Obama rebukes Trump and Republicans for 'abuses of power,' urges Democrats to vote

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by SueEllenRules!, Sep 9, 2018.

  1. SueEllenRules!

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    Obama rebukes Trump and Republicans for 'abuses of power,' urges Democrats to vote

    (Reuters) - Former U.S. President Barack Obama assailed President Donald Trump and Republicans on Friday, urging Democrats to deliver a check on the administration’s “abuses of power” and restore a sense of sanity to politics by voting in November’s elections.

    In an unusually blistering attack on his successor, Obama said Americans were living in dangerous times and accused Republicans of threatening democracy, dividing the country, undermining global alliances and cozying up to Russia.

    “In two months we have the chance, not the certainty, but the chance to restore some semblance of sanity to our politics,” he said in a speech at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “There is actually only one check on bad policy and abuses of power, and that’s you and your vote.”

    Both parties are urging their core supporters to get to the polls for the Nov. 6 midterm elections, when Democrats need to pick up 23 seats in the House of Representatives and two seats in the Senate to gain majorities in Congress and slam the brakes on Trump’s agenda.

    Obama, who had frustrated some Democrats by keeping a relatively low profile since leaving office in January 2017, accused Republicans of being unwilling to safeguard democracy or offer a check on Trump’s policies or worst instincts.

    He said voters would have to do it instead.

    “In the end, the threat to our democracy doesn’t just come from Donald Trump or the current batch of Republicans in Congress,” he said. “The biggest threat to our democracy is indifference. The biggest threat to our democracy is cynicism.”

    Trump was dismissive of Obama’s speech.

    “I’m sorry, I watched it but I fell asleep,” he said during a fundraiser in North Dakota. “I found that he’s very, very good for sleeping.”

    The November elections have been seen as a referendum on Trump, who has fulfilled campaign promises to cut taxes and regulations but who faces a widening special counsel probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and growing questions about his fitness for office, even by some within his administration.

    Obama ridiculed Trump for taking credit for economic gains that began under Obama’s administration, and said Trump was exploiting cultural fears and economic anger that have grown in recent years amid societal upheavals.

    “It did not start with Donald Trump. He is a symptom, not the cause,” Obama said. “He’s just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years.”

    ‘RESENTMENT AND PARANOIA’

    Until now, Obama had been reluctant to criticize his successor publicly, although last week he appeared to chide Trump, without naming him, in a eulogy for the late Republican Senator John McCain.

    But he dropped that political reticence in Illinois, the state where he launched his own political career, saying a vote against Republicans could restore “honesty and decency and lawfulness” to government.

    “If you thought that elections don’t matter, I hope these last two years have corrected that impression,” he said. “The politics of division and resentment and paranoia has unfortunately found a home in the Republican Party.”

    Republicans shrugged off Obama’s criticism.

    “In 2016, voters rejected President Obama’s policies and his dismissiveness towards half the country. Doubling down on that strategy won’t work in 2018 either,” said Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Ahrens.

    If Democrats win control of one or both chambers in Congress in November, they would be able not just to stymie Trump’s agenda but to launch investigations of the Trump administration.

    Trump told supporters in Montana on Thursday that Republicans needed to maintain control of Congress to stave off possible impeachment proceedings against him, although Democrats have played down any discussion of that approach.

    “If it (impeachment) does happen, it’s your fault, because you didn’t go out to vote. OK? You didn’t go out to vote. You didn’t go out to vote. That’s the only way it could happen,” Trump told the rally.

    Obama will hit the campaign trail on Saturday, appearing at a campaign event in southern California before heading to Ohio next week and to Illinois and Pennsylvania later in the month.

    In August, Obama endorsed 81 Democratic contenders in 14 states, emphasizing young, diverse candidates running for state-level offices in an attempt to help new party leaders establish themselves.
     
  2. SueEllenRules!

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    Pence: 'Very disappointing' to see Obama 'become so political'

    Vice President Pence said it was "very disappointing" to see former President Obama return to the campaign trail and "become so political."

    "The truth is, the American people in 2016 rejected the policy and direction of Barack Obama when they elected President Donald Trump," Pence told Fox News in a new interview set to air Sunday.

    "It was very disappointing to see President Obama break with the tradition of former presidents, and become so political and roll out the same tired argument that he and liberals have made over the last eight years," Pence added.

    The excerpt of the interview was released one day after Obama issued a blistering rebuke of President Trump in a speech widely regarded as the former president's return to the political stage. Speaking on Friday at the University of Illinois, Obama accused Trump of "capitalizing on resentments politicians have been fanning for years."

    "A fear, an anger that's rooted in our past, but it's also born of the upheavals that have taken place in your brief lifetimes," Obama said.

    Though he did not mention Trump by name, Obama continued to take swipes at the president in a separate speech he gave Saturday in Anaheim, California.

    "It's always tempting for politicians for their own gain and for people in power to try to see if they can divide people, scapegoat folks, turn them on each other, because when that happens you get gridlock and government doesn't work and people get cynical and decide to not participate," he said. "That, unfortunately, has been a spiral we've been on for the last couple of years," Obama continued. "If we don't step up, things can get worse."

    Upon leaving office, Obama said he wanted to follow in the footsteps of former President George W. Bush, who avoided politics after leaving the White House.

    Obama stumped for seven House candidates in California this weekend and has plans to make a stop next week in Ohio for gubernatorial nominee Richard Cordray, his office said. Last month, the former president endorsed 81 federal and state office-seekers.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/poli...ecome-so-political/ar-BBN3BAE?ocid=spartandhp
     
  3. Frank Underwood

    Frank Underwood Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Division, resentment, and paranoia? Look at how the moderates and progressives view each other, and tell me those things don't exist within the Democratic Party too.

    I thought elections mattered in 2008. When I voted for Obama, I thought I was voting for the public option, ending the wars, ending illegal surveillance, breaking up the banks, prosecuting torturers, and immigration reform that distinguished between felons and families. Instead, we got a healthcare program crafted by Republicans, we went from two wars to seven, and we got an increased surveillance program that we found out about thanks to a whistle blower. On top of that, the banks became bigger and were bailed out on the middle class's dime, torturers were never prosecuted, and there was a crackdown on immigrant families during Obama's first term. The one thing that matters more than elections is integrity.

    I thought the biggest threat to our democracy was Russia. And Jill Stein. And third party voters. But I'm sure it's not Dems rigging primaries in their favor.

    I do agree that indifference is a threat to democracy, but not indifference from voters. Instead, indifference from politicians causes people not to vote or to vote for an opposing party.

    I've said this for years. Of course, I'm sure Obama doesn't think Dems are part of the cause, despite their pied piper strategy, being corporate owned tools, and supporting war.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
  4. Frank Underwood

    Frank Underwood Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    And while we're on the subject of Obama, isn't it odd that he didn't take alleged Russian meddling seriously when he was in office? People say I "undermine" Russian collusion when I'm really just trying to separate fact from fiction. Obama, however, didn't even want to discuss it when he met with Putin shortly after the 2016 election. Heres' an excerpt from The Hill:

    President Obama did not discuss Russia's alleged meddling in the U.S. elections during his short conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday. "That's behind us," Obama told reporters during a press conference at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Peru. "If we have a strong, accurate and responsible press, and we have a strong civic culture and an engaged citizenry, then various attempts to meddle in our elections won't mean much," said Obama.

    Hmm, perhaps my theory that the pied piper strategy, neoliberal policies, and failed campaign strategies had a bigger impact on the rise of Trump than Russian meddling isn't far off.

    So is anybody here going to accuse Obama of "defending" Trump for down playing the effectiveness of Russian meddling? Anybody? Buehler? Buehler?
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018

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