Wednesday, January 04, 2017
Bearing his trademark humility and modest historical self-regard, President Obama this week announced that he will, indeed, follow the lead of George Washington and allow “for a peaceful, democratic transfer of power.”
What a guy!
And just in case anybody has failed to grasp how extraordinarily lucky we have been these past eight delightful years, Mr. Obama also announced that he has begun “penning a farewell address to the American people.”
Lord, help us. We don’t deserve this!
It is not enough that we have endured eight long years of arrogance, preaching and failure? Now we have to stand by to watch him revel in it?
Even after the American electorate delivered the most stinging rebuke of any presidency in modern times?
Mr. Obama skated by on his skin-deep popularity and blatant racial politicking. Even as his party got decimated and his pet policies got shredded at the polls, Mr. Obama was granted a second term. It was the mannerly thing to do. Or people felt bad for him.
Either way, his presidency showed the world just what would happen if we had given Jimmy Carter a second term — just for the giggles.
Before he is even sworn in, President-elect Donald Trump is driving the stock market to historic highs. Polls show a new American confidence not seen in a decade. World leaders bypass the White House and appeal directly to Mr. Trump.
If Mr. Obama were capable of humility, this would be truly humiliating.
And where, pray tell, Mr. President, will you be delivering your “farewell address?” Mount Vernon? Gettysburg?
Nay, Chicago. America’s murder capital. In the running for murder capital of the Western Hemisphere. Might be murder capital of the universe.
Outside, that is, the war zones that have sprouted up around the world during the past eight years in places such as Syria and Iraq and Turkey and Christmas markets around Europe. Or the savagery in Nigeria, where a 10-year-old was dispatched into a crowd on New Year’s Eve strapped to a bomb.
“I’m just beginning to write my remarks,” Mr. Obama says, brightly, as if the world were not burning down around him and poverty and joblessness and drug addiction had not taken such a merciless grip on our people.
“But I’m thinking about them as a chance to say thank you for this amazing journey, to celebrate the ways you’ve changed this country for the better these past eight years, and to offer some thoughts on where we all go from here.”
Really? This was all just a journey for you? Like we sent you off on an Outward Bound adventure to go find yourself and come home and bore us all with everything you learned?
While in the war zone of Chicago, finally bidding farewell, you can rest assured that President Obama will be amply protected from the wretched violence there by an small army of armed guards. And when he is done, he will return to mansion in an upscale neighborhood in Washington.
Chicago, it turns out, is just too dangerous.
• Charles Hurt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter via @charleshurt.
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