Recreating the Obama Years

What’s really weird is that Biden is trying to recreate the Obama presidency. Everybody agrees that Obama was a failure. If there’s one thing conservatives and progressives agree on, it’s that the Obama years were a total waste of time. The guy was indifferent, inept, and useless. He had no achievements even the most crazed fans can point to other than the mangled ACA. (Ta-Nehisi Coates, for example, wrote a whole book making precisely this point).

So Biden, who’s been running for president for longer than I’ve been alive, finally squeezes out a win, and what does he do? He proceeds to appoint all the same old Obama people and vaguely announcing the restoration of all the same failed Obama policies.

I’m only seeing one explanation. They’ve got nothing else. Democrats don’t have a plan, a dream, or a set of policies they want to put in place. They are content with just sitting there ineptly and indifferently while the digital oligarchy remakes the world to its liking.

I didn’t think many things could stun me but Biden’s transition team and cabinet picks did stun me. This is a bunch of inept, bumbling Obama-era losers. No new faces, nobody with any capacity to do anything. I’d think the guy would want finally to get out of Obama’s shadow and have a moment of his own.

Of course, the Left is not noticing because it’s still obsessing pathetically over Trump and some imaginary coup he’s been preparing for longer than Obama has been completely useless.

15 thoughts on “Recreating the Obama Years”

  1. “Biden’s transition team and cabinet picks did stun me”

    You were young then but the lethargic and deeply unimaginitve Leonid “Death-warmed-over” Brezhnev was followed by Andropov who tried to change a thing or two in a clearly failing system and mostly failed himself.
    When he died there were tons of stories (for those interested in the topic) about how it was time for a bold new leader who would reform the Soviet Union and how there was a whole group of potential groundbreakers out there….. and instead Andropov was followed by…. Chernenko a plodding back bencher no more capable of generating or inspiring new ideas than a bowl of potatoes… and then he was followed by Gorbachev…. and a few years later the USSR was no more….

    Trump – Andropov
    Biden – Chernenko
    Harris – Gorbachev

    Ends of empires are never very pretty….


  2. “If there’s one thing conservatives and progressives agree on, it’s that the Obama years were a total waste of time. ”

    That’s just it, though. All the ground-level liberals I know IRL think Obama was a saint, and get all nostalgic about “back when the presidency was respectable”. Because Trump and his tweets. They don’t give a crap about policy. They just want someone with Nice Middle Class mannerisms to occupy the White House. Class is their unstated core value, and everything else (foreign policy, domestic policy, taxes…) is completely negotiable.


    1. All the ground-level liberals I know IRL think Obama was a saint…
      Careful, don’t give people ideas. I was wondering what premature honors they’d heap on Biden for being not-Trump. Obama literally got Nobel Prize based on… somebody’s hopes? Being not-Shrub?

      Cuomo got an Emmy for… giving daily coronavirus briefings? Rudy’s mad. He never got an Emmy as America’s Mayor ™ even though he was on tv when Cheney was hiding and Shrub was reading children’s books.

      If some church literally canonizes Biden I’m going to laugh.


  3. “I’d think the guy would want finally to get out of Obama’s shadow and have a moment of his own.”

    Even when Biden was mentally functional, it is not clear how much of an independent political thinker he was.

    But this is 2020. Biden is so intellectually deteriorated that we have a live-video recording of him claiming to have assembled “the most extensive and and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics”.

    Explain that gaffe however you like: severe mental decline, or “old man’s Tourette’s” (i.e., failure to self-censor inconvenient truths). Either way, it doesn’t make one reasonably expect strong personal political leadership from Biden in assembling his own political team. The man is simply not there any more, except in a residual sense.


    1. It’s like those stories where people meet fairies in the woods. The internal logic of fairy stories goes: they don’t mean well, but they’re not allowed to lie to you outright. So instead they leave out key information, or tell the truth in such a way that the unwary will misunderstand it, or not believe it. Sly, bright-winged little corporate lawyers.

      Biden makes perfect sense in fairy-story logic: he has to tell the truth. But he can make it look like a blunder so the unwary can ignore it.


  4. I’ll explain it this way: Put very (very) simply, there are basically 2 kinds of jobs, for 2 kinds of people.

    The first are the proactive jobs, which require that the person doing the job formulate a plan about what to do, organise for the plan to be implemented, oversee the plan, and take full responsibility for what happens.

    Examples of these kinds of jobs are engineers who are told to design an aircraft that can accomplish a set of tasks, or a doctor who has to assess and remedy a patient’s problem.

    The second kinds of jobs are the reactive jobs, which require that the person doing the job just react to some kind of plan that already exists, and take generally no responsibility for anything other than whether or not they followed procedure.

    Examples of these kinds of jobs are aircraft safety technicians who check every bolt or hose on the aircraft that the engineer designed, or the nurse following doctors orders about what plan must be followed for the patient to become well.

    The thing about democrats and other people on the so-called ‘left’ is that they tend very strongly to being the sorts of people who can only do the second kind of job. They aren’t very good at coming up with new plans, and just react react react react to whatever exists.

    That is why they spend most of their time talking about (reacting to) the plan that Trump implemented, or the disease COVID that has already happened that they must react to, or giving various minority activist groups what they want because the activist groups asked for them, or whatever.

    So imagine that you put an experienced aircraft tech in charge of designing aircraft, or an experienced nurse in charge of diagnosing and treating patients. They have been in the industry for a long time. They sort of know what they’re doing. What would happen.

    What would happen is that they would start appointing committees and advisors to tell them the things that the engineer or doctor would have known, and also, they’d design bureaucratic process or get media advisors to help them avoid taking responsibility for anything that went wrong. I mean, sure, the airport would still run, planes would still fly, patients would still be healed of at least some things but overall, without the truly proactive educated people in charge, you’d get dreary stagnation and slow slide into oblivion.

    Now look at every country that has been taken over by leftist politicians. They have large (and growing) bureaucracies, so-called ‘advisors’ everywhere plus lobbying companies who come into government and practically take over departments, plus a media paid to act as the cheer squad of the government in charge. They stagnate and pile up debt as everything slides into mediocre stagnation, with the only really high priority being that the idiot bureaucrats running the place get looked after as highest priority.

    With this in mind, the idea that smart problem solvers would be appointed by Biden is laughable. That isn’t how this whole thing works at all. They’re reactive freeloaders who are power hungry, greedy, and mean. They’ll appoint their friends, followed by appointing those who wont point out how badly things are going, fill up their pockets, blame Trump, blame the Russians, blame the weather, etc and live day to day reacting to the biggest issue of the day as if it is the only thing exists while neglecting everyone else.

    Note: yes I know the above is oversimplified.


    1. This is really well explained. I wish I could upvote it 10 times. Never thought about it in terms of action and reaction.


        1. In C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape letters, Screwtape explains that the Divinity wants people to orient themselves around what they do. And the Enemy wants people to orient themselves around what was done to them.

          It seems applicable to the current situation.


  5. Most progressives don’t agree on this. They might be critical of some things he’s done, but on the whole they like him. This definitely applies to Coates. It’s very rare to find a progressive who truly doesn’t like Obama; Matt Stoller and Glenn Greenwald are all I can think of off the top of my head.

    This is to say nothing of liberals as a whole. Most progressives hate Nancy Pelosi, but there’s a whole swathe of people who fawn over her, Obama, Harris, Hillary, etc. And even normal people who aren’t like that generally have fond feelings towards Obama. They either misunderstand his record or they aren’t looking that heavily at policy.


  6. “They’ve got nothing else. Democrats don’t have a plan, a dream, or a set of policies”

    That was obvious in the way they torpedoed Sanders, the only candidate to actually create any enthusiasm among young voters… (it was almost heartbreaking listening to stories of young people motivated to try to get people out to vote…. to be screwed by a machine that had already decided on its candidate (who wasn’t Biden)).

    The US political landscape now is nothing but corrupt and degenerate status quo and will remain so until the elephants cross the metaphoric alps…


  7. Keeping in mind that it’s not realistic to hope for a left wing or even “progressive” president – when did we last have one? was FDR one? – I think it is realistic to hope for progress on environment, support for reproductive choice, and opposition to the death penalty or non-use of it.

    Obama on environment, quite good: … and this is KEY because if there’s no environment, all other bets are off.

    Obama on reproductive choice, rather good. Death penalty, medium: no federal executions under him but didn’t get very far toward abolition of federal death penalty.


      1. Also extrajudicial execution, isn’t he the one who “got” bin Ladin? I’m not a fan of US foreign policy, no, and these activities are part of the reason I don’t understand why people say Obama is left, progressive, etc.; I had expected he would be slightly less hawkish than HRC but he wasn’t really


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