No I don’t get how you felt about Obama

One of the right-wing responses to liberal revulsion at Trump is “now you know how we felt for eight years of Obama!” I’ve seen it several times over the years; recently someone posted on FB to the effect that they had to sit through Obama saying the U.S. wasn’t the greatest, most exceptional country in the world. He apologized for stuff we’d done wrong. Disgusting! Now we have Trump, a true patriot who does what he says he will (which is, of course, not true).

Gotta say that no, in point of fact I have no idea how they (and “they” here refers to “a significant portion of Republicans but not necessarily all”) felt. Yes, we both saw a president we despised, but the reactions are very different.

I’m furious because Trump bans immigrants just for being Muslim. They were upset because Obama didn’t hate and discriminate against Muslims enough.

I despite Trump separating families, putting children in cages and denying them basic levels of protection (and no, Obama did not do worse). They were upset because Obama wasn’t more anti-immigrant and anti-Hispanic.

I hate the Trump administration siding with the religious right on issues from abortion to gay rights (all of which would be the same under any Republican administration of course). They hated Obama because he didn’t show them the same favoritism.

It’s not like Obama was perfect, but many of the things I hated about his administration ā€” drone strikes killing innocent people, failure to prosecute CIA torture ā€” I hate about Trump, and would have hated no matter which Republican got into office (it’s not like any of the would be better than Obama about such things). Trump voters are fine with all that, even though they never gave Obama credit for them. They gave Obama no credit for being a good, faithful family man and Christian; in fact their interest in having elected officials who were moral and Christian started dropping during the Obama years.

My loathing of Trump is based on things he’s actually done: family separation, graft, abandoning the Kurds, anti-immigrant bias, sexual assault, making loyalty to him the supreme qualification for public service in his administration. Among the reasons they gave for hating Obama during his presidency were, let’s see … He was secretly Muslim. Secretly gay. Michelle Obama was a man. He was going to start a race war against whites. He was going to lock up conservatives in FEMA concentration camps. He was an Islamofascist sleeper agent. He was a Communist sleeper agent. He was the secret love child of Malcolm X! Obamacare death panels would decide who got life-saving treatment and who didn’t! None of that was reality.

So no, I don’t know how they felt about Obama. And I’m quite happy I don’t, because what they were feeling wasn’t anything healthy.


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