Politics

Obama Reminds Americans Why Trump Won

Obama takes credit for booming economy while blaming Trump and Republicans for incivility.

Thomas Gallatin · Sep. 10, 2018

Well, he did promise he wouldn’t leave… Last Friday, Barack Obama again jumped into the political fray with a speech delivered at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Did anyone really believe he could actually sit back and keep his political opinions to himself, given that President Donald Trump has worked tirelessly to systematically dismantle Obama’s leftist legacy? Well, there may be some Democrats who are wishing that he had. Prior to the speech, Obama had only alluded to Trump in his public criticism, but on Friday the gloves came off as Obama called out Trump by name, charging him with sowing further division.

This charge of division was ironic given the fact that Obama himself was a highly polarizing figure whose popular moniker of “Divider-in-Chief” among conservatives was well deserved. Notably, while Obama’s divisive rhetoric and policy actions benefited him, they came at the cost of decimating the Democrat Party.

Few can spin a yarn like Obama; indeed, it’s one of his greatest talents. But as is so often the case, Obama’s version of events never quite matched up to the reality on the ground.

Take the economy. For eight long years Americans suffered under a near-stagnant economy, much of it due to Obama’s leftist agenda that imposed greater government control over the economy via increased regulations. Now that the economy is booming because of Trump’s deregulation and the Republican tax cuts (which Obama ignored), the former president insisted, “By the time I left office, household income was near its all-time high and the uninsured rate had hit an all-time low and wages were rising and poverty rates were falling. I mention all of this just so when you hear how great the economy’s doing right now, let’s just remember when this recovery started.”

Obama also suffers from selective memory on ObamaCare — specifically how his and the Democrats’ massive tax, laughably titled the “Affordable Care Act,” was foisted upon the American people without a single Republican vote. He chastised Republicans for passing tax cuts that benefit all Americans by labeling that reform a danger to our democracy. Obama asserted, “Republicans in control of Congress and the White House, without any checks or balances whatsoever … provided another trillion in tax cuts to people like me who, I promise, don’t need it, and don’t even pretend to pay for them.”

Meanwhile, Obama promoted the Democrats’ newest hard-left policy proposal of Medicare for All, stating, “Democrats aren’t just running on good old ideas like a higher minimum wage, they’re running on good new ideas like Medicare for All, giving workers seats on corporate boards, [and] reversing the most egregious corporate tax cuts to make sure college students graduate debt-free.” No, it’s just socialism repackaged.

Back to division. Obama called out Trump for “capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years — a fear and anger that’s rooted in our past, but it’s also borne out of the enormous upheavals that have taken place in your brief lifetimes.” Obama would more accurately have referenced himself here. Few politicians preyed upon and encouraged peoples’ fears as did Obama, as he ironically seems oblivious to having done in this very speech.

As an example, consider this excerpt from his speech: “This Congress has championed the unwinding of campaign-finance laws to give billionaires outsized influence over our politics. Systemically attacked voting rights to make it harder for the young people, the minorities, and the poor to vote. Handed out tax cuts without regard to deficits. Slashed the safety net where it could. Cast dozens of votes to take away health insurance from ordinary Americans. Embraced wild conspiracy theories, like those surrounding Benghazi, or my birth certificate.” He concluded, “Because, in the end, the threat to our democracy doesn’t just come from Donald Trump or the current batch of Republicans in Congress or the Koch Brothers and their lobbyists” but from people failing to vote for Democrats.

Actually, Obama’s speech served as a great reminder of why so many Americans voted for Trump. As Courtney Alexander, a spokeswoman for the Congressional Leadership Fund, observed, “Nothing would be better than the Obama-Pelosi team traveling the country nonstop until November, reminding voters of the failed Obama-Pelosi days of higher taxes and increased government spending.” Or as Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) noted, “The best explanation of President Trump’s victory are the ‘results’ of the Obama Presidency!”

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