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To friends on the left, if we all want to truly move forward, passionate rhetoric aside, we have to take a li’l ol’ reality check. I voted for Obama twice, and he did a lot of things that I thought were good and positive. I don’t need to go down that list right now, because you’re well aware of them. But for things to change we lefties must admit some of the horrible shit Obama pulled:
– he removed more undocumented immigrants than any administration in history, including breaking up families.
– he approved the extrajudicial assassination of at least two american citizens, one of whom was a 16 year old kid from Denver.
– his drone program has killed tens of thousands of civilians, most of which were targeted (weddings, funerals); these are war crimes for which if he wasn’t the president of a superpower he would have been charged by The Hague.
– he used over 270 Executive Orders to circumvent congress, almost as many as W. (sure, this was in the face of unprecedented opposition, but the left is losing their minds about SCROTUS doing it.)
– he exercised the Espionage Act more than all previous presidents combined, attacking whistleblowers at an unprecedented rate. He was no friend to the little guy trying to force accountability from government.
– he refused to pursue war-crime charges against the neocons in the W administration, in the face of overwhelming evidence.
– he continued the string of horrible trade deals that helped decimate industry and the loss of millions of jobs.
– after the Wall Street corruption that caused the financial meltdown of ’07 and ’08, he put two of the architects of the meltdown, Hank Paulson and Tim Geithner, both from Goldman Sachs. They not only refused advocating for restoring Glass Steagall, but they refused to pursue accountability from those responsible for the meltdown. The same trading practices that led to the meltdown have continued, unabated.
All of this from a former professor of constitutional law. He knew exactly what he was doing. This is what scholars like Cornell West and Chris Hedges refer to as neoliberalism, which is part of caused the populism that drew people to Bernie and Trump and pushed voters away from the establishment Dems and Repubs. I support all of the protests in the streets right now, but had Obama been a Republican, there would’ve been the same protests. But since it was a Dem, crickets. Like I’ve said to friends on the right, the only way to fix a problem is to admit there is one. Same for the left. It’s critical for us to acknowledge these if we want to move forward.