“We have to worry,” former President Barack Obama told CNN host Anderson Cooper in an interview that aired June 7, “when one of our major political parties is willing to embrace a way of thinking about our democracy that would be unrecognizable and unacceptable even five years ago or a decade ago.”
The party in question, of course, is the red one. And between the lines, Obama seemed to be saying that he is disappointed that the Republican establishment can no longer safely ignore the wishes of a grassroots base that manifestly despises the status quo in politics and governance in America today.
‘It’s a Problem’
“I thought that there were enough guardrails institutionally that even after [former President Donald] Trump was elected that you would have the so-called Republican establishment who would say, ‘Ok, you know, it’s a problem if the White House doesn’t seem to be concerned about Russian meddling,’ or, ‘It’s a problem if we have a president who’s saying that Neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville, there’s good people on both sides.'”
Trump’s comments on Charlottesville, despite being proven a falsity pushed by the media and Obama’s own party, are an easy stab at lumping all Trump supporters in the ever-expanding “extremist” label. “Russian meddling” is the way to explain how a political outsider like Trump could ever possibly take over the reins of executive power in Washington, D.C., if only for four years.
Obama cited the Jan. 6 riot as an example of his proposition.
“[It] originally was, ‘oh don’t worry, this isn’t going anywhere – we’re just letting Trump and others vent,’” Obama declared. “And then suddenly you now have large portions of an elected Congress going along with the falsehood that there were problems with the election.”
This from the man who seems to be hung up on the notion of undue Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election?
Cooper, dutifully setting up his friendly subject, pointed out that many prominent Republicans in Congress and elsewhere initially opposed Trump disputing the integrity of the controversial ’20 election.
“And then poof!” Obama exclaimed. “Suddenly, everybody was back in line. Now the reason for that is because the base believed it and the base believed it because this had been told to them not just by the president but by the media that they watch,” he continued.
“And nobody stood up and said, ‘Stop, this is enough. This is not true.’”
Lofty Verbiage in Defense of the Status Quo
This is all partisanship, of course. But it is crucial to note that Obama’s criticism is aimed not against the GOP per se but at a populist base that does not trust Washington, D.C. Cue the constitutional scholar.
“Now, I’m still the hope-and-change guy, and so my hope is that the tides will turn, but that does require each of us to understand this experiment in democracy is not self-executing,” Obama stressed.
“It doesn’t happen just automatically,” he said. “It happens because each successive generation says these values, these truths, we hold self-evident. This is important. We’re going to invest in it and sacrifice for it and we’ll stand up for it even when it’s not politically convenient.”
Establishment forces today seem to use the term “democracy” as a means to beat back the populist reaction against a Potomac ruling class that controlled the nation for some 30 years before Trump burst onto the scene. These denizens of D.C. are now working feverishly to reassemble the pieces of what many observers had believed was a shattered power structure.
Read more from Joe Schaeffer.