This week I had a conversation on Twitter with a reader over former president Barack Obama’s legacy. Upon reading a rumor that he was working on his next memoir, I wrote this:
Three memoirs now? Never has so little life achievement been so extensively documented. https://t.co/DKbKb4thX5
— Thrill (@Thrill_RVS) March 26, 2017
I meant it as a humorous little jab, but it wasn’t viewed that way by a couple of the people who saw it. It was instead characterized as “ODS” or “Obama Derangement Syndrome”. In response, I used the powerful argument tactic known as “I’m rubber and you’re glue” and implied that people who defend Obama on such things as this suffer from what could be called “OWD” or “Obama Worshiping Disorder”. No matter what, it seems that certain people can never bring themselves to admit that Obama ever did anything wrong or that his presidency wasn’t a raging success by any historical measure.
But I thought about it further and realized that we on the Right probably do have an ODS problem. We seemingly can’t admit that he did anything right or that his presidency had any successes. Is that ODS? Perhaps. Usually, I consider ODS to be more of the Birther or “He’s wanted to destroy America” or “He was a gay Iranian puppet” variety. He totally does smell like brimstone though. I heard it from a guy.
I can see why Obama fans would get annoyed by us constantly beating down the president they voted for, admired, and defended for eight years. On the flip side of that though, I think their defense of Obama has become almost reflexive. They can’t let any attack go unanswered any more than we can let Obama go.
Maybe it’s time we on the Right acknowledged that Obama is gone and can’t hurt us anymore? Unless, of course, you’re one of those who believe that he’s still guiding the #Resistance from his top secret lair in Washington, DC.
So here goes. I think Obama was a mediocre president, not a bad one. I wouldn’t place him in the bottom 10 of US presidents. Maybe the bottom 25. His worst negatives were the lack of any major legislation except for the ACA, which brought his party to its lowest level of influence since the 1920’s, his aimless foreign policy that saw Islamic radicals rage across the Levant despite his sincere desire to stop the wars, a perception of weakening of American power along with Russia stepping in to fill the gap, and the worsening of the domestic partisan divide. The last is the one with which he would agree, and has.
Positives? He left office with a strengthening economy. Trump will get the credit for it, but we should be fair and acknowledge that Obama inherited a hideous economy. Does the president actually have much to do with the economy? Hard to say, but people do typically remember presidential eras in terms of whether or not they found themselves better off at the end of them. Me? I definitely improved my prospects during the Obama years.
Also, he ordered the operation that killed bin Laden. It was a ballsy raid and it was ballsy for him to greenlight it. I’ll give him this because I’m glad the bearded shitbeard is dead.
Overall, I think Obama will be remembered in 50, 100, 150 years as a president who was personally popular but enjoyed few legislative or foreign policy successes. He had no major doctrine nor did he “fundamentally change” anything that Trump can’t reverse (since he’s allowing Obamacare to collapse under its own weight).
I don’t think any of it will be remembered as disastrous unless Iran develops nuclear weapons and promptly attacks us with them. Of course, he will always be remembered as the first black president, if for nothing else. That alone will ensure him a favorable rating from historians, you know.
I’d like to see us move past the crazy emotionalism of the Obama years. That means Republicans should finally admit that if Obama had an evil plan to destroy America, it failed. Democrats can acknowledge that his legacy is secure but that he fell far short of what they hoped he would. You guys projected a lot of your own aspirations into him and, like Director Krennic, you choked on them. We, in turn, poured an enormous amount of hatred into Obama and it brought us nothing but a hollow victory in the form of a RINO Congress and a president with deservedly record-high disapproval.
It’s time to Get Over Obama, folks. I’m administering some therapy and we can do this with or without the electric shocks. Confront your ODS or OWD and let’s move past it all.
If you hated him, say one nice thing. I also think you can find one criticism or failing of his if you loved him. I’m wondering if we can get a consensus that Obama was simply a president who was personally popular but fell far short of expectations. That seems fair, doesn’t it?