After making some bland comments about how he would like to follow the example of his predecessor, George W. Bush, and leave Donald Trump alone, Barack Obama waited exactly 10 days before weighing in on the protests surrounding Trump’s travel ban. In a statement made through his spokesman, Obama said he was “heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country.”
“Citizens exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake,” Obama said in the secondhand statement.
Now the former president is back from vacation and he’s getting ready to embrace his imagined role as the leader of the anti-Trump resistance. He’s going back to his community-organizing roots with a group called Organizing for Action. In that capacity, we can expect to see him fund Democratic politicians, organize protests, and step up to the microphone whenever the TV bug bites him. We assume that will be often.
Perhaps it’s a good thing. Obama, gone from the media spotlight, could be missed by the liberals who despise Trump. They would begin to forget about his faults, insofar as they ever admitted them. They would start to build a legend around him that has nothing to do with the man himself or his presidency. The longer he stayed out of the fray, the better he would serve the left as a blank-slate icon – the same sort of icon he became in his first run for president.
But once he’s back in the game, the realities of his failed presidency will once again bubble to the surface. The liberals who jumped on the Bernie Sanders train will remember why they were let down by Obama’s tenure. The moderate Democrats who went for Trump will remember how extreme Barack’s worldview really is. And the Republicans who are still skeptical about the new president will be reminded of where it is this country was headed before the stunning 2016 election changed everything.
Obama the Legend is dangerous.
Obama the Annoying Pest is not.