Ever since the middle of the 2016 US presidential election cycle (in other words, by the time primaries were drawing to a close), I have been waiting to send off the outgoing Barack Obama in my own way. So here is a list of the things I dislike the most about the Obama administration, and why I will be glad to see him gone.
Auditing political opponents
There’s a reason, among others, that certain people in America have begun to think of Barack Obama as kind of a dictator. In 2013, it was revealed that the IRS (a.k.a. everyone’s favorite tax collectors) selectively targeted conservative organizations – particularly groups that had the words “Tea Party” or “Patriot” in their names – while Obama was running for re-election in 2012, and IRS officials admitted that they were doing it. Under the Obama administration, it seems that the IRS felt that they had the authority to deliberately target certain political organizations for financial auditing. However, they did claim that it was an error of judgement on their part, which they did apologize for.
Continuing to fuck up the Middle East
I remember when I was a teenager hearing about how Obama was supposed to bring peace to the Middle East. Which he did. Right?
US troops did not withdraw from Iraq until 2011, and did not cease fighting in Afghanistan until 2014. In 2014, US forces would later return to Iraq to lead the international military intervention against ISIS. In 2015, the Obama administration began aiding Saudi Arabia in its military intervention campaign in Yemen by supplying weapons to the Saudis and helping them bomb the country. Oh, and the US has continued to drop bombs on Syria and Iraq, and in some cases the US military is has been conducting drone strikes that have injured innocent people, including children. Obama’s foreign policy regarding the region has also helped to create the vacuum within which ISIS would exploit the opportunity and rise to power and earn their current status as the one of the great menaces of the Middle East. The USA, under the Obama administration, has also pursued military intervention in Libya, which helped to overthrow the dictator Muammar Qadaffi (and don’t get me wrong I’m still kind of glad he’s dead) but also left the country unstable due the failure of democracy to replace the tyrannical regime of Qadaffi. I’m sure Hillary Clinton had nothing to do with it as Obama’s Secretary of State, right?
The NSA scandal
Before Obama got elected, the George W. Bush administration attacked the civil liberties of ordinary Americans by instituting the PATRIOT Act, supposedly in the name of protection from terrorism. Surely Obama would take care of it right? Far from it. Obama continued the legacy of Bush in the form of the NSA’s mass gathering of private information from ordinary Americans. The NSA gathered the phone and internet records of millions of ordinary Americans, in violation of American civil liberty and constitutional law, without any oversight. When this was exposed by Edward Snowden and Bradley (or rather Chelsea) Manning, Snowden was rewarded with basically exile in Russia and Manning was thrown in jail for what was to be a 35 year long prison sentence. That sentence was recently commuted, which means that now she only has five months left before she is set free, but this was only during the last week of Obama’s term. As positive as Manning’s commuting was, I suspect it was a cynical political move, not a sign that Obama suddenly is concerned with human rights or privacy.
“Islam dindu nuffin'”
As Islamic terrorism continued to be a major issue, particularly over the course of the rise of ISIS and in the aftermath of the Pulse massacre, Obama has been very reluctant to even speak of radical Islam, not even by name. In fact, one of his notorious sayings was “Remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ”. In the case of the Crusades, not only does this oversimplify a rather complicated historical issue, one in which there were no good guys, but it insinuates that the fact that Christian powers fought against Islamic powers (not terrorists as we would call them) is somehow consolation for the fact that Islamic terrorists still continue to murder innocent people, including other Muslims (on the basis that they are not faithful enough in their eyes), by the thousands, and they seem to be doing it on the basis of a radical political and religious ideology that is supported up by barbarous religious texts. I have explored this in detail throughout August 2016 as part of Haram Month. Obama has given the impression to Christians that the actions of their Crusader ancestors are equivalent to the horrors inflicted by ISIS and that they should feel some guilt because of it, and this is a mantra repeated by the political left to this day. His main reason refusing to talk about radical Islam is supposedly because he doesn’t want to lump the terrorists in with ordinary Muslims. An understandable goal in theory, but in practice all it does is whitewash the religiosity of the crimes of Islamic terrorists when we should be confronting the ideology that continues be the primary source of continued Islamic terrorism. Oh but he considers that to be just a “manufactured issue“. Manufactured in what respect? Is the killing of ordinary people in the name of Allah a “manufactured issue”. Is the discussion of radical Islam a “manufactured issue”. What a callous clown.
Being the Celebrity in Chief
I don’t think I have ever seen a President so beloved by the media, to the point that the press has not been particularly adversarial towards him, more than Barack Obama was. I don’t remember any president whose inauguration compels a contingent of celebrities to declare themselves loyal servants of the President. No wonder they wanted the Democrats to win so badly in 2016. The media has not been adversarial towards him. No, every time he makes a media appearance he’s always smiling, and I remember that time where he was dancing on the Ellen DeGeneres show while America was still at war in the Middle East and bailing out the banks. In fact, they are now busy establishing a shining legacy for him. And during the election debates, Obama seemed to be treated as some kind of sacred cow, where one candidate saying something bad about him seemed to amount to a strike against that candidate. It’s like the reality of the Obama administration never sunk in with some people. He was indicative of a kind of celebrity politics – the kind where the worst woman in politics can be treated as a hero to women, where the Catholic Church is absolved of its sin by another religious fraud (by which I mean “fuck Pope Francis”), and where people who are normally unconcerned with religion can look at a bird landing on Bernie Sanders’ podium and treat him like he’s the reincarnation of Rochindas Gandhi or Jesus fucking Christ!
In the fall of 2016, the Obama administration handed US control of ICANN, the institution responsible for oversight of the Internet and maintenance of web domains and databases, over to the global private sector, ending US control over the regulation of the Internet. This will, of course, open the door for foreign powers or foreign companies to make changes of their own. The problem with this is that the US government usually observes the value of freedom of speech in accordance with the principles of its Constitution. Other countries do not have the same principles – in fact, Europe has been pushing for more legislation to combat “hate speech“, which will require them to control the Internet, and China has been talking about “global governance” of the Internet. By surrendering control of ICANN, the Obama administration has opened up the possibility for foreign powers who are uninterested in First Amendment style freedom of speech and expression to exert their own control over the internet.
The lie of the great unifier
Back in 2008, the fact that he was the first African-American to be elected as President was a big deal, for some reason. So much so that he won a Nobel Peace Prize in September of 2009, only nine months into his first term when all he did was bail out the big banks and fuck all else. Americans were willing to believe, somehow, that a first African-American president would magically bring about racial togetherness in the country. But the reality is that, as time flew by under his watch, things have pretty much gotten worse. The rise of groups such as Black Lives Matter and trendy left-wing identity politics, particularly in the form of today’s “social justice” politics, has contributed to increased hostility and mistrust between the races. And this has been apologized for under the odious curtain of liberal guilt, while the facts contradict the narrative that support it.
No, you didn’t
“Yes we can”, “Change”, “Hope”. These were the slogans that surrounded an optimistic political campaign for a charismatic politician. Who in the end turned out to be just another politician, cut from the same cloth as all the rest – including the Bush administration. Obama turned out to be a nice little slogan for the Democrats to use in order to get back into power.
And let me tell you something else about Obama: Obama can play 300 rounds of golf, often with Bill Clinton or David Cameron joining in, while he’s doing his taxpayer funded job and nobody’s brow gets raised at least once. His predecessor George W. Bush gets shown playing golf whilst pontificating about how America must combat the threat of Islamic terrorism, and he is crucified as showing the classic hallmark of a typical politician (which, in all fairness, he was).
Oh, and what about the fact that the middle class has been shrinking, or the fact that Americans are poorer now than they were during the Bush administration? What was that again about hope and change?
Endorsing Hillary Clinton
Say you have an election on, and one of the candidates has a history of corruption under her name and one of the most hated politicians in the country because of it. What’s one thing you don’t do in that situation? Back that candidate and endorse her as an unofficial successor to your legacy. I can hardly think of anything more damaging to the Hillary Clinton campaign, other than Wikileaks or Project Veritas, than this. What this essentially communicates is that one of the most disliked and reviled presidential candidates ever, one who has been treated with contempt as a politician for longer than Donald Trump has I might add, and one of the most dishonest politicians I can think of is being endorsed by a President who has failed to be the change that he promised to be in the eyes of many. Imagine you are the kind of American voter who, prior to the 2016 election, supported for Obama and voted for him in either 2008, 2012 or both, and afterwards you become disillusioned by the Obama administration because, in your eyes, things have not gotten much better under his watch. How are you going to feel knowing that this guy has deemed Hillary Clinton as fit to carry out her legacy? You’re probably going to think “this guy was a failure of a politician and a charismatic liar, and he’s just endorsed one of the biggest liars and most corrupt people in politics”.
Really, the only good things I can see coming out of the Obama administration were the nationwide legalization of gay marriage and the end of the Cuban embargo, as well as marijuana being legalized in parts of the USA and the last-minute commuting of Chelsea Manning.