Barack H. Obama’s re-entry into the political fight does present some risk for the 44th president of the United States.
Some of Donald J. Trump’s supporters already are taking Obama to task for the tone and tenor of his criticism, suggesting that he is flouting a long-standing tradition in which former presidents remain silent after they leave office.
I get the risk. Indeed, I long have admired former presidents who have decided to stay out of the fight. Presidents Bush 41 and 43 are two examples of that doctrine.
However, I am not going to condemn President Obama fully. His successor has goaded him. He has done so through a relentless attack on many of the policies espoused by Obama. He wastes few opportunities to criticize the former president, calling his presidency a “disaster,” or suggesting he lacked the guts to make some of the tough decisions that Trump is making.
Trump is now getting a bit of what he has dished out almost from the moment he took the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2017.
Are we supposed to feel sorry for the president? Are we supposed to believe Obama and other critics are picking on him unfairly?
It’s the biggest of the big leagues, Mr. President. This reaction from Barack Obama is precisely what his successor should have expected as he has continued to pop off.
We can parse the former president’s language all day and into the night. I happen to believe he is right to criticize Trump for failing to condemn Nazi sympathizers; for espousing tribalism and the politics of fear; for criticizing Americans over “how they pray”; for failing to stand up to international bullies.
None of it is American. The 44th president is right to speak out on behalf of those of us who continue to be aghast at the policies expressed by the 45th president.