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Former President Barack Hussein Obama still doesn’t get it — and at this rate, he never will.
In a recent interview with PEN America, the same man who’s spent over a decade smearing working-class Americans blamed the backlash he’d begun to suffer by his second year in office on the usual suspects whom he’s continually and habitually blamed all his problems on for years: Conservative media.
“I ended up getting enormous support in these pretty conservative, rural, largely white communities when I was a senator, and that success was repeated when I ran for president in the first race in Iowa,” he initially said during the interview.
This is true. Large swaths of conservatives and liberals alike eagerly voted for Obama in the hopes that he, the first black man elected to office, would usher in the “change” and “hope” he’d promised.
“By my second year in office, I’m not sure if I could make that same connection, because now those same people are filtering me through Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and an entire right-wing or conservative media infrastructure that was characterizing me in a way that suggested I looked down on those folks or had nothing in common with them,” he continued.
And there it was.
Listen to his full statement.
In Obama’s mind, the negative perception of him held by so many Americans stems entirely from conservative media’s portrayal of him. It’s simply inconceivable to a man of his ego that his own words and actions could possibly be at fault.
Never mind that in 2008 he smeared working-class American as “bitter” people who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
Never mind that in his latest memoir he demonizes President Donald Trump’s multiracial base of supporters, describing them as “millions of Americans” who were “spooked by a Black man in the White House.”
Never mind that he once admitted to having often purposefully sent then-Vice President Joe Biden to negotiate on his behalf because of his assumption that “any appearance of cooperation” with a black man would trigger Republicans.
Never mind that Obama’s administration promoted affirmative action, a patently racist college admissions policy that benefits blacks at the expense of everybody else.
And never mind all the Democrats and Independents who also expressed disappointment with him, be it over the effect the Affordable Care Act had on their healthcare premiums, or be it because of his thirst for blood.
And in one of the dark, ironic tragedies showing the permanence and evils of US imperialism: on October 13, 2011, the U.S. military under President Obama killed her US-born 16-year-old brother, Abdulrahman, with a drone strike https://t.co/CDrpzVDfcm https://t.co/KZqxFl1kAD
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 30, 2018
“Obama terrorizes innocent Pakistanis on an almost daily basis. The drone war he is waging in North Waziristan isn’t ‘precise’ or ‘surgical’ as he would have Americans believe. It kills hundreds of innocents, including children,” Conor Friedersdorf, a civil libertarian, angrily wrote before the 2012 presidential election.
“Obama established one of the most reckless precedents imaginable: that any president can secretly order and oversee the extrajudicial killing of American citizens. Obama’s kill list transgresses against the Constitution as egregiously as anything George W. Bush ever did.”
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, a true liberal, has frequently issued the same complaints about Obama and, more specifically, the former president’s excuses and lies:
2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner explains his preferences for how to kill people, falsely asserts that — after some unspecified number of years of the bombs falling on weddings and schools — that his conscience was activated and he imposed greater controls. https://t.co/DMfxoEPwjG
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) December 1, 2020
But in Obama’s mind, none of these complaints exist. It’s just him against that dastardly conservative media infrastructure.”
“Part of what changed is that back then, if I went into a small town in southern Illinois, I could probably visit the local editor of the newspaper — who might be a conservative guy with a bow tie and a crew cut, probably doesn’t have much use for Democrats, generally — but you know, was somebody who adhered to journalistic norms, was curious, was interested, believed in facts,” Obama continued in his interview.
“I could sit down with that guy, and he might write an editorial saying, he’s a young liberal kid from Chicago, but seems sensible, had some good ideas. And so, that’s how people were receiving me — with a different set of assumptions than they would today. And it’s yet one more example of how the connections that I may see may get harder to make if we’re only understanding people through our phones and our screens and we’re not having the face-to-face conversations where, by virtue of that conversation and experience, we can recognize ourselves in each other.”
Sure, except he’s done the exact same thing countless times to conservatives of all stripes, from the president to conservative media personalities like Sean Hannity and Limbaugh — as well as struggling working class Americans.
In fact, he’s always resorted to crass generalizations — “they’re racist,” “they’re bitter,” “they’re sexist,” “they’re Islamophobes,” “they’re this,” “they’re that” — whenever he’s felt frustrated by opposing ideas and thoughts, whenever he hasn’t gotten his way and whenever he’s tried to explain away his own failures.
His mistake this whole time has been assuming the public couldn’t see through him.
Newsflash: They could.
Or, when he first ran for President, he was a relatively unknown entity (and wasn’t Hillary) and people were willing to give him a chance. After a year in office we could see him for who he actually was through his policies and said “no thanks”.
— Rebecca Peterson (@Rebecca66839144) December 10, 2020
Mr. Inflexible has no one to blame but himself for losing conservative support. Soon after becoming President Obama made it clear it was his way or the highway. Anyone disagreeing with him on important issues was “on the wrong side of history.” He demonized his opposition.
— Phillip Ruland (@Rulo123) December 10, 2020
This always has been and always will be @BarackObama problem. He blames everyone else for his failures, problems, etc. and never takes any responsibility, which shows such incredible weakness as a leader and a person.
— Don C. Williams, Jr. (@blackdontrump) December 10, 2020
Yep, had nothing to do with his own rhetoric and the way he talked about conservatives and their values. Nope, it couldn’t be that.
— Deplorable Kraken for Trump (@Wolf53The) December 10, 2020
So typical for him to blame someone for his own failures.. he never had a connection with true conservatives and he further destroyed any chance of that with his distain for us
— Donna Jean (@donna_jean4) December 10, 2020
There was never a connection, just division and his abhorrence for the Constitution.
— Amy (@AmyDMit) December 10, 2020
I voted for him in 2008. I can assure him, he destroyed it all by himself. Fox and @RealRLimbaugh did not implement his policies – he did.
That vote will remain the most embarrassing thing I’ve done in my life, and that’s saying something…
— Middle Brownie (@MiddleBrownie) December 10, 2020
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