Barack Obama

The Comforting Fictions of Obama's Farewell Speech

Obama sounded the same haughty notes on his way out as he did on the way in.

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Watching President Barack Obama's soaring 2008 Democratic National Convention speech in Denver, I never imagined the kind of turmoil his presidency would incite. Almost everything has changed in the subsequent years, and yet his farewell speech to the nation was brimming with the same brand of haughty lecturing.

Obama loves to conflate progressivism and patriotism, pitting the forces of decency and empathy—his own—against the self-serving profiteers and meddling reactionaries who stand in the way. All of it is swathed in phony optimism.

The president's central case for government's existence rests on the notion of the state being society's moral center, engine of prosperity and arbiter of fairness. Obama speaks of government as a theocrat might speak of church, and his fans return the favor by treating him like a pope. This was true in 2008. And it's true now. Just check out liberal Twitterdom.

And for the most part, nothing is his fault.

"When Congress is dysfunctional," Obama explained, "we should draw our districts to encourage politicians to cater to common sense and not rigid extremes." For the president, a dysfunctional Congress is a Congress unwilling to pass progressive legislation. That is not the definition of dysfunctional, I'm afraid. Nor is it the definition of extreme.

There is nothing in the Constitution instructing legislators to acquiesce to the president. In the near future, the Republican Congress will be passing tons of legislation, and I can assure you neither Obama nor his many fans in the media will be celebrating the fact that Congress is finally "getting stuff done" or "doing its job." Progress will no longer be measured in the number of bills signed.

And it shouldn't be. After all, if voters were displeased with the way legislators treated Obama's agenda, they had the ability to replace these obstinate lawmakers with more cooperative ones. They did not. That's because gridlock was created by a party that fooled itself into believing it could rule unilaterally. Also, after Democrats passed their massive health care law—and certainly, there were other reasons—Republicans kept expanding their majorities, and not only in Congress.

Americans voted for equilibrium in Washington, D.C. Congress was working exactly as it was intended. And it has nothing to do with gerrymandering or voter suppression or fake news or any of the other excuses liberals keep concocting to explain their troubles.

Moreover, the idea that Congress is catering to some "rigid extremes" because elected officials oppose policies that were passed in 2010 might be the prevailing opinion on the left, but it has no basis in reality. Republican positions—like them or not—are well within the boundaries of normal American attitudes. Most of them were mainstream liberal positions not that long ago.

That brings me to this nugget: In his farewell address, Obama warned, "Our democracy is threatened whenever we take it for granted" (Because we don't talk about politics enough, apparently!) and urged Americans to help rebuild "our democratic institutions."

Our democracy isn't in trouble. We just had an election, in which every citizen permitted to vote—and motivated—could do so. Our Electoral College, part of a broader system that most fairly embodies the will of voters in the nation's 50 states, also worked exactly as intended.

Maybe Obama means we must rebuild our belief in the separation of powers and the Constitution, since his administration displayed far more creativity in executive power than it ever did in attempting to build coalitions to pass legislation.

He regularly ignored norms of governance, consistently losing cases before the Supreme Court, entering into international agreements without the Senate, creating immigration policy for millions without Congress and using the administrative state to legislate environmental policies that couldn't even pass when Democrats controlled both houses. Those abuses were not normal.

Obama offered Americans a revisionist history of his entire presidency, casting himself as a resilient truth-teller and champion of democracy. The reality is quite different.

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120 responses to “The Comforting Fictions of Obama's Farewell Speech

  1. Pointed and severe, as appropriate.
    Notwithstanding one euphemistic phrase ,”displayed far more creativity in executive power…” rather than a more colorful charge that he behaved like a medieval monarch while the fawning eyes of his vapid peasantry smiled up at him, Harsanyi keeps this rock solid, professional and robustly organized.
    Very nice work.

    1. “behaved like a medieval monarch”

      What’s with the medieval-bashing?

      If you want to look to the period where European Kings attained heights of arbitrary power, you should look at the Renaissance/Reformation and early modern periods – when monarchs in many countries eliminated or defanged the good old medieval safeguards which made at least an attempt to keep things in balance.

      Indeed, one could even argue that the Founding Fathers were returning to medieval models of divided powers and rejecting modern ideas of centralized monarchy – though there’s no guarantee of the Founders’ handiwork lasting forever.

      1. Agreed. And the counterpoint is Hamilton’s (a good enlightenment man) desire to create an elected monarchy.

        The Enlightenment was a brilliant – and necessary – period in European history. But, it also had a Top Man aspect to it.

        1. We can thank Hamilton and the other Federalists for our modern unbounded presidency.

          1. Not quite – Hamilton wanted a monarchical Presidency and he tried to nudge Washington in that direction, but he was only able to do so much…maybe he started the slippery slope and provided arguments which executive-power aficionados could exploit, but in his own time Hamilton didn’t get as far as he’d have liked.

            1. I wasn’t saying Hamilton is directly responsible, but he certainly provides the intellectual legitimacy to which modern statists appeal whenever the Founders are brought up.

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            2. Hamilton’s big contribution was arguing that the government could do anything not strictly prohibited by the Constitution. He persuaded Washington with this argument when it came to establishing the first national bank.

              This was a direct contradiction to one of Hamilton’s arguments (I think in the Federalist Papers) that the government could only do that which the Constitution specifically said it could do.

              That said, I think even Hamilton would be horrified at the way the state has metastasized.

              1. Yes, he’d be shocked to see the bottom of the slippery slope which he endorsed.

                1. You think this is the bottom?

                  HAHAHAHAHAHA!

                  1. “You think this is the bottom?”

                    OK, fine, the top of a new slope.

                    1. It’s slippery slopes all the way down.

              2. Yep …

                During the ratification debates, in Federalist 84, Alexander Hamilton wrote this:

                “I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and in the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers which are not granted; and on this very account, would afford a colourable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why for instance, should it be said, that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretence for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason, that the constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority, which was not given, and that the provision against restraining the liberty of the press afforded a clear implication, that a power to prescribe proper regulations concerning it, was intended to be vested in the national government. This may serve as a specimen of the numerous handles which would be given to the doctrine of constructive powers, by the indulgence of an injudicious zeal for bills of rights.”

                1. “For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?”

                  (Head explosion)

            3. And I would say that Hamilton’s favorable views of an unrestricted federal government were implemented shortly after his lifetime. Gibbons v. Ogden set the precedent for SCOTUS’s liberal interpretation of the Commerce Clause; “to regulate commerce among the several states” meant Congress could set its own substantive standards for interstate commerce and not merely ensure the unimpeded flow of commercial traffic between states. That precedent eventually led to the deplorable Wickard and Raich decisions, among others.

        2. The weird thing is that it was necessary, to some degree. Many people have never heard of the Miller Arnold Lawsuit of 1779 in Prussia. But it was emblematic of the embedded corruption of long-standing systems.

          To sum it up: A miller was obliged to pay rent to his landlord. This was his only trade skill and the mill constituted all of his property. A nobleman decided to dam the river upstream because he wanted a fishing pond. This meant there wasn’t enough water pressure to turn the mill, so he was unable to pay his full rent. So his landlord sued him, and the landlord used his own private court for the hearings.

          So the miller petitioned for an impartial judge (who wasn’t on the private call of the lord suing him). This was denied. They sent a petition to what was in effect the court of appeals-the College of Judges-and their appeal was dismissed. The court ruled in favor of the plaintiff and the lord acquired the mill, selling it off to pay their backrent. The man he sold it to was the very noble who dammed the river and ruined their trade in the first place.

          Word passed to the monarch, Frederick the Great. He was furious with what he learned, and appointed a private commission to investigate. After a lengthy investigation, they determined, “All fair and legal.” He then received another petition, and sent it directly to the College of Judges. They replied directly: “The ruling was correct in every particular.”

          cont..

          1. At this point, Frederick was furious. He said, essentially, “Fuck this crap, you’re all wrong and the law is wrong.” He locked up three judges and awarded the mill back to the Arnold family. He then penned a declaration guaranteeing equality before the law.

    1. The only “comfort” to be had from this speech was the reassurance that he would soon be out of office.

      1. That is all marred by the fact this narcissistic douchebag is assured to try his best to stay in the limelight because he just lacks the moral decency to just shut up and go away.

        1. Maybe he’ll start partaking again and work actively for legalization.
          It could happen.

        2. Yes, but the fact that he seems to reduce the number of members of his own ass hat party who are in positions of control is encouraging.

      2. Admit it, your heart leapt a little at seeing “convictions” and “Obama” in the same sentence though, didn’t it?

  2. In his farewell address, Obama warned, “Our democracy is threatened whenever we take it for granted” (Because we don’t talk about politics enough, apparently!) and urged Americans to help rebuild “our democratic institutions.”

    Our democracy isn’t in trouble. We just had an election, in which every citizen permitted to vote?and motivated?could do so.
    Our Democracy has been in trouble for some time just not for the reasons that Obama thinks and David does not think it is trouble.

    One can only hope that Trump does shave off some federal government fat off the giant pork barrel budget. Repealing ObamaCare is a great start and the goal is by Jan. 27, 2017.

    1. The reason our democracy is threatened is because the far left strongly believes that actual democracy can only result in victory for their side. They can’t fathom the notion that they might be in the minority on an issue.

  3. Talk about a smug fuckstick.

    This guy bottles his farts as gifts.

    1. Obama? Harsanyi? Both?

      1. BO. Only one person can be the biggest douche on earth.

        Good for him though. He pulled off the biggest scam in history right behind Adolf.

  4. Get lost Obama.

    You and your flat, stagnant faux-intellectual rhetoric and finger pointing and wagging.

    And take your deadbeat fanboy cultist club with you; and not just the commenters at The New York Times.

    1. Hey, I’ve got a great idea!

      They should all move to Canada!

  5. Good article with lots of poignant yet pithy take aways, but my favorite is:

    “The president’s central case for government’s existence rests on the notion of the state being society’s moral center, engine of prosperity and arbiter of fairness.”

    That is the central issue, and the dividing line amongst the the much ballyhooed political divide; either you think government is the answer, or that is a necessary evil and meant to be as restricted as possible.

    1. He is utterly incapable of seeing the limits of his ideology or understanding anyone else’ viewpoints. Tarran has always claimed that he suffers from clinical narcissistic personality disorder. Obama does seem to completely lack the capacity for empathy and to understand other people’s perspectives. So, while I can’t say Tarran is right, I can’t say he is wrong either.

      1. I don’t know if he is but the entire progressive ideology can be characterized as such.

      2. I agree that he is a “clinical narcissistic personality”.

        He is also a insolent child and sociopath. You have to be somewhat sociopathic to volunteer to take the punishment of politics because you would have to be sick enough to want the power that badly.

        He is also a moron because marxists are morons. The ideology is replete with nonsense and even without history as a proof of its failure, to believe the claims and policies of marxism, one would have to be bereft of intellectual capacity and pocked with anger and confusion.

        1. Marxism actually benefits from being such a nonsensicle and evil ideology. Because it is so wrong, walking away from it once you have embraced it requires the adherent to admit a tremendous amount of fault. It takes a lot of integrity and will to admit you bought into a completely evil and failed ideology. Few people have the integrity and will to do that. Instead, they just believe more and more incredible things to avoid facing their mistake. And the more they do that, the bigger the mistake they have made and the harder it is to face.

        2. It’s not accidental that all marxism movements end up in competition with and fighting other religions. To believe the nonsense that constitutes its fundamentals could ever make sense or work, especially in light of 100 years of history, over 100 million bodies, and billions made to suffer, you have to suffer from a near religious and unshakable faith. Marxism a religion.

          1. What makes Marxism so evil is that it is a form of crude materialism. There is no Marxist afterlife or higher realm of existence beyond this one. So, it is impossible for its adherents to ever have any perspective about this world or any ability to to compromise or disengage from this world. This world is all there is for the Marxist. If justice does not happen here for the Marxist it will never happen.

            Conventional religions provide meaning to their followers by showing them there is something beyond this life and this world and meaning can be obtained through your inner life and independent of what happens in this world. Marxism, since it is a form of crude materialism, makes no such distinction. There is no inner peace for the Marxist that can be obtain totally separate from the material world. There is only the material world and what can be achieved in it.

            1. But religions don’t really “show” evidence of their claims. They base their claims on (factual or not) stories and (flawed or not) reasoning.

              The “major” religions are mostly defined in common by their addressing of the “afterlife” issue because that is the one issue that can never be proven or disproven in this life.

              I would say that Hinduism and Christianity (compared with Judaism, Islam, Buddhism or Paganism) are the only two major religions that can be defined by “extravagant” claims regarding reality, history and the world.

              1. No, they address the afterlife issue because their purpose is to provide meaning and understanding of this life. You can’t do that without addressing what is after and beyond this life.

                You really don’t understand religion very well.

    2. And therein lies the conceit of the ideologue – any viewpoint other than his is, by default, illegitimate. Obama and his dogwashers have never had any interest in a good faith exchange of ideas; all they know is brute force of implementing what they want by having the votes, or executive power, to do so. When the worm turns, they are the first to look for fainting couches. And to insult anyone who outside of the hive.

      1. Obama and his dogwashers have never had any interest in a good faith exchange of ideas

        Why would you bother trying to convince rubes you feel are both stupid and evil (for not believing what you do of all things) that your ideas are better? Especially when those rubes could end up debunking your ideas by referring to a plethora of real world examples, and thus, undermine your faith in your beliefs. You know what you belief has to be awesome because your feelings (of smugness) tell you so.

    3. That is the central issue, and the dividing line amongst the the much ballyhooed political divide

      I wish it were true, but I don’t see that being the source of the main divide. Rather, it seems like people are divided over where the moral center should lie and what constitutes fairness.

      1. The problem is the people that demand equality of outcome for all, regardless of choices or circumstances, because in their mind that is justice.

  6. But when you know for a fact that you’re right, doesn’t that mean everyone who doesn’t agree with you is wrong? For example, he was speaking to a bunch of losers when President Obama said to House Republicans, “I won.” What had they won? NOTHING.

    When a party understands the correct wants and needs of 300-some million individuals, isn’t it their duty to collectively fill those individual needs? Even if – no, especially if the people aren’t wise enough to know those needs? I say yes.

    1. Such is the aura of moral superiority. When he believe you are right and there are no exceptions, you don’t NEED to argue your point; all others are either evil, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, or generally deplorable. Pick your card.

      1. And such is the price of deriving a sense of moral superiority from your politics. If your sense of morality comes from your politics, you can never compromise or change positions without admitting you are immoral. And most people have a hard time compromising at all much less when doing so requires forfeiting their sense of moral superiority.

      2. When your moral superiority leads you to say things like “I won” or “they can sit at the back of the bus” or “try winning some elections” and those of whom you speak do the latter – and they do it in huge numbers – a little humility is a good idea. But good luck with that. I’m thinking the RNC should build a BO wing in its hall of fame because no one has ever been more successful at getting Pubs elected.

  7. It is more than a bit ironic that Obama’s defenders have spent the last 8 years talking about how intellectual he is and how incurious and anti-intellectual his opponents are. The reality is that Obama is the most close minded and least intellectually curious President of my lifetime. Every President in my lifetime has learned and adjusted course during their administrations. Carter after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan gave up on a human rights based foreign policy and started to rearm the country. Clinton famously moved to the center after losing Congress in 1994. George W. Bush after losing Congress fired Rumsfeld and adopted a different and ultimately successful strategy in Iraq.

    Obama is the exception to this rule. He leaves office no smarter or wiser than when he entered it. The man came into the job unqualified and has proven to be completely untrainable. Obama’s biggest fault is that he completely lacks intellectual curiosity such that he is incapable of understanding the merits of his critics’ arguments or learning anything even through the harsh mistress that is experience.

    1. I’d be careful answering those “harsh mistress” ads on backpage.

    2. Well, he is the affirmative action president; no matter what he did in office, he could always count on the media, popular culture, and at least half the country to approve. Also, contrary to popular perception, Obama did not surround himself with opposing viewpoints. Rather, he hired sycophants.

      1. Normal Presidents, especially in their second terms, tend to grow into the job and become less divisive. Obama is the exception. He never grew into the job and never made any effort to be less divisive or reach out to his opponents. Another giant lie the media tells is that Obama didn’t get along with Congress because Republicans didn’t want to work with him. No, Obama was incapable of reaching out to or understanding his opponents in Congress and that is why he never got anything done except by raw partisan majority during his first two years.

        1. Yeah. Perhaps I suffer from selective memory, but I cannot recall a single instance where Obama initiated a good-faith compromise on a major issue. The media always casted the Republican Congress as the “obstructionists.”

          Of course, after the last presidential election, an obstructionist Congress is good again.

          1. And the Senate filibuster rule is, once again, absolutely vital to the safety of the Republic.

          2. Its like Obamacare. How big of fanatic does one have to be unable to find some common ground with big government sell out Republicans like Susan Collins or Peter King? A pretty big one, yet that is exactly what Obama did with Obamacare. It was one hell of a trick to manage to get a bill so bad that not a single Republican in either house was willing to sell out and vote for it.

            1. I was going to write that, too. If not a single member from the major opposing party will vote on your bill, there is probably something wrong with the bill, not with them.

              1. (but see also “bipartisan legislation”)

        2. And even then he had to twist the arms of quite a few Dems to get his agenda passed. Hell, even over the last two years he hasn’t been able to keep democrats from voting against his policies.

          1. By “twisting the arms of dems” you mean piss away a trillion or so buying their votes?

            1. Yes.

              Also, I wouldn’t put it above Obama to have used intel from the NSA and CIA to “persuade” anyone that couldn’t be bought (read: they already knew the special funding for their district was secure and didn’t have any reelection fears).

    3. Has Obama ever conceded that the Left is wrong on any policy position? Or that the Right has a slightly better idea??

      1. Not that I am aware. Moreover, he has never to my knowledge conceded that the right has so much as a good faith argument. In his mind the right is not just wrong but always acting in bad faith.

      2. Obama and his apologists have conceded to being wrong. They concede that he did not go far enough on his righteous path.

        1. This would be funny if I wasn’t almost certain it was true…

  8. You know who else sounded the same haughty notes on his way out as he did on the way in…

    1. David Byrne?

  9. pitting the forces of decency and empathy?his own?against the self-serving profiteers and meddling reactionaries who stand in the way

    “Empathy” is everybody else taking my feelings into consideration and treating me with the dignity and respect I feel I deserve. A lack of empathy is of course when you miserable pieces of shit with your retarded ideas and your moronic opinions don’t shut your fat stupid faces and do what I tell you to do because I’m infinitely superior to you in every conceivable way.

    1. Is it any wonder Obama is the most influential and popular politician among the Millennial generation? He embodies all of their worst qualities.

    2. He tried to empathize once, but didn’t have the facts. His is sure, however, his opposition acted stupidly.
      *See Gates on a tricycle. Does Trump understand what a car mechanic in flyover is thinking? Probably not, but at least he doesn’t lecture him on how bigoted he is.

  10. It is easy to fantasize yourself king when the entire town of hollywood and every person that works in the media calls you Your Highness every day for 8 years.

    1. I can think of few sadder more unrewarding lives than one surrounded by sycophants.

      1. Actually being one of those sycophants is worse, for one.

  11. “Watching President Barack Obama’s soaring 2008 Democratic National Convention speech in Denver,…”

    NEVER listen to some hack give a speech; read the transcript. The horseshit becomes immediately obvious.

    1. Sevo: “NEVER listen to some hack give a speech; read the transcript. The horseshit becomes immediately obvious.”

      Especially don’t listen if the hack is famed for his “oratory.”

      1. PS:: Here’s a quote I picked up a week ago from this site:

        There is an old Japanese proverb that “It is rare to find a man who speaks well and is trustworthy.”

  12. Trump should give Obama and Hillary the Presidential Medal of Freedom for giving the GOP the House, twice now.

    1. the man deserves a place in the RNC’s hall of fame, for no one has put more Pubs in office than Obama has.

  13. Trump should give Obama and Hillary the Presidential Medal of Freedom for giving the GOP the House, twice now.

    1. And the squirrelz gave us your comment twice!

  14. All that said, you know your grandkids are going to come home from school and ask you why Obama isn’t on Mt. Rushmore.

    1. You’re saying he *won’t* be on Mt. Rushmore by that time?

    2. Because the colossus straddling the Potomac doesn’t require him to share the spotlight. Also why would he want to share a monument two slaveholders and 2.5 republicans?

  15. I couldn’t bring myself to watch his speech, but reading snippets of it — of the self congratulations, the laments that the opposition party was just so unreasonable all these years, that everyone who disagrees with progressive orthodoxy must be morally defective in some way — reminds me of that remark associated with the Bourbons after the French Revolution: “They learned nothing, and have forgotten nothing.”

    Obama leaves office looking older, but he seems no wiser. Just further assured of his own virtue.

  16. From Anthony Fisher’s article of yesterday:

    “No less an authority on the First Amendment and press freedom than James C. Goodale?who represented the Times in the Pentagon Papers case?wrote in 2013 that the Obama administration effectively dismissed the First Amendment when it came to reporters covering national security issues. Goodale wrote, ‘President Obama will surely pass President Richard Nixon as the worst president ever on issues of national security and press freedom.’ “

    1. The press HATED Nixon, and licked the floor where Obo walked.
      And they think no one noticed.

      1. They really do. They honestly think they can go back to being adversarial with the President now the Trump is in office and no one will notice and will still take them seriously. It is amazing how arrogant and out of touch they are.

        1. They’re still in denial. Their industry is collapsing around them and they are pretending it’s not.

          Buggy whips, anyone?

          1. There is still a demand for actual reporters and journalism. Their problem is they are unable to provide that. They see themselves as “opinion leaders”. Well, if they couldn’t stop stop from getting elected, and they couldn’t, then whose opinion are they leading? No one’s opinion. Trump proved that they have no influence anymore. So they can no longer sell themselves as opinion leaders and they can’t go back to being reporters since they have sacrificed all of their credibility and objectivity trying to be opinion leaders. So, they are done. They just don’t realize it yet.

            And the funny thing is, the author of this article is one of these people. Harsani is an original conservative Never Trumper. Exactly what are the donors to National Review, where he primarily works, getting for their money from him? Nothing as far as I can see.

            1. There is still a demand for actual reporters and journalism.

              Indeed, and the smart ones are quietly getting their business plans ready. If 2016 doesn’t stimulate the market for actual, real, sourced and verifiable journalism, nothing will.

              I would be thrilled to read more from the likes of Michael Totten and skip the fucking opinions from liberal arts majors with mommy issues.

              1. To be fair Tundra, some of those liberal arts majors have daddy issues.

                1. I thought they ended up stripping or doing low budget porn.

                  1. That is what the pretty girls do. The ugly ones go to college and become feminists.

  17. From his speech:

    “If I had told you eight years ago . . . that we would win marriage equality,. . . you might have said our sights were set a little too high.”

    EVOLUTION ROCKS!

    1. Considering what “his” views on gay marriage in 2008 were, he would say that it’s something that shouldn’t happen. Somehow Obama’s views on gay marriage are entirely dependent on what percentage of the local voting populace are in favour of it. Very principled.

  18. “When Congress is dysfunctional,” Obama explained, “we should draw our districts to encourage politicians to cater to common sense and not rigid extremes.”

    In other words, if the Congress isn’t majority Democrat we should gerrymander it until it is.

    1. If the government doesn’t like the voters, it can just choose new ones!

    2. How many times did I hear from him that he wouldn’t compromise on an issue?

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  20. I really don’t know what’s more sickening – Obama’s pompous, preening, self-righteous smugness, despite accomplishing nothing worthwhile in 8 years, or the legions of sycophants who could identify all Obama’s late-stage digestion anatomical parts with their tongues.

  21. Thank goodness for David Harsanyi. He’s one of the only truth tellers we have left around here.

  22. He regularly ignored norms of governance, consistently losing cases before the Supreme Court, entering into international agreements without the Senate, creating immigration policy for millions without Congress and using the administrative state to legislate environmental policies that couldn’t even pass when Democrats controlled both houses. Those abuses were not normal.

    “Constitutional Scholar.”

  23. Phony optimism? Obama’s a rank amateur than a certain President-Elect. Besides, are you better off than you were 8 years ago? The vast majority are.

    1. “Besides, are you better off than you were 8 years ago? The vast majority are.”
      So? Most people were economically better off at the end of Bush’s tenure than the beginning of it, even despite the recession. I guess he was great too.

      Something I doubt Americans will ever learn when it comes to presidents is that ‘being there when it happened’ doesn’t equate to ‘causing it.’

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  31. Maybe Obama means we must rebuild our belief in the separation of powers and the Constitution, since his administration displayed far more creativity in executive power than it ever did in attempting to build coalitions to pass legislation.
    ????? ???? ???
    ????? ???? 2017
    He regularly ignored norms of governance, consistently losing cases before the Supreme Court, entering into international agreements without the Senate, creating immigration policy for millions without Congress and using the administrative state to legislate environmental policies that couldn’t even pass when Democrats controlled both houses. Those abuses were not normal.

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