“Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proved innocent,” George Orwell – Reflections on Gandhi.
Among all the individuals being held responsible for Donald J. Trump’s (R-New York) ascension to the White House by the media and pundits one name is conspicuously absent: Barrack Hussein Obama (D-Illinois).
The former President gave Trump a tremendous assist by enabling Hillary R. Clinton’s (D-New York) unsuccessful and destructive presidential campaign. Unfortunately, almost nobody on either side of the aisle seems to be willing to call out Saint Barrack of Hawaii out for his role as an enabler in the Clinton fiasco.
The dictionary definition of an enabler is; “a person who encourages or enables negative or self-destructive behavior in another.” That is exactly the role Obama played in the fiasco known as Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
How Obama Enabled Clinton
The ways in which Obama enabled Clinton are many but a few stand out for special condemnation:
- Refusing to stop Clinton’s takeover of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
In her book Hacks former Democratic Party Chairwoman Donna Brazile alleged that her predecessor U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Shultz bankrupted the party. Clinton took advantage of this by having her campaign bail Shultz out by paying off the party’s $2 million in debts in a secret deal.
Obama probably knew what was going on, yet he did nothing to stop Schultz. The President could have easily taken a couple of hours off from his golf and made a few phone calls to Democratic billionaires to raise enough money to pay off the party’s debts. He did not.
- Failing to exercise any sort of leadership over the Democratic Party.
As the nation’s most popular; and highest-ranking Democrat, Obama was certainly in a position to remove and replace the incompetent Schultz, yet he did not. Instead, he allowed Shultz to mismanage and bankrupt the party. That left the party with no resources for the 2016 campaign and dependent on Clinton for money.
A more damning aspect of this is the lack of moral leadership. As somebody who had campaigned against Clinton in the past; and worked closely with her in the administration, Obama had to be well aware of her lack of ethics, arrogance, and character flaws. Yet he made no effort whatsoever to block her candidacy.
- Contributing to the Democratic Party’s debts by failing to raise enough funds to pay off his 2012 campaign debts.
To make matters worse, the ex-president who was not running for office kept billing the party around $150,000 a month for polling, Brazile charged.
- Refusing to do anything to stop Hillary’s nomination.
Obama was certainly in a position to block Hillary’s path to the nomination by endorsing somebody else before the primaries.
Individuals like Vice President Joe Biden (D-Delaware), Governor Jerry Brown (D-California) U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), and U.S. Senator Liz Warren (D-Massachusetts) might have been willing to run if they knew the president had their backs. An Obama endorsement might have turned former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley from a joke into a serious candidate.
Any of the people mentioned above might have run a better campaign than Clinton. At least they might have gone to Wisconsin, Clinton never set foot in that state and lost it. It is probable that any of those candidates would have lacked baggage; such as the email scandal, that made Trump’s very true Crooked Hillary charges so effective. Instead, they might have been free to expose Trump as the sleazebag he obviously is.
The African American voter turnout in 2016 was 7% lower than in 2012, data from the Pew Research Center indicates. Pew estimated that 66.6% of African Americans turned out to vote in 2012, but only 59.6% went to the polls in 2016.
An endorsement from Obama would have shifted the black vote, and probably the primary to somebody else, and shut Hillary down early in 2016. Aggressive campaigning by Obama; an African-American icon, might have helped Democrats win.
Given the fact that Trump won with a razor-thin margin of 1.2%, it is safe to say that African Americans decided the election. One reason why blacks may have stayed away from the polls was the perception that both major candidates; Trump and Clinton, were racists with a well-known hostility to African Americans.
Obama was certainly in a position to intervene and make a Democratic victory more likely. Yet the President was unwilling to risk his neck for the good of the party or working-class African Americans vulnerable to Trump’s racist policies. This is not the behavior of a saint or a leader.
- Failing to take a serious role in the campaign until close to the end.
Obama refused to campaign for Clinton until she got into trouble in October. This might have been her choice but he refused to help the poor woman even though it was clear she was in serious trouble in August.
There is historical precedent for presidents and former presidents endorsing successor and opposing political rivals, so Obama cannot fall back on tradition. Harry S. Truman (D-Missouri) actively campaigned for U.S. Senator Stuart Symington Jr. (D-Missouri) and against John F. Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) in 1960.
The most disturbing aspect of all this is that there seems to be no conspiracy or collusion here. Instead, there is only laziness; self-centeredness, short-sightedness, and perhaps pettiness, on the part of a beloved political leader.
Worst of all, nobody it seems is willing to criticize Saint Barrack of Obama, probably because of his popularity with the African-American community. Maybe if somebody had been willing to, Obama would have done his job and exercised some leadership over the Democratic Party.
Instead, of criticizing Obama, Trump should be thanking Barrack. The Donald owes his current job to his predecessor as much as he does to anybody else.
For a good view of the shenanigans that enabled Hillary to manipulate the Democratic Party see Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House by Donna Brazile.
Brazile is not tough enough on Obama, but his blame in the fiasco is made clear. If Democrats want to win in 2020, they should stop blaming Moscow and take a close look at some of their leaders.
“Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”
― Edmund Burke