Why Won’t Barack Obama Go Away?

American Thinker

By Rich Logis


Why do those who criticize Donald Trump for not being a “traditional” president fawn over President Obama not being a “traditional” post-presidential citizen?

I would say Michelle and Barack Obama are back in the news, but they’ve never left the news since the 22nd Amendment mercifully exiled them from the Oval Office last year.  When President Clinton took the oath of office in 1992, President George H.W. Bush went away.  When President George W. Bush assumed power in 2000, President Clinton went away (until the prospect of being the first gentleman came a-knockin’).  When President Obama placed his hand on President Lincoln’s Bible in 2008, President Bush went away.

When President Trump made his miraculous win constitutionally official last year, President Obama went away, back to Chicago, to administer the death and destruction left in the wake of 30,000 consecutive days of Democrat rule over the Windy City.

Just kidding: Obama moved into a $5-million D.C. mansion – but only after the wall surrounding the 8,000-square-foot mansion was completely erected.  Oh, and Obama’s former senior adviser, Valerie Jarrett, moved in with the Obamas, which is just bizarrely weird.  It’s like House of Cards meets Three’s Company; rumor has it that Val makes a mean Belgian waffle with an Iranian secret touch.


Obama the Hollywood star

The Obamas are in talks with Netflix to produce their own show, and let’s face it: that deal is as good as done.  I can already envision the episodes: “Louis Farrakhan: The Misunderstood Bigot,” “How to Community Organize and Eat Deep Dish Pizza at the Same Time,” “The Raúl Castro Interview, Part 2 (Raul Still Thinks America Sucks, and Who Am I to Disagree?).”

One episode I suspect won’t be produced is “Why I Will Remain the de Facto President for the Resistance for the Next Decade.”

There are very few political and policy decisions of Obama’s for which I give two thumbs up, but I will always marvel at how sophisticated his 2008 campaign was.  Obama knew with 100% certainty that he would be elected president after systematically delimbing the Clinton Industrial Complex.  But he didn’t want to merely defeat Arizona senator John McCain; he wanted to render him the Mondale of the Republican Party.  Obama didn’t win 49 states, but he won an election with a record turnout of percentage of registered voters.  A Christ-Gandhi ticket would have lost to Obama.

Obama was on nothing but offense, and his campaign understood well the nuances of the little things about campaigning.  His brain trust split data into micros of microdata – what people ate, when they went to bed and woke up, their voting history (or lack thereof)…seemingly everything.

Activist president, activist post-presidential citizen

Obama was our nation’s first overt activist president.  In fairness, all presidents are activists to some extent, but Obama perfected the art form.  Remember: his political upbringing was as an acolyte of  community organizer Saul Alinsky, rallying roach-smoking, Che Guevera t-shirt-wearing, vanilla chai green tea latte with organic unfiltered raw goat milk with turbinado sugar-drinking occupants of $4,000 monthly gentrified studio apartments while remonstrating against income inequality and too low taxes for wealthy white people (even though the vast majority of wealthy whites vote Democrat).

So are we to believe that Obama will not continue to carry his activist past into his post-presidential life?  Of course not.  Obama has always been smarter than most Democrat politicians; unlike Clinton, whose own husband doesn’t like her, Obama and the DMIC (Democrat Media Industrial Complex) have had quite the love affair.  The love is so strong that it’s a borderline extramarital affair.

Obama knows that the Democrats have no one on deck to challenge President Trump in 2020, and we’ll likely have Trump and Mike Pence as president for 12-16 years.  (Republicans: Don’t you dare stay home on Election Day – red states no longer exist, and we cannot afford to lose the House of Representatives.)  Knowing that Trump and Pence will likely occupy the White House for nearly two decades, Obama has comfortably assumed the role of the face of the “resistance” and will have carte blanche from the DMIC and sycophantic Democrat voters to undermine President Trump ad infinitum.  Never mind the mountain of scandals accumulated in Obama’s 96 months as president, including an alleged spying scandal that’s shaping up to be an all-time Mother of All.

Democrats don’t care, just as they disdain our Constitution and Electoral College.  Democrats believe they have the right to be right, and they will beat you into submitting to their will.  No, Donald Trump isn’t a traditional president, but the American people don’t mind, just so long as President Trump keeps his promises (and kept promises he has).  Too bad Tessio Republicans in Congress can’t seem to support the president for consecutive days.

The “fundamental transformation”

Barack Obama promised a “fundamental transformation” when he took office in 2008, and he was true to his word.  When googly-eyed, Ludovico-induced Obamaites cheered “four more years!” at his farewell speech, Obama smilingly reminded them that our Constitution prohibits that.  Prior presidents always bid adieu to the nation from the Oval Office, but Obama broke tradition and, predictably, was praised by the oh, so devout DMIC.  Hell, even Canadians wanted another Obama term.  Does that qualify as collusion?

When Obama was elected, I did wonder what could be: a president who would take a flamethrower to the final remnants of the myth that America is still a racist nation; a president who would finally pick apart the self-victimization celebrity status culture the way he picked apart his opponents in elections; and a president who, as the West’s first black president, would never apologize for being the coach of the championship team.

But though I wondered what could be, I knew, deep down, that it wouldn’t be.  An activist never changes his act.

Obama couldn’t be president for life.  But he’ll never let you forget him.  No matter where you turn, in whatever direction, he’ll be there.

Senator Sasse (Among Others) Needs a History Lesson


Image via theteachersdigest.com


Family Security Matters


U.S. Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) has come out strongly against President Donald Trump’s decision to impose modest tariffs on imports of foreign steel (25%) and aluminum (10%) to aid these strategic domestic industries. On his website, the Senator calls this “kooky 18th century protectionism.” On Fox News, he declared that “two centuries” of tariffs had shown this to be a policy failure. Both of his statements are wrong. America became the world’s largest industrial power using tariffs to support lines of economic development in the face of rivals who were poised and eager to capture control of the U.S. market and keep Americans in the role of providing only food and raw materials to support advances elsewhere. Indeed, any analysis of the “comparative advantages” of the U.S. in the years after independence would have consigned the new nation to an economic dependence not much different than the colonial status it had fought to escape. But America broke out of its “assigned role” and took control of its own fate; and by the dawn of the 20th century was out producing Europe’s two major industrial powers, Great Britain and Germany, combined. This achievement changed the entire course of world history.

Even those who did not like the tone of this policy, such as the left-wing critic of nationalism, Max Beer, had to concede its success. He wrote in 1901, “The United States, with its ruthlessly protectionist trade policy, vast territory and endless energies, is proving the most powerful rival to England and Germany.” When Beer wrote, President Teddy Roosevelt was in office. In a letter to his friend Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge (R-MA), TR had proclaimed “Thank God I’m not a free trader.” The Republican Party in its days of political dominance was the party of nationalism and protectionism. It had preserved the Union and was committed to building up its strength.

The origins of U.S. protectionism date back to the Founding Fathers. One of the seminal documents of American history is the “Report on Manufactures” written in 1791 by Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury in President George Washington­’s administration. He advocated a protective tariff, fearing that without import controls the southern states would turn to England and France for industrial goods rather than to the northern states. The lure of foreign trade with Europe could pull the Union apart. This nearly happened in the Civil War when the Confederacy turned to its overseas trading partners for military aid. The oligarchy of slave owners had no interest in industrializing the south and had always opposed tariffs. Their system was not just immoral, it was wrong-headed and doomed to stagnation and defeat.

The Constitution embodies Hamilton’s thinking. Article 1, section 8 gives Congress the power to “regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States” while Section 10 takes these powers away from the States. These two provisions create a large, unified internal market that can support the growth of domestic production in the face of overseas competition. Trade is clearly made a matter of Federal (national) policy. This had been the dream of the 17th century mercantilist Jean-Baptiste Colbert for France, but he had been unable to overcome the resistance of provincial interests. It was the dream of Friedrich List, who fled to the U.S. because of his advocacy of a united Germany. List’s book The National System of Political Economy remains a classic and his ideas influenced Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay and James Madison, among others whom he met. But that large market was created to support domestic enterprise. As conservative historian Forrest McDonald has noted.

   While rejecting laissez-faire, however, Hamilton was emphatic in his commitment to private enterprise and the market economy. Primarily this commit­ment was moral, not economic. Hamilton believed that the greatest benefit of a system of government-encouraged private enterprise was spiritual—the enlargement of the scope of human freedom and the enrichment of the opportunities for human endeavor.

Hamilton’s plan was to create a system within which Americans could attain their own success; not merely sit on the sidelines as foreign entities made the key decisions affecting the future of the U.S. economy.

Thomas Jefferson at first opposed Hamilton’s trade and industrial policies. As an agrarian, Jefferson was quite content to let the factory system, which he equated with dirty smokestacks and urban slums, stay in Europe. Writing in 1785, Jefferson said “Were I to indulge in my own theory, I should wish [our states] to practice neither commerce nor navigation but to stand, with respect to Europe, precisely on the footing of China. We should avoid wars and all our citizens would be husbandmen.” Not a wise choice of comparison given that China would soon be carved into foreign spheres of influence by the more advanced industrial powers. Today’s People’s Republic of China is driven towards rapid industrialization and technological development to prevent ever again being subject to such a “century of humiliation.”

Jefferson as President attempted to implement several of the fashionable liberal notions about foreign affairs. He laid up most of the Navy, replacing blue-water warships with tiny coastal gunboats which he thought were less provocative. He reduced the diplomatic corps. This was in line with the views of his French friend and classical economist J.B. Say who claimed, “It is not necessary to have ambassadors. This is one of the ancient stupidit­ies which time will do away with.” They should be replaced by consuls whose function would be to promote free trade.

Those on the putative Right who are led astray by “free trade” rhetoric should remember it was part of a larger body of liberal ideology which saw private commerce as the remedy for interstate war. If individuals could forge ties without regard to borders or national allegiances, then there would be no more conflicts. As the British Radical Richard Cobden claimed, “the motive for large and mighty empires, for gigantic armies and great fleets would die away.” This was (and still is) the kooky notion that controls so much liberal thought. It leads to mistaken trade policy in the real world of contending states because, as List noted, it “has assumed as being actually in existence a state of things which has yet to come into existence….a universal union and a state of perpetual peace.” The last two centuries have made hash of liberal sophistry.

The War of 1812 woke Jefferson from this liberal fantasy. He shifted to the Hamiltonian camp and argued for a new industrial policy including tariffs. He wrote, “The prohibiting duties we lay on all articles of foreign manufacture which prudence requires us to establish at home, with the patriotic determination to use no foreign articles which can be made within ourselves without regard to difference in price, secure us against a relapse into foreign dependency.”

The Hamiltonian program became the party line of the Whigs before the Civil War and the Republican Party afterwards. “By the election of 1880 protectionism virtually equaled Republican­ism” states historian Tom E. Terrill in his book The Tariff, Politics and American Foreign Policy 1874-1901. President Trump has quoted President Abraham Lincoln’s warning, “abandonment of the protective policy by the American government [will] produce want and ruin among our people.” Anyone who has seen the empty factories and blighted communities in a Middle America plundered by the “outsourcing” of production overseas has seen the proof that Lincoln was right.

As historian Paul Kennedy has argued, “How a Great Power’s position steadily alters in peacetime is as important to this study as how it fights in wartime.” During the post-Cold War euphoria of “free trade” the U.S. position was altered in a negative way; running huge trade deficits ($796 billion last year) that measured the extent that net production capacity had shifted overseas. The reason for the shift was the rise of transnational corporations looking for cheap foreign labor to replace “expensive” American workers who expected fair treatment. This united Big Business with the ghosts of the southern slave owners in the embrace of “free trade”— hardly a laudatory motive.

In contrast, proper government policy should seek to shape the flow of economic factors, including trade, with an eye to increasing the productive capacity of the nation, particularly in strategic industries. Protectionism is a central part of a proper trade policy. For example, Century Aluminum, the main domestic producer of high-purity aluminum used in military aircraft, will restart idled production lines at its smelter in eastern Kentucky in response to Trump’s tariffs. It had closed most of its operation because of import competition from China and Russia. Does anyone really want our aerospace industry to be dependent on imports from these rival foreign powers? The philosophy of “free trade” just doesn’t cut it in the real world. The United States must manage its own fate, and it can only do so from a position of economic strength; meaning resources, technology and industry under its own control.