Under an attention grabbing, all-caps, “ANALYSIS” on the CNN Website sits an article entitled “Sanders and Harris crossed the base. What will it cost them?” The article, written by Gregory Krieg, opens with “On consecutive nights last week, in two cities more than 2,000 miles apart, a pair of the Democratic Party’s best bets to oust President Donald Trump in 2020 created headlines that could stalk them for the next two years.”
“Intriguing,” I thought. What happened?
Sanders’ crime? Criticizing Former President Obama.
“But his mention of Obama — at that time, in that place — caused anger and frustration in some already skeptical quarters of the Democratic base, particularly among those who argue Sanders’ insistence on framing inequality as a chiefly economic matter, with racial concerns existing downstream from that core divide, effectively downplays the fight for racial justice,” Krieg’s “analysis” read.
Sanders’ exact comments did not have anything to do with the above. “(Obama) was obviously an extraordinary candidate, brilliant guy. But behind that reality, over the last 10 years, Democrats have lost about 1,000 seats in state legislatures all across this country,” Sanders said, and honestly, he’s right, and honestly doesn’t go far enough with his criticisms.
You see, Barack Obama, while being the first person of color to serve as President of the United States, was not perfect by any means, and while I believe that recognizing his historical importance in that regard, it would be an injustice to ignore Obama’s other actions in office.
President Obama ran on a campaign of universal healthcare, closing the US blacksite in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and pulling US Troops out of Iraq. Obama failed to accomplish all three goals.
President Obama promised to reform the healthcare system, however, 10 years after he was elected, all we got was a right-wing healthcare reform plan that was introduced when the left controlled both houses and the presidency, all introduced in the name of “compromise” and what happened? Republicans moved to the right and denounced their own plan, that was very similar to a healthcare reform plan instituted by a certain republican governor of Massachusetts and 2012 Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney.
The problem with the Affordable Care Act is that it doesn’t go far enough. Millions of people are still uninsured, and Republicans spun the bill around to stoke anger against the left.
The fact that that Guantanamo Bay remains open under President Obama, adds to the many stains on his legacy. The CIA expanded their “enhanced interrogation”(their fancy word for “torture”) programs under President Obama. Guantanamo Bay is still open, and there are still hundreds of “enemy combatants” being enhancely interrogated for information.
And, while we “ended” the war in Iraq, we still have troops there, now fighting ISIL instead of Al-Qaeda. President Obama also expanded the drone warfare program, which enabled the mass slaughter of anyone within a 100 foot radius of a terrorist, including women and children.
So, no Krieg, there are more than a handful of valid criticisms against President Obama, despite his historical accomplishments. History will likely judge him by not only those accomplishments, not only for being better than Bush (not a high bar), not only for being better than Trump (an even lower bar), but for the bad too. One needs to remember this considering the fact the Democratic Party lost a large amount of its power.