Earlier today we highlighted the need for Democrats to come to grips with the nature of the threat posed by Trumpism and the Republican power politics that have been moving in the direction of someone like him for decades. Right on cue, this is...well, this isn't really it. But a former president is criticizing the current president, is something everybody says is a no-no, even if the current president regularly has meltdowns on the White House lawn and jumps on the Tweet Machine to announce he's "locked and loaded" to attack Iran as soon as the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia gives him the O-K. In spite of all of it, the extant ex-presidents have mostly abided by The Rule.
However, Barack Obama made the rare move of openly criticizing his successor on Wednesday. Obama was reportedly speaking at a tech conference organized by a data-services company called Splunk, which sounds like at least one other thing that presidents, former or otherwise, probably would not want to share a sentence with. Here's another thing you'd think a Democratic ex-president might want to stay away from in a time of rising skepticism around Silicon Valley's role in our society, particularly our systems of information, and growing calls to break up the sector's monopoly powers: a tech conference!
Anyway, here's what Obama said about Donald Trump, American president, via Axios:
Former President Barack Obama said at a tech conference Wednesday that one key to his decision-making was relying on staff and surrounding himself with a diversity of viewpoints, before adding:
"The other thing that is helpful is not watching TV or reading social media."
A real stinger. Obama had more criticism for social media elsewhere, particularly the "filter bubbles" it exacerbates. Again, weird forum for all this. But he also had more about our current fearless leader.
"I'm proud of the fact we didn’t have indictments. I’ve said that before but that is pretty rare in modern day." Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation resulted in the indictments of 6 former Trump advisers.
It certainly is good that Obama's staffers weren't served with federal indictments, though this feels like another area where Donald Trump has seriously lowered the bar. After all, his national security adviser was snapped up on charges that had nothing to do with the fact that he was secretly working for Turkey while serving on Trump's campaign. That was a whole different ballgame! What a world.
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