The Vanishing Legacy of Barack Obama

By Matt Taibbi

On the road from stirring symbol of hope and change to the Fat Elvis of neoliberalism, birthday-partying Barack Obama sold us all out.

It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.

— Leo Tolstoy

“Even Scaled Back,” wrote Vanity Fair, “Barack Obama’s Birthday Bash Is the Event of the Season.” Not even the famed glossy Bible of the unapologetic rich seemed sure of whether to write Obama’s Birthday bash straight or as an Onion headline: what did the “Event of the Season” mean during a pandemic?

A former president flying half the world’s celebrities to spend three days in a maskless ring-kissing romp at a $12 million Martha’s Vineyard mansion, at a moment when only a federal eviction ban prevented the outbreak of a national homelessness crisis, was already an all-time “Fuck the Optics” news event, and that was before the curveball. Because of what even the New York Times called “growing concerns” over how gross the mega-party looked, not least for the Joe Biden administration burdened with asking the nation for sober sacrifice while his ex-boss raised the roof with movie stars in tropical shirts, advisers prevailed upon the 44th president to reconsider the bacchanal. But characteristically, hilariously, Obama didn’t cancel his party, he merely uninvited those he considered less important, who happened to be almost entirely his most trusted former aides.


1 reply »

  1. 📝 ESSAY: A Last Best Hope (The Obama Promise), essay by Greg Maybury | Jan 1, 2016 

    🎯 A Critical Examination of the Tenure and Legacy of the Great American Black n’ White Hope.🥊

    👉 ‘Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.’ 

    👉 ‘Guantanamo will be closed no later than one year from now.’

    👉 ‘Washington is broken. My whole campaign has been premised from the start on the idea that we have to fundamentally change how Washington works.’

    👉 ‘I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war.’

    — ☝️The Wit and Wisdom of Barack Obama

    Brief: After Barack Obama’s hope-fuelled triumph in 2008, it was clear millions of Americans were looking forward to moving in a wholly new direction. As we near the final year of his tenure, and with these expectations in mind, now is as good a time as any to look at some of the factors likely to shape his legacy. To this end, we scrutinise a presidency that promised so much to so many. And, well, you know the rest…

Leave a Reply