Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Truest statement of the week

While Obama’s party might not have caused a deadly outbreak — it was outdoors and the Obamas were requiring guests to be vaccinated — the former president’s birthday bash showed, at a minimum, a cavalier insensitivity to the fears and needs of his neighbors, as well as a general indifference to the political fortunes of his fellow Democrats and the sufferings of Americans. But the kerfuffle shouldn’t surprise close observers of Obama’s ex-presidency, which has been strikingly bereft of public-spiritedness.

He’s distinguished himself as an enemy of labor and friend of racist cops. NBA players began to go on strike last August after Jacob Blake, a black man, was shot by police seven times in front of his kids, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Amid a national uprising over the shooting and many other acts of racist police brutality, Obama called LeBron James and players’ union leader Chris Paul and urged them to get back on the court and finish the playoffs, which they did.

Obama was also instrumental in shutting down Bernie Sanders’s bid for the presidency, a huge setback to the movement for social democracy in the United States. When Sanders was leading in the primaries, Obama worked to organize the other rival candidates to drop out and back Biden, making it impossible for Sanders to win. He then persuaded the democratic socialist senator to drop out of the race.

And let’s not forget Obama’s awful museum in Chicago. The three-memoir author is erecting a garish monument to himself on Jackson Park, which community activists argue will wreak havoc on cherished green space and a fragile ecosystem, as well as upon the legal scaffolding for the very idea of the public interest (we wrote about this late last year).

 -- Liza Featherstone, "Barack Obama Has Been One of the Worst Ex-Presidents Ever" (JACOBIN).





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