For the people who wonder whether the Biden White House represents the third term of the Obama presidency, Barack Obama provided the answer last week in a wide-ranging interview with New York Times columnist Ezra Klein.
In Obama’s esteemed opinion, the answer is definitely yes. In making this assertion, Obama reminded the nation just what small ball politics he and his minions play – at least when everyone is looking.
“I think that what we’re seeing now, is Joe and the administration are essentially finishing the job,” Obama told Klein. “And I think it’ll be an interesting test.”
By “job,” of course, he means the continuation of the Obama legacy. By “test,” he means whether Biden can sell that legacy to a disbelieving nation.
“Ninety percent of the folks who were there in my administration, they are continuing and building on the policies we talked about,” Obama added.
As to the “policies” in question, Obama cited the Affordable Care Act, the climate change agenda, including the Paris Accord, and “figuring out how do we improve the ladders to mobility through things like community colleges.”
That’s it? Obamacare, when intact, failed spectacularly. Obama’s purchase of a $12 million beachfront manse showed how sincere he was about climate change, and the word “community” suggests where the direction of community colleges naturally resides.
These are the policies Obama and the Democrats are willing to sell to the American public. More worrisome are the policies about which they talk in code. In the Klein interview, Obama referred to these as “the deep, subterranean political dynamics of our culture.”
“At the top of that list” Obama put “race.” Next came “changing gender roles.” Finally, and awkwardly, he zeroed in on “those who still are engaged in organized religion feeling attacked by sort of an atheist culture.”
As Obama subtly argues in this interview and more extensively in his latest memoir, “A Promised Land,” those whose resist “changing gender roles,” or who “still are engaged in organized religion,” or who question monstrosities like critical race theory are, by any name, the enemy.
For a host of reasons, none of them sensible, Obama has singled out Sarah Palin as the symbol of enemy resistance. To him, she is the ur-deplorable, the essence of all that is wrong with the America he had hoped to transform.
“She was a prototype for the politics that led to the Tea Party,” he told Klein, “that, in turn, ultimately led to Donald Trump, and that we’re still seeing today.”
In his memoir, he is much more explicit in his condemnation. “From the stage, she accused me of ‘palling around with terrorists who would target their own country,'” whines Obama about Palin. “She suggested that I was ‘not a man who sees America the way you and I see America.'”
Obama repeats the accusation that someone at a Palin rally once yelled, “Kill him!” The “kill him” charge received an absurd amount of attention considering its dubious provenance. The media never identified the man accused and, scarier still, never came to agreement as to where he launched his verbal assault. A lack of evidence should have killed the story in the womb.
Ahab was less obsessed with his whale – also white – than Obama is with Palin. “Through Palin,” grouses Obama, “it seemed as if the dark spirits that had long been lurking on the edges of the modern Republican Party – xenophobia, anti-intellectualism, paranoid conspiracy theories, an antipathy toward Black and brown folks – were finding their way to center stage.” OMG!
This is the same Barack Obama, by the way, who wowed America with his kumbaya speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
“Now even as we speak,” said Obama in that night’s most memorable phrase, “there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes.
“Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America – there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America – there’s the United States of America.”
No one who heard that speech, not even Republicans, anticipated that Barack Obama would prove to be the most divisive spin master in recent American history.
Division is his real legacy, and it is a legacy President Joe Biden seems hell bent on continuing.
Jack Cashill’s latest book, “Barack Obama’s Promised Land: Deplorables Need Not Apply,” is now on pre-sale. See www.cashill.com for more information.
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