January 11, 2017

As promised in the previous post, I'm going to "live-blog" my reading of Obama's Farewell Address.

Full text and video here. I'm dropping all the "(APPLAUSE)" and "Thank you"s and much else. I'm going to be selective quoting from the transcript.
We’re on live TV here, I’ve got to move.... You can tell that I’m a lame duck, because nobody is following instructions.
People were applauding too much, eating into the time. He didn't have to choose to do live prime-time TV, but having chosen it, he could have made the speech very short or his people could have done something to limit the applause. But at least the early excessive applause made an opportunity for him to say something self-effacing. (And yet, was he saying that if he were not a lame duck, he could get us all to snap to following instructions? Seems dictatorish.)
But tonight it’s my turn to say thanks.... [M]y conversations with you, the American people — in living rooms and in schools; at farms and on factory floors; at diners and on distant military outposts — those conversations are what have kept me honest, and kept me inspired, and kept me going. And every day, I have learned from you. You made me a better president, and you made me a better man.
Nicely humble. I don't remember much emphasis on conversation with ordinary Americans, but it's a nice idea, even if it's not honest. It's a riddle then isn't it? It's like the man who wasn't there. What kept him honest? Or is the point: See? I'm being transparently dishonest, claiming honesty, and you love me anyway. That's how good a man I am. Good at rhetoric that makes the crowd in the big room applaud, and who knows what's going on in the living rooms on the other side of the TV?

But Obama's party just lost the election, and whatever good he did was not good enough to propel the project forward. That's the problem to be addressed. But Obama drifts back to the past to when he "first came to Chicago... searching for a purpose to my life... working with church groups... witness[ing] the power of faith, and the quiet dignity of working people in the face of struggle and loss."

Somehow that musing over quiet unleashes a chant in the room: "4 more years! 4 more years!"

It's a presidential farewell address, and the historical reference is to George Washington, whose farewell address was all about 8 years being enough. How obtuse the crowd is! And it's obtuse for Obama to respond as he does: "I can’t do that."

He can't because the Constitution had to be amended when one President failed to follow Washington's example. It would have been better to honor the wisdom of  George Washington and say that 8 years is enough for any one man. Squelch the impression that you longed for 4 more years.

But I know it must hurt that his would-be legacy-keeper lost. He'd like to believe the people would not have voted for change if only they'd had the option of voting for even more continuity than Hillary embodied.

Obama gets back to the idea of himself as a young man in Chicago, where he "learned that change only happens when ordinary people get involved." He still believes in the importance of ordinary people in politics. The human masses devolve into an impersonal "it" in what seems intended to be another example of Obama's soaring rhetoric:
And it’s not just my belief. It’s the beating heart of our American idea — our bold experiment in self-government.

It’s the conviction that we are all created equal, endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It’s the insistence that these rights, while self-evident, have never been self-executing; that We, the People, through the instrument of our democracy, can form a more perfect union.
These are great, but very familiar ideas, plugged in summarily as if they naturally followed from Obama's early Chicago years as a community organizer. More standard notions tumble out, as though this were the brainstormed first draft. We have "individual dreams," but we "strive together" for the "common good." We got immigrants and "gave... lives" fighting wars and fighting for civil rights.

The next section is about America's flaws. He intones the cliché "two steps forward... one step back." Then he lists his achievements: Cuba, the Iran agreement, killing bin Laden, same-sex marriage, Obamacare. Then he observes that the new President is about to enter. He leaves it to us to assume that's the 2 steps forward, one step back.

We have to have to make it work. We must "meet... challenges" and "remain the wealthiest, most powerful, and most respected nation on earth." The word "remain" there seems like a response to Trump's "Make America great again." America is great. We just need to stay great.
Our youth, our drive, our diversity and openness, our boundless capacity for risk and reinvention means that the future should be ours. 
Well, that last election sure demonstrated "our boundless capacity for risk and reinvention." That's a nice gloss on what happened. To choose Hillary would have been too safe, too risk averse. That's not who we are.

The topic becomes "democracy." It's very abstract and wordy. A genuflection to democracy. That gives way to economics. Economics are important too. Economics and democracy are then merged:
[S]tark inequality is... corrosive to our democratic idea.
But what can we do? Obama say "there’re no quick fixes," and:
I agree, our trade should be fair and not just free. 
I guess that means he agrees with Trump.
But the next wave of economic dislocations won’t come from overseas. It will come from the relentless pace of automation that makes a lot of good middle class jobs obsolete.
That's the stock anti-Trump response. The real problem isn't cheap labor from non-Americans. It's robots.
And so we’re going to have to forge a new social compact to guarantee all our kids the education they need.
That's the pivot to the next big issue. Democracy and economics have been hit and merged. Time to talk about education, which, I assume, will be the slow fix for the aforementioned democracy and economics problems.

Oh, no. I'm wrong. Education is just the first item on a short list that also includes unions, the "social safety net," and the tax code. These are just means that "[w]e can argue about." They take us toward goals that "we can’t be complacent about." What goals? I think the goals are supposed to be a great democracy and a great economy. But he doesn't explicitly state the goals at this point. This actually turns out to be a segue into warning us about threats.

Obama speaks of "disaffection and division" and the "never realistic" vision of "a post-racial America." Without saying it explicitly, he frames the last election in terms of a racial/ethnic divide:
If every economic issue is framed as a struggle between a hardworking white middle class and an undeserving minority, then workers of all shades are going to be left fighting for scraps while the wealthy withdraw further into their private enclaves.

If we’re unwilling to invest in the children of immigrants, just because they don’t look like us, we will diminish the prospects of our own children — because those brown kids will represent a larger and larger share of America’s workforce.
In addition to the wealthy in "their private enclaves," there are all the people who "retreat into our own bubbles" where we indulge in "naked partisanship." 
And increasingly we become so secure in our bubbles that we start accepting only information, whether it’s true or not, that fits our opinions, instead of basing our opinions on the evidence that is out there.
The fake news problem. The Fox News problem. The Trump-is-on-Twitter problem. Obama resorts to what's been a stock argument with Democrats since the election: We need a "common baseline of facts." That always sounds to me like longing for a time when liberal mainstream media filtered the facts. That's over. What are you going to do about it? The facts are open to debate now, and many voices can be heard. If you really love democracy, why aren't you thrilled?

This idea of a common baseline of facts sets up the topic of climate change, which leads to the importance of science and a "faith in reason and enterprise" and "order based... on principles, the rule of law, human rights, freedom of religion and speech and assembly and an independent press."

This invocation of "order" gives Obama a chance to briefly decry "violent fanatics who claim to speak for Islam" and "autocrats in foreign capitals." Obama makes the claim that during his 8-year administration, "no foreign terrorist organization has successfully planned and executed an attack on our homeland." He proceeds to mention "Boston and Orlando and San Bernardino and Fort Hood," but those don't fit the category. They simply "remind us of how dangerous radicalization can be." Obama also takes credit for having "ended torture, worked to close Gitmo, [and] reformed our laws governing surveillance to protect privacy and civil liberties."

Now, we begin to move in for a landing. Obama calls us to become politically engaged. He lists the kinds of people he's seen over the last 7 years — hopeful young people, "grieving families," "doctors and volunteer." He calls out to his wife:
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson of the South Side... for the past 25 years you have not only been my wife and mother of my children, you have been my best friend...
He calls out to his daughters (though only Malia is in the room):
Malia and Sasha...under the strangest of circumstances you have become two amazing young women.
You are smart and you are beautiful. But more importantly, you are kind and you are thoughtful and you are full of passion....
He calls out to his favorite male character:
To Joe Biden... the scrappy kid from Scranton....
He calls out to every hung-up person in the whole wide universe... I mean:
...  to all of you out there — every organizer who moved to an unfamiliar town, every kind family who welcomed them in, every volunteer who knocked on doors, every young person who cast a ballot for the first time, every American who lived and breathed the hard work of change...
He says he's "even more optimistic about this country than when we started." He shifts into the text of his own old best speech, which becomes the end of this last speech:
I am asking you to hold fast to that faith written into our founding documents; that idea whispered by slaves and abolitionists; that spirit sung by immigrants and homesteaders and those who marched for justice; that creed reaffirmed by those who planted flags from foreign battlefields to the surface of the moon; a creed at the core of every American whose story is not yet written:

Yes, we can.

Yes, we did.

Yes, we can.

112 comments:

David Begley said...

From Heatstreet,"Never one to shy from making it all about himself (take, for instance his penchant to Tweet out photos of himself when someone famous dies), the President used the word “I” a whopping 47 times, according to the text of the speech."

My over/under was 30.

donald said...

How many children could have been fed, clothed or educated for what it cost to get that asswipe to Chicago for this masturbatory exercise?

MayBee said...

Hahahahaha! Ordinary people like the celebrities (the most vilified people in America!) who were invited to his party last Friday.

The celebrities get a personal party with the president. The people get to listen to him talk at them.

Jeff Teal said...

Thanks Ann for doing that.Personally I was more annoyed that I couldn't find any realnews on TV until nearly 1am. And then it was CNNs continuing as a conduit for Prog left dezinformatzia
Barry lying about himself isn't news.No wonder he so admired Fidel.

FleetUSA said...

"[MORE TO COME]"

Normally I enjoy your commentary but I'm not sure I can take any more of BH0's fantasizing about his life story with applause and weeping.

exhelodrvr1 said...

No doubt the progressive punditocracy will be horrified at his references to faith, and will not hesitate to say so.

MayBee said...

Obama has a vision of himself as president that is truly inspiring. He has such high regard for the job he did, and the person he is.

David Begley said...

Isn't Chevy the beating heart of America?

traditionalguy said...

This Big Brother propaganda was carried live without interruption on every TV and cable channel in the world. Therefore, it had all the ratings, proving World Government is not a Conspiracy Theory.

Original Mike said...

The transcript doesn't allow you to see the faces of the audience. They were enraptured. It was disturbing. Thank God for the 22nd amendment.

Curious George said...

"donald said...
How many children could have been fed, clothed or educated for what it cost to get that asswipe to Chicago for this masturbatory exercise?"

The whole fucking world if you gave them Michelle lunches.

Can we flush these turds now?

Matthew Sablan said...

The applause were the point of the speech, as well as encouraging the revisionist posts about how tough Obama had it and how great he was. His two biggest domestic efforts, the ACA and stimulus, failed. The cost curve bent up and we lost economic ground under the stimulus. Foreign policy wise, China and Russia have hacked us. The Middle East is more destabilized than before. Thanks Obama.

Matthew Sablan said...

Of course he wants four more years. It has never been about respect or rule of law with his administration. Just naked, partisan power plays.

Unknown said...

Obama gives a world class speech, Trump tweets denials about getting pissed on by Russian prostitutes.

Hagar said...

A legend in his own mind.

rhhardin said...

[S]tark inequality is... corrosive to our democratic idea.

Agreement with American rules is what makes you American.

The rules make equal opportunity possible.

It's stable because you're better off with American rules than without.

Obama appeals instead to the seven deadly sins as the source of well being.

AllenS said...

Just how much applause would he have received, had he said: "and... I also added 10 trillion dollars to the deficit." You know damned good and well that the Unknowns would have applauded.

Hagar said...

Some people are just made to fit trite old sayings.

Matthew Sablan said...

For a speech to be world class, it needs to do or say something special. Think Gettysburg or The Day that Will Live in Infamy. Nothing Obama said is new. It is boiler plate Obama self congratulations and claptrap. It was a waste of everyone's time.

Unknown said...

Trump's speeches were special, yes indeed.

MayBee said...

People love him and his family too much. Including the people who are supposed to hold him accountable.

It will be good to have a president they don't love so much. We shouldn't love love love the president. We shouldn't feel we weren't good enough for him (which I see a lot on Facebook).

That said, I'm not looking forward to the CIA openly blackmailing our president, either.

David Begley said...

The Daily Caller, "Obama said “I” 33 times during the speech, “my” 20 times, “me” 10 times, and “I’m” or “I’ve” 12 times." 75 total.

Unknown said...

No one cares that the man they voted for was pissed on by Russian prostitutes and was compromised by Putin, isn't that special? You people are special.

Unknown said...

Trump, "Only I can do it!"

Original Mike said...

Inga seems to have a hankering for President Pence.

Robert Cook said...

To the very end, he's a flim-flam man, a flimsy flim-flam man.

MayBee said...

No one cares that the man they voted for was pissed on by Russian prostitutes and was compromised by Putin, isn't that special? You people are special.

I care that the CIA is obviously blackmailing the President Elect.
Don't you feel like that's pretty dangerous?

PB said...

How interesting that he admitted to George Stephanopoulos that he lives in a bubble. His perception of reality has always been distorted.

1. Sheltered up-bringing
2. Private education
3. Liberal political environment of Chicago
4. Presidential cocoon.

why should we listen to anything he says?

sdharms said...

He never has figured out that we don't have a democracy. We have a republic. A democracy is when two wolves and a sheep decide what to have for lunch.

Eleanor said...

A simple "Thank you for your hospitality" card sent after he leaves the White House would have been sufficient.

Matthew Sablan said...

I don't think that had Trump visited prostitutes, we would just be hearing about it now.

Robert Cook said...

"No one cares that the man they voted for was pissed on by Russian prostitutes and was compromised by Putin, isn't that special? You people are special."

I deplore the bullying imbecile about to become out President, but there's no proof this report is true, or even of its provenance. And, it didn't say Trump was peed on by prostitutes, but that he paid to watch prostitutes pee on the bed in the Presidential Suite of the Ritz-Carlton in Russia where the Obamas stayed. Which is to say, Trump allegedly derived some sort of satisfaction in seeing the Obamas' bed soaked in urine. A ludicrous story, and even if true, hardly the most objectionable thing about Trump.

MayBee said...

I also think Obama needed to rub this in Hillary's face.

MayBee said...

The prosititute story doesn't work, because if the prostitutes peed on Obama's bed and were in a hotel room that had cameras in it, that means Obama also stayed in a room that had cameras in it.

Matthew Sablan said...

For that to be true, think of all the things that had to happen to suppress it. First, literally no one but Trump and the prostitutes could know, because if they did, the way his campaign leaked, some journalists or Clinton operative would have been told.

Next, the man who doesn't drink and thinks that he can charm any woman would have to decide to buy a prostitute and admit to himself he isn't that amazing.

Unknown said...

George Takei tweet: Tinkle tinkle little star, Putin put you where you are.

Matthew Sablan said...

I am glad everyone takes Russia seriously now. I just wish they had when Obama promised them more flexibility after the election too.

Darrell said...

Listen lefties. The Trump golden shower story was concocted by 4Chan idiots out of whole cloth. It did not happen. It was more fake news from the left and pimply-faced adolescents making the news media and intelligence agencies look like the fools they are. You got the piss in your faces.

David Begley said...

The Ritz Carlton can clear much of this up. If the report is true, there should be a bill for a ruined bed along with the testimony of the people that removed the bed from the room.

Unknown said...

"How interesting that he admitted to George Stephanopoulos that he lives in a bubble. His perception of reality has always been distorted.

1. Sheltered up-bringing
2. Private education
3. Liberal political environment of Chicago
4. Presidential cocoon.

why should we listen to anything he says?"

Trump wasn't sheltered, oh no he roamed the mean streets of New York and ate out of garbage cans.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Pissgate looks to be a hoax, believed in only by drooling morons like the Stupid Unknown, who betrays a creepy obsession with Trump's supposed sex life.

But hey, if it turns out Trump is being blackmailed by the CIA, I'm perfectly happy with President Pence, who is much more solidly conservative than Trump. Doesn't President Pence have a nice ring to it, Unknown?


I'm just happy to see our first Affirmative Action president leave the Oval Office for good. Looks like America hit you in the ass in the way out the door, Barry!

Bay Area Guy said...

Here's the meat of Obama's claimed achievements;

"If I had told you eight years ago that America would reverse a great recession, reboot our auto industry, and unleash the longest stretch of job creation in our history -- if I had told you that we would open up a new chapter with the Cuban people, shut down Iran's nuclear weapons program without firing a shot, take out the mastermind of 9-11 -- if I had told you that we would win marriage equality and secure the right to health insurance for another 20 million of our fellow citizens -- if I had told you all that, you might have said our sights were set a little too high."

Sorry, not buying it. Each of those items can be scrutinized for exaggeration and/or outright dishonesty. "..a new chapter with the Cuban people?" More like a new chapter with the Cuban dictator, Raul Castro. Health Insurance? What a joke. Welcome to the 30-hour work week without benefits.

I don't dislike Obama as a man. But if his policies were so good, where are his political coattails and why did Republicans win at every level of government after him?

Matthew Sablan said...

Obama the man is the guy who when asked. Should we insult McCain over his physical handicap and inability to use a keyboard due to his being tortured, said yes, and then forced Biden to retract his statement saying that the ad was in poor taste. That forever soured me on Obama the man.

MayBee said...

Matthew Sablan said...
I am glad everyone takes Russia seriously now. I just wish they had when Obama promised them more flexibility after the election too.
================
I don't get why that doesn't get more attention in this whole "Trump is too close to Putin" hysteria.


Meade said...

"A democracy is when two wolves and a sheep decide what to have for lunch."

Not always. But that is a danger, always potential, in democracies. Partisanship, sectionalism, petty prejudice, rule by personality above principle. It was a primary theme and warning in Washington's farewell address. Btw, Washington never used the word "democracy" in his address.

Laslo Spatula said...

Obama’s Farewell Speech (First Draft Excerpts)

America, I felt your love. But we know love is not enough: with Love their must be Hope. And I truly Hoped your Hope, as the American People, would help me to raise you to new heights…

America: you and I, we went together like chocolate and peanut butter, right? Everyone loves peanut butter and chocolate. But, after eight years, you seem to have grown tired of the chocolate: you have chosen to go with just peanut butter. Chunky oily orange peanut butter, You know that’s going to stick to the roof of your mouth, America? You’ve seen a dog eating peanut butter, right? America, that is not what I would have chosen for you, but I know much of what I have done for you will take many of you years to truly understand…

But I saw myself as more than just the chocolate with your peanut butter: I also saw myself as the Jam. But some Americans, they are fearful of a Black Man’s Jam. As Beyonce once so eloquently said, “I Don’t Think You’re Ready For This Jelly, and perhaps you weren’t…

One of my few regrets during these past eight years is that eight years wasn’t enough time to properly heal our nation’s racial wounds. America may accept chocolate frosting, but beneath it you still desire white cake…

But there is more than Race to the American Story. There are others that have been marginalized, and a such I am proud of the help I have given to the Gay Community: THEY seemed to appreciate a Black Man’s Jam, and they WERE ready for this jelly…

I’m going to tell you a funny, self-effacing story here: this is just you and me talking, right America? I am writing this at four in the morning while watching Sports Center and I am stoned out of my mind. Sometimes a Brother has got to chill, especially after being all Presidential all day. And the White House staff, they can’t seem to bring the snacks fast enough, and I see that in you, America: the Change couldn’t come fast enough. It is almost like the Change needed four more years to arrive in full, and I regret being legally bound from giving you those years…

I will promise you this, America: I will always be around. I will be there to tell you what I believe about the events of the years and decades to come, and I hope you will benefit from this: I am NOT going away. And I may sometimes tell you what you don’t want to hear: not all chocolate is milk chocolate, sometimes the chocolate is dark and maybe even seems bitter to you…

So I will leave you with this, America, words from the great Jay-Z: ““I’m a mirror. If you’re cool with me, I’m cool with you, and the exchange starts. What you see is what you reflect. If you don’t like what you see, then you’ve done something. If I’m standoffish, that’s because you are…”

I am Laslo.

AprilApple said...

"But tonight it’s my turn to say thanks.... [M]y conversations with you, the American people — in living rooms and in schools; at farms and on factory floors; at diners and on distant military outposts — those conversations are what have kept me honest, and kept me inspired, and kept me going. And every day, I have learned from you. You made me a better president, and you made me a better man."

Tripe. Meaningless empty tripe. Any pol could cough up that hair ball. The left/fascist democrats do not care at all about anyone except wealthy hollywood and pop star elites - and the money they bring.

AprilApple said...

Obama - all the robot builders give heavily to the corruptocrat party.

AllenS said...

"... those conversations are what have kept me honest, and kept me inspired, and kept me going. And every day, I have learned from you. You made me a better president, and you made me a better man, so, let me repeat, if you like you doctor, you can keep your doctor, and if you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance."

MayBee said...

Part of the story yesterday was the FBI tried to get a FISA warrant to surveil Trump's campaign team.

How does that make you feel, America? The party in power trying to spy on their campaign opponent.

AprilApple said...

Then in turned into yet another Obama lecture. We are all racists.

Hagar said...

They never did pay attention to what he said or did; Obama always was a plaster figurine carried at the head of the procession for them.

Matthew Sablan said...

Hah. Obama is like Nixon.

David Begley said...

"But without bolder action, our children won’t have time to debate the existence of climate change. They’ll be busy dealing with its effects. More environmental disasters, more economic disruptions, waves of climate refugees seeking sanctuary. Now we can and should argue about the best approach to solve the problem. But to simply deny the problem not only betrays future generations, it betrays the essential spirit of this country, the essential spirit of innovation and practical problem-solving that guided our founders."

Please. More disasters? Name the first one. Climate refugees? How about the real refugees out of Syria? This prediction of apocalyptic doom makes Obama look foolish. All of the past predictions of doom have been dead wrong.

The fear card won't work any more.

Curious George said...

"But tonight it’s my turn to say thanks.... [M]y conversations with you, the American people — in living rooms and in schools; at farms and on factory floors; at diners and on distant military outposts — those conversations are what have kept me honest, and kept me inspired, and kept me going. And every day, I have learned from you. You made me a better president, and you made me a better man."

So where are my waffles?

Matthew Sablan said...

So, Obama spied on his opponents and unfriendly journalists. He's everything the left feared Bush was, except on their side.

buwaya said...

The Obama speech does seem like boilerplate.

The interesting thing here is he does mention divisions. That is unquestionably true. And it is unavoidable enough that the boilerplate-writers had to plug something in.

IRL, he was in a position to do something about that, but did not even make an attempt at anything but, at various times, wishing in public, which is all that he has done in any case.

He obviously isnt the decider. He never had any initiative or imagination, nor any creative impulse. He never could surprise.

One cant help but get the impression that he is a programmed man, a tool for others doing the deciding, a manikin with suitable charisma for the purpose of reciting words that aren't his, or rather a selected actor brought in by a casting agency to suit a conventional, idealized mold by a committee of people writing scripts for some fictional TV series. I have to say that if so the writers are trite and the committee process washed all the creativity out.

Unlike Trump of course, who cant be prevented from using his own words. Trump is the very opposite of the programmed man, a set of bizarre traits and circumstances that only reality creates. Reality is always stranger than fiction.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

He intones the cliché "two steps forward... one step back." Then he lists his achievements: Cuba, the Iran agreement, killing bin Laden, same-sex marriage, Obamacare.

Why didn't he list any of the steps forward?

MayBee said...

What is the CIA up to, that they are so afraid of Trump becoming president?

JML said...

"...and who knows what's going on in the living rooms on the other side of the TV?"

I was reading a book and my wife was watching a chick flick.

We are both very angry with the intel service. They are no longer seen as patriots putting the country first. Scary times.

Chris N said...

I think the rhetoric, the acting, the glamour...that little reality he creates where progressive/activist ideals are synthesized with our 'founders' etc. Is his real talent/genius. Competent on a some issues, mostly wrongheaded and disastrous on so many issues...he's failed more quickly and history is catching up with this a president faster than any I can remember

I see him a bit as the show pony of the faculty lounge, the bi-racial hope receptacle of the black church and inner city., more comfortable in writing/rhetoric than experience/action.

He might need to believe in the applause/popularity so much because he's so much happier in surfaces and intentions than reality and results....

I'm guessing the warmth and glow of the post-Presidency limelight call even now...

Hagar said...

They were rally applauding themselves; not him.

madAsHell said...

He delivered the speech like he was a spectator at Wimbledon.

There was an applause sign to help the adoring crowd.

MadisonMan said...

My Facebook feed is littered with tear-filled hyperventilating over the exit of a President.

My reaction to them.

David said...

Your point that Obama is completely insensitive to the spirit of the Washington example is powerful.

Darrell said...

What is the CIA up to, that they are so afraid of Trump becoming president?

Obama filled up the intelligence services with a bunch of Democrat political hacks. Things will be back to normal when the Trump people ferret them out.

Amadeus 48 said...

Thanks for this. You read it so I don't have to. Also, the commenters here are to be commended for their additional insights. The I, me, my talley was particularly arresting, for it shows definitively that this man has learned nothing in eight years as the commander-in-chief of our nation. In his own mind it has all been about him--not about us.
That is his definitive limitation.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, have you ever considered that Barack Obama is merely a high-functioning sociopath?

But Obama can rest assured that he really does have a legacy. The legacy's name is Donald Trump.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

My favorite tweet (by John Lindner) in response to Obama's claim regarding terrorist organizations planning and executing attacks:

"No left-handed Swede has committed an axe murder in Peoria since I was elected!"

Oso Negro said...

The sine qua non of Obama's elevation to office was the fact that he was a mulatto. A mellifluos mulatto to be sure, but he got to the Presidency by virtue of his skin color. It will be enormously interesting to discover (if one lives long enough) what secrets were in his past. What the White House was like in his time. But that is probably a long way off. We will be reading bullshit like the fake 4Chan story about Trump. I, for one, was sorry to learn it was a fake. It would have been much more interesting to know that we have a President who would have Russian prostitutes piss in a bed just because Obama slept in it.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Here are the numbers of I/me/my:

I: 39
me: 19
my: 31

What a narcissist.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

What a narcissist.

Point of clarification: those numbers are from Washington's farewell address.

lemondog said...

Obama's farewell address longer than Reagan's, Clinton's and George W. Bush's combined

Zzzzzzzzzz........so glad I avoided it.

Robert Cook said...

"'If I had told you eight years ago that America would reverse a great recession, reboot our auto industry, and unleash the longest stretch of job creation in our history -- if I had told you that we would open up a new chapter with the Cuban people, shut down Iran's nuclear weapons program without firing a shot, take out the mastermind of 9-11 -- if I had told you that we would win marriage equality and secure the right to health insurance for another 20 million of our fellow citizens -- if I had told you all that, you might have said our sights were set a little too high.'

"Sorry, not buying it. Each of those items can be scrutinized for exaggeration and/or outright dishonesty"


Absolutely! He struts as a champion for the people when he's always been an abject servant of the plutocrats...no different than his prececessors.

AJ Lynch said...

The American people will one day recognize Obama performed, in his presidency, like the 11th man on an NBA team. He had very little impact on the results of the game.

Trump, on the other hand, has the potential to be like Allen Iverson who was a Hall of Famer on the court and had a great positive impact on his team's performance yet was also known for off the court behavior.

Who would you prefer to have on your team?

Matthew Sablan said...

This new chapter with the Cuban people is because of zero things Obama did, and completely predicated on the fact that a dictator happened to die while he was in office. Pretty weak tea "accomplishment."

Matthew Sablan said...

"Who would you prefer to have on your team?"

-- That matters on how good the rest of the team is. The better the team, the more I'd like to have Mr. Doesn't Ruin Everything Average Man vs. Mr. Really Great But Causes Problems Man.

buwaya said...

You know, the only thing creative, unusual, or unique about Obama was his origin story, full of unusual or bizarre characters, juxtapositions and circumstances, as well as fascinating uncertainties. Thats because reality wrote that story, and because the protagonist is a small child, acted upon and reacted to, the mcguffin around which the interesting people do their thing. He was more a prop even than an actor in that.
On his own unfortunately he is not real enough, and is still just an actor, and very often merely a prop.

MayBee said...

If I had told you eight years ago .....if I had told you that we would win marriage equality

Yeah, if you had told people that eight years ago, they would have asked why your platform was marriage was between a man and a woman.

tcrosse said...

Why do bad things always happen to him ?
"But I know it must hurt that his would-be legacy-keeper lost. He'd like to believe the people would not have voted for change if only they'd had the option of voting for even more continuity than Hillary embodied."

Robert Cook said...

"What is the CIA up to, that they are so afraid of Trump becoming president?"

I doubt they're "afraid" of Trump--and have no doubt they are up to all sorts of corrupt, dirty, criminal behavior--they're just doing their work for the establishment to pressure Trump not to undo the agenda of this nation's rulers, not to reestablish a detente with Russia. Fomenting hatred, suspicion, and fear of Russia is important to justify the further diminishment of the people's rights and freedoms, the further expansion of our war machine globally, (important to continue our attempts to dominate the world), and to keep open the slush gates of taxpayer cash to the war profiteers.

FullMoon said...

Darrell said... [hush]​[hide comment]

Listen lefties. The Trump golden shower story was concocted by 4Chan idiots out of whole cloth. It did not happen. It was more fake news from the left and pimply-faced adolescents making the news media and intelligence agencies look like the fools they are. You got the piss in your faces.


Pretty sure 4chan has no regulations against intelligent adults contributing. Maybe even govt. employees or talented anti Trump people.

And dissecting the piss story point by point to prove how lame it is gives the liberal crazies the opportunity to come up with counter arguments, no matter how stupid. Better to simply dismiss it outright.

AJ Lynch said...

Matthew:

Its an either or question. Binary choice as they say- who would you prefer as president? Someone who gets stuff done but is let's say "colorful" or a forgettable guy who is kinda lazy and petulant but won't be "colorful".

Matthew Sablan said...

Again: Matters what they stuff they want done. Now I'm just being annoying.

I'm Trump agnostic; he might turn out to be good, average or terrible. He'll probably fall in the average area because that's what average means. He's definitely got a better chance of not Being A Disaster than Clinton. But, so did SMOD.

Meade said...

Ignorance is Bliss said...
Here are the numbers of I/me/my:

I: 39
me: 19
my: 31


Washington's farewell:

your: 48
our: 35

Titus said...

I liked him. He was definitely fabulous and cool.

Mike said...

Leading from behind all the way. What a wasted eight years.

MathMom said...

You know, the only thing creative, unusual, or unique about Obama was his origin story, full of unusual or bizarre characters, juxtapositions and circumstances, as well as fascinating uncertainties. Thats because reality wrote that story...

Uh...I think Bill Ayers wrote the story. And I'm not really sure how much of Obama's origin story is actually true, because when Obama told it, his lips were moving.

buwaya said...

Bill Ayers wrote A book, rather well, but the facts are the facts and the story is the story independent of the book. A lot of the more fascinating bits aren't really in Ayers book at all, such as the character of Frank Marshall Davis.

wendybar said...

I didn't vote for him either time, but the first 4 years, I was hoping I was wrong, and that he would be good for race relations...Boy was I right...he was a stooge for the progressive left. He did NOTHING to help the black community, except infuriate them with fake Racial divisions that have made the Racial Divide bigger than ever....He could have been a great president, yet he opted to go way to the left, and waste that chance.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

MayBee,

Yeah, if you had told people that eight years ago, they would have asked why your platform was marriage was between a man and a woman.

Exactly. When Obama came into office, "marriage equality" was definitely not on the agenda. Trump was on that more than a decade earlier than either Obama or "me, too!" HRC.

Though there is that one interview with a Chicago paper back when Obama was running for state Senate, where he said he was pro-gay-marriage. He was for it before he was against it, before he was for it again. In grown-up circles this is known as "bullshitting."

dbp said...

"Then he lists his achievements: Cuba, the Iran agreement, killing bin Laden, same-sex marriage, Obamacare."

Some accomplishments:

Cuba (He had the power as president to do this on day one and got zero concessions from Cuba), the Iran agreement (No treaty submitted to the Senate and hence a dead-letter once Trump becomes president), killing bin Laden (Almost certainly would have happened no matter who was president), same-sex marriage (Which he officially opposed for both of his elections, but yay! accomplishment!), Obamacare (Which has always been opposed by the majority and is about to be dismantled).

Michael K said...

No one cares that the man they voted for was pissed on by Russian prostitutes

Poor Inga. She can't even get the fake story right.

Thanks for watching, Ann, so I didn't feel any need to do so.

The Murder Channel (Discovery ID) had a nice program on the U of Texas shooter in 1966. Much more interesting than Obama.

AprilApple said...

Bye, jerk.

Obama gave us unprecedented racial division and animosity - birthed by HIS hack media thru the lies surrounding Trayvon and Ferguson, etc...

Obama gave us trillions in debt - which equates to OUR money, wasted.

Obama gave billions more of our money to the radical Iranian mullahs. An act of self- loathing so grand, most people are left speechless.


Goodbye, asshole.

AprilApple said...

Obamacare - passed on party line vote, in the dead of night - sold with Obama's lies lies and more lies.

Only fools will miss this lying asshole.

F said...

"But tonight it’s my turn to say thanks.... [M]y conversations with you, the American people — in living rooms and in schools; at farms and on factory floors; at diners and on distant military outposts — those conversations are what have kept me honest, and kept me inspired, and kept me going. And every day, I have learned from you. You made me a better president, and you made me a better man."

Tell it to Joe the Plumber.

Tari said...

My teenagers and I were out to dinner while the news channels were warming up to this speech; the restaurant runs CNN on one of its 3 TVs all the time, so we could see the "countdown to the big speech". It's a casual, fairly loud place that serves bao and ramen. I kept leaning over the (communal) table to sing quietly to my boys: "nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah nah, hey hey hey, GOODBYE." What was an absolute s!#t day at work turned much sweeter when I remembered who we were kicking to the curb.

For 8 years, millions of people projected their own fantasy of who Obama was onto him. Both the proles who voted for him and the people who actually influence things did this. He was fabulous, cool, hip, a savior, he would do every, single great thing for everyone. And in the end it was like they were writing those stories of who he was on an Etch-a-Sketch. I'm not sure Obama has any real values, any opinions that don't center on himself. He's a intellectually incurious pasteboard cutout of a man.

Goodbye, Mr. Golf 'n Selfies. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Hagar said...

The other thing that bothers me about this is: Why fly Air Force One w/entourage to Chicago to give this "Farewell Speech"?

Danno said...

Blogger Titus said...I liked him. He was definitely fabulous and cool.
Blogger Mike said...Leading from behind all the way. What a wasted eight years.

Maybe leading from his behind was why Titus found him fabulous and cool.

roesch/voltaire said...

Let see he did steered us clear of major depression, recused the auto industry, or at least GM,banned torture which now even Sessions says is illegal, worked to get Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, changed the nature of the war in Iraq,an impossible country divided, appointed two great Supreme Court justices, brokered a deal with Iran, along with Russia,helped open up Cuba, worked on climate change, and gave us eight years long on dignity and short on scandal. And provided a great family model for blacks and all other colors.

Martin said...

"Or is the point: See? I'm being transparently dishonest, claiming honesty, and you love me anyway. That's how good a man I am. Good at rhetoric that makes the crowd in the big room applaud, and who knows what's going on in the living rooms on the other side of the TV?"

That is EXACTLY right--much of his last 8 years has been a big F-You to half on America, knowing the other half would support him no matter what.

Washington, Eisenhower, Reagan, even Clinton, in their "Farewells" spoke to the whole country. Obama continued to speak only to his half--he is really a Chicago politician, great at winning elections but the farthest thing in the world from a statesman..

A failed community organizer right to the end. Except it's not the end, he will maintain a political profile and keep dividing us for a long time. Being a revered elder statesman and unifying influence was something even Nixon was able to manage, but it appears Obama doesn't want that. What a small, nasty man!

I tried not to listen but my wife had it on in the next room and between her groans I couldn't help but hear some of it. My thought at the time was to recall Cromwell's famous speech to the Rump Parliament:
"You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!"

Jupiter said...

It's still not too late for some jihadi to blow the apostate little fucker to Hell.

Rick said...

Some reality:

Let see he did steered us clear of major depression,

Economies naturally recover from recessions without any input from government. Obama's introduction of uncertainty with Obamacare and various other initiatives resulted in the slowest recession recovery since the Great Depression. Revealingly the GD was the only time in our history where the economy faced more regulatory and framework uncertainty than under Obama.

recused the auto industry, or at least GM,

Had GM failed someone would have purchased the assets and continued making vehicles. Freed from legacy decisions its very likely that company would be more successful than the zombie GM is today. Look to Japan for the record of this sort of rescue.

banned torture which now even Sessions says is illegal,

Substituting extra-judicial killing. I rather suspect most of the dead would rather have been waterboarded. Isn't it revealing the left is so caught up in scare words they cannot evaluate the full context.

worked to get Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act,

Weasel word alert, but at least in this case nothing actively made America worse.

changed the nature of the war in Iraq

An amusing characterization of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.


appointed two great Supreme Court justices,

Confirming his commitment to racial divide.

brokered a deal with Iran,

Note we're supposed to consider this an accomplishment even though even RV doesn't try to claim it advances our interests. It's a testament to the left's mindset that anything their guy does is good. Bill Clinton made the same deal with North Korea and today we're dealing with their nukes just as we will shortly be dealing with Irans.

helped open up Cuba,

Cuba is still closed and will be as long as totalitarians supported by the American and Western left control the country.

worked on climate change,

More weasel words, he accomplished nothing.

and gave us eight years long on dignity and short on scandal

So long as we define dignity as "left wing control" and ignore the scandals which began with sending Mexican cartels automatic weapons in an effort to gin up gun control support and ended with abetting his chosen successor risking our national security to avoid complying with the FOIA.

And provided a great family model for blacks and all other colors.

He shows them racial aggrievement is the path to success even for relatively well off mixed race men. I don't think that's the best lesson. It helps the left politically though so it's inevitable they see it as positive.

John Orzechowski said...

So Long, Obama

After all of these years it is hard to believe
That Obama won't be here, for soon he will leave.
Like what Nixon had once said a long time before
We won't have you to kick around here any more.

With some friends you should go, this is something I think,
To a bar for a glass of whatever you drink.
Maybe even a pint of some stout Guinness beer
You don't have to go home but you cannot stay here.

With opponents you've not often seen eye to eye
But let bygones be bygones as we say goodbye.
The one piece of advice they will give you no doubt
Please don't let the door hit you as you're walking out.

But what's this that I hear-you're not going away,
In a house in D.C. you've decided to stay?
There's not much that I'm sure of, but this I do know,
There's no way we can miss you if you do not go.

Kansas City said...

President Obama is a good speaker and very good at delivering a speech off a teleprompter. I think his unusual voice and his cadence are a significant factor in his success as a politician.

But to me it is remarkable that he and his speechwriters have failed to craft any memorable lines from his presidency. Ann picked, and CNN picked, "yes we can," which is more a campaign slogan than a memorable line from a speech. I guess it is not that easy to create a memorable positive line. Clinton did not do it either (at least as far as I can remember). George Bush did only because of 9/11. Reagan did at the Berlin Wall. But not every president accomplishes it and, rather surprisingly, I don't think Obama has ever done so. His best line was probably at the 2004 democratic convention, when he was a nobody and had the good line on red/blue/united states of America.

I think in part Obama talks too much about himself and too little about linkage to American history. I always thought his life story should have been gold in saying good and memorable stuff about America, but it did not seem to happen.

John Orzechowski said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kansas City said...

He also could have said memorable things, including last night, about race. He never raised his game to do so.

I suppose editing down a speech is not easy, but he always has spoke too long.

William Chadwick said...

I didn't catch Il Dufe's speech but need to know how many times he did the Mussolini chin-tile. Anybody count? I'm in a betting pool.

Sebastian said...

@KC: "I always thought his life story should have been gold in saying good and memorable stuff about America, but it did not seem to happen." He didn't say "good and memorable stuff about America" because he didn't want to. As Michelle implied early on, for them the only good and memorable thing about America was that it elected Barry. Other than that, nothing about America could be as good and memorable as the great O in his O-ness.

ken in tx said...

On the golden shower portion of this thread, reportedly Trump does not drink. I my opinion, it takes a lot of drinking to be involved in this golden shower stuff, one way or the other. I don't believe it happened.

Kansas City said...

Sebastian,

Good simple explanation that he did not want to say good stuff about America. May be true.

But, since he could have used it to say good stuff about himself, I would have expected it.

DavidD said...

" 'And it’s not just my belief. It’s the beating heart of our American idea — our bold experiment in self-government.' "

Self-government.

Why do we need ever more federal government then, doofus?