FOR THE HISTORY BOOKS: Barack Obama’s Cartoonish Presidency

Written by Steve Pauwels on February 10, 2017

Well, less than three weeks out and Barack Obama had already chucked the George-W-Bush approach to ex-presidenting (i.e., remain silent and invisible). January 3O he released through his spokesman an opinion on newly elected Donald Trump’s temporary immigration restrictions: “[T]he President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.”

Considering the manner in which he departed office — hey, in which he conducted himself his entire span in office — you’d think BHO might want to stay out of the spotlight a spell; perhaps grant those reeling from the fall-out of his eight-year administration an opportunity to forget about him.

Guess again.

Indeed, although both Barack Obama’s terms were an ordeal for clear-headed, Constitutionalist, God-and-Country-loving Americans, his final-days’ antics were still downright shocking, if not surprising, to many of us. This failed Chief Executive apparently was determined to leave the White House as a cartoon character; a parodic stereotype of some of the worst things his detractors had concluded about him long ago.

It would be risible — if it weren’t so infuriating.

His last full month as Leader-of-the-Free-World, Obama unfurled a pair of initiatives which economist Mark Hendrickson tagged “the perfect exclamation point to his entire presidency”. First, December 20: He “declared millions of acres in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans to be forever off-limits to development of the massive hydrocarbon resources that are there.” Eight days later? He “designated 1.65 million acres of land in Utah and Nevada as ‘national monuments’, effectively blocking them from economic development, too.”

Unequivocally, this post-election one-two punch were targeting “evil” “fossil-fuel gorging” America — her energy security, free markets and standard of living; another Obama-engineered whack at the knee caps of our economy and vital energy sector. Once more, Hendrickson: “[Obama’s] antipathy for private property has never been clearer” — practically a living caricature; as he’s strutting out the White House door, no less.

Who needs editorial cartoonists?

But there’s more …

A couple days before Christmas, the United States stepped aside before a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning further Israeli settlements in the so-called “occupied territories, including East Jerusalem” (i.e., land belonging to Israel (!). The beleaguered Jewish nation exercises its right to build on property it properly controls, a hissingly anti-Israel world community formally objects, and the Obama State Department and UN ambassador settle on studied neutrality, abandoning to global, anti-Semitic predations America’s most stalwart Middle Eastern ally. summarizes, the gesture “represented perhaps the final bitter chapter in the years of antagonism between President Barack Obama’s administration and Netanyahu’s government.”

Charles Krauthammer classifies it Barack Obama’s “most shameful …legacy moment”.

Meanwhile, our erstwhile Commander-in-Chief wasn’t yet finished …

A mere three days before he’d be hitching a ride out of town on “Marine One”, the then-president commuted the fully deserved thirty-five-year sentence of the traitorous Bradley (“Chelsea”) Manning. He’s the emotionally addled Army Private First Class who shuttled WikiLeaks’ way hundreds of thousands of classified/sensitive military and government documents. Despite his 2013 conviction on six counts of espionage and fourteen other charges, despite his undeniably imperiling the lives and safety of U.S. troops and Intelligence assets and hampering the Intel Community’s effectiveness, the transgender Manning will be a free man May 2017.

That wasn’t the end of Obama’s justice-subverting-palooza: Amidst his clemency-granting tally — well over 1900 individuals (significantly exceeding the combined total of the previous five presidents) — Obama set into motion steps to spring imprisoned Oscar Lopez Rivera. He’s the Puerto Rican nationalist/terrorist, a self-professed “enemy of the state” who, in the 1970s and ’80s, was a honcho of Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña (FMLN), murderous militants responsible for planting 130 bombs in cities across the country; which destroyed property, took the lives of six victims and injured dozens more. Sentenced in 1981 to a combined seventy-years’ incarceration, Rivera, like Manning, will walk before this summer.

Is it unreasonable concluding these shenanigans firm up suspicions “Mr. Hope-and Change” is not a big law-enforcement aficionado?

Also worth mentioning: the soon-to-be-former president’s last morning in office — literally scant hours before his departure — witnessed his transferring nearly one-quarter-billion dollars to the Palestinian Authority; over Congressional objections, mind you.

It’s all like a Saturday Night Live skit — except instead of an amusing impersonator, it stars the actual Barack Obama.

Granted, for a long time there’ve been hints — bullhorn blasts, actually — of where Barack Obama’s passions and loyalties rest. In unguarded moments he’s repeatedly and memorably laid out his leftist/secularist/statist soul for all to observe:

Recall: “spread the wealth around“. That’d be Obama the Socialist/Marxist popping off; then his “they cling to guns or religion” snark — Obama the elitist. “I don’t want [my daughters] punished with a baby” exposed BHO the abortion true-believer. How about: “[A]rgue with [people], get in their faces“. The authoritarian/bully Obama slipped out there.

Those unbuttoned flashes were troubling enough. But Obama’s parting gifts to the nation? Katy bar the door, there’s a radical-progressive cartoon character on the loose!

Predictably, the campaign to polish BHO’s record is underway, ceremonially kicked off last month in downtown Chicago at his much-ballyhooed “Farewell Speech”. Methinks it will continue apace for many years to come – an exhausting thought, frankly.

Honest brokers, nonetheless, must resolve to keep future generations up-to-speed: the bursts of bigger-than-life, nearly self-satirical Leftism ignited during Obama’s fading residency at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue were not incongruous glitches. They vividly and usefully expressed, in fact, the man’s pulsating core; “acts not of calculation but of authenticity … Obama being Obama” (Krauthammer). His two-term presidency’s fecklessness can be laid comprehensively at the feet of Barack Obama’s essence.

His successor, meantime, even as he’s taken a handful of steps and volunteered a smattering of utterances that have heartened an American electorate weary of Barack-Obama-shaped zaniness, has demonstrated his own sizable capacity for cartoonishness. It’d be intensely gratifying if, in the years ahead, the farcical ignominy of president number forty-four would serve as effective warning to guide number forty-five.

Image: CC By-SA 2.0; Modified from:

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Steve Pauwels is pastor of Church of the King, Londonderry, NH and host of Striker Radio with Steve Pauwels on the Red State Talk Radio Network. He's also husband to the lovely Maureen and proud father of three fine sons: Mike, Sam and Jake.