Posted by Curt on 19 December, 2016 at 11:33 am. 5 comments already!


Ed Morrissey:

Do as I say, not as I do. Barack Obama sat down with NPR’s Steve Inskeep for one of his final in-depth interviews as president, and decided to offer his successor a little advice. Try working with Congress, and avoid unilateral executive action, says the man who should know:

“Keep in mind, though, that my strong preference has always been to legislate when I can get legislation done,” Obama said from the Cabinet Room in the White House. “In my first two years, I wasn’t relying on executive powers, because I had big majorities in the Congress and we were able to get bills done, get bills passed. And even after we lost the majorities in Congress, I bent over backwards consistently to try to find compromise and a legislative solution to some of the big problems that we’ve got — a classic example being immigration reform, where I held off for years in taking some of the executive actions that I ultimately took in pursuit of a bipartisan solution — one that, by the way, did pass through the Senate on a bipartisan basis with our help. …

“So my suggestion to the president-elect is, you know, going through the legislative process is always better, in part because it’s harder to undo,” he said.

Ahem. I’m sure Donald Trump will take that under advisement as he sets out to undo the massive volume of rules and regulations imposed by the executive branch over the last eight years.

If readers are stunned at the chutzpah of that advice from President Penandphone, they’ll need resuscitation after hearing how Obama wants to assist Democrats after leaving office. With retirement just 32 days away,  Obama has to think about how he wants to spend it. The outgoing president tells Inskeep that he’d like to work on molding the next generation of Democrats to continue the work of his eight years in office. Be afraid, Democrats … be very afraid:

President Obama sees a role for himself in rebuilding the Democratic Party after he leaves office — coach.

“What I am interested in is just developing a whole new generation of talent,” Obama told NPR’s Steve Inskeep in an interview airing on Morning Edition.

“There are such incredible young people who not only worked on my campaign, but I’ve seen in advocacy groups,” Obama said. “I’ve seen passionate about issues like climate change, or conservation, criminal justice reform. You know, campaigns to — for a livable wage, or health insurance. And making sure that whatever resources, credibility, spotlight that I can bring to help them rise up. That’s something that I think I can do well, I think Michelle can do well.”

That’d be a great idea … if “a whole new generation of talent” existed in the Democratic Party. Unfortunately for them, Barack Obama presided over their most dramatic political decline since Reconstruction. Morning Joe reviewed the data this morning:

It’s actually worse than that in terms of the “next generation of talent.” That would usually come from state legislatures, but Obama’s damage at that level has been unprecedented. When he took office, Democrats held 4,086 state legislative seats and controlled 60 chambers. As he exits the White House, Democrats have lost nearly a thousand seats in state legislatures (949) and only control 31 chambers. Both of those numbers matter, but the latter may matter more. Legislative stars get created and move up the ranks when they can pass bills and make news, a benefit rarely accessed by the minority in legislatures. Not only is their bench smaller, a much larger percentage of them are benched, too.

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