President Obama this week waded into the general election with his customary grace, instructing Donald Trump to stop “whining” that the contest might be rigged.
“If you start whining before the game’s even over, if whenever things are going badly for you and you lose — you start blaming somebody else — then you don’t have what it takes to be in this job,” Obama said. “I’d invite Mr. Trump to stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes.”
Given his abysmal record as president, blaming someone else “whenever things are going badly for you” is indeed evidence that “you don’t have what it takes to be in this job.”
Obama asking someone not to whine is a bit like Miley Cyrus telling Katy Perry to put some clothes on. Obama has been whining since the moment he took office. If there’s ever been a whinier commander-in-chief, then he whined privately, because there’s no record of such incessant presidential moaning.
Obama has literally spent his entire presidency whining about his predecessor, who, in Obama’s view, left him with a task too Herculean to overcome.
As Obama failed consistently to right the economy and every “Summer of Recovery” became a winter of economic discontent, he never tired of blaming George W. Bush for the economy — even years after Bush stopped having anything to do with it.
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“If we had taken office during ordinary times, we would have started bringing down these deficits immediately,” Obama whined in 2010.
“I inherited a big debt,” he whined in March 2011.
“Look, we do have a serious problem in terms of debt and deficit, and much of it I inherited when I showed up,” Obama whined in August 2011.
“We’ve made sure to do everything we can to dig ourselves out of this incredible hole that I inherited,” he grumbled several months later.
The economy, currently growing at about 1 percent, still isn’t the least bit fixed.
But why just blame Bush for the economy when you blame him for everything else?
In a singularly unpatriotic gesture, Obama whined to the whole world about Bush in his first year in office, during an address to the United Nations in September 2009.
“I took office at a time when many around the world had come to view America with skepticism and distrust,” he said. “Part of this was due to opposition to specific policies, and a belief that on certain critical issues, America has acted unilaterally, without regard for the interests of others. And this has fed an almost reflexive anti-Americanism, which too often has served as an excuse for collective inaction.”
Bush — and his supposed “go it alone” policy — was to blame for the Iraqis’ poor performance after Obama withdrew the last U.S. combat troops from the country in 2012.
“And the one thing we have learned is, is that when we do things alone and the countries — the people of those countries aren’t doing it for themselves, as soon as we leave we start getting into the same problems,” Obama whined.
Obama’s frequent surrogate whiner, White House press secretary Josh Earnest, blamed Bush for ISIS, even though ISIS didn’t exist when Bush was president.
“We know that ISIL was an outgrowth of al-Qaida in Iraq that did not exist prior to the fateful decision made by the previous administration to launch an invasion of that country,” Earnest whined.
Five years into his presidency, with veterans’ health care revealed to be in a pathetic state of affairs, Obama groused that it was Bush’s fault. “This predates my presidency. When I was in the Senate, I was on the Veterans Affairs Committee. I heard firsthand [about] veterans who were not getting the kinds of services and benefits that they had earned,” he complained.
Providing guns to Mexican drug lords? You guessed it: Bush’s fault.
“I think it’s important for us to understand that ‘Fast and Furious’ was a field operation begun under the previous administration,” Obama said — incorrectly, since Fast and Furious started in 2009. Details, details.
Obama, unlike Bill Clinton, has gotten almost nothing done with a Republican Congress, whining that Republicans were “obstructing” him at every turn.
Having covered Clinton, Bush, and Obama, I can tell you that under his two predecessors, it was routine to see lawmakers’ cars lined up on the driveway for meetings with the president. Under Obama — almost never. He failed to build relationships — even Democrats complain he never calls or writes. But why admit the truth when you can whine?
“Is there something else I could do to make these guys — I’m not talking about the leaders now, but maybe some of the House Republican caucus members — not paint horns on my head?” our sensitive president remarked in 2013.
Charging Republicans in 2015 with being “tone-deaf,” and seeking only “media sound bites,” Obama whined: “They don’t do anything except block me. And call me names.”
He even complained about his lapdogs in the mainstream media. “Sometimes both Josh and I probably have our disagreements with the press corps and feel picked on and misunderstood,” Obama said.
The Founding Fathers, too.
“Obviously, the nature of the Senate means that California has the same number of Senate seats as Wyoming. That puts us at a disadvantage,” Obama said.
And let’s not forget you and me.
“The way I think about it is, this is a great, great country that had gotten a little soft, and we didn’t have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades,” he said in a 2011 interview.
All of which goes to prove that Obama got things half right. Given his abysmal record as president, blaming someone else “whenever things are going badly for you” is indeed evidence that “you don’t have what it takes to be in this job.”
Keith Koffler is the editor of website White House Dossier and the newsletter Cut to the News.