Thursday, May 21, 2020

What The Hell Is Obamagate?


Randy Rainbow says "Obamagate" is just another in a long series of absurd Trumpian distractions, raw meat for the idiot base. Eric Lutz, writing for Vanity Fair yesterday, was laughing at Trump's ugly pettiness. "As the most relentless champion of birtherism, Donald Trump spent years attempting to undermine Barack Obama’s presidency-- but to little avail," wrote Lutz. "Sure, his racist campaign resulted in Obama releasing his birth certificate, which then-reality star Trump repeatedly bragged about. But it proved, at the time at least, to be a pyrrhic victory for Trump, the chapter concluding with his own public humiliation at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2011. 'Obviously, we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience,' Obama said in a five-minute send-up of Trump. 'Just recently, in an episode of Celebrity Apprentice, at the steakhouse, the men’s cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around. But you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn’t blame Lil’ Jon or Meatloaf. You fired Gary Busey. And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night.'"
Trump was visibly embarrassed by the roast, deepening his grudge for Obama and perhaps even inspiring his 2016 bid to replace him. Is that a petty reason to run for president? Of course it is. But Trump has long appeared to be fueled by grievance. During the last election cycle, his personal umbrage at Obama aligned with white America’s sense of resentment toward the nation’s first black president. This, among other factors, helped vault him into the unlikely position of dismantling his predecessor’s legacy.

Other than further enriching himself and his friends and family, erasing Obama has been just about the only tangible accomplishment, as it were, of his presidency. Trump’s wall? Unbuilt. His attempts to replace the Affordable Care Act? He couldn’t even do it when his party controlled both chambers of Congress, thanks to a dearth of any substantive ideas. But he has been able to undo a number of Obama accomplishments, from landmark moves Trump cast as failures (withdrawing from the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal) to smaller programs he has targeted for no apparent reason than spite (Michelle Obama’s school nutrition standards). Now, Trump appears poised to deliver another petty strike at Obama’s legacy: According to NBC News, it seems the president will not be inviting his predecessor to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for the ceremonial unveiling of his White House portrait, breaking with a contemporary presidential tradition meant to symbolize unity over partisanship among American leaders.

“This modern ritual won’t be taking place between Obama and [Trump],” people familiar with the matter told the outlet. “And if Trump wins a second term in November, it could be 2025 before Obama returns to the White House to see his portrait displayed among every U.S. president from George Washington to [George W. Bush].”

As NBC News noted, the ritual has been meant to project harmony among presidents, even those with significant policy differences, as was the case with Obama and Bush. “We may have our differences politically,” Obama said at Bush’s ceremony in 2012, “but the presidency transcends those differences.” Of course, there is nothing that transcends politics for Trump, who has filtered even the deadly pandemic unfolding under his watch through a partisan lens and-- with the public health and economic crises mounting in an election year-- has recently taken to attacking Obama again. His latest barrage has been as revolting as it is confusing, with Trump accusing Obama of crimes even he cannot name. His sons, meanwhile, have mounted an even more repulsive insinuation campaign against Obama’s former vice president, Joe Biden, baselessly suggesting that the presumptive Democratic nominee is a pedophile. Such attacks are drawn not from real policy disputes Trump may have with his predecessor, but-- like everything this president does-- are clearly motivated by his own petty, personal vendettas. “You’ve got a president who’s talking about putting the previous one in legal jeopardy, to put it nicely. We have not seen a situation like that in history,” presidential historian Michael Beschloss told NBC News. “It takes antipathy of a new president for a predecessor to a new level.”

Obama himself seems fine without the invite; sources familiar with the matter told NBC News that the former president “has no interest in participating in the post-presidency rite of passage so long as Trump is in office.” Which is understandable: Given his decade-long project to undermine and erase Obama’s presidency, Trump’s involvement any symbolic ritual to preserve its legacy would ring insultingly false-- especially as he seeks to stoke fear and outrage in his base toward Obama as part of his reelection campaign. “The Obama Administration is turning out to be one of the most corrupt and incompetent in U.S. history,” Trump projected Sunday. “Remember, he and Sleepy Joe are the reasons I am in the White House!!!”

Yesterday, Trumpanzee urged Senate Republicans to get "tough" with Democrats heading into the election.

Kevin Cramer (R-ND) told The Hill that Señor T "pretty regularly reminds us that we’re not as tough as [Democrats] are. That they play more for keeps, that they stick together better. He just said, 'Be tough. Be tough.' I take it that he’s referring, politically speaking, as we go down the stretch, don’t expect them to do you any favors. He’s ready to hit the trail, that’s obvious. You can tell he’d like to get out there to start helping."
Other Republicans at the meeting said Trump reminded senators of what he has started to refer to as “Obamagate.”

“He talked about the investigations into Russian involvement in the 2016 election and his concerns that you have heard before, which many of us share, about using the institutions like the FBI and the DOJ and others to undermine an incoming president,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), referring to the Department of Justice.

“He expressed his belief that there wasn’t going to be a whole lot of bipartisan cooperation. It was going to be a pitched battle leading up to the November election and he was encouraging all of us to get in the fight and not get pushed around,” he added.

Cornyn noted that Trump didn’t need to urge Senate Republicans to investigate alleged efforts by former Obama administration officials to scrutinize possible collusion with Russia because Senate Judiciary Committee Graham (R-SC) already plans to do so.

Graham on Monday announced the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote June 4 on subpoena authority covering conversations, documents and witness testimony pertaining to Obama-era officials such as former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan.

“Sen. Hawley and I and the rest of the Judiciary Committee are going to be doing that. We have a lot of questions and they need to come up with some better answers,” Cornyn said of the former Obama officials.

Trump did not give Republican senators a timeline for when he wants the investigations of the Obama administration completed, though Graham says he is aiming to wrap it up before the Nov. 3 election.

Senate Republicans have grown increasingly nervous about holding onto their majority on Election Day as the coronavirus pandemic has rocked the U.S. economy, sending the national unemployment rate soaring to 14.7 percent last month.

Trump’s handling of the crisis has come under sharp attack from Democrats, who argue he lacks a national plan and is well behind where he should be in making sure there are enough tests available to safely reopen state and local economies.

The president spent much of Tuesday’s meeting characterizing his administration’s handling of the pandemic as a success, pointing to positive signs on the development of a COVID-19 vaccine and a ramp-up in availability of testing kits.

But the polls tell a different story, with some flashing warning signs for Trump.

A Washington Post-Ipsos poll published last week showed that only 43 percent of respondents approve of Trump’s handling of the pandemic, while a survey of 22,000 voters across the country... last month found that the governors of all 50 states have higher approval ratings than Trump when it comes to responding to the coronavirus crisis.

Trump, however, shared polling with Republicans that painted a rosier picture.

Goal Thermometer“The numbers he shared were certainly good. I don’t know if they were an internal poll or some public poll, he didn’t cite the source. He was mainly talking about the enthusiasm numbers, which not surprisingly are very high for him and very low for Joe Biden. That’s not irrelevant,” said Cramer.

Trump also pointed to positive polling for Republicans in Senate battlegrounds and singled out Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), who faces a tough challenge from Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D).

“He made a general reference to swing states and battleground states that were also very good,” Cramer added.

Cornyn confirmed that Trump highlighted the enthusiasm edge he enjoys over Biden among core supporters.

“Big enthusiasm gap,” he said, summarizing Trump’s pep talk. “He is actually pretty proud of where his numbers were.”

Labels: , ,


At 2:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama's list of "achievements" is ridiculously short for a guy who was handed a mandate by the voters via huge majorities in Congress.

A real President could have used such power to make FDR jealous instead of being a lazy "moderate 1985 Reagan Republican" who ruled by easily reversed Executive Orders. A real President would have used the Bully Pulpit to prevent McConnell from stealing a SCOTUS seat.

Instead we got No Drama Obama who stood between Wall St. and the pitchforks they deserved to be skewered by.

Heck of a job, Barry!


Post a Comment

<< Home