Mark Greenberg
Life-long Progressive Who Got Woke

The Bread and Circuses of Barack Obama

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Barack Obama made his “official” return to the political scene today in the comfortable confines of the University of Illinois. I had nearly forgotten how skillfully he employed the twists of rhetoric he absorbed on almost a genetic level from the likes of Saul Alinsky and the Chicago community organizers who helped him become the political icon he is.

His speech today was, from my uneducated ear, clearly not written by him. It contained phrases like “bread and circuses” and “electronic diversions” that did not ring true as having sprung from the more natural, conversational manner he is prone to speak.

But the guts of his remarks was pure Obama/pure Alinsky: Donald Trump is the “external antagonist”, or as Alinsky like to phrase it the “common enemy”, for the Democratic Party as it faces a challenging midterm election in fall. His speech was intended, obviously, to turn out the youth vote which he described in somewhat derisive terms as “one in five!” having turned out in 2016 Presidential election: “Not two out of five! One out of five!”

His brush was intended to paint an even broader picture. Trump was not just the common enemy of the Democrat agenda (read that: Obama agenda which Trump is unwinding at a break-neck pace), he is an enemy of the Republican Establishment itself. Was it not the very essence of Republicanism to resist and destroy Communism and here’s this guy cavorting with a former agent of the KGB?

Even though both parties had their flings with distasteful associations with slavery and segregation, how is it possible that the party of Abraham Lincoln could now be embracing the policies of “racial nationalism” (I suppose even Obama’s speechwriter could not bring him or herself to actually accuse Trump of embracing “white power” which is certainly what he was implying), and perhaps most hypocritically he had the audacity of leveling the criticism that “budget deficits don’t matter?”

He accused the Trump Administration of weaponizing the FBI and the Department of Justice against its political opponents which might be the single greatest act of chutzpah of the early 21st Century.

I am not a Trump apologist nor am I a Never Trumper. When he does something stupid, I have no issue calling him out. I wish Jack Dorsey would ban him from Twitter, but that would be bad for business.

But after listening to Obama today, I had this horrible flashback to his eight years in office. Apologizing to the Muslim world. John Brennan running the CIA. Eric Holder, fellow radical and one of most despicable Attorneys General in history, running untraceable guns into Mexico which killed a Border Agent and countless Mexicans, held in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents related to Fast and Furious, suing the State of Arizona for trying to secure their own border, wanting to try Guantanamo detainees in criminal courts in the US while extending them rights reserved for US citizens. Employing the IRS to harass “tea party” groups which opposed Obama for which no one was held responsible. Cozying up to a Former Agent of the KGB and his hand-picked deputy (“Tell Vlad after my election I’ll have more flexibility.”). Defying the Constitution by using an Executive Order to subvert the immigration laws of the country to create DACA. Promising that people would be able to “keep their doctor” and that their premiums would decrease by an average of $2,500 per year if Obamacare was passed. Defying the Constitution by signing the JCPOA without presenting it to Congress for approval as a Treaty (which it clearly was), presenting it instead as an agreement promulgated by the United Nations. Declining to veto a condemnation of Israel at the UN as one of his last official acts because he wanted to “make a point”. Could I go on? Assuredly.

I could not wait for those eight years to end, but I never uttered anything, either in print or during conversations, that could have been construed as being personally insulting or disrespectful to his office or denigrating about those who voted for him. I was unalterably opposed to his policies, I supported candidates who favored positions in line with my thinking and I anxiously awaited the 2016 election.

But after listening to Obama today, I am reminded how awful those eight years were. I have watched the confirmation hearings for a Supreme Court Justice this week and have been appalled by the conspiratorial nature of the questioning by the Democrats and how utterly devoid they are of this “bipartisan” blather they had the nerve to utter for one day in front of John McCain’s coffin.

Their hatred for Trump is completely unhinged. They have collectively become divorced from reality. I think the technical term for that is literally “hysteria”. I really thought Obama was going to manage to stay above this fray, but that was so naive of me. I had forgotten momentarily the political pablum on which he was raised and thrived.

Today, Barack Obama joined the “Resistance” in a full-throated manner and there’s no turning back.

There may well be consequences for him if confidential portions of FISA Court filings are declassified as well as “302” reports between the FBI and Bruce Ohr, the #4 official at the Department of Justice, who reported to Sally Yates, Deputy Attorney General to Loretta Lynch – all Obama appointees. Ohr’s wife, of course, was on the payroll of Fusion GPS, authors of the now-infamous Trump “dossier” which was paid for by the Clinton Campaign and the Democratic Party.

John Brennan seems to have been among the first to inform Harry Reid about its existence who then wrote a gossipy letter about its contents to James Comey. Comey and Andrew McCabe set the wheels in motion. Regrettably and sadly, John McCain seems to have gotten pulled into its vortex, sending one of his aides to London to retrieve an early copy.

The Russian Collusion story was hatched and the distinguished former President who lectured us on anti-tribalism today has his fingerprints all over this mess.

About the Author
Professionally, Mark Greenberg comes out of the world of New York Media. He was a member of the management team that started MTV. He turned down a job at ESPN to move to Austin to raise his family of four boys in a more rational atmosphere. He was also a member of the bicoastal media elite that he critiques on a regular basis.
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