Obama, You Disappoint

The president should say this, too.

Politicians make me sick.

As a reporter, I’ve covered Democrats, Republicans and even fringe candidates. They lie. They sugar-coat problems, and they pour gasoline on hot-button issues. They love adoration and attention. Oh, and power. All of them crave power from county judges to the president.

Here we stand a week later from Election Day and what do we have? Donald Trump saying that he may still build that wall between Mexico and the United States or it may be simply some fencing. He may be okay with gay marriage. We have no idea. And reproductive rights? Women can just drive to another state and get an abortion. So does that mean abortion won’t be illegal in the United States? Or it reverts back to the states? Or we will careen into The Handmaid’s Tale? Who the hell knows?

Then, there’s President Obama.

I know many people love him as much as people love Trump. And people hate him as much as they hate Trump. That’s why we have the divided country we have.

On Monday, Obama held a press conference the day after Trump picked Steve Bannon as his chief strategist. He’s the head of the alt-right website Breitbart. Mother Jones wrote: “Bannon traffics in white nationalism and racism.” But don’t just believe the left-leaning Mother Jones. John Weaver, a Republican strategist who worked for Ohio Governor John Kasich’s presidential campaign, tweeted: Just to be clear news media, the next president named a racist, anti-semite as the co-equal of the chief of staff. #NotNormal

Weaver also tweeted: The racist, fascist extreme right is represented footsteps from the Oval Office. Be very vigilant America.

That should terrify anyone except, of course, white nationalists, the KKK and the rest of the “alt-right” ilk. It should also terrify Obama. But if it does, he didn’t say that on Monday.

“It would not be appropriate for me to comment on every appointment that the President-elect starts making” he said.

Obama added it was up to Trump “to set up a team that he thinks will serve him well and reflect his policies.”

As Obama said during the presidential campaign when he rallied hard against Trump: Come on, man.

Really, Obama? You couldn’t stand up against a misogynist, xenophobic racist who stands against everything you support. You couldn’t stand up for those in the front lines of civil rights, gay rights, women’s rights, and in general, human rights and decency?

Is Obama working a Jedi mind trick? Or is this like when Lando Calrissian was strong-armed by Darth Vader and he turned Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and C-3PO over to Boba Fett?

Obama can say it’s part of a peaceful transition and his supporters can praise him, saying it shows Obama’s never-ending dignity and classiness, but I think it’s bonkers that the first black president isn’t standing against Bannon.

Earlier today, I stood in my mechanic’s garage listening to Sean, a forty-something African-American man who I’ve known for more than 10 years, ponder the state of the world. Normally, we talk about music, Star Wars and cars. Not this time. He told me his sister voted for Trump. He doesn’t get it except she wanted change. In fact, he says, he knows a lot of African-Americans who voted for Trump in Little Rock, Ark. He just shrugged. When we talked about Trump’s White House, he lit up. He was irate that Obama dismissed Bannon as the way things are going to be in a Trump Administration.

I’m mad, too.

If ever there was an opportunity for Obama to mirror Martin Luther King , Jr. or any of the great Civil Rights heroes, Monday was his day. He failed.

But as a reporter, I’m not surprised. That’s how politicians are.

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