Why the 44th president still thrills and grates
After the 2016 election, Obama personally intervened to prevent Keith Ellison—a Sanders supporter and, until then, the consensus candidate for DNC chair—from getting the job. Once Trump was sworn in, Obama pretty much left the political stage to play with billionaires, write his memoir and buy expensive houses until 2020, when he intervened to prevent Bernie Sanders from coming into the convention holding a plurality of delegates. Now he’s wagging a finger at BLM demonstrators. Seems to be a pattern.
I don't know why you'd suggest that Obama is someone we should take advice from. That might be true if we wanted advice on how to get Obama elected to office, or how to defend corporations, but it's clear that if he had - or wanted - a good slogan for demilitarizing and controlling the police, he'd have proposed it instead of just dissing "Defund the Police". He's just concern-trolling and he doesn't have any desire to see the police reigned in. Let's not forget who was president at the time the BLM movement rose to prominence.
Obama was the guy who was elected by the public's revulsion for the Iraq war. Then he proceeded to not prosecute the war crimes of Bush / Cheney, and promoted the bureaucrats who supervised torture while prosecuting the whistle blowers. Yep, he was a peach.
Perhaps the most significant indication of Obama as a garbage president, though, was the way he handled what's arguably the largest theft in human history: the "Global Financial Crisis" (the GFC, or subprime/derivatives meltdown). To truly appreciate Obama's corruption, you have to compare his administration's response to the response to the previous biggest-ever bank scandal, the Savings & Loans (S&Ls).
For the S&L's, Reagan made an average bank scandal worse by deregulating them (as Clinton did for Wall St.), but the regulators, many of them Republican appointees, did their jobs. At the time, the S&Ls was, by orders of magnitude, the worst financial/political scandal in American history. The Reagan/Bush regulators filed 30,000+ referrals for criminal prosecution, and the Justice Dept. prosecuted 1200+ cases with a 90% conviction rate. They got big fish, too -- Mike Milken and Charles Keating among them.
Now, fast forward to the GFC which was 70 times larger, in financial terms. An amount exceeding the entire S&L bailout was required to bail out a single bank (IndyMAC) in the GFC. It was not just big, it was huge.
So...how many referrals for criminal prosecution from the Obama administration's regulators? Answer: zero. They prosecuted about a dozen cases, all small fish. No one else went to jail; heck, no one even lost his job. Republican pollster Frank Luntz reports it was the first time he saw people weep in his focus groups. Nine million families lost their homes, and the banks and Wall Street got bailed out while Main Street lost homes and pensions. The big criminals paid dimes on the dollar of their loot in fines, without even an admission of guilt (which makes the civil cases harder to prosecute).
Why 70 million votes for Trump? Says Thomas Greene (from Noteworthy): “Trump will not be defeated by educating voters, by exposing his many foibles and inadequacies. Highlighting what’s wrong with him is futile; his supporters didn’t elect him because they mistook him for a competent administrator or a decent man. They’re angry, not stupid. Trump is an agent of disruption — indeed, of revenge.....Workers now sense that economic justice — a condition in which labor and capital recognize and value each other — is permanently out of reach; the class war is over and it was an absolute rout: insatiable parasites control everything now, and even drain us gratuitously, as if exacting reparations for the money and effort they spent taming us. The economy itself, and the institutions protecting it, must be attacked, and actually crippled, to get the attention of the smug patricians in charge. Two decades of appealing to justice, proportion, and common decency have yielded nothing."
That's Obama in a nutshell.
This really ties together my main thoughts on Obama: he was and is a once-in-a-generation political talent, but he also, by and large, squandered his political mandate. (Though I think he deserves pretty significant credit for the '09 stimulus, at least that which he could get through Congress. The ACA seems to have staying power, as well, at least for the moment — and at the federal level may be the best universal healthcare plan that can be passed, grim as that may appear.)