RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

Taibbi writes: "Donald Trump may have won the White House, but he will never be a man like his predecessor, whose personal example will now only shine more brightly with the passage of time. At a time when a lot of Americans feel like they have little to be proud of, we should think about our outgoing president, whose humanity and greatness are probably only just now coming into true focus."

Barack Obama speaks to the press. (photo: Alex Wong/Getty)
Barack Obama speaks to the press. (photo: Alex Wong/Getty)

President Obama's Last Stand

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

18 November 16


Even Obama's critics will soon have plenty of reasons to appreciate him

arack Obama raised an eyebrow or two this week, when he had this to say about why the Democrats just lost the White House:

"You know, I won Iowa not because the demographics dictated that I would win Iowa. It was because I spent 87 days going to every small town and fair and fish fry and VFW hall, and there were some counties where I might have lost, but maybe I lost by 20 points instead of 50 points. … There are some counties maybe I won that people didn't expect because people had a chance to see you and listen to you."

Ouch. There's no way to read that except as a stinging indictment of the Clinton campaign's failure to compete in "lost" territory.

In the past week, Obama has ventured some explanations for Donald Trump's rise. He pointed out that Trump had made a "connection" with his voters that was "powerful stuff."

This felt like a double-edged dig, thrown at both the rabid lunacy of Trump's crowds and Hillary Clinton's infamous (and oft-disputed) struggles on the personal-connection front.

Obama said Trump reached people who are "feeling deeply disaffected," and added during remarks in Greece that "we have to deal with issues like inequality … and economic dislocation." He noted, in the context of both the Brexit vote and Trump's win, that these issues perhaps "[cut] across countries."

Obama's remarks have been coolly received, to say the least, among blue-staters and in traditionally Democratic-friendly media outlets. Dana Milbank of the Washington Post blasted the outgoing president for his "above the fray approach." Others have wondered why Obama has not taken on a "more antagonistic posture."

There are a lot of people these days wondering if the election of the race-baiting Donald Trump will end up staining or outright repudiating the legacy of Barack Obama. I think it will be the other way around. Trump's presidency is almost sure to throw the best qualities of this unique and powerful historical figure into relief.

Trump was carried into the White House by an electorate that outlets like the Harvard Business Review tell us was obsessed with the concept of "manly dignity," but it's Obama who has been the great model for young men of his generation. And ten years from now, when the millions of young people who grew up during his presidency start to enter the workforce and become leaders and parents, we'll see more clearly what he meant to this country.

As a politician, Obama wasn't exactly without disappointments. Reporters who covered his first presidential campaign in 2007-2008 will laugh if they go back to their notes and read the promises he made back then.

In Philadelphia in April of 2008 Obama told the AFL-CIO in no uncertain terms they could trust him not to sign bad deals like the South Korea Free Trade agreement. "You can trust me when I say that whatever trade deals we negotiate when I'm president will be good for American workers," he proclaimed. Four years later he was aggressively lobbying that same deal and promising that it would create 70,000 jobs, and supported the even worse Trans-Pacific Partnership to the end.

He told us repeatedly he would never have a registered lobbyist in the White House, and practically minutes into his presidency he was making Mark Patterson, a Goldman lobbyist, the number two man at Treasury. He promised to support drug reimportation from Canada and gave up on that after a few discussions with Pharma bigwigs.

He pledged to push for "a world without nuclear weapons" at the beginning of his presidency, and was pushing for a brand-new trillion-dollar program by the end of it. He pledged to clean up Wall Street and then presided over a historic stretch of regulatory and prosecutorial inaction. The betrayals on security-state issues like drone assassination, secrecy and surveillance have been breathtaking.

On all these questions Obama seemed either to be unable to assert himself in the center of a hurricane of interests, or else he was really just a run-of-the-mill corporate Democrat regressing to an insincere mean one once Election Day was safely in the rearview mirror. 

Still, if it was the latter, the usual policy disappointments somehow felt less awful in his hands. Obama seemed also to be fighting a two-front war as president and it was the other narrative, the historical battle, where his considerable intelligence seemed more focused.

He faced an extraordinary challenge, entering the White House as the first African-American president at a time when the economy was in ruins and the culture war was spiraling out of control. His political path forward was a tightrope. A presidency weighed down by corruption, indecisiveness or personal weaknesses would have been a disaster.

Imagine the reaction if Barack Obama had been caught in Kennedy- or Clinton-style bedroom scandals, or even if he'd spoken publicly in the style of Carter's “malaise” speech, or suffered a bad come-from-ahead second-term loss à la George H.W. Bush.

Any of the above would have led to the door closing on African-American politicians at the national level for a long time, a generation maybe. This burden was every bit as unfair as the one Hillary Clinton just had to shoulder as the first woman to win a major-party presidential nomination. It was crucial not only that he win, but win twice, and convincingly, and on the power of his own charisma and resolve.

He also had to manage this while somehow not allowing himself to be rattled by the torrent of abuse he received. Think of the discipline and equanimity it must have taken to not show anger and maintain an air of positivity given the vicious absurdities he had to work through, including the ones emanating from none other than Donald Trump about his birth origin.

The birther controversy was racism and profiling elevated to a Wagnerian level: Here was a black man who'd made it all the way to the Oval Office, and a giant portion of the population still considered him to be literally trespassing.

That such an idiotic campaign may have launched Trump into the White House to succeed Obama is an incredibly bitter pill, but this story isn't exactly over yet. When Trump takes over he will immediately have to reckon with Obama's example, and this is a historical popularity contest His Orangeness seems doomed to lose.

From a personality standpoint, Obama is everything Trump isn't. He's in control of his emotions, thick-skinned, self-aware, ingratiating, strategic and temperamentally (if not politically) consistent. A striking quality of Obama as president is that he did his job without seeming to need to take credit for things all of the time, which kept the political price down on many of his decisions.

People rarely make it to the presidency without first acquiring a weakness for embarrassing self-glorifying spectacles like George W. Bush's asinine "Mission Accomplished" flight. When presidents throw parades for themselves after every tiny political win, it only makes the fall from grace hurt that much more when circumstances inevitably cycle back downward. Most of them never learn because most politicians are pathological: 99 percent of them are ruled by drives rather than thoughts.

Obama wasn't that way. To use a hokey sports metaphor, he did his job in the manner of an offensive lineman: The less you heard about him, the better he was probably doing. (Obama would appreciate the comparison. He will go down with Dick Nixon and George W. Bush as one the most unhealthily genuine sports fans to occupy the Oval Office).

His performance this week testified greatly to this quality. He didn't have a lot to say about the election results, but what few lines he did speak conveyed a lot. This is a characteristic of strong people. Contrast this to Donald Trump, who vomits out great quantities of verbiage, taking so many positions at once that no one of them has much meaning after a while.

President-elect Trump will surely talk himself into a jackpot a dozen times before inauguration. Obama hasn't done it, really, since his infamous "guns and religion" speech. Eight years is an awfully long time to go without blinking.

Obama's parting message, about how he won Iowa, was a calm admonition to his own party to not give up on those sections of the country where the "demographics" don't suggest success.

This was an extraordinary statement to make in the wake of such a massive affirmation of racist and xenophobic attitudes. At one of our lowest moments, the person at the very center of this horrible maelstrom of hate was the one urging us not to give up. Obama's detractors may not hear this message now. But history will.

Donald Trump may have won the White House, but he will never be a man like his predecessor, whose personal example will now only shine more brightly with the passage of time. At a time when a lot of Americans feel like they have little to be proud of, we should think about our outgoing president, whose humanity and greatness are probably only just now coming into true focus.

It's more than just a release for anger – taking to the streets is a necessary way to participate in democracy. Watch here. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+62 # Maybe 2016-11-18 14:24
I celebrated the election of Mr. Trump by pulling out and wearing my 2008 Obama/Biden T-shirts. I wore them in spite of the fact that I knew I was in denial. I have always realized that America was extremely lucky to have Barack Obama as it's President, that history will write that he was one of the best Presidents this country has ever had, and even though sandwiched between two disastrous Presidents, he managed to make me proud to be an American. When my t-shirts need washing, and my denial is dealt with by allowing reality to sink in, I will remember with fondness and pride those eight years during which I was proud to be an American.
+59 # grandlakeguy 2016-11-18 14:40
If President Obama REALLY wants a lasting legacy he should blow the cover off of that which must not be mentioned:

The fact that American elections are ABSOLUTELY FRAUDULENT!

Hillary Clinton engaged in election theft in the primaries because the DNC could never allow an honest President whose main interest was bettering the lives of Americans rather than corporate interests.

The Republicans "won" the general election through the magic of "crosscheck" which threw millions of Democratic voters off of the voting lists. (watch Greg Palast's excellent new movie on this subject at
Additionally our polling places nationwide are infected with the cancer called electronic voting. In reality there is no reason to believe any reported result in any electoral contest in this country conducted with computerized voting or tabulation!

It is way past time to bring down the curtain on
+93 # grandlakeguy 2016-11-18 14:45

insist on hand counted paper ballots!
+31 # Ted 2016-11-18 15:02
That's a tee shirt I would wear!
+35 # FIRSTNORN1 2016-11-18 15:10
Quoting grandlakeguy:

insist on hand counted paper ballots!

It's time for all deplorable Democrats (particularly Schumer and Leahy) to *fall on their swords*. Can anyone explain to me how Schumer could, in a solid *Blue State* like NY, still fail to support Obama and the Iran *nuke deal*?
+39 # Radscal 2016-11-18 16:46
"Can anyone explain to me how Schumer could, in a solid *Blue State* like NY, still fail to support Obama and the Iran *nuke deal*?"

Loyalty to a different country than the one he claims to represent.
+19 # indian weaver 2016-11-19 06:57
Remember Schumer supported Netanyahu's address to Congress. That was a very incident / thing to support. I figured then he was more Israeli than American, like many in Congress really.
+29 # Bryan 2016-11-18 19:38
Schumer serves two interest--Wall Street and Israel...and only those interest.
+21 # lfeuille 2016-11-18 20:06
In a word, Israel.
+6 # treerapper 2016-11-21 03:44
Because Chuckie boy is more of a hawk than HRC. He thrives on death and destruction, especially when used by countries such as Israel against Palestinians - a very particular focus of his.

He will be an absolutely terrible minority leader.
+37 # JCM 2016-11-18 18:22
There just doesn't seem to be enough outrage that this, and the Gore and Kerry elections were stolen.
+8 # ericlipps 2016-11-18 20:25
Quoting grandlakeguy:

insist on hand counted paper ballots!

As in the good old days, when boxes of paper ballots simply "disappeared" rather than being counted?
+10 # dbrize 2016-11-18 20:53
Quoting ericlipps:
Quoting grandlakeguy:

insist on hand counted paper ballots!

As in the good old days, when boxes of paper ballots simply "disappeared" rather than being counted?

Damn right ericlipps. You got one right. Kudos.

The seven deadly sins are alive and well and truly bipartisan.
+5 # madame de farge 2016-11-19 04:42
So is greed, fraud, and corruption and that is where the CPAs got their start. Too bad they had to succumb to temptation, probably should have stayed private instead of going public. Same thing for a lot of companies. By going public, they have allowed themselves to be pressured to overextend AND indulge in RICO activity.
+5 # James38 2016-11-20 22:12

It doesn't take too much imagination to figure out how to have the best of both worlds. Combine paper ballots with electronic voting. Have the paper ballots counted as an exact check on the accuracy of the electronic totals.

Set it up so that any discrepancy would set off a detailed investigation with serious penalties for whoever messed up the system.

The electronic ballot machine could also print out the paper ballot. The voter could instantly check to see that both ballots were identical, and the printed ballot could be fed into an independent counting machine at the exit that would collect one paper copy for official hand counting, so that there would be three tallies, and the voter would take home a copy of his/her vote.

We could have a competition making the foolproof system. Can you think of a better one?
+15 # Adoregon 2016-11-18 22:27

Also, insist on the choice of "none of the above" on all ballots for elective office.
If "none of the above" wins, then a new slate of candidates must be brought forth.
+20 # jdd 2016-11-18 14:57
Oh yes. an economy in ruin, massive drug addiction and suicides, a middle-class less than 1/2 the population, weekly kill sessions, the Mideast in flames, and on a collision course with Russia and China. Now a nation without purpose except endless wars, economic stagnation, and willing to risk WWIII for a unipolar world that doesn't exist. We are fortunate indeed.
-21 # Mahatma 2016-11-18 16:23
All this is sure bringing out who are the Neoliberal apologists journalists and who can recognize an insurgency of tens of millions of people. Trump has already killed TPP and TTIP two reasons to rejoice, he is almost certainly going to upend the post WWII imperial hegemony of the US and change geopolitics like no other president in our lifetimes.

But it's gonna be one hell of a ride - join in make your voice in support of all those tens of millions of people heard try to shape policy. It takes GUTS

Or be just another Neoliberal establishment sycophant.
+16 # lfeuille 2016-11-18 20:15
He will have a beneficial effect in foreign policy. It is definitely better than Hillary's. But that doesn't excuse the bigotry. What we need is a president that will leave the rest of the world alone without pitting groups of people in this country against each other. And neo-liberalism is alive and well under Trump. Maybe we escaped some trade deals, but we will still have wall street calling the shots and lobbyists infesting government. We should never have been put in the position of choosing one disaster or another.
+33 # MidwesTom 2016-11-18 17:02
Obama's greatest achievement in my opinion is the Nuclear deal with Iran, He had to overlook AIPAC, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the neocon's in DC. I also credit him for NOT sending troops into Syria.

He disappointed me by not speaking more to American Blacks whose votes elected him. Maybe I am not aware of his actions, but I had hoped that he would encourage more intercity kids to stay in school and not become teenage moms. I also wished that he would have prosecuted individual Wall Street bankers. He fined the banks, but that did not hurt the bankers, only the stock holders.

Probably a pipe dream, but I wished that he would have really attacked the casino nature of Wall Street. Day trading makes millions for those in NY, but does nothing for the country. My suggestion has always been a minimum stock ownership period of two days.
+18 # lfeuille 2016-11-18 20:24
That was definitely a pipe dream Tom. He got elected with Wall Street money. He refused public financing so he could rake in unlimited cash from corporations.
+12 # madame de farge 2016-11-19 04:47
And that Weasel Geithner will permanently stain his 'legacy'.

Frankly I wish Taibbi would give us 2 things, a listing of the JP Morgan indictment, conviction and settlements since Jamie Dimon has been the CAPO, and also a listing of Obama's accomplishments ... I still do not see any legacy besides bailing out Wall Street instead of mainstreet and a healthcare plan that makes us look insane compared to the 13 page Canadian healthcare plan...
-6 # indian weaver 2016-11-19 07:00
Ridiculous. Obama has had his CIA in Syria for a long time now, years, arming and training ISIS and al-Qaeda (al-Nusra). And everywhere else. Trump made him turn this treasonous policy around upon Trump's first and only meeting with this coward-in-chief at the house he made black for evil.
+3 # Phillybuster 2016-11-19 17:06
Yes, because Obama is suicidal and wanted ISIS or al-Qaeda to assassinate him.
+12 # alice arlene 2016-11-18 14:27
+90 # elizabethblock 2016-11-18 14:42
There has been a suggestion - from a Jewish group - that if Trump does indeed try to force Muslims to register, EVERYONE should register as a Muslim.
It's like a story a friend told me, about a Jewish family in Montana, who put a menorah in their window and got a brick thrown through it. The word went out to all the churches in town, and all the Christians put pictures of menorahs in their windows.
Goodness can be hard work, but it can be done.
+46 # Ted 2016-11-18 15:08
That technique could serve as a strong resistance tool across the board.

I wonder how the powers-that-be would react if masses of people starting showing up at their local police stations to turn themselves in to be arrested for the crime of hoping to protect our waters from corporate polluters the next time there's a mass arrest at Standing Rock.
+54 # tedrey 2016-11-18 16:09
The story goes that when the Nazis took over Denmark they ordered that every Jew in the country must wear a yellow ribbon for easy identification. Within a week every Dane from the royal family down was wearing a yellow ribbon.
+45 # Ted 2016-11-18 16:40
A true story!

My Mother was Danish and I fondly remember her telling me with a proud tear in her eye, how in the face of the nazi occupation the King of Denmark, who was not Jewish, publicly wore a star of David armband as the Danish Jews were forced to do to show his resistance.
+41 # Ken Halt 2016-11-18 18:18
Not only that, on the night the Nazis planned to round up Danish Jews there were none to be found! An honorable Nazi general had informed his Danish counterpart of what was to happen and their neighbors quietly ferried them over the strait to Sweden. They then maintained the abandoned property while they were away, the Danish Jews came home and resumed their lives after WWII. This is one of the little known and heart-warming stories of kindly heroism from that conflict. The Danes are a wonderful people, friendly, helpful and brave. I spent some time there when I was young and now wish I'd emigrated. Never thought the US would be brought so low but 36 years of conservative ascendance can really wreak havoc.
+12 # Jaax88 2016-11-18 23:55
Yes that story about the Danes wearing wearing the Star of David emblem is well known,at least to people of Danish heritage. I wrote about it a couple of days ago on another thread here. I have relatives in Denmark now and during WWll. I have been told that one or two my uncles/cousins ran boats to take people out of Denmark during the war. Perhaps they were Jewish people.
+16 # Johnny 2016-11-18 16:52
It was a yellow star of David, not a ribbon.
+4 # treerapper 2016-11-21 03:50
It's very similar to the recent Burkini episode that originated in France. Once many towns started to initiate these discriminatory practices, many non-muslim women started wearing Burkinis.

We only have a few tools to challenge the idiots but those tools we have we must use with as much force as we can.

I personally would like to see all of Trump's holdings boycotted globally. Just another tool in our toolbox that has great affect when broadly applied.
+29 # boomerjim 2016-11-18 14:50
Well, except for his promoting of TPP, the number of deportations, and drone strikes.
+15 # harleysch 2016-11-18 16:58
Not to mention regime change in Ukraine, in Libya, demonizing Putin, supporting an Attorney General who wouldn't prosecute Wall Street swindlers....
+29 # danireland46 2016-11-18 14:57
Thanks Matt, for pointing out how much better Obama's time in the whitehouse was compared to the GW/Chenney presidency and the upcoming Trump fiasco. Especially pointing out the HRC didn't do the work necessary to defeat such a disastrous candidate as the donald. She knew the fix was in to win because she ruled the DNC, and she felt entitled to win, She felt it was her just due. Even though she was aware that polls showed Trump had a better chance against her than Bernie, she allowed the Trump victory by assuming she'd finally win.
Hubris should be a private lesson, not a national endangerment. SHAME ON YOU HRC!
+26 # StuBones1960 2016-11-18 17:10
Yellow star, but yes. That happened. If they institute that monstrous policy, this atheist ex Jew will register straight away.
+11 # MillValleyMaven 2016-11-18 18:02
"I am Spartacus!"
-12 # Jaax88 2016-11-19 00:04
What about all those Bernie or bust folks and the not Hillary Stein voters having a part in allowing trump to win.
+9 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2016-11-19 01:41
Quoting Jaax88:
What about all those Bernie or bust folks and the not Hillary Stein voters having a part in allowing trump to win.
Given the choice of voting for a rotten candidate who has a chance to win, an even more despicable candidate who also has a chance to win, or a principled individual who has virtually no chance to win, I’d rather vote for the principled individual.
+5 # indian weaver 2016-11-19 07:04
That is what I did. The 2 leading candidates were both disasters, but in slightly different ways on different policies. But, considering them both, I had to vote for Green, on principle and a moral basis, period. I could not vote to continue the dual disasters of Obama and dubya.
+4 # James38 2016-11-20 21:54
Diane, you made a great suggestion re the Congressional recess appointment of a SC justice by Obama.

Kudos for that. But this nonsense is a disappointment. You need to think about this definition: "Politics is the art of the possible."

Voting for the "principled individual" gave us a total disaster. The best we can hope for is that the "Trump and his Trumpettes" administration will have enough of its disasters come home during his first four years, so that residual effects won't be blamed on whoever succeeds him. We can hope that he is enough of a fast-acting poison that one term is more than enough. (And the Professor who predicted his win also has predicted that Trump will be impeached - yes, by the Republicans.)

My biggest beef about Hillary is her blind ambition. She knew that Bernie was clearly rated to have a better chance to beat Trump than she had. The honorable choice for her would have been to put the Nation before her ambition, and step aside. Instead we had to see her crooked DNC chair and whoever that Brazile person was doing their dirty tricks.

Had she backed Bernie, and perhaps been his Veep, we would have a truly exciting future now. No more halfway-liberal /wall street confusion.

Trump would be history already, instead of a festering sore on our body politic.
+29 # Ted 2016-11-18 15:01
President Obama's legacy, no matter how gilded, will always remain tarnished by the fact that America's first Afro-American president was frozen by inaction in the face of traumatic civil and human rights abuses at Standing Rock.

No, mr.president, let's NOT let those abuses "play out for a few weeks".
+13 # jsluka 2016-11-18 15:24
I don't know what Matt is on about in this ridiculous article. Is he talking about Obama the "assassin in chief," the president who engaged in more secrecy and approved more surveillance of American citizens than any other president ever? The president who bombed something like eight countries? The president who supported the TPPA? Etc. It reminds me of the kind of thing many (foolish) people say about Ronald Reagan - that he was "such a great guy." Pah!
+12 # reiverpacific 2016-11-18 16:31
Quoting jsluka:
I don't know what Matt is on about in this ridiculous article. Is he talking about Obama the "assassin in chief," the president who engaged in more secrecy and approved more surveillance of American citizens than any other president ever? The president who bombed something like eight countries? The president who supported the TPPA? Etc. It reminds me of the kind of thing many (foolish) people say about Ronald Reagan - that he was "such a great guy." Pah!

So; you'd ha' been happier with John "McPain" or "Twit" Romney, who have had you in a war with Iran right off the bat?
Pah and p'tooey!
+19 # Radscal 2016-11-18 16:52
Perhaps. I've come to see both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama as the more effective evil, not the lesser evil.

They both got away with stuff that Republican presidents couldn't and didn't.

Speaking the language of the 99%, they lulled liberals/progre ssives into accepting the unacceptable.
0 # lorenbliss 2016-11-18 18:21
At this point, the president remains the most maliciously premeditated Big Liar in USian political history, seducing us as Obama the Orator with his "change we can believe in," then stabbing all of us in the back with his transformation to Barack the Betrayer, a death-blow to voter participation he and his Democratic (sic) advisors had planned years beforehand.

Thus he will remain -- by far the most malevolently servile capitalist president in my 76-year lifetime -- until the economic devastation with which Obama knowingly subjugated the 99 Percent is superseded by the murderous Holocaust promised by the Nazi president whose election the Betrayer and his surrogate Hillary knowingly enabled.

(Thus are the intentions of the defeated 1934 Bankers' Plotters -- that the U.S. become the Fourth Reich -- finally fulfilled.)
+5 # lfeuille 2016-11-18 20:26
Oh, come on. That's not the point. Just not being as bad as McCain and Romney is not nearly enough.
+10 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2016-11-19 01:50
Quoting reiverpacific:
So; you'd ha' been happier with John "McPain" or "Twit" Romney...
No, reiverpacific. jsluka would have been happier if Obama had fulfilled his campaign promises. That would have been nice.
+5 # indian weaver 2016-11-19 07:11
Or even tried ... just a sold-out coward with massive character defects, and unqualified to lead a horse to water let alone make it drink.
-9 # Bryan 2016-11-18 19:42
Tabbi has done some good work in the past but up until 2000 he was also a heroin addict...I sometimes wonder if he's smoking something when he starts in on this election.
+7 # lfeuille 2016-11-18 20:28
It's not his area of expertise. This is just personal observation without sufficient knowledge to back it up.
+17 # Inspired Citizen 2016-11-18 15:38
I guess compared to Trump Obama seems great. He assassinated Americans with no due process in violation of the Constitution and proved to be a willing puppet for Wall St. and corporate America with his "free-trade agreements," TPP, TTIP and TiSA. I'm certain Trump will be even worse, but Obama is not someone I will ever look up to.
+4 # skylinefirepest 2016-11-18 17:04
Inspired, yeah, you hit that on the head. Obama is only a little better than hillary and not much at that!!
+14 # Radscal 2016-11-18 15:43
“Obama said Trump reached people who are "feeling deeply disaffected," and added during remarks in Greece that "we have to deal with issues like inequality … and economic dislocation."

A perfect microcosm of the Obama who paved the way for Trump. He knows how to say all the right words.

Did y’all catch the “greeting” Obama got in Greece? It didn’t get much corporate media coverage. Do a quick web search for the enormous protests, the brutal police crackdown and the inevitable violent rioting.

The Greek people know what Obama stands for. He stands for the global fascist world order of the IMF supra-national banksters, which has destroyed the lives of so many Greeks. The Greeks voted overwhelmingly to reject the IMF-imposed austerity and elected a seemingly left-wing government which immediately backtracked on their mandate and agreed to the IMF demands.

The Greek people know that “democracy” is a charade.

Matt Taibbi and all too many Democratic partisans are still in denial.

Jimmy Dore looks at Harry Belafonte - back in 2005 - telling Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the Black Caucus what they still refuse to hear.
-5 # Activista 2016-11-18 20:41
Greek citizens smiled as well. Despite some nagging about the strict security and traffic control measures during Obama’s moves in Athens, the citizens of the capital felt that they live in an organized city and were reminded that Democracy started here. In addition, they felt that they are worthy of the honor to have as visitor the leader of the world’s superpower. - See more at:
Greece is being solved - the same as Obama worked out the Bush's worst recession after 1920
But our comrades are sad - there was not a Bolshevik revolution.
+5 # indian weaver 2016-11-19 07:15
Obama did jack shit for the Great Depression, only retained its cruelty and is prolonging it with his criminal support of criminal bankers and his MIA DOA Justice Dept. doing jack shit his entire 8 years, about anything, including systematized police assassinations and racism, killing over 1100 people so far this year, most innocent unarmed black and in the back, that is who Obama is- a vicious genocidal maniac with the big mouth and no backbone.
-1 # Activista 2016-11-19 22:02
yes - USA is leading in prisoners per capita etc.
- and guns are everywhere ...
Obama did as much as ANY president could make under the circumstances ..
Wait when your 99% with fuhrer Trump will get to power ...
+4 # Radscal 2016-11-19 17:02
What a surprise that the fan of financial fascist George Soros, whose dirty dealings had much to do with the economic rape of Greece thinks "Greece is being solved."

I'm sure all those refugees from our Global War OF Terror living in a camp that was just attacked and burned by right-wing fascists are happy to hear that "Greece is being solved," too.

From the chaos he and his globalist fascists foment, will rise the order of their One World Global Tyranny.

Unless we, the 99% of the world unite against them, that is.
-3 # Activista 2016-11-19 21:28
Soros is supporting EU and positive/libera l EU policies -
"A widening gap in economic performance and political dominance is such a dismal prospect for the EU that it must not be allowed to become permanent. There must be a way to prevent it – after all, history is not predetermined. The EU, originally conceived as an instrument of solidarity, is today held together by grim necessity. That is not conducive to a harmonious partnership. The only way to reverse the trend is to recapture the spirit of solidarity that animated the European project from the start."
and this 99% (another Bolshevik revolution) against 1% is a scary crap -
+3 # Radscal 2016-11-20 01:25
Of course Soros "supports" the EU and specifically the supra-national banks' single currency.

Remember how George became famous for crashing the British Pound? How his hedge fund went from $3.3 billion to $13 billion in one year by manipulating currency?

And of course, the savings and income of the 99% were eviscerated by his financial fascism.

"Forbes Flashback: How George Soros Broke The British Pound And Why Hedge Funds Probably Can't Crack The Euro"
-2 # Activista 2016-11-20 13:35
"Forbes Flashback: How George Soros Broke The British Pound And Why Hedge Funds Probably Can't Crack The Euro"

"In former times, powerful central bankers could usually frustrate speculators. They did so by simply buying massive amounts of the weaker currency and flooding the market with the stronger currency. But times are changing. While the central banks can mobilize tens of billions of dollars, trading in foreign currency markets now runs to a trillion dollars a day."
so now powerful central bankers are your heroes and are kosher to "manipulate the currencies"?
This is what Soros did - stopped this manipulation.
Glad to learn new terms like financial fascism.
+1 # Radscal 2016-11-20 18:50
Central banks, when owned and/or controlled by financial fascists instead of the states in which they operate are the root of much of what is evil in the world, and have been for centuries.

"Give me control of a nation's money
and I care not who makes the laws."

~ Mayer Amschel Rothschild

Of course, now they control not just the currency, but also the law making and enforcing.
+6 # bbaldwin2001 2016-11-18 15:45
Do away with the Electoral College and we would not be having this problem. Clinton soundly defeated El Trumpo and would be picking her staff right now if not for the "out of date" institution.
+22 # grandlakeguy 2016-11-18 15:58
Sorry but I must disagree, electoral college or not the Republican partisans still control the counting of our votes!

We can never win when we are engaging in "election theater" against those who count the votes.

As long as the Democrats allow the Republicans to cheat nothing changes.
+9 # lfeuille 2016-11-18 20:36
The Democrats win when they "win by more than they can cheat". That's how Obama won. The fact that he would turn out to be another DINO was not generally known then. He generated enough enthusiasm to overcome the cheating. I think Bernie would have also. But the cheating has to be addressed sooner or later.
-8 # skylinefirepest 2016-11-18 17:06
Oh please, bbald, what a load of garbage. And if she had won then how would you explain her history of crime to the world? How would you explain her vile behavior for many years prior to this election? Or would you simply ignore it figuring it would just be a continuation of obama??
-1 # sashapyle 2016-11-18 23:53
Both major party candidates this year can be reasonably accused of criminal behaviors over a considerable period of time. It's a tragedy that we ended up with these two. That being said, I rather liked having an EPA, and I prefer a President with the discipline to actually work, so she was the better choice. Plus she does not wade in the slimy waters of identity and race politics, which automatically made her the better candidate. And she was never my first choice, and I revile the DNC for shoving her down our throats, so that's NOT me being a Clinton fan, just a person with values.
+3 # librarian1984 2016-11-19 07:35
"she does not wade in the slimy waters of identity .. politics"

Really? Clinton and her surrogates resorted to cries of misogyny early, often and even now, and Clinton policies from the '90s did a lot to devastate black Americans' lives.

Hillary DOES work hard, I'll give her that, but at undermining our democracy. She is thoroughly corrupt, she lied and cheated -- neither a fit leader nor a suitable role model. BOTH candidates were walking disasters, just different poisons.

'Out of the frying pan and into the fire' = 'Escaping Clinton only to be Trumped'
+9 # lfeuille 2016-11-18 20:31
And getting ready to implement the no fly zone in Syria which would have led to war with Russia. No Thanks. There was no good choice this time. It would have been grief either way.
-3 # Activista 2016-11-19 22:16
... no fly zone in Syria which would have led to war with Russia....
this was Hillary stupid way how to tell her "rebels" in Syria that we in fact "betrayed" them.
Think that the present and further Pentagon would not risk the Russia conflict.
The pivotal change in the Middle East was Obama/Kerry Iran diplomacy.
On the Trump side. ALL the signs are that the Putin/Trump/Net anyahu war on Muslims and Greater Israel will escalate the war and killing.
+7 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2016-11-19 01:54
Quoting bbaldwin2001:
Do away with the Electoral College and we would not be having this problem.
Wrong! Do away with winner-take-all , state by state. THAT wouldn't require a Constitutional amendment and IS within the power of the voters in each state.
+12 # reiverpacific 2016-11-18 16:00
C'mon now!
Can you imagine Drumpf OR HRC at "every small town and fair and fish fry and VFW hall," (quote).
They're more likely to be seen at lavish, lobbyist expense-account -funded lengthy lunches or dinners at the poshest restaurant in every city they deign to appear in!
I hope that those who disparaged Onama, calling him a "wimp" and worse, will choke on these words, as the US becomes an ongoing business lunch for the Wall Street "breakers!"
+14 # Radscal 2016-11-18 17:02
Obama was talking about Iowa specifically.

Remember in Iowa that Trump gave kids rides in his helicopter?

Trump drew far too large of crowds to appear at fish fries. But he campaigned all across the country.

Meanwhile, HRC never even went to Wisconsin during the campaign. And at many of the rallies she did hold, turnout was bleak to say the least.
+8 # indian weaver 2016-11-19 07:18
And recall the huge enthusiastic crowds that Bernie attracted, most of which were ignored by the Clinton-fawning MSM...
+5 # Radscal 2016-11-19 17:07
YES! This election was the Establishment against Insurgency. Had the DNC and corporate media permitted a contest between Trump and Sanders, we would at least have had a public discussion of the real issues.

And of course, that's precisely what the elite did NOT want to happen.
-3 # Activista 2016-11-20 13:22

Easily the most ridiculous argument this year was that the DNC was some sort of monolith that orchestrated the nomination of Hillary Clinton against the will of “the people.” This was immensely popular with the Bernie-or-Buste rs, those who declared themselves unwilling to vote for Clinton under any circumstances because the Democratic primary had been rigged ...
In the real world, here is what happened: Clinton got 16.9 million votes in the primaries, compared with 13.2 million for Sanders. The rules were never changed to stop him, even though Sanders supporters started calling for them to be changed as his losses piled up.

0 # Radscal 2016-11-20 18:53
I have to apologize. I've asked multiple times how you could have survived the Soviet Union being as naive about propaganda as you've appeared to be.

Now I realize that you are in fact a propagandist yourself.
-2 # Activista 2016-11-20 23:53
Now I realize that you are in fact a propagandist yourself - self-reflection ?
n the real world, here is what happened: Clinton got 16.9 million votes in the primaries, compared with 13.2 million for Sanders
+15 # jwb110 2016-11-18 16:09
If you don't think that the Radical Right will not move erase the Obama administration out of existence, Matt, you are not looking at history. Climate Deniers, Holocaust Deniers, all the Trump and GOP minions will working overtime in much the same way as they kept the "Obama wasn't born in this country" scam alive. History is told by the victors and the more virulent the movement the more virulent the re-write.
0 # Phillybuster 2016-11-19 17:43
You've got it. Obama's "legacy" will be erased in less than the four years of Trump's first term. So will FDR's and most other progressive works. Goodbye ACA, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, SS Disability, SNAP, TANF, Voting Rights, Roe v. Wade, LGBTQ rights, etc. Say "Hello" to more corporate welfare, more and deadlier guns, more regime changes, more End Times fetishists, and accelerated climate change!
+6 # Johnny 2016-11-18 17:01
We can be proud of Obomber and his massacre of Afghanis, Iraqis, Pakistanis, Syrians, Libyans, etc. when Germans can be proud of Hitler and the Nazi Holocaust. Until then, the hypocrisy is too overwhelming.
+11 # joannys 2016-11-18 17:32
I did just sign up to register as a Muslim if Trump goes ahead with such a registry. Go to
It's easy and it's one way to have a voice.
+2 # Patriot 2016-11-20 01:22
Thanks, joannys, I just did.
+6 # Bryan 2016-11-18 19:54
'' As a politician, Obama wasn't exactly without disappointments . Reporters who covered his first presidential campaign in 2007-2008 will laugh if they go back to their notes and read the promises he made back then.''

Hardly anyone 'gets' what this election is saying.
Bottom line people were disgusted and wanted CHANGE.

Obama won on promising CHANGE and didn't deliver it.

Now Trump has won on promising CHANGE and probably wont deliver it either.

Obama was in 'over his head' when he won the WH. Trump is also "in over his head'.
Because of this Obama was a perfect tool and now Trump is a perfect tool for being controlled by the 'advisors' and the 'shadow government' of money, power and foreign interest that has controlled the US for decades.

They will be whispering in Trump's ear just as they did Obama's and Bush Jr's and Clinton's before them.

You want CHANGE you better get yourselves a really crack Swat Team and a list of names and get busy.
+3 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2016-11-19 02:00
Quoting Bryan:
You want CHANGE you better get yourselves a really crack Swat Team and a list of names and get busy.
Damn, Bryan. That's harsh! Indubitably true, but be careful about what you solicit.
+3 # indian weaver 2016-11-19 07:19
Afraid to tell the truth? What does that tell you about the police state and your reaction to it? Nothing good, and everything bad.
-1 # Activista 2016-11-18 20:44
Good article by Matt Taibbi - people are confusing Obama diplomacy (working with all sides) for his weaknesses.
Now they elected strong man - fuhrer casino Trump - and they will learn.
+3 # Phillybuster 2016-11-19 17:50
El Trumpador couldn't even make money running casinos! How do you lose money running a casino? If a Mafia-owned casino lost money, the manager would be taken for a ride - one way.
+8 # Jayceecool 2016-11-18 21:58
Mr Taibbi needs to explain why Pres. Obama failed to use the vast powers of his office to connect with disaffected Main Street Americans during his 8 year tenure. The answer: he either didn't have a clue, or he just didn't care...
+6 # sashapyle 2016-11-18 23:48
I'd say the worst Congress ever seen (until upcoming) did hold Obama back just a bit. Taibbi spoke for me more or less, I was very disappointed with Obama's many failures in living up to the Peace Prize, and I sure wish he'd come out with both guns blazing in favor of the Sioux at Standing Rock right about now, but he is a disciplined and elegant person and we will not be seeing THAT for a while now.
+5 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2016-11-19 02:03
Quoting sashapyle:
I sure wish [Obama had] come out with both guns blazing in favor of the Sioux at Standing Rock right about now, but he is a disciplined and elegant person...
What a PC way to say he's too freaking high and mighty to get his hands dirty doing honest work.
+4 # sashapyle 2016-11-19 23:31
Haha no one has ever called me PC before, thanks for the novelty!
Also, you completely misread what I wrote. I did NOT SAY Obama was too cool to take a stand on DAPL, I said despite his many failings we will miss his character. And we WILL. Read my comment again. Perhaps my punctuation was unhelpful. I used a comma where another period, or a semi-colon would have separated my phrases more clearly.
-6 # janie1893 2016-11-19 02:25
I agree with Matt 100%. Obama will, in the future, be revered for his impact on America and Europe while he was President
and for his dignity and statesmanship in carrying out the duties of the office of President.
-1 # Activista 2016-11-19 22:28
Yes - Obama is educated and natural diplomat - we need people like that to resolve the differences - not ideologues with this 99% x 1% - who proclaim themselves the representatives of 99% - like fuhrer Trump did ..
+1 # indian weaver 2016-11-19 07:06
This is one totally partisan, sickening, distracting, dishonest article about the assassin-in-chi ef, coward-in-chief , liar-in-chief, torturer-in-chi ef, sold-out Boy Toy-in-chief, fascist in chief.
-1 # Activista 2016-11-19 22:30
Full of hate of Obama and democracy --
+4 # Dale 2016-11-19 08:23
Verse 2: The Lesser Evil (excerpts)
The downtrodden and decent folk want real change,
But many as events progressed repeatedly saw only Obamabust,
Barack Obummer as a Counterfeit Progressive....
betrayer of idealistic voters,
A silk worded Servant of Big Money and War Lords.....
In Zombieland of the 1% compliance is rewarded,
And defiance punished.....
The Pres fingered Wall Street foxes to guard the Treasury,
The SEC got a lawyer not believing in Crime and Punishment,
The FED, governed by Bankophiles, went on Quantitatively Easing the burden of Wall Street´s toxic assets.
Commerce got a deregulating Rich Lady, misnamed “Penny,” ....
In Obama Land, the Department of War got its lackeys.
The Generals who guided Bush´s Wars,
With a nod from the Pres and his National Security Staff,
They sharpened strategizing the Imperial Vision in pursuit of their New World (Dis)Order.....
The new CIA Chief invented drone murders....
The National Security Advisor is a sharp taloned hawk,
Ready to Shock and Awe anywhere, anytime.
The UN Ambassador is not at all embarrassed to justify State Sponsored Terrorism...
The Assistant Secretary for European Affairs is all for renewing the Cold War with Russia,
And applauds the neo-fascist Ukranian thugs.
The former Attorney General did not jail the Big Crooks,
Hid Wall Street crimes in secret settlements,
Nor did the AG prosecute American officials plainly guilty of War Crimes....
+6 # djnova50 2016-11-19 09:37
Jimmy Dore has a show called The Aggressive Progressive on The Young Turks youtube channel. He also has his own channel called The Jimmy Dore Show. In this video, Jimmy talks about Obama's legacy:
+6 # willsud24 2016-11-19 12:40
Jimmy is awesome! He calls these neoliberal out for what they really are...traitors!
+4 # ChrisCurrie 2016-11-19 10:07
To the contrary, Hillary Clinton's loss was in no small way caused by President Obama's highly dishonest and morally depraved conduct as President. As pointed out in this article, he won both elections with visions of hope and change promises, and then he broke most of those promises. Rather than giving the American people the Medicare-For-Fa ll healthcare system that they clearly wanted, he gave them an unwieldy mess called Obamacare that featured a "public option" for a while which he then dropped thereby causing the Democrats to lose control of the Senate because MA voters were so upset that they stayed home and allowed Scott Brown to replace Ted Kennedy. That in turn led to the current jump in Obamacare insurance premiums. And his inexcusably dishonest, corrupt, and unconstitutiona l TPP/TTIP/TTIP falsely labeled "trade agreement" initiatives along with his illegal clandestine "regime change" insurgency/coup de tat programs which turned Honduras into "the murder capital of the world" and triggered the currently raging civil wars in Syria, Libya, and the Ukraine were MORALLY DEPRAVED! And Hillary appeared to be proposing more of the same morally depraved conduct by the United State Government in the future. Whether or not Trump can make things better remains to be seen, but at least Trump has succeeded in KILLING Obama's morally depraved TPP/TTIP/TiSA "trade initiatives which will be a GOOD thing for most people worldwide.
+5 # willsud24 2016-11-19 12:38
Obama's last stand? Hahahahahahah!! !! When has Obama stood or fought for anything? This guy has given the Republicans 99.99% of what they wanted and he's bended, compromised and kneeled to his corporate masters at every turn. He's been a great Republican President.
+1 # kyzipster 2016-11-21 00:02
Obama morphed into an establishment Dem straight away after elected. Trump will not resist at all, he strikes me as much too lazy to do anything else. A puppet of right-wing extremism making way for the next establishment Dem to come 'save' us.

I hope this shakes up the DNC sufficiently to move a little bit back to the center but I'm not optimistic.

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.