President Barack Obama has signaled that he has no intention of following the example of his predecessor, George W. Bush, to go away quietly once he leaves office on January 20. Part of the evidence for this is the omission, on his part, of any effort to subdue the demonstrations that are planned not only in Washington, but around the country, in protest of Donald Trump’s electoral victory.
Also, Obama has already made preparations to remain in Washington after the inauguration, ostensibly to afford his daughter, Sasha, the opportunity to graduate from the exclusive Sidwell Friends high school. This means that Obama may remain in Washington for at least half of Trump’s term in office.
Obama’s self-confidence is apparently unassailed by Hillary Clinton’s defeat and polls that show that he would have lost in a one-on-one electoral contest with Trump. He has presided over considerable losses for the Democratic party, which now facing an existential crisis in which it is being pulled to the left by the partisans of Sen. Bernie Sanders. As of the past election, Republicans won control of the House and Senate, 33 governorships, and a record 67 of 98 state legislatures. Even the leftist Daily Kos website had to admit that the GOP now possesses more power than at any time since 1928.
While Obama remains admired as a person, his agenda was clearly rejected.
On a trip to Peru in November, Obama told the press that, while he recognizes that Bush “could not have been more gracious to me when I came in," and that he will give Trump “an opportunity” to put the new administration into motion, he will not remain silent when he feels he must defend, "our values and our ideals.” He was short on specifics, but there is much to be read in the tone of his rhetoric. For example, Obama has said that Trump’s proposal to limit the immigration of persons where Islamist strive is notable, "betrays the very values America stands for."
In Peru, Obama said, "As an American citizen who cares deeply about our country, if there are issues that have less to do with the specifics of some legislative proposal or battle, but go to core questions about our values and our ideals, and if I think that it's necessary or helpful for me to defend those ideals, then I'll examine it when it comes." Thus, by speaking out, Obama would be upending over two hundred years of tradition wherein former chief executives refrained from commenting on their successors’ performance.
Given the fact that the Democratic party has no other similarly significant personality, Obama is poised to use his formidable speechifying and organizational abilities to set the country on an ever more divisive course. According to the Pew Research Center, despite having set out to unify the country at his inauguration in 2009, Obama is leaving the country much more divided. But he appears either unaware or even dismissive of Americans' concerns. He recently told ABC News's George Stephanopoulos that race relations have actually improved during his administration.
Last week, a disabled 18-year-old white male was abducted and tortured by four black teens in Chicago. While he was bound and gagged by the two male and two females, they shouted "F--- Trump" and "F--- white people!" Some observers have linked this to leftist rhetoric, fostered during the Obama administration, that has divided ethnic groups against each other and exacerbated relations between police and the communities they serve. Gianno Caldwell -- who formerly worked on Mitt Romney's campaign and is a black man -- warned in a recent column over the leftist cant. "My concern is this kind of behavior becomes more widespread and instead of us healing the divide of our country and uniting together, the Left stands silent and lets this reprehensible behavior continue to go unchecked. I ask the Left to reconsider. This is a moment where we must speak out, pray for our country, and unite together." Obama said that the attack was "despicable," but what has he done to quell the passions that have fostered such violence?
Obama is a youthful 55-year-old and could thus become the ghost of the White House, haunting the government and succeeding administrations for decades into the future.
In October, a national poll taken by NBC News/Wall St. Journal showed that 65 percent of the responded said our country was on the wrong path. However, after voters rejected the continuation of much of his agenda under Clinton, just 54 percent said the country was on the wrong track.
In his statements since the election, Obama has shown no sign that he has been chastened by his party’s defeat. Will he heed the American people, even working class Democrats who pulled the lever for Trump in the Rust Belt, who were dismayed by divisiveness and social Marxism he fostered?
All indications are that Obama will not go quietly into the night. The collective of inter-connected organizations such as Obama’s own Organizing for Action, MoveOn.org, the Center for American Progress, and others, show that they are set upon a course of defying Trump at every turn. Should Obama decide to become the head of the resistance, a kind of Shadow Government, it is not only the Democratic party -- the party of Roosevelt, Truman, and Kennedy -- that will be the loser, it will be all of America.