Some will claim that any President of the United States is always relevant, by virtue of his position alone. While that is undoubtedly true in some senses, it may be argued that relevance is indeed relative -- and compared to other recent presidents, Barack Obama has managed to make himself relatively irrelevant. He is now, in truth, a lame duck well ahead of the typical time for achievement of that dubious status -- which is normally the last few months of any presidency in which the election of a successor has occurred.
While a long treatise could be written on the subject of the relative irrelevance of Barack Obama, this is not the place for such a dissertation. Rather, it is sufficient to indicate that the very expression lame duck means literally a duck which has trouble walking -- and in the case of this President, the lameness occurs in large part from shooting himself in both feet! Consider but a few recent examples: Leadership on resolving the Syrian crisis, a major humanitarian disaster, was turned over by this President to one of the least-humane world leaders on the face of the earth, Vladimir Putin of Russia, who imprisons his own citizens for singing songs about his abusive reign or daring to speak out against him.
But then, this President, supposedly a Constitutional lawyer, has orchestrated the ongoing and escalated spying on Americans without any Constitutional or other legal justification. This President has persecuted whistle-blowers for exposing unprecedented abuses of power through the actions of secret tribunals and without due process or any just cause. This President has instituted the widespread us of killer drone aircraft to take out many targets of opportunity, often killing or severely wounding innocent civilian men, women, and children. These, and similar, despicable practices constitute profound violations of his Oath of Office, wherein he pledged to uphold and defend our Constitution and laws.
This President has shown such severe disrespect for his own competence that he has undercut his only piece of signal legislation, the Affordable Health Care Act, by suspending many major provisions for long time periods at the behest of large corporate employers. This President has shown such severe disrespect for the position of Chair of the Federal Reserve Board that he attempted to appoint a crony who stated publicly, while President of Harvard University, that women do not make very competent scientists because they have inherently less scientific ability than men possess. That pending appointee had to withdraw from consideration after leaders of the Democratic party expressed their disgust.
This President has shown such severe disrespect for himself and his own abilities that he repeatedly caves in to the Forces of Darkness in the United States Congress on so many issues that he has become a laughingstock to those same right-wing reactionaries. This President has been criticized by the leaders of allied and friendly nations for endorsing our spying on them. The list of abuses goes on and on, and only gets worse and worse. Perhaps worst of all, though, this President has made it harder for a Democratic successor to be elected, by leaving a heritage of disarray and dismay. That atrocious damage to his own Democratic Party is unforgivable.
Eugene Elander has been a progressive social and political activist for decades. As an author, he won the Young Poets Award at 16 from the Dayton Poets Guild for his poem, The Vision. He was chosen Poet Laureate of (more...)