It’s really over.
Obama is leaving the White House.
He’ll be gone in two (2) days.
What was his presidency like?
What kind of President was he?
What did he achieve…
… or fuck up?
Well let’s kick off with the diclaimer stuff. Obama became President jus as the US (and world) economy was on the verge of collapse. Why was this? Well eight (8) years of failed Republican neocon-policies and Bush Jr.’s inexperience and stupidity may have had something to do with it. Spending close to a trillion dollars on all kinds of security, intelligence and wars in exotic lands coupled with letting Wall Street regulate “themselves” didn’t turn out too well.
The Republican Party absolutely hated Obama and decided – the minute he became President – to block any and all proposals he may or may not put forth. If Obama says water is wet? We go and deny that. If he says the weather is warm? We wear a winter-coat.
He also inherited two (2) wars, both costing billions of dollars per day.
So what did Obama do?
He moved the US mostly out of Iraq, but escalated the war in Afghanistan. Both “wars” have gotten away from the Americans. In Afghanistan the Taliban keeps gaining ground and in Iraq (and Syria) we have witnessed the happy birth and grand opening of the Caliphate (ISIS). Millions of people have fled the various conflicts flooding contintental Europe with refugees. Europe has seen a wave of terrorist attacks inspired by the idiots in the region Obama moved US troops out of.
He sharply escalated secrecy and a real hunt on whistleblowers. Obama has used the secrecy and espionage act more than all US Presidents in history combined.
He’s sharply escalated and expanded the drone wars.
He’s instated a “Kill List”, allowing him (and future US Presidents) to simply kill whomever they want without any oversight or legal process.
He’s conducted more airstrikes (including drones) than any US President ever.
(He ended his reign with a record breaking year, some 26,171 bombs were dropped in 2016, that's 3 bombs every hour, of every day, of every week of the year).
And those bombs have a tendency to land on people, houses, schools, roads and hospitals.
The US is drowning in debt.
At present the debt sits at 19 trillion dollars.
… and counting.
This debt will burden generarations to come.
He “gave” the banks a stimulus package worth some 800 billion dollars.
Followed by more.
The EU, China, Japan, UK… most economic blocks did similar things.
It’s the largest transfer of wealth in human history.
From the public, to private banks.
Social programs, educational programs, health programs, benefits programs?
All have suffered deep cuts under “austerity measures”, while the eight (8) richest billionaires in the world now own more than the poorest half of the world’s population, some 3,5 billion people.
The inequality is shocking.
He did “release” a lot of “inmates” from Guantanamo Bay, but those “prisoners” will go to horrible countries who will torture or kill them and he only did it at the very end of his reign.
He did get Obamacare off the ground, providing health insurance for 30 million people, but it’s pretty clear the Trump Administration (and their Republican allies) will repeal that as soon as they can. And even with Obamacare? Take a look at the average healthcare cost in the US per state. Pay extra attention to the opening paragraph… “50 yr olds paying 1,7x more and 64yr olds paying 3x more”.
If you happen to live in the Netherlands, or some other country where healthcare became privatized because it was more “competetive” and/or “efficient”?
Take a good hard look at those premiums per month.
That’s where you’re (we’re) heading.
While he was President inequality also increased sharply in the US.
Ethnic strive and conflicts increased in horrible ways.
He expanded the NSA’s mass surveillance program. He did limit its domestic data collection somewhat, but that’s for “US persons” only.
I am a foreigner, so fuck me.
He was against gay-marriage, but changed his mind and even claimed it as a policy victory once the country simply changed and embraced marriage-equality as a whole.
(Hillary Clinton was opposed to gay-marriage as well, but changed her mind once it became popular).
He had a well managed media-persona, using his wife, his kids, his celebrity status, his celebrity acquaintances and (social)media-savvy PR managers to make him and his Presidency come off as diverse, green, progressive, tolerant, rational but also human and fun and at times cool.
His campaign received a prize for the “best brand” from the US advertising industry.
Seeing him drive around the White House lawn with Jerry Seinfeld in some hawt expensive car, or seeing Michelle Obama do carpool Karaoke didn’t make them any more “human” or relatable to me at all. It made them media-whores. It made them celebrity obsessed and part of the same celebrity cult. During his Presidency we have seen numerous “celebrities” championing Obama’s causes. So much so that it became disgusting.
He gave Michael Jordan the “medal of freedom”, some 18 years after Jordan retired.
What exactly did Jordan do for “freedom” in those 18 years?
Besides go through a 50+ million dollar divorce?
Do we really give a shit about what ridiculously sick rich Jerry Seinfeld thinks about politics?
Do we give a fuck about what ridiculously sick rich Tom Hanks thought about dinner at the White House?
I am sure he did loads of other things, these are my highlights:
The humongous transfer ot wealth, the absolute disaster that used to be Iraq and Syria, the Kill List, the Drones and the millions of refugees flooding Europe?
He pretty much sucked at his job.
But… he was “better” than Bush (he was less of a total fuckhead).
And Donald Trump will be way worse… probably even worse than Bush.
Donald Trump will be like Gilles de la Tourette on crack-cocaine.
(tweeting “policy” at 3AM in the morning)
Now that Barack Hussein Obama is leaving…
Let the legend begin.
The last months and weeks we’ve seen a rather disgusting outpouring of praise and superlatives regarding the Obama Presidency.
From the New York Times to the Guardian, from my own (Dutch) local newspapers and talkshows, to CNN, celebrity, daytime talkshows and any and all celebrity-crap.
People use the word “legacy” a lot.
I think I’ve just given a brief (and fair) description of his legacy.
We’ll get loads of “specials” documenting his Presidency, hammering his “legacy” home.
This is the first in many.
Are you ready for some well-produced, high-quality propaganda, rewriting of history and myth-making?
…and he’s a Christian.
Which means he “believes” in an invisible omnipotent being in “heaven” that not only created our universe, this planet and us, but also reads our innermost thoughts each and every day of our lives. Being a “good” Christian (such as Obama) means you can enter “heaven” after you die and wear white robes and play harp next to this (still invisible and oddly undefined) being and sing it praises for all eternity.
Oh and get this?
All your relatives and “loved ones” will also be there.
Personally... I'd rather have a tarantula lay eggs in my ear.