Dear Outraged Liberals: Trump’s Just Taking Over Where Obama Left Off

As an unprecedented wave of outrage swells against the Trump administration, Mnar Muhawesh, host of ‘Behind the Headline,’ wonders why people weren’t more outraged with Obama’s policies on mass surveillance, whistleblowers, and war.
By @mnarmuh |
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    MINNEAPOLIS — Remember our former commander in chief — Barack Obama? Well he’s on vacation. After eight years in the Oval Office, he’s decided to unwind with billionaire Richard Branson. His recent kitesurfing adventure seems to be the only news item competing with President Trump’s “Muslim ban” and the opposition to it and the contentious confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Education secretary.

    Attention is turning to Obama’s post-presidency antics as we move further into the Trump administration.


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    The weekend that Trump took the oath of office, this country saw the largest political mobilization in U.S. history. And with each passing day of his presidency many Americans are growing increasingly outraged by the actions of the real estate mogul-turned reality TV-star-turned commander in chief.

    And while the Democratic Party and the establishment left mourn Obama’s exit from the White House, they’re warning that we’ve entered a period of fascism in U.S. history. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have taken to the streets in protest. They’re also mobilizing online and over the phone in a swell of engagement and outrage that seems unprecedented in recent memory.

    And to a certain point their outrage is justified: Our president is a man who campaigned on a platform of bigotry.

    He drove racism, Islamophobia, misogyny, and xenophobia into the mainstream, railing against political correctness and bringing into stark contrast the deep divisions among us.

    Trump is waging war on the media and issuing orders that put a blanket ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries — nations that have been a target of U.S. imperialism and destabilization for more than 30 years. These orders are illegal, unconstitutional, and, frankly, morally reprehensible.

    He could even breach international law if the U.S. Embassy in Israel is moved from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem, as he recently gave the green light for Israel to do so.

    Trump has put Iran “on notice” — whatever that means — for an attack on the U.S. Navy which the Islamic Republic never committed. This has driven the United States into the closest military confrontation with Iran since 1979.

    Millions of people gathered around the world in Women’s March protests the day after the inauguration. But as these protests swelled, one perhaps couldn’t help but wonder why there wasn’t any mobilization even remotely on this scale in the previous eight years during Obama’s presidency.

    Perhaps it’s not too late to remind those who blindly followed the former “commander in cool,” who stamped each of his authoritarian policies with the platitudes of “Hope” and “Change,” of just how Trump’s new policies wouldn’t be possible without the full dictator’s toolkit that Obama and the Democratic Party prepared for him.

    It was Obama who dropped more than 26,000 bombs on foreign soil — and that was just in 2016. It was Obama who destabilized and destroyed the very countries these victims of war are fleeing. And it was Obama who simultaneously approved arms sales to terror groups and dictatorships while expanding the war on terror.

    It was Obama who expanded Bush’s drone war — a practically invisible war in which thousands of people have been killed without trial. Worse yet, many of those killed in drone strikes in countries like Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia and Afghanistan, have been civilians whose only “crime” was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    It was Obama who gave Israel a record rate of $6 billion in military aid,  more than any other administration in US history, emboldening the apartheid colony.

    It was Obama who waged an unprecedented war on whistleblowers. During Obama’s presidency there were eight prosecutions under the 1917 Espionage Act — that’s more than double those under all previous administrations combined.

    It was Obama who continued to expand executive powers — including the ability to declare war unilaterally, meaning a president wouldn’t need congressional approval– that had already been dramatically expanded under the George W. Bush administration.

    It was Obama who expanded Bush’s surveillance state right up until the very end.

    Obama’s use of a secret court system, known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, allowed his administration to ignore a federal court ruling that found bulk surveillance illegal. This ended up granting the National Security Agency the power to collect the phone records of millions of Americans.

    With all the outrage over Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban” and other policies, it seems logical that there would have been a similar blow back when Obama created the conditions for the death and destruction which refugees now hope to flee. Yet the same people calling executive overreach under Bush suddenly got quiet when Obama the Democrat came into office. But now that a Republican or Trump is behind the wheel of this enormous vehicle of practically unlimited power, those once quiet voices are rising up again.

    Rather than reflecting on these and other horrendous acts perpetrated by the Obama administration, however, much of the Democratic and liberal bases are looking back on the Obama administration as “the good old days.” They and many others are demonstrating, en masse, against the powers that Donald Trump now has access to, ignoring the fact that not only did Obama himself use those powers, in many ways, his administration created and expanded them for the next successor.

    The role of the independent press during times of great political upheaval is to wade through the chaos in order to provide the public with hard-hitting truths that transcend party lines.

    Because the truth is, it doesn’t’ matter if a Republican or Democrat is in office — the policies from both parties look the same.

    But we can’t begin to fight against the looming attacks against our civil liberties and the human rights of people everywhere — not just in the United States — without first acknowledging the crimes of previous administrations –Republican or Democrat — and the powers that they expanded for their successors.

    If there’s going to be any genuine resistance to the Trump administration, then we have to be prepared for what tools he now has available, thanks largely to the former Democratic and Republican administrations before him, especially Obama.

    With large swathes of America ready to protest, it’s time for the real anti-war movement to seize on that momentum and push for real change that actually creates conditions for a more peaceful world. It’s time to empty out the dictator’s toolbox and dismantle the system that’s brought us to this point. To “Hope” and “Change,” we say: Your move.

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      • Elias David Boccheciamp

        Many of the protesters since the election of Donald Trump, failed to vote for the last 12 years. The Democrats lost over 700 elections during the Obama years. The Democrats only control the governership and state legistlature in four out of fifty states. The number of Democrats in the House of Representatives hasn’t been this low since 1929.
        Let’s see what they can do during the next election.

      • jendiggity

        Bravo. They just did a better job with hiding the awfulness when Obama was president. Now we are more aware and freaking out. WE SHOULD STILL BE FREAKING OUT! We need to keep freaking out and not stop when the next Democrat gets into office.

      • TedKuhn

        So– I didn’t like Obama’s policies either. Trump’s still an asswipe.

      • Doug Harper

        I didn’t read the entire article, I stopped when it said Obama gave $6 Billion in Military aid to Israel. That cannot be true, as it had to have been Congress that approved that much. So, truly, the United States government gave $6 Billion to Israel, not Obama. He probably signed the appropriation bill, after Congress told him to. This is another example of what the Trumpster calls “fake news”, but is really what everyone else calls “slanted”. None of the facts are essentially untrue, but they are presented in a way that supports the viewpoint of the author.

      • recommend the topics people!

      • Falling for the divide and conquer false paradym of left v. right politics entirely missed the point: we are being played like blind fools by a “jewish” global conspiracy of Satan worshippers whgo are the puppet masters of every puppet-in-chief since Woodraw Wilson in America. Obama and Trump serve the same masters. Nothing could be more obvious, if you know what to watch for. Every President is a con man and a wicked fraud and liar. There are no exceptions to this. If you place your confidence in any of our leaders you are very foolish and will be badly disappointed. The only sensible thing to do is place your confidence in the God of the Bible, YHWH who remains in control of all of this theater and charade for a way bigger purpose that few people are able to grasp and undersstand.

        • Waykent

          Who is Woodraw Wilson, false prophet?

      • FrontLine

        Spot on.

      • ronbo

        Neocons and neoliberals like the Clintons, Obama, DWS, Schumer etc… are nothing more that Democratic versions of Republicans working of, by and for the 1%.

        We have a problem in the Democratic party, our leadership – just like Republicans – is fully devoted to the deep state (corporations, CIA, NSA, Federal Reserve, MIC, etc….).

      • Peter Freier

        This article could very well be one of the most assinine articles I have ever read.

        • hrp100

          Then go back to your coloring book.

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      • Archer Sterling

        It is funny how they use bias news sources to make their own bias news seem more legitimate. I checked up on this and thus far most of it is lies or extremely stretched truths. But you morons keep drinking the koolaide bout all you are good for these days.

        • Tee Jay

          Archer Sterling, can you elaborate on these points of discussion?

        • Benjamin A. J. Redpath

          It’s not bias when you point out a trend. Might you point out another? Dems held the door open for him. Setting policy in place they thought would be under HRC, this was not wise.

      • Steve Neubeck

        Obama had his chance to succeed,instead he conceded to the financial powers that be and forhotn about us rabble.He is a great speaker but there was only token criticism when he spoke at a nonunion facility ignoring the union hall a few blocksmaway.Give me Richard Nixon over the Democrats of today at least we got OSHA and the RPA.

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      • MountainMan23

        Obama also deported 2.5 million undocumented immigrants, more than any other president, and nearly half of those had no criminal record. His administration also imprisoned thousands of undocumented women and children in horrific conditions in detention centers along our southern border. Hardly a peep from the so-called “left”. Thank goodness Trump finally outraged the supine and complacent “liberals”.

      • James Wherry

        Can’t disagree with you, there.

      • jo6pac

        Thank You MM.