Obama is doing everything he can to make things hard for Trump

By Michael Good win
December 30, 2016. 9:41 AM

The most telling hot-mic moment of Barack Obama’s presidency came in March 2012 when he told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev: “This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility.”

The topic then was missile defense, but America and the world now see the full ramifications. Whether it’s dusting off an obscure provision to block oil drilling or using the United Nations to betray Israel, this is what maximum flexibility looks like. This is Obama being Obama.

Liberated from the pretense of respecting public consent and no longer forced to calculate the impact on Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Obama is rushing to settle scores and tie Donald Trump’s hands. It is an infuriating exit.

It is also a revealing one. The last-ditch actions help explain not only why Trump won, but also why a course correction was absolutely necessary for the nation. Obama’s cynical schemes are variations of “you can keep your doctor,” and Americans were right to show Democrats the door.

It’s also worth remembering that Obama promised to have Israel’s back, and that’s where he put the knife.

The silver lining in his fire sale, which also includes trying to make it more difficult for Trump to vet Muslim refugees, is that it offers a moment of clarity about the dangers of unrestrained power. Ultimately, it only serves itself.

And with Clinton promising to expand Obama’s executive overreach and with the likelihood that a Dem-packed Supreme Court always would say amen, our system of checks and balances would have been null and void if she had won.

Similarly, Obama’s boast that he would have beaten Trump had he been able to run illustrates the fundamental decency of George Washington. He easily could have won a third term, but chose, for the good of the country, to retire instead of emulating a monarch.

We can never know if Obama would have beaten Trump. We can only be grateful to the 22nd Amendment’s limit of two terms that he didn’t get the chance to try.

Against the crying-out-loud need for change, it is amazing that it still passes for brilliance in certain quarters to observe that, with Trump at the helm, we are entering uncharted waters. Thanks, Sherlock, but that was the central point of his election.

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