We will shortly have a new president, one from a different political party. This Blog wishes the new president success in addressing the issues the Country faces. This hopefully is the desire of all Americans, irrespective of political leanings.
Given it has been eight years since we have prepared for a new president, it is an appropriate time to reflect on changes that have occurred during this period. Blog reader Jim Mahoney shares his reflections in the post below “A Tale of Two Transitions”. As Jim concludes: “They [the media and the Left] have painted a caricature of Donald Trump as being so buffoonish and inept, that he will hit a home run if he comes into office acting even halfway presidential.” This Blog will hold Donald Trump to a much higher standard.
A Tale of Two Transitions, By Jim Mahoney
Remember back in November 2008? Barack Obama had just won the election and expectations for his presidency were running white hot for no apparent reason. Throughout the campaign liberals, the media and the Obama campaign constantly reminded us about his high level of intelligence and capability and the official narrative was that he would easily be able to solve all of the country’s problems. This led some of us at the time to question exactly what in his background made him so qualified. For those who may not remember, here is a rundown of Barack Obama’s resume.
By his own admission, Obama had a lackluster high school academic career in which he spent most of his time smoking pot with his friends in the Choom Gang. That didn’t prevent him from being accepted to Occidental College and later transferring to Columbia University in his junior year. After graduating in 1983 he had brief stints as a research associate at a New York Public Interest Research Group and as the Director of the Developing Communities Project on Chicago’s South Side.
Obama entered Harvard Law School in the fall of 1988, where he was selected as an editor of the Harvard Law Review at the end of his first year, president of the journal in his second year, and two years as a research assistant to the constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe. After graduation, he was an associate with Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, a 13-attorney law firm specializing in civil rights litigation and neighborhood economic development. He also taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School as a Senior Lecturer until 2004.
Obama was elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996, where he developed a habit of voting “Present” to avoid taking a stand on any tough issues that might give him a legislative paper trail. Sensing an opportunity to run for the United States Senate, Obama became an early opponent of the George W. Bush administration’s 2003 invasion of Iraq. The Illinois U.S. Senate seat was open in 2004, giving Obama the opportunity to win a landslide victory in the March Democrat primary. The primary victory made him an overnight rising star in the Democrat Party and led to him being selected to deliver the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Obama’s expected opponent in the general election, Republican primary winner Jack Ryan, was forced to withdraw from the race in June 2004 after sealed court records from his divorce proceedings were made public. With no viable opponent, Obama won the November 2004 general election with 70% of the vote. After serving 144 days in the United State Senate, Obama was suddenly on the fast track to the Presidential nomination and ultimate victory.
Bear in mind that this biographic information came from the left-leaning Wikipedia website, which presumably would give the most glowing accounting of Obama’s accomplishments. Even if we accept Obama’s resume as fact, (and we have no choice since none of his school transcripts have ever been made public), there is nothing in his official background to suggest he had any executive experience or that he was even remotely capable of addressing the complex level of economic and structural problems facing the country at that time. Of course, in what rapidly became standard operating procedure for the Obama administration, anyone who dared to question the party line on any aspect of Obama’s intelligence, experience or intentions, even based on legitimate policy differences, was preemptively labeled a racist. What is now abundantly clear in hindsight is that with his wafer-thin resume, Obama was probably the emptiest suit to ever occupy the Oval Office.
The media were deeply invested in the charade, and they dutifully played along by immediately shifting all attention away from George W. Bush, other than to continually highlight his falling poll numbers, and turned the spotlight almost exclusively on Barack Obama. During the transition period, we received daily briefings and pronouncements from Obama. He even created something called the “Office of the President Elect”, complete with a sign for his podium. There is no provision in the Constitution for such an office, which should have been our first indication of how Obama planned to govern for the next eight years. Of course, the press covered all things Obama with all of the seriousness of a presidential press conference. They breathlessly reported each day’s pronouncement and the brilliance of each of Obama’s cabinet announcements. Concurrently, the media initiated the narrative that since there were so many problems created by the Bush administration that needed to be addressed, “some people” thought it was a shame that Obama had to wait until January 20th to take office. They longingly wished the Constitution could be changed so he could take office immediately and get right to work curing all of the nation’s ills.
Contrast the coronation atmosphere created for Obama with the hostile reception being given to the incoming Trump administration. The media’s emphasis is still squarely on Obama as they cover his world tour “explaining” Donald Trump to world leaders and they cheer his last minute flurry of unconstitutional executive orders in an attempt to institutionalize his policies into the future. Any coverage of Trump consists of highlighting the controversies of the ongoing protests against his election, the attempted liberal hijacking of the Electoral College, hit pieces on his Cabinet choices and comparisons to Hitler. They are performing a full court press to cast him as an illegitimate president before he even takes office.
If you look at Donald Trump’s Wikipedia page to get an indication of his background and experience you will have to wade through paragraph after paragraph detailing active and pending litigation against him, unsubstantiated sexual misconduct allegations, his bankruptcies and aspersions on his legitimate use of the Federal Tax Code. However, if you do a little digging, you will find that Trump graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1968 and followed his father into a career in real estate development. He was made head of the company in 1971, and expanded it beyond real estate development into the successful, multinational organization it is today. Based on his 45 years of experience running large companies, managing complex projects and recruiting and evaluating talent, it certainly appears that Donald Trump is far more qualified than Barack Obama to tackle the problems of a bloated, out of control federal government bureaucracy. After all, the federal government is the nation’s largest creditor, debtor, lender, employer, consumer, contractor, grantor, property owner, tenant, insurer, health-care provider, and pension guarantor. In many respects it is similar to a large company in need of effective management, which is right in Donald Trump’s wheelhouse.
Despite the manufactured feel-good stories coming out of the Obama administration, this country faces problems today that are even more ominous than they were in 2008. Consider the following troubling statistics:
- There are currently 96 million Americans out of work, over twice as many as when Obama took office;
- The US debt stands at 19.8 trillion; after Obama added more to the national debt than all of his predecessors combined;
- One in six households currently has no adult in the workforce;
- Our total debt now stands at 106% of GDP;
- 45 million Americans are living in poverty and receiving food stamps, up from 32 million when Obama took office; and,
- Obama is the only president who never achieved a 3% growth in the economy in any year of his presidency.
This country is on its back, and when you add in the problems of a federal government unmoored from the Constitution, unchecked illegal immigration, unvetted Islamic refugees and worldwide tensions we need some help fast. Could you imagine the reaction of liberals and the media if we were to suggest that with all of these major problems facing the country it would make sense for Donald Trump to be able to take office right now to start fixing things rather than waiting until January 20th? The same mainstream media that protected Obama and amplified his meager accomplishments are already in full attack mode against Donald Trump and anyone who dares to support him. The mask has finally come off the media in this election cycle. We used to think they were cheering liberal candidates from the stands, now we know they are really sitting on the bench. However, Trump understands something that made Ronald Reagan so effective; the value of bypassing the media filter and delivering his message directly to the American people – and public seems to be responding positively. The stock market is hitting new highs and a recent poll showed that 70% of Americans surveyed are feeling optimistic, the highest level since 2004.
In many respects, Donald Trump was created by the media. They built him up during the primaries, believing he would be the weakest candidate to face Hillary Clinton, secure in the belief they could tear him down at the right time during the general election. His tendencies to say what’s on his mind and shoot from the hip were also great for their ratings. What the media failed to consider was that his message was resonating with a sizeable portion of the American people who felt the country is on the wrong track. They are tired of the lackluster economy of the past eight years, they are tired of massive government intrusion into every aspect of their lives and they are tired of having their traditions and beliefs ridiculed by elitists.
So buckle up everyone, because the over-the-top behavior we’re currently seeing from liberals and the media will only harden and intensify over the next 8 years. At the same time, liberals have really overplayed their hand. They have painted a caricature of Donald Trump as being so buffoonish and inept, that he will hit a home run if he comes into office acting even halfway presidential. There will be no honeymoon period with the press for the incoming administration, but positive results Trump achieves will speak the loudest.