About a month ago, this president’s staff accused Obama of having a shadow government. Never mind that there was absolutely zero evidence of this–that’s never stopped them before. Besides the fact that many Americans including me would be crying tears of joy if this were actually true, it got me thinking about the disparity between this administration and the last.
Imagine, if you will, that in his first month as president, Barack Obama did the following. First, his wife decided she didn’t want to live in the White House, so they kept separate abodes. Now, personally, I don’t blame Melania Trump for not wanting to live with her husband or in the fishbowl that is DC when you’re the president’s wife. Think of all the bullshit Michelle went through, being called all sorts of names from all kinds of conservatives*. They made fun of her for wanting to help kids be healthier, and they criticized every aspect of her physical being. Sasha and Malia were not immune from this critical eye, either, so I can understand why Melania would not want to go through that or put Barron through it, either. That said, just imagine if Michelle had said she and the girls wouldn’t be living in the White House and how much of an outrage conservatives would have drummed up over the cost to the taxpayers of wherever Michelle chose to live. It’s costing millions to have Secret Service guard Melania and Barron in NYC, and it’s the taxpayers of NYC who have to pay for it.
Next, imagine that Obama had nominated people with no experience for open Cabinet positions. I have no problem with a president installing people who align with *sigh* his point of view, but I would hope he would choose people who actually know something about the area s/he is being chosen to lead. PBO’s choices for secretary of energy were Stephen Chu and Ernest Moritz. The former was a professor of physics and molecular and cellular biology at UC Berkeley before becoming Department of Energy Secretary (and co-won a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997) , and the latter was the Department Head for the Physics Department at MIT in the early nineties, and his PhD is in theoretical physics. The two of them are distinguished men in their fields, brilliant, dare I say, and they’re succeeded by…Rick Perry, ex-governor of Texas, who thought the job meant he could go around the world bragging about how great the oil business is in Texas.
That’s just one example of the egregious choices this president has made for his cabinet picks. It seems as if in each position, he’s chosen the worst person possible for it. The head of the EPA doesn’t believe in climate change, and the secretary of education disparages public education every chance she gets. This president chose them based on either if he liked them personally or if they were suggested to him by people who only cared about making a profit.
Next, PBO was excoriated for how much vacation time he took as president. Never mind that he took less than W. did or that the president isn’t really on vacation. Imagine if he when he did vacation, he was glad-handling with business people while simultaneously handling a highly-confidential crisis. Now, imagine that he allowed one of the businessmen to take video of the incident and post it online. The Republicans would be howling for his head, and rightly so.
While we’re at it, imagine if PBO still had private business dealings in countries with which he had to have diplomatic relationships as president while being president. This isn’t legal, and yet, this president is still allowed to do it for whatever reason. All of this president’s business dealings are shady, including his beef with Nordstrom, on Twitter, no less, for dropping his daughter’s clothing line.
Speaking of Twitter, imagine if PBO had feverishly tweeted his perceived enemies at three in the morning, picking fights with reporters, businesses, and any rando with an egg avi who dared contradict him.
I need to stop and take a moment here because this is something that has gobsmacked me ever since the campaign. This self-proclaimed billionaire who supposedly is does nothing but win cannot help but respond to every person who insults him. If you’ve ever seen his TL, it alternates between him bragging about how great he is and him yelling at everyone who isn’t firmly kissing his ass. He needs constant validation, and if he doesn’t get it, the voices in his head frantically tell him he needs to stamp out the opposition.
Because of this, he’s extremely easy to manipulate. There are two ways to do it. One, flatter him into doing what you want him to do. If he thinks you get him and idolize him, he’ll be open to suggestions–as long as you make him think it’s his idea in the first place. The second is to goad him by calling him names and questioning his manhood. In this scenario, you have to claim you want the opposite of what you actually want, and chances are, he’ll do the opposite of whatever you suggest just to spite you.
If he were not president, I would actually feel sorry for him. He looks miserable all the time, and I’m pretty sure he’s never felt true happiness. It’s part of the reason he’s so greedy and voracious–he’s trying to fill a hole inside him, and he simply can’t. One thing I’ve always been fascinated by is how his mother is never talked about by him or the media. We know plenty about his asshole father and grandfather, but not a peep about his mother. It’s not surprising, given how heavily patriarchal his family is, but still.
Speaking of family, imagine if Sasha and/or Malia were given security clearance. OK. I think I’ve gone as far down this road as I care to go. The point is, when this president accused PBO of wiretapping him, no one believed it. Even the people who made a career out of being a pain in PBO’s dick didn’t take that accusation seriously. I saw someone tweet about how it’s a testament to PBO’s integrity that it’s ludicrous to think that he broke the law in such a blatant way. Most people didn’t think there was anything there at all, and the rest said if there was any wiretapping going on, then it was because PBO was wiretapping the Russians (legally), and this president was caught in the crossfire. At any rate, no one seriously thought PBO had wiretapped this president during the campaign.
By the way, people need to stop with the think pieces saying Obama has to do something to stop this president. It’s. Not. His. Job. He did what he could while he was president, warning us not to vote for this president and putting in place as many safeguards as possible, but there’s only so much he can do. I have full confidence that he’ll get back into politics soon, and I’ve heard he’s going to focus on the gerrymandering problem, but he put in his eight years. As much as I miss the hell out of him as president, he’s earned his break and as much time off as he needs/wants/desires. He’s put in his time and service, and he doesn’t owe us anything. Again, I’m sure he’ll be active in politics soon enough, but he has no obligation to do anything, no matter how much we implore him.
I have two points to this post. One, the media needs to put the screws to this president. For whatever reason, it seems like they’re grading on a curve when it comes to him. All the shit he’s done, and there’s not the outcry there would be if it were Obama. Or, heaven forbid, (Hillary) Clinton. My god, we heard about her emails every fucking day during the campaign. Even though there was nothing there, the media couldn’t stop jerking off to CLINTON EMAILS. Now, it turns out that the FBI was investigating this president at the same time for being in collusion with the Russians, and, yet, FBI Director Comey chose to talk about Clinton and the emails, but not about this president and the Russians. It’s mind-boggling when you think about it. He chose not to say anything about this president, but had no problems blathering on and on about Clinton’s emails.
I know it’s difficult to keep up with all the lies and misdeeds of this president, but I can’t help but feel that’s part of his (or someone on his team’s) plan. Put all this shit out there, and no one will notice the truly slimy things we are doing quietly. Like Ivanka’s security clearance and the fact that she shouldn’t be in any position of power. Very few people are pointing this out, in part because it’s not as sexy as, say, being too chummy with Russians or sniffs of pay-to-play. It’s also easy to become apathetic because everything is shit, and what can one person do about it?
I’m tired of this presidency already, and it’s only been three months. I hope the next three are much less eventful.
*Not just conservatives. I’m giving a massive side-eye to Maureen Dowd right now.