Obama Wants the Privilege without the Accountability of Being the First Black President
President Barack Obama enjoys the celebrity and uniqueness of being America’s first black president but loathes the accountability that comes with the job. Since day one, Obama has cried racism as the cause for his inability to work with Republicans in Congress or basically get anything meaningful done in five years of his presidency.
The very thing that got Obama elected, his race, is the very crutch he continuously uses to eschew criticism for a job poorly done. So, it was no surprise to read in the New Yorker’s sweeping interview with the president that he blames the failures of his presidency on racists.
“There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black President,” said Obama.
Granted there are and will always be white people who will never get comfortable with the idea of a black president. But the reason why Obama’s approval numbers have tanked to a record low of 39% is because whether he’s black, white, gray or purple, he’s turning out to be one of the most ineffective presidents in modern times.
What the American people don’t like the idea of is a president who thinks public relations, giving speeches, media interviews and excoriating the political opposition is leadership. America is arguably in the worst shape of her history at home and abroad since the Great Depression.
At home our unemployment rate has remained persistently high and the only reason it’s dipped below 7% is because millions of Americans have given up “hope” they will ever find a job. The labor participation rate, which measures the number of people who are able to work, is at 62% the lowest in 35 years. Obamacare, the president’s signature legislation, which Democrats in Congress passed without a single Republican vote, is turning into an unaffordable, un-implementable nightmare for many Americans that the administration is unilaterally postponing portions of the law monthly it seems.
Rogue nations like Syria and Iran are dictating how America, the defender of democratic principles, should treat them. Allies like Israel have given up on us defending them against an Iranian nuclear attack. Our standing in the world has diminished because Obama would rather negotiate with our enemies than stand on principles of freedom and greatness.
In the very next breath of the New Yorker interview, Obama acknowledged his race was also the reason many people, including the mainstream media, have given him a free pass on accountability.
“Now, the flip side of it is there are some black folk and maybe some white folks who really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I’m a black President.”
In both elections, Americans of all colors voted for Obama precisely because he was black. In 2008, the vote was historic for whites and blacks. Whites finally felt comfortable with a black candidate who had all the right credentials (education, family, US Senator) to become president. Voting for Obama allowed whites to absolve themselves of pent up white guilt from the pain of slavery and segregation whites had inflicted upon blacks for centuries.
Remember Democrat Senator Harry commented the country could elect Obama because he was “light skinned . . .with no negro dialect unless he wanted to have one,” (Game Change, p. 36). Then presidential candidate Senator Joe Biden observed January 31, 2007 in a New York Observer article Obama “was the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” (Game Change, p. 336).
Blacks voted overwhelmingly for Obama both times (over 90%) because they wanted to finally elect then re-elect black president for the first time in history. Despite Obama’s first term disproportionately impacting blacks with higher unemployment and diminished wealth than whites, black Democrat politicians and celebrities like Tom Joyner told blacks they had to vote for Obama again in 2012 because he was the country’s first black president. For that reason alone he deserved a second term. Former Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver admitted race was a factor in the CBC not holding Obama to the same level of accountability as they would a white president.
While Romney won 60% of the white vote in 2012, more than Senator John McCain in 2008, many white liberals along with other groups voted for Obama again in 2012 because they believed Obama needed four more years to do his job because he was black. Can anyone imagine the same thing being said about a white president like President Jimmy Carter? Give him more time to make things worse?
The New Yorker article reveals a president coming to terms with the reality of his failed presidency. Obama shows us while he’s willing to pin his failures as a president on his race, he’s unwilling to take responsibility for his presidency for the same reason. How ironic Obama chose the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday for the story’s publication. King fought and died for blacks to stand as equals to whites in every facet of American society. Yet Obama stands cowering from King’s dream.