The Ego Has Landed

There are two distinctly different Barack Obamas: the one existing in reality and the one in Barack Obama’s mind. That fact has been clear to many of us for years, but the latest show of amateur hour has made it clear to most everyone else. The flurry of actions from the Oval Office over the last couple months make it hard to tell if the Lecturer-in-Chief is combating the death throes of his own legacy or merely seeking to make life as difficult as possible for the next administration. I tend to believe he views the latter as vital to the former.
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There is a famous scene in the movie Gladiator in which the new Emperor meets with the General-turned-slave before their bout in the coliseum. The Emperor stealthily and shamefully stabs the General so as to make him weak before the fight, giving himself an unfair advantage and thus making himself look strong in the ring by comparison. Fast forward a few centuries to 2017, not much has changed. The raucous coliseum crowd has just been replaced by beltway historians and the stabbing knives have evolved to executive orders and foreign policy arson.
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Obama didn’t throw Israel to the wolves out of any sort of ideological conviction. If so, he’s merely a coward. The UN has been attempting anti-Israeli resolutions for decades. The US, including under President Obama, has always stopped them before they gained traction by sounding the veto clarion. Now, under lame duck status, the Obama admin has decided to delegitimize the lone true democracy in that region by adding the teeth of international law to the Palestinian cause. It’s a cowardly act any way you slice it, but cowardice is not the motivating factor at play. This was malice. To make this sort of foreign policy move one month before a new administration takes over is the equivalent of selling someone a car after putting sugar in its gas tank. The Obama foreign policy has been an abject disaster by anyone’s measure and it appears that if Barry can’t do it, no one else should be allowed to either.
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As if that wasn’t enough to cement Obama’s legacy as the most petty, political and vindictive POTUS to ever hold the office, he made sure to ban offshore drilling in parts of the Atlantic and Arctic. Of course, the standard line was that he and his somehow-even-worse Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau were seeking to protect the environment. Strange how this became such an urgent priority when the winner of the presidential race promised to work toward energy independence by spurring a domestic energy revolution. This has nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with thwarting the plans of an incoming administration. In Obama world, thousands of good paying jobs are worthless if someone else gets the credit. In fact, they’re worse than worthless. It would make Obama look bad, and that simply can’t be allowed to happen.
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I have bad news for Mr. Obama, the constitutional scholar. His actions are not permanent, and he absolutely will look bad. In the end, this will ultimately serve as nothing more than a bureaucratic headache to be sorted out by the new Congress and Executive branch. These measures, meant to throw a wrench into the machinery of the Trump presidency, will be looked upon by history as nothing more or less than the most shameful temper tantrum ever recorded; one that willingly threw domestic and international politics into chaos for the sake of making the grownup’s job as hard as possible. Like a screaming child making his body limp in the Wal-Mart toy aisle, you may remove him, but he’s gonna make sure you’re carrying dead weight the entire way. What the tantrum-thrower himself doesn’t understand is that the chaos was already there. Eight years of leading from behind and projecting weakness on the world stage has already stacked the deck against the Trump presidency. These last couple months have merely shown why it was so important to reverse course from the Obama legacy in the first place.
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I’ve always said that Trump has an odd disinfectant effect on the political scene. He seems to bring out the true colors of everyone with a DC mailing address. It appears the Trump effect has finally made its way to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The man known for “hope and change” has resorted to “shock and awe” in his final days, all because he’s shocked that we’re not in awe of his presidency. Obama’s “yes men” may have insulated him from reality for two presidential terms, but they can’t make this go away. Reality is closing in fast, 17 days to be exact, and it’s a hard pill to swallow.
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The ego has landed. I just wish it needn’t be brought down to Earth for its ugliness to come into view.

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