Barack Obama re-entered the political fray Friday, giving a speech at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in which he discussed his favorite and least favorite subjects: respectively, himself and Republicans. It was vintage Obama — meaning, his talk was long on rhetoric and short on reality — and banal enough so that, says President Trump, it put him to sleep.
Obama was in town to accept the university’s Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government, which is a bit like G.W. Bush getting an oratory prize or Bill Clinton receiving a chastity medal. But, say critics, the one giving Obama the most credit was, well, Obama.
For “while Obama found plenty of time to denigrate Republicans for allegedly stoking fear during these ‘dangerous’ and ‘extraordinary times,’” reports the American Mirror, “he also dedicated a lot of his speech to patting himself on the back for everything from the improving economy to supposedly helping to heal the country’s racial divisions.”
“All told, the former president referred to himself — I, My, Me — more than 102 times in about 64 minutes, while simultaneously engaging in the type [of] political pot shots he criticized Republicans for,” the site elaborated.
The Mirror continued, “Obama’s favorite word seemed to be ‘I,’ which he repeated at least 87 times, followed by more than a dozen references to ‘my’ or ‘me.’”
In fact, Obama not only focused on himself — he projected his inner self onto others — as many have noted leftists are wont to do. Consider the topic of race, about which Obama said, “Over the past few decades, the politics of division and resentment and paranoia has unfortunately found a home in the Republican Party.”
In reality, playing the race card is the modern Democrats’ modus operandi. Identity politics reigns, with black this, Hispanic that, “white privilege,” and continual tribal appeals. Obama himself spent 20 years attending an overtly bigoted, anti-American church and never missed a chance to sow racial discord.
At Obama’s inauguration in 2009, he had a prejudiced “reverend” say, essentially, that white people had never yet done right. Obama stated a few months later that middle American (white) voters “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them”; weighed in on the George Zimmerman shooting in 2012 before even getting the facts, saying “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon”; and strong-armed schools into punishing children based on racial quota.
Most damnably, using an ebonics-style accent before a black Hampton University audience in 2007, Obama falsely claimed that the white American establishment denied Hurricane Katrina victims federal aid because it didn’t want to help black people, as Professor Thomas Sowell revealed in his 2012 piece “Phony in Chief.” (Hey, academia, have any more ethics in government awards for this guy?)
Obama played the sex card on Friday, too, saying that “we need more women in charge.” But Fox News host Tucker Carlson pointed out Obama’s hypocrisy on his show later that day, saying, “He could have done his part, by the way; I think ... he ran against a woman, a woman who came closer than any other woman in American history to becoming president. He sabotaged her campaign by calling her, does this sound familiar? A racist” (video below. Relevant portion begins at 8:02).
This is just par for the course, however. Leftists love affirmative action and quotas — as long as they don’t have to sacrifice for the cause. Just think of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) who, though white enough for two people, masqueraded as an American Indian to advantage herself when climbing academia’s Ivy League ladder.
Continuing the projection, Obama also addressed Trump’s criticism of Jeff Sessions and averred, “It should not be a partisan issue to say that we do not pressure the attorney general or the FBI to use the criminal justice system as a cudgel to punish our political opponents.” Yet Obama’s administration apparently did just that, using the FBI to spy on Donald Trump’s campaign. The February video below provides a very good summation of that scandal
Of course, leftist campaign propaganda wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Russia. Obama asked, “What has happened to the Republican Party?” as he complained that the GOP used to fight communism but now, supposedly, cozies up to ex-KGB man Vladimir Putin.
Yet the truth is that when Russia was the Soviet Union, our liberals were very sympathetic to it; now that it’s back to being Russia and the greatest purveyors of Marxism are in the West (i.e., academia), it’s leftists’ favorite whipping boy. Moreover, liberals ignore a far bigger threat — China — whose economy is 10 times the size of Russia’s.
One thing Obama can be given credit for, according to President Trump, is being a better sleep aid than Ambien. When asked if he watched Obama’s speech, Trump said, “I'm sorry, I watched it but I fell asleep. I found he’s very good — very good for sleeping.”
Perhaps this soporific effect is attributable to what writer Hannah Arendt called “The banality of evil,” something well reflected in Obama’s Friday rehashing of an old theme. “Sometimes the backlash comes from people who are genuinely, if wrongly, fearful of change,” he said.
And sometimes it comes from people rightly fearful of change.
Adolf Hitler in 1933 Germany, Vladimir Lenin in 1917 Russia, and Pol Pot in 1975 Cambodia all represented change. So did thalidomide prescribed to pregnant women, radium-infused water, and widespread 20th-century lobotomies. As philosopher C.S. Lewis pointed out in The Screwtape Letters, change is supposed to be a means to an end — not an end unto itself.
So if someone comes talking about poorly defined change, the proper answer is, “Better the devil you know....”
Oh, and since it’s now fashionable to call the president mentally unfit, remember that a security expert claimed in 2015 that an entire EU government considered Obama to be just that — and that one of its diplomats asked how he could be impeached.
Of course, what’s crazier? Obama, those who listen to him — or giving him an ethics in government award?
Photo of former President Barack Obama: AP Images