Even after an election that was at least a partial rejection of his economic policies, President Barack Obama refuses to acknowledge that his economy has been anything less than exceptional. Speaking in Greece after the election, Obama simultaneously praised his own record while warning world leaders not to ignore economic complaints from their citizens. In other words, do as I say, not as I did…and am continuing to do.
“We had to fight back from the worst recession since the Great Depression,” Obama said. “But we were able to intervene, apply lessons learned and stabilize and then begin growth again.”
Yes, that’s true in the most extreme possible view. It doesn’t account, of course, for the rather large possibility that our recovery could have been many times greater without so much “intervention.”
“The country is indisputably better off, and those folks who voted for the president-elect are better off than they were when I came into office, for the most part,” Obama said, talking about Trump. “People seem to think I did a pretty good job. And so there is this mismatch, I think, between frustration and anger. Perhaps the view of the American people is that we just need to shake things up.”
Not even Obama can be in this much denial. If Americans were really thrilled with the economy, there would be zero room for what happened this year. Trump’s message wasn’t exclusively focused on the economy by any means, but it’s hard to imagine his campaign gaining traction in an America where everyone’s optimistic about their financial situation. This was a seismic shift, and those don’t come along unless things are really, really bad.
For all of his calming words about the smooth transition of power, President Obama has still not fully come to terms with Trump’s election. It still hasn’t hit him. It hasn’t dawned on him just how badly his presidency failed so many Americans.
Or maybe he just can’t believe that so many voters saw through the illusion and that the global government he fought so hard to build is about to come crashing down.