All of This Is Very Troubling

So, last night, the New York Times published a report about Obama adviser Ben Rhodes' upcoming memoir, centering on the 2016 election, and there was a lot of stuff there I found troubling.

The whole article is on-topic for this thread, but here are a few thoughts I shared on Twitter last night:

My pal Dan Solomon, quote-tweeting me, further noted: "Additionally, the idea that the US would tolerate cyberattacks for fear of an even bigger one is a pretty terrible thing to contemplate."

Which is exactly right. And also something about which I wrote in this piece, last year:
This passage in particular is haunting me: "To some, Obama's determination to avoid politicizing the Russia issue had the opposite effect: It meant that he allowed politics to shape his administration's response to what some believed should have been treated purely as a national security threat."

It haunts me for two reasons:

1. Although I had criticisms of Obama's presidency, I never felt — never — like I could not implicitly trust him on national security. I always felt confident that we could trust him to protect us. So to find out that we couldn't, and that the reason we couldn't is because he was afraid of accusations of partisanship, is really shaking me.

2. As longtime readers will no doubt recall, my biggest hesitation about Obama during the 2008 election was that I feared he did not take seriously enough the intransigence of Congressional Republicans. I had strong reservations about his emphasis on bipartisanship and worried that the Republicans would use it against him. It's really fucking something that my greatest fear about Obama may turn out to be the very thing that got us into the mess in which we now find ourselves.
In the New York Times piece, Obama was reportedly consoled by his aides after the election by reassuring him "that he still would have won had he been able to run for another term and that the next generation had more in common with him than with Mr. Trump." (In other words: It was Hillary's fault alone.) Obama reportedly responded by musing: "Sometimes I wonder whether I was 10 or 20 years too early."

Meaning, of course, that he was too early because America is a racist hellscape and that his presidency resulted in a backlash. I don't think he was too early for that reason, and I hate that he feels that way.

He may have, however, not been the right president for that moment, because he was temperamentally never going to be a fierce partisan who was prepared to treat the Republican Party like the collection of authoritarian nightmare bigots that it had become.

Obama wasn't willing to name the villain. And now the villain is running the country.

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