The Barack Obama Presidential Library

American Thinker

The  George W. Bush Presidential Library is being dedicated and opened this week.  This prompts a thought: what might the future Barack Obama Presidential Library  look like?

Libraries  dedicated to presidents are a combination of shrines, archives, monuments and  sites meant to inspire. Wherever the site, it is never too soon to start the  planning.

Moonbattery Photo

Moonbattery Photo

Here  are some thoughts provided as a public service to my nation.

Presidential  libraries usually have placards featuring memorable quotes from presidents. John  Kennedy has “what can you do for your country” and many other quotes dreamt up  by Ted Sorenson. Abraham Lincoln has the entire Gettysburg Address, “charity to  all, malice towards none”; Franklin Roosevelt has “a date that will live in  infamy”; “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself” and a slew of other  ringing magisterial declarations.

And  Barack Obama?

He  rode a few cotton-candy words mainlined to Obama addicts in 2008 into the Oval  Office: Hope, Change. Those two words will inflict visitors everywhere they  stroll-despite the little-known fact that his own speechwriter cynically described these words, after Obama won, as  so much fodder fed to the great unwashed. But since the library will clearly  be immense — as a testament to Obama’s greatness — there will be plenty of  space for further quotes. Here are some that can be carved in stone in a way  that befits a man we were told was sort of a God.

● “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.”

● “I’m not interested in suburbs. Suburbs bore me.”

● “…so I know whose ass to kick” (regarding the Gulf oil spill)

● “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that. the Brits believe in  British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek  exceptionalism.”

● Americans have become “a  little soft…” a little bit lazy…” “have lost our ambition, our imagination, and our willingness to do things  that built the Golden Gate Bridge” before he became president.

● “Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes. Stop  complaining. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’.” (addressing a group of blacks decrying lack of support for their community.)

● The police “acted stupidly” and it is “just a fact” that African-Americans and  Latinos are disproportionately stopped by police (weighing in on the arrest of  Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr.)

● Elections are tight when you have a “funny name” like Barack Obama and don’t “look  like  all those other presidents on dollar bills.”

● “Typical white person.”

● “They talk about me like a dog.” (because, after all, Americans are inspired by  self-pitying presidents).

● “I  won

Republicans are “bomb throwers” and “hostage takers” who sip  Slurpees while driving the economy into the ditch; they will “have to sit in the  back of the bus”. Republicans want to dig moats and fill them with alligators to  kill Hispanics slipping across the border; they are “members of the Flat Earth  Society.”

● “No, no. I have been practicing… I bowled a 129. It’s like — it was  like Special Olympics, or something.” –making an offhand joke during an  appearance on “The Tonight Show“, March 19, 2009

● “Fat Cats” “I’m standing between you and the pitchforks.”

● “I don’t want to quell anger… what I want to do is channel anger.”

● “You would think they’d be saying thank you” on Tea Party protesters who received tax cuts.

● “Companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more  prosperous future.”

● “You are the reason I ran for office.” while addressing the Occupy Wall  Street movement.

● To Latno voters: ‘We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna  reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.

And  my all-time favorite — so far:

● “Vote for Revenge

One  could go on in this vein but let’s move onto to other sections of the Obama  library.

There  will be vast areas of empty space that normally would be allocated to showcase  accomplishments that led to the presidency. There will be no shelves taken up  with such things as college transcripts, the “lost” thesis from Columbia University, records from Obama’s time as a  state Senator (they also went “missing”; actually Obama has also said they were thrown out — how convenient ); there will be scant records of  legal writing from the man who was celebrated as the first black president of  the Harvard Law Review and who went on to serve as a constitutional  lecturer for years at the University of Chicago.

His  work history at a Chicago law firm? Absent. Who were his clients, what work did  he do (apparently not much, the founder of the firm said he spent much of his  time with his feet up on his desk working on his autobiography while in his  twenties; a book that was delivered late-like Obama’s budgets). A record of  voting present as a state senator speaks volumes — or rather does  not.

Think  of the libraries dedicated to the following Presidents and the stories they tell  of great people and a great nation: Lincoln, Reagan, JFK, FDR,  Truman.

Then  think of Obama’s history or lack thereof.

Perhaps  this can area can be called the “Great Void”.

Finally, Barack  Obama’s promise of transparency is  fulfilled.

Empty  spaces can give an area a sepulchral feel — as it does in the Rothko Chapel in Houston. They can inspire contemplation.  Perhaps Americans can ponder how a man so lacking in any record of true  accomplishment can ascend to the highest level in the land.

But  some of this space can be put to use. The planners of the Obama library have options. Many people have seen the photo  of the teenage Bill Clinton meeting President Kennedy. That was symbolic.  However one may feel about Clinton he did pull himself up with his own  bootstraps — a story that resonates with Americans — and his brush with  Kennedy inspired him to work harder in school and then seek public  office.

What  picture of Obama’s can symbolize his teenage years? How about this one — the  famous Choom photo from his pot smoking high school “club”?

Statues,  photos, film clips are common features of Presidential libraries. Reagan’s “tear  down this wall” challenge, JFK’s Inauguration speech, FDR’s declaration of war.  There are audios of interviews with legendary journalists.

Presumably,  Obama’s Presidential Library will have a statue of him with his typical lifted  chin jutting upwards. There will be the ubiquitous Shepard Fairy “Hope and  Change” posters. Photos of his meeting with other foreign leaders will be spread  like so much wallpaper.

That  is safe, predictable, boring, and sad.

Designers  certainly have far more images they can work with that would give visitors a  fuller appreciation of the Obama presidency. Why not take some risks for a man  who came from nowhere and became president?

There  can be statues on pediments of Barack Obama before a teleprompter, swinging a  gold club, or a more action-oriented one of his frequent basketball games with  NBA greats. Photos can show his history on the links, luxuriating on estates in  Hawaii and Martha’s Vineyard (while lecturing us about shared sacrifice),  smiling and laughing while enjoying musical concerts in the East Room of the  White House.

There  will naturally be a photo of a pensive president in the Situation Room of the  White House awaiting reports from the attack on Bin Laden. Why not offer some  balance with a photo of the rapper Jay Z hanging out in the very same ultra-secret Situation  Room?

Visitors  should be allowed to hear those hard-hitting, penetrating Presidential  interviews with The Pimp with a Limp   or those with the enquiring journalists at “Entertainment Tonight.”

Why  worry about any Gotcha Questions from people who at one time may have been  journalists or from people of the caliber of an Edward R. Murrow or Walter  Cronkite when you can chat it up with Fake News comedian Jon Stewart or David  Letterman?

Presidential  libraries are panoramic portrayals of presidencies. What story might the Barack  Obama library tell?

Well,  how about this roundup regarding the one signal “accomplishment” associated with  President Obama, namely ObamaCare? He said his health care law would not add one  dime to the deficit. Instead, ObamaCare will add $6.2 trillion to the deficit Other aspects of his record to reflect  upon include:

The  slowest modern recovery of record boosted only by spending on the national credit card. More Americans are living in poverty than when Obama took office. A labor force so  distraught that the labor participation rate has plummeted and families are  being devastated by the consequences of long-term unemployment (family formation is being delayed, for example). The startling rise of disability in America due to people who are being encouraged to  abuse the program by the Obama administration. More Americans than ever before  are on food stamps.

The green energy mania that benefited so many of his cronies has cost  taxpayers billions and can be symbolized by a Karma car-now available on the  cheap from junkyards all over the country.”

Sadly,  none of these ideas will be considered by the creators of the Obama Presidential  Library.

But  they should.

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