Obama Tastelessly Attacks Founding Fathers for Starting Identity Politics


Barack Obama has apparently determined what’s wrong with America. The answer? Americans.

On Tuesday, the former president appeared at Rice University in Texas and gave a free-wheeling talk about problems and challenges facing the country. Obama was joined by James Baker, the 88-year-old who was the secretary of state in the early 90’s.

During part of his comments, the 44th president seemed to double down on what has become a bit of a theme: Blaming everyday citizens for anything he doesn’t like, while taking no responsibility himself.

“Obama noted the failure of the country to properly adapt to the rapid economic changes brought about by globalization and how he felt that brought on the nationalist politics of the Donald Trump era,” explained The Washington Free Beacon.

Gee, if only the president who held office for eight years before Trump could have addressed that! If Obama ever finds out who that was, he’ll surely give them a stern scolding.

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Obama echoed the liberal narrative that the only reason Trump won in 2016 was because of racism and xenophobia.

“In those environments, you then start getting a different kind of politics … that’s based on, ‘that person’s not like me and it must be their fault,’ and you start getting a politics based on a nationalism that’s not pride in country but hatred for somebody on the other side of the border,” the former president lectured.

Do you think Obama needs a U.S. history lesson?

You could almost feel him tempted to use the word “deplorable.”

“And you start getting the kind of politics that does not allow for compromise, because it’s based on passions and emotions,” Obama continued, oblivious that he had just described his own party.

Make a note of Obama’s bemoaning a lack of political compromise, because we’ll come back to that in a minute.

“It’s identity politics,” Baker chimed in. Obama agreed.

And who is to blame for identity politics, in the former president’s view? Why, none other that the Founding Fathers of the United States.

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In a somewhat bizarre statement, Obama tried to connect the current political climate to the formation of the Constitution some 230 years ago.

“(W)hen I hear people say they don’t like identity politics, I think it’s important to remember that identity politics doesn’t just apply when it’s black people or gay people or women,” Obama said. He then cited examples, er, all related to black people.

“The folks who really originated identity politics were the folks who said Three-Fifths Clause and all that stuff. That was identity politics,” the former president insisted. “Jim Crow was identity politics. That’s where it started.”

For someone who was supposedly an oh-so-brilliant constitutional professor, Obama sure seems to have a murky view of American history. The Jim Crow era — which he claims was where identity politics started — began a hundred years after the Three-Fifth Clause.

Yes, we’re supposed to believe that identity politics originated with the Founding Fathers, while also originating a century later with Jim Crow laws, which were largely supported by Democrats. Confused? Stop asking questions.

Also lost in Obama’s vague view of history was the fact that the Three-Fifth Clause, while clearly problematic, was a concession between northern and southern states that the founders needed to enact in order to form the United States as we know it.

In the same breath, Obama complained about a rejection of compromise while also blaming the nation’s problems on … well, a famous compromise.

There’s also the pesky fact that had the Founding Fathers not included the Three-Fifth Clause, southern states would have had even more incentive to import African slaves, because it would have boosted their power in Congress.

“Counting the whole number of slaves benefited the Southern states and reinforced the institution of slavery. Minimizing the percentage of the slave population (with the Three-Fifth Clause) counted for apportionment reduced the political power of slaveholding states,” explained The Constitutional Accountability Center.

Again, Obama repeatedly called himself a “constitutional professor” — really, a lecturer — at the University of Chicago Law School. He either knows this information about the compromise but is skewing it for political gain, or is ignorant of the subject he taught for over a decade. Both options are appalling.

What the former president’s latest rant boils down to is yet another instance of Obama throwing blame and disdain toward any target but himself.

Blaming the Founding Fathers and bemoaning today’s voters are part of a trend that includes Obama’s infamous “cling to guns or religion” comment. It’s all the same: If it’s part of American culture or history, it must be criticized — and that, frustratingly, seems to sum up the modern left.

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.