President Obama has been largely a “sidelines-quarterback.” His nickname of “No-Drama Obama” was earned by a full eight years of never getting out of first gear and assiduously refusing to exert and effort beyond the minimal.
However, now it seems that he has suddenly come to life and is rushing to get some things put on his list of accomplishments. He came back from his latest vacation apparently with the intention to finally get some things done in his last few weeks. It seems as if he would like to be remembered for perhaps more than the president who has taken the most vacation time, spent the most on vacations (nearly $100 million), and logged more rounds of golf than any other president in history. The may not have been one of the best presidents, but he certainly was the laziest.
But perhaps this sudden display of ambition is more sinister.
Mr. Obama has sat back and watched while Russia annexed the Crimea. He seemed unconcerned when the Russian-backed Assad regime blasted over a quarter of a million civilians and quietly ignored his own red line. When the Russians were first involved in hacking a couple of years ago, he did take action. Bold action by Obama standards, saying, “cut it out.” So why now would he finally take action by throwing 35 Russian diplomats out of the country and shutting down a couple of their country retreats? Could the reason be that the last straw was that the Russians, “may have” hacked the DNC and John Podesta’s emails and revealed some embarrassing, and politically incriminating, statements from the party including revealing that he was indeed aware of Hillary Clinton’s illegal, unsecured email server?
Isn’t that a little messed up? Hundreds of thousands of people die, many as a result of internationally illegal chemical weapons, and the only thing that generates a response is because he thinks that the Russians may have been responsible for revealing that John Podesta hates Catholics?
Well, perhaps it is worse than that.
Consider Nancy Pelosi’s comments that Democrats must do everything to make Trump’s presidency a failure, and Maxine Waters is saying that she has no intentions even to meet with the new president, let alone reach across the aisle. Now in all fairness, Republicans said similar things after Obama’s first term but did none of it. They pretty much gave Obama everything that he wanted. Obamacare passed without a fight, budgets passed with only a little grumbling, debt-ceilings were established then moved upward then upward again, and the Iran Nuclear Deal flew by without even a vote, we still subsidize the nation’s largest abortion mill, the borders are still dangerously unsecure and veterans still die awaiting care.
The president is doing nothing more than laying as many mines for the incoming administration as he can. The more obstacles that the new administration has to overcome, the less likely it will be to achieve success. The Republicans have control of both houses and the White House, and the outgoing president must defend the party and do what he can do to make it a rough road to success. Obama will do whatever he could, given the fact that the situation was totally unexpected and he had only 90 days to assemble and dispatch his IEDs. Now it is up to Pelosi to do what is best for the party. Unfortunately, what is best for the party happens at the detriment of the country.
Hillary Clinton said during the campaign that her favorite enemies were the NRA, insurance companies, and a few others, but topping the list was the Republicans. The Republicans were viewed as more dangerous that even Iran, which placed second and was the only non-domestic on her list.
The two-party system is failing the country. Politicians’ loyalty to the party supersedes their obligations to the country and their constituents. We need to bring back accountability and values to politics. One way to start this would be through the establishment of a strong, viable third party and perhaps a fourth and fifth. Accountability can only be reestablished by changing the basic structure of government. It should never be a matter of dispute whether we have a surplus or a deficit. That should be clear cut like it is in business.
We require all public companies to produce quarterly audited financial statements and with rare exceptions these numbers are accurate, or at least, the market reacts as if they were.
We need to clean things up and start by making things simpler and changing the system so that American’s can have some trust in the numbers and everything that the government says. Today that level of trust does not exist.
Nicholas Malino is a retired hedge fund manager and chairman of the Conservative Party of CT. He lives in Weston, CT and has two published books and supplies political commentary and published tangovoir.com.