Barack Obama

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Barack Hussein Obama II, born August 4, 1961, is an American politician and attorney who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. He was previously a U.S. senator from Illinois from 2005 to 2008 and an Illinois state senator from 1997 to 2004. He is member of the Democratic Party and the first African-American president of the United States.

Obama received a Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 and generally has an image among many as being a "cool black guy" because of his public appearance and things like overseeing the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, but whatever positives he may be thought to have are severely outweighed by his negatives. He was seen as kind of an outsider, a person other than an elderly white man and who rode the anti-war/anti-Bush/anti-Republican wave in 2008, but he had failed miserably to deliver on its hopes, radicalizing much of a generation to never trust liberals like him again, and even giving much of the impulse that elected Donald Trump.

His negatives include:

  • Appointing several Wall Street executives to office,[1] one of which was literally a Monsanto executive who was put in the FDA and deregulated GMO safety testing[2]
  • Supporting the bailout of Wall Street proposed by George Bush at the expense of the people during the 2008 financial crisis. Interestingly, during his 2008 campaign Obama received more money from Wall Street than George Bush in his last term — even accounting for inflation.[1]
  • Failing to mitigate America's foreclosure crisis that disproportionately affected people of color[3][4]
  • Cracking down on the Occupy Wall Street movement
  • Continuing the War on Terror and the War on Drugs
  • Persecution of whistleblowers[5]
  • Normalizing and expanding upon the massive surveillance state developed under George Bush
  • Neglecting the water crisis in Flint, Michigan (which is also a majority black city; this being extra bad because many black people thought that Obama would do better for them than non-black Presidents)
    • On two occasions he made a show of drinking water that he said was local to Flint, on one of them making it out as though he really needed some water[6] and both times stating that it was not a stunt, though with neither of the glasses of water being demonstrated to have been actually sourced from the area — both times furthermore he hardly even wet his lips with them. This was after officials had declared the local water safe to drink, though many residents doubted this was the case and refused to use it.[7]
  • Opening up the Arctic for drilling twice, along with issuing a myriad of executive orders for individual pipeline segment construction which complete the entire Alberta tar sands-to-Gulf Coast pipeline. All this in spite of that phony cynical veto of the Keystone XL segment.[8]
  • Getting everyone's hopes up about prosecuting the Bush administration for war crimes and holding Wall Street accountable for the financial crisis, but ended up "turning the page"
  • Oversaw the biggest transfer of wealth to the capitalist class in history[9][10]
  • Deporting a record number of refugees[11]
  • Making Bush's tax cuts permanent after campaigning on returning back to Clinton's tax rates
  • Going out of his way to help kill Bernie's campaign in 2020[12][13][14][15] and hand the nomination to Joe Biden[16], who would prevent people from getting healthcare, prevent the youth from getting out of debt, ensure the wars and corporate plunder would continue without obstacle, and keep his "legacy" of Obamacare in place.
  • Developing neoliberal trade deals with "investment protection clauses" which enslaved Global South countries to corporations
  • Developing relations with Saudi Arabia
  • His "Asian Pivot", which planted the seeds for the new Cold War with China
  • Crushing what remained of the Pink Tide
  • Colluding with the right wing in Brazil to stage fraudulent corruption trials to that paved the way for a right-wing rise to power
  • Supporting a right wing coup in Honduras
  • Repealing habeas corpus with his signing of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, paving the way for such events as the kidnapping of people by federal officers in Portland in 2020
  • Overthrowing the Gaddafi government in Libya, plunging the country into deep poverty, splitting it into various warlord and Islamist factions, creating an open slave trade, and causing a major flood of refugees into Europe and other places
  • Expanding the wars in Afghanistan, North-West Pakistan, Somalia, and Iraq (technically he ended one war with Iraq three years into his term, which he promised to do in six months, but followed it up soon with another new war)
  • Starting wars in Syria (where he started by funding rebel militants), Yemen, and Libya[17]
  • Doubling down on sanctions on Venezuela, which exacerbated its domestic situation and which only plunged Venezuelans deeper towards poverty
  • Continuing and adding sanctions on the DPRK
  • Supporting regime change in Ukraine and Georgia
  • Arming Ukrainian fascists and other far right-wing groups[18][19]
  • And various war crimes, such as:
    • Drone strikes in Yemen, which had a 90% civilian kill rate.[20] Conveniently, this serves to further radicalize the population and thus justify further "counter-terrorism" operations.

It's bad enough that he did all these things, but he did all this when he had the potential to be FDR and then some. Democrats had a filibuster-proof supermajority in US Congress for the first two years and all he used it for was getting Romneycare (the heavily watered-down version of Obamacare first proposed) passed. Everyone remembers the congressional supermajority he wasted, but for some reason, we never talk about how Democrats also had a majority in governorship and state legislatures as well, so he could have dictated anything we wanted onto the states from Washington and he did nothing. With the worst financial crisis since the 30s, the material conditions were ripe for some massive Keynesian projects and the people would have supported him. Much of his base are Bernie supporters as well, and Obama had them and many more, and after getting elected he did literally nothing to mobilize the millions of email addresses belonging to devoted grassroots activists who had campaigned for him — in fact, he disbanded this grassroots army. Even for a neoliberal Democrat, he had underperformed — Bill Clinton at least got a couple things passed through Congress, even if they were minor, and was relatively dovish on foreign policy. Obama couldn't even do that.

To be fair, he did do a few good things:

  • Signing the nuclear deal with Iran which is still blackmail but at least lifted some sanctions
  • Lifting some sanctions on Cuba and met with Raoul Castro
  • Rolling out his stimulus package in response to the Great Recession, which was a better response than the German-enforced-style austerity in the EU
  • Reforming mandatory minimum sentencing laws that previously have dramatically increased the number of non-violent offenders in prisons[21]

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Obama White House ‘Full of Wall Street Executives’?.
  2. Monsanto petition tells Obama: ‘Cease FDA ties to Monsanto’. The Washington Post
  3. Obama Failed to Mitigate America's Foreclosure Crisis. The Atlantic.
  4. After helping a fraction of homeowners expected, Obama’s foreclosure prevention program is finally ending. The Washington Post.
  5. The Guardian.
  6. President Obama drinks Flint water and promises help. CBS Evening News on YouTube.
  7. President Obama tastes filtered Flint, Michigan water. PBS NewsHour on YouTube.
  8. Obama's Keystone XL Pipeline Veto Just Smoke and Mirrors?. OpEdNews.
  9. Did most Americans lose wealth, income under Barack Obama?.
  10. Obama admits 95% of income gains gone to top 1%. CNN Business.
  11. Deporter-in-Chief: The legacy of Obama. World Socialist Web Site.
  12. Obama privately said he would speak up to stop Sanders: report. The Hill.
  13. Obama convinced Bernie Sanders to drop out by arguing that he already succeeded in pushing Biden to the left, new report says. Business Insider.
  14. Sanders had multiple conversations with Obama ahead of decision to end campaign. CNN Politics.
  15. ‘Accelerate the endgame’: How Barack Obama nudged Bernie Sanders out of the race. Chicago Tribune.
  16. Obama endorses Biden for president in attempt to unite Democratic party. The Guardian.
  17. Obama's legacy of war, repression and inequality. World Socialist Web Site.
  18. Blowback: How US-funded fascists in Ukraine mentor American white supremacists. The Grayzone.
  19. The US is arming and assisting neo-Nazis in Ukraine, while Congress debates prohibition. The Grayzone.
  20. “The Drone Papers” Reveals How Faulty Intel & Secret “Kill Chain” Mark Suspects, Civilians for Death. Democracy Now!.
  21. Reform mandatory minimum sentences. PolitiFact.