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Saturday, January 21, 2017

On a holiday when many Americans may feel less thankful as they consider the nation’s future, it is worth recalling again how much we should appreciate the service of Barack Obama. The profound gratitude that we owe him is only underscored by the prospect of the next president, whose name I frankly hesitate to mention on this hallowed occasion. And as he looks forward to leaving the White House, Obama remains keenly focused on how best to serve his country in a moment of unexpected peril.

In Hamilton, the hit Broadway musical that recently delighted the incoming vice president, one of the show-stopping numbers is “One Last Time,” in which George Washington explains why he will step down from the presidency to teach the new America about orderly democratic succession. The spirit of that wonderful song, whose message is essential to our way of life, lives in Obama as he seeks to prepare his woefully unready successor for the rigors of the presidency.

Amazingly, the fact that this individual spent years abusing him with calumnies, lies, and disrespect, in an ugly racist style, has not discouraged Obama from showing him and his family every courtesy – or from attempting to educate him about the gigantic challenges that await him in the Oval Office. Obama’s painstaking efforts to provide a presidential education have been so tactful and so kind as to evoke expressions of astonished praise from the pupil — an uninformed egomaniac who apparently believed, until lately, that he knew everything.

Now that he knows Obama a little, perhaps he is learning a little more about how wrong his assumptions have been about many other matters, from the Affordable Care Act to the Iran nuclear agreement. For the moment, we can only hope.

The president is more popular today than he was at many times during his tenure, presumably because people better understand both his considerable achievements and his innate decency. As we contemplate the coming period of misrule, it is worth reflecting on how much worse our situation might be today if one of Obama’s partisan opponents had been in control of events since January 2009.

For much of that time, a mindlessly negative attitude colored assessments of him and his presidency. More flawed than his most zealous supporters would ever have admitted when he first ran for president, he left many of them disproportionately disappointed. From his first day in office, he never benefited from the “fair chance” or “national unity” that his partisan opponents now demand for his successor. Certainly he made regrettable mistakes in both policy and politics, and suffered declines in public confidence that injured his image and the fortunes of his party. But there will be many reasons to remember him with admiration, and they are sure to loom larger when he is judged against those who follow him.

The undeniable truth is that Obama righted the nation in a moment of deep crisis and set us on a better course, despite bitter obstruction by conservative extremists who were eager to sink us rather than see him succeed.

So we should be forever thankful that Obama was president at the nadir of the Great Recession, rather than a Republican who might have insisted on austerity and rejected the stimulus spending that saved us from economic catastrophe. While not large enough to prevent grave suffering, that spending was sufficient to bring recovery more rapidly than most countries have recovered after a major panic. The proof lies in a record of growth that outpaced every other industrialized country in the world – a record that seems even more impressive because the crash began here, as a consequence of irresponsibility and criminality in American financial markets.

We should also be thankful that Obama – a politician who respects science and knowledge — was president as we began to encounter the frightening reality of climate change. Under his guidance, the federal government has acted against excessive carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, required automakers to double their fuel economy by 2025, ordered agencies to achieve sustainability in operations and purchases, and invested tens of billions in smart electric grids, conservation, and clean fuels. And he — along with Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, among others — brought the United States into the Paris global climate agreement that, with luck, his successor will not attempt to unravel.

We should be thankful, too, that he pushed through the most extensive and generous reform in American health care since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act – which now protects millions of Americans. It is a mark of that legislation’s landmark success that the Republicans, now empowered to repeal it, are promising to preserve many of its important benefits. Whether they can fashion a viable alternative remains to be seen, but it will be instructive to watch them try. Meanwhile health care costs have slowed, Medicare’s solvency has improved, and millions more of the country’s poor and working families are covered by Medicaid, in spite of Republican legislators and governors who would, quite literally, let them and their children die.

Throughout his presidency, Obama has remained admirably cool in the face of vicious attacks that would madden most people — notably including the incoming president. This president has refused to imitate the mindless and often revolting conduct of his adversaries. Not for a moment has he abandoned American values of shared responsibility and prosperity, of cooperation and community, of malice toward none and charity for all.

Those ideals were epitomized by this national holiday’s presidential founders – George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt. We will work toward the day when we have another leader who seeks to uphold that legacy.

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Copyright 2016 The National Memo

38 Responses to One Last Time: Be Thankful For President Obama

  1. America and the world are going to miss this intelligent, rational, cool and decent man in leadership. I suspect he will be the last American president to be known as leader of the free world. All best to a good man.

  2. President Obama will go down in history as not only one of the finest, clearest minded, genuinely tolerant, and kindest presidents we have ever had. He ranks with Washington, Lincoln, FDR, and JFK among the top. He inherited the job from a lying, cheating, ignorant man who cost us more treasure than any war before, along with far too many lives lost in a futile attempt to steal the oil from another country.
    President Obama pulled us from that abyss as much as he could, with a congress who was determined from the first moment to oppose anything he represented, no matter what, and who did everything they could to wreck the country, in spite of President Obama’s attempts to right the wrongs of the past Republican presidents, both Bushes and Reagan.

    Now, he is graciously and helpfully turning over the reins of the Executive branch of the government to an ignorant, deceitful, lying, uncaring person, who is determined to undermine each and everything that President Obama ever stood for.

    I weep for our country now — even as I give ever increasing thanks for the wonderful presidency of Barack Obama. I wish him, his wife, and his two beautiful children all good favor in whatever they do in the years to come. I am quite convinced that whatever it is, it will be beneficial to our country, and to all the citizens therein.

    Happy Thanksgiving, President and Mrs. Obama.

      • Trump will have our deficit approaching 2 trillion in the 2018 budget. Based on his tax cuts and massive government spending programs he will make Reagan look frugile. Trump is a joke just not funny.

        • Too many don’t understand the direct connection between the deficit and the national debt. Or ‘monetary soverignity’ for that matter.

          • To be fair, I don’t really understand either – not an economist. But “one trillion dollars” is pretty straightforward.

      • Check lately who destroyed the economy and the tax base and started two wars, one completely unnecessary, both incredibly,expensive, neither successful, that led to that debt?
        Naturally not. Too busy preening about your “doctorate,” misspelling “Muslim,” and condemning us all for not following your savior when you ignore everything he said about human relations.
        Go stick your head back where it belongs: through your rectum to your small intestine.

    • I have read the beginning paragraphs and have not needed to read the entire article as it already seems to be another bias post by the nationalmemo. Your article has to some extent acknowledged obamas failures although blamed it on others, anything he didn’t get through he just did an executive order on. Therefore everything seen in America today, for instance black people are lower in society than they were now, was all his fault. He is a horrible president and hasn’t done anything for the country. I don’t see any way that someone can believe that Obama care is a good thing, and that trump likes it either. Throughout his campaign he said he liked two provisions within it and that’s he’d keep them, that is proven to still be his stance. Health care for example is absolute disaster in the U.S don’t tell me that Obama was a great president and he helped America through its worst.

      • Sorry you feel that way. Perhaps, after you have suffered through a few months of the new president, you will begin to see the error in your position — but I doubt it.
        I still think, and always will think, that Barack Obama, in spite of his difficulties and inability to convince the Congress of the virtue of his ideas, still saved this country from a premature depression, and will prove to be one of our best presidents.
        A new depression which will surely come under the total rule of Republicans will possibly give you pause.
        Enjoy your freedom while you can.

        • Thanks for being quite respectful in your reply and voicing your opinions in a way usually not seen by such devout supporters on these type of issues. Although your opinion clearly differs from mine I would like to ask if you have any such proof to back up and claims that obama was a good president and that trump will not be. Other than assumption, of course. Also name one thing obama has done for the country.

          • Obama prevented McCain and the idiot and Romney and Ryan from continuing to make wreckage of the economy as Bush did so well, starting further wars with Iran, etc. That’s two things, right off the top, two things more than Bush and Cheney ever did. You talk about “proof,” but it seems to me that people of your persuasion are always demanding “proof” while simultaneously denying all evidence that does not suit your preconceptions.
            The evidence suggests strongly that Trump will be a bad president. The way he conducted his campaign, the things he said and continues to say, and the people he has so far selected for his administration, his general demeanor and long history of reckless words and actions point to a dangerously insecure, revenge-obsessed, and willfully ignorant self-worshipper.

  3. There will be many a teary eye for our President Obama and our nation after is reign is over. . Mine as well. One can only imagine what is next in-store for us.

    • [email protected] says:

      gravelgert66 I posted a statement on DONNY DUMP and you gave me a thumps up on it . thanks my question to you is was the whole statement I posted all able to read it from the start to the end ? I ask you this because on my side this site seemed to mess it up from my side anyways it was all screwed up text after about 50 words grrrrrrrrrrr so was the whol;e post readable or did it have a messed up text from your side also ?

      • Yes, it was messed up, but I got through it with a little patience. Thanks for speaking up, and letting our voices be heard. Thanks for the post.

        • [email protected] says:

          ya I know the site or blog what ever it was made it messed up when I dragged it to try to copy it the blue cop[y for some reason made it easyer to read

        • [email protected] says:

          the thing now is DONNY DUMP is going to mess things up big time putting all these rich people in his places in office thy have no reason to be there . from wall street thy are just in those places to make it easy for them to deal their businesses one Russia’ PUTTHEAD’s budy from exxon oil he is just there to deal his oil and the DUMPSTER one can be sure has his cuts in the money for the deals you will see the DUMPSTER with a lot of off shore accounts being filled by these big deals . and he will start the pipe line again as fast as he can for he has money in that already too

  4. 1 yr ago I left my office work and I never felt this good… I started doing work on-line, for this company I stumbled upon over internet, for a few hrs a day, and I earn much more than i did on my previous job… My paycheck for last month was for 9 thousand dollars… Superb thing about this gig is that i have more free time with my kids…

  5. President Obama will be sorely missed. He ran this country with honesty and grace and honor. All things missing from the next one who is more spoiled brat than anything. Thank you, President, you have set the bar for the best. Trump cannot hold a candle to Obama, and is more interested in his own sleazy businesses than in being President. He only wants the title, not the job that comes with it, it is more than Trump can handle.


    • I’m sure you are. You echo all of the mindless and malicious lies and hatred towards him touched upon by the article. We’re all thankful you and the idiots you voted for didn’t have unobstructed control of the country for the last eight years.

    • I am so thankful for our country for having Obama as our president the last 8 years. I fear that our country will never again be so blessed. .We do count our blessings and we do give Thanks for our last years!

      • Damn skippy. I wonder how many Trump voters will harken back to the “bad” old Obama days once their boy really gets his short fingered hands on the kingdom.

  6. Barack Obama had several standing ovations and an entire House of Commons shouting “four more years” when he addressed the Canadian Parliament earlier this year. Even the Conservative Party MP’s joined in on both. Obama has been easily the most popular U.S. President in Canada in my lifetime. JFK was also quite popular when he visited Canada in 1961, but I was a baby then and don’t have direct memories of it. Obama has represented America so well throughout the world.

  7. One year ago I left my last work and it was a best decision i made in my life… I started to work on-line, over a website I found online, for a few hours each day, and I profit now much more than i did on my office job… My pay-check for last month was for 9000 dollars… The best thing about this is that i have more time for my kids…

  8. One year have passed since I resigned from my old work and it was a best decision i made in my life… I started working online, for a company I stumbled upon online, for several hours daily, and my income now is much bigger then it was on my old work… Last paycheck i got was for Nine thousand dollars… Superb thing about it is the more free time i got to spend with my family…

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