have helped if Obama had backed up foreign leaders crossing of "red lines" with some show of force or sanctions.

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I'm a Brit and this is what I wrote in 2007 about the impending Obama presidency.

"Good Luck America; Us Brits Have Already Had Ten Years of ‘Change’. But I do wish Barack Obama well. He cuts a personable figure as a political leader. The soaring rhetoric is also appealing, especially when viewed from the land of dull-as-ditch water Gordon Brown. On the negative side, it has to be said, is the vacuous but relentless Change mantra. He always leaves you panting on the edge of your seat waiting for the next sentence; change What? How? Why?"

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2008/11/ten_years_of_change_in_the_uk.html

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Agree! I waited for the change……

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Malcolm X said it best. (Paraphrasing:) The conservative is a wolf while the liberal is a fox. You can stay away from the wolf, because you can see its baring teeth and you know it's dangerous. The fox will make you think he's your friend, then he'll stab you in the back.

Barack Obama's hidden ego is deeply concerning. He smiles with charisma while sending drones to civilian locations, committing human rights abuses left and right, then crusading against journalists who spoke a little too loud.

People hated Trump because he was "bad" to Americans. Meanwhile Obama was an idol while he was an enemy to humanity.

People don't want leaders. They want celebrities. It's that simple.

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Well taken, although I suppose if I had to choose I'd probably pick the fox over the wolf.

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Healthcare reform was a huge accomplishment and is now pretty much facts on the ground. It would be even more effective if red states weren't cutting off their own nose to spite their face on Medicaid expansion.

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True, but universal healthcare came at a heavy cost, he used all of his political capital for something that wasn't particularly popular and in any case produced mixed results.

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Obama failed to prosecute the criminals who were responsible for the 2008 stock market crash that had a devastating impact on so many people, he did nothing to stop the Middle East into spiraling towards chaos that resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, he did nothing to bring reconciliation and rebuilding of Iraq resulting in the genesis of ISIS that further destabilized the region, he launched offensive war in Libya, he did nothing to reform healthcare (yes, Obamacare was a sham that helped some while hurting many others in increased premiums and less coverage), he polarized the country by clearly siding with BLM, a fraudulent organization that preys upon racial divisions while scamming its supporters financially as a result Trump exploited the “white rage” and offered explicit actions to undo these divisive policies. He made this country worse than what it was before him, i.e., during Bush’s era, and that’s saying a lot.

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Folks evidently expected a lot more out of Obama than he was inclined to give. Except for the banks, that is; they got nice big bailouts while a lot of folks lost their homes to the predatory mortgage industry the banks were profiting from.

Anyway, I was absolutely done giving Obama the benefit of any doubt when he engaged in machinations to make his by-then-ancient VP the 2020 nominee.

He was the DNC's man in office, and he is still when out of it.

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Indeed it's been a cringe-inducing post-presidency, like some sort of reverse Jimmy Carter.

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Profoundly so. He was held up as an aspirational figure to so many young Americans, who were encouraged to see their future selves in him; and then sabotaged their first real political initiatives with a few phone calls. It's hard to overestimate the damage that did to his legacy, and his party's future (assuming they even want one).

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Writing about him as eloquently and elaborately as you did, despite your irritation, doesn't make him inconsequential, it would seem to me.

Compare him to other world leaders (the comparison to Trump is rather narrow). How would Obama fare against Berlusconi? Duterte? Idi Amin? These guys were very consequential due to the tremendous cost inflicted on their countries and citizens. They leave behind a record of destruction.

If three memoirs are all that's left of Obama’s legacy, that's still a far better record than marauding plundering philandering murderous leaders across the globe.

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But isn't that partly the issue? Barack Obama wasn't just a motivational speaker who wrote memoirs. He also did bad things, and I would say his approach to drone warfare is a particularly troubling example. That said, I take your point that one doesn't want a president to be *too* consequential.

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Aug 18, 2023·edited Aug 18, 2023Author

Lupe, nice to hear from you! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You're right- at some basic level, I wanted Obama to be something he couldn't be. So many of us were projecting on to him. At the same time, I think there was some false advertising. When he said, "we are the ones we have been waiting for," he was gesturing to a transformational movement. But when he was actually president, he didn't harness that energy. If anything, he seemed intent on constraining it, lest it be a challenge to his own incrementalist style of governing.

It's true that we shouldn't expect *that* much from our elected officials, but I think it's still fair to believe that exceptional politicians come around every now and then. Obama could have been that politician. Or, there I am projecting again :)

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