President Barack Obama just returned from his recent “farewell tour” abroad, where, in a thinly-veiled comment in which he seemed to be trying to rally global forces, he referred to president-elect Donald Trump and his supporters as “crude nationalists.”
“You’ve seen some of the rhetoric among Republican elected officials and activists and media,” Obama said at a news conference in Greece with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
“Some of it [is] pretty troubling and not necessarily connected to facts, but being used effectively to mobilize people. Obviously, President-elect Trump tapped into that particular strain within the Republican Party and then was able to broaden that enough and get enough votes to win the election. We are going to have to guard against a rise in a crude sort of nationalism or ethnic identity or tribalism that is built around an us and a them.”
Nice. Thanks, President Obama, for telling the world that you think Americans should be ashamed of the pride we take in our country. But then, that’s just the kind of thing you would expect from a bunch of—as Hillary Clinton put it, “deplorables.” And by the way, if Obama made those comments to an international audience, who is “we,” “us,” and “them”?
Really, Obama is the one who should be ashamed of himself for maligning the future American president to the rest of the free world. Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, didn’t do that. Neither did Bill Clinton, for that matter. In fact, Obama often praised Bush for refusing to comment publicly on Obama or his policies. But then, Bush was a pretty classy guy like that.
Apparently, that graciousness only extends one direction. Obama has already been establishing his post-presidency ground game by saying that he would try to keep from “popping off” about president-elect Trump and his administration, but that if it got too hard, he, naturally, would have to say something.
“As an American citizen who cares deeply about our country,” Obama said, “if there are issues that have less to do with the specifics of some legislative proposal but go to core questions about our values and our ideals, and if I think that it is necessary or helpful for me to defend those ideals, I’ll examine it when it comes.”
President-speak translation? “I reserve the right to say anything about Trump anytime and anywhere I damn well please.” Oh, and he might want to reconsider telling folks how much he cares about his country. People might mistake him for some kind of a crude nationalist or something.