Obama on Trump’s victory: “Sometimes you lose an election”

God, I’ll miss this man. Always eloquent and classy, he remained so as he discussed Trump’s victory in this ten-minute video. Imagine what he could have done if the Senate and House were Democratic.

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47 Comments

  1. Steve
    Posted November 10, 2016 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    But my recollection is that the Senate and House were controlled by the Democrats from 2008-2010, and during that time the Senate had a 60-40 (i.e., filibuster proof) Democratic majority. That’s how the Affordable Care Act was able to be passed.

    • Dominic
      Posted November 10, 2016 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      I thought a filibuster broke horses!

    • Alpha Neil
      Posted November 10, 2016 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Yes, Democrats can be trusted to fuck up every time. They had control of government so rather than do what their base wanted (single payer) they dusted off an old republican plan from the 90s and passed that. Not only did it not fix healthcare, but looking back it feels like the first step on the road to President Trump

      • GM
        Posted November 10, 2016 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        Why are you assuming the Democrats care about what their base wants?

    • Posted November 13, 2016 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

      The Democrats had 58 seats and added two, one in April, 2009 when Specter switched parties and the 60th when Franken won a special election in July 2009. They lost the majority in January 2010 when Scott Brown won a special election. So he had things all his way for just six months.

  2. Dominic
    Posted November 10, 2016 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Yes – spot on. As you say, a pity for the world that he was stymied by big business interests & their lobbyists. Hope for the best – prepare for the worst. 😦
    Judge by actions…
    How can people not like Obama? I can imagine having a beer with him… He needs a new job.

    • Carl
      Posted November 10, 2016 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      President Obama is a very likable man. He’s highly intelligent, and presents a very open, compassionate demeanor.

      Some people will, of course, hate him for reasons not worth mentioning. But some will be so opposed to his policies that they can’t separate the man from those policies.

      I like the man, but not the way he governed in many instances. The Affordable Care Act, was a huge mistake and will probably soon be erased.

      • Posted November 10, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        I regard Obama the way I do Carter – a good man, but unfortunately way too conservative for my tastes in many ways. (From the perspective of foreign policy, anyway.)

        • Billy Bl.
          Posted November 10, 2016 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

          Obama is the only US president since Carter that I have respected as a person. He will really be missed.

  3. Posted November 10, 2016 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Goodbye integrity, hello unacceptably.

    We now have a pilot who is flying without a license.

  4. Posted November 10, 2016 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Maybe I heard it wrong, but thought Obama was minimizing the import of this loss with almost a you win some you lose some” attitude. I mean comparing the transition between him, and Bush, and him, and Trump. In that case you had two people who were sane, and people’s fear’s about an Obama presidency was 90% paranoia about things like being able to own guns as opposed to this time when it’s fear of death as a result of losing health care, or being deported to some war torn theocracy, or losing your right to get an abortion.

    • Posted November 10, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Yeah, I got the sense that he was being very careful to put a positive spin on a terrible situation.

      /@

    • Posted November 10, 2016 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Calling Bush sane may be an error. It’s only in comparison to the gross insanity of Trump that Bush may seem sane.

  5. Posted November 10, 2016 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Barack Obama, you are and always will be my hero!

  6. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 10, 2016 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    People have a tendency to make too much of govt. particularly at election time. Kind of like, the only time they pay attention to baseball is the world series. They also make too much of one office and one bad president. They react to the moment in which they live and they are sure it is the only one that matters.

    After being around a mere 66 years, my experience is that change will come whether you like it or not. We may take several steps backward to get a few forward but life goes on. Hell, it went on in the Dark Ages for many terms and still, we are here. Just think of this as a small trip to the dark ages.

    • mfdempsey1946
      Posted November 10, 2016 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      “Just think of this as a small trip to the dark ages.”

      Unfortunately, right now this is showing powerfully alarming signs of being something drastically different:

      A one-way trip to the Dark Ages.

    • Posted November 11, 2016 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      Dark ages didn’t have the possibility of nuclear holocaust.

  7. Vaal
    Posted November 10, 2016 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    “God, I’ll miss this man.”

    That’s what I’ve been thinking every time I’ve seen and heard Obama speak in the last months, and even more today.

    America has swapped elegance for crudity.

    • Posted November 10, 2016 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      From grace to disgrace, at one fell swoop.

      • Posted November 10, 2016 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        From restrained class to impetuous trash.

      • GBJames
        Posted November 10, 2016 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        Exactly.

        • darrelle
          Posted November 10, 2016 at 10:24 am | Permalink

          Exactly indeed. I am embarrassed to have Trump represent me and my society to the rest of the world. Similar to how I felt during the Bush Jr. years, but even more so.

    • Posted November 10, 2016 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      +1

  8. Posted November 10, 2016 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    — Very well stated, for more insight and understanding, watch Lada’s pre-election video… it’s a breath of
    fresh air, just brilliant analysis:

    https://futuristrendcast.wordpress.com/2016/11/04/lada-rays-final-us-election-predictions-addendum-to-esr16-us-elections-and-what-will-happen-after/

    Trump is our Prez… God help us all.

  9. Vaal
    Posted November 10, 2016 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    I’m sure this describes many of us right now:

    http://www.theonion.com/article/donald-trump-45th-president-united-states-spontane-54669

  10. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 10, 2016 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Im’ma miss Barry, too. Class act, all the way, him and his family, grace and dignity and rectitude personified. Never a credible whisper of personal corruption.

    Still looks good, too. A bit wizened, perhaps, but like he’s got a crossover dribble or two left in him, like he could still drive the lane on a much younger man.

  11. veroxitatis
    Posted November 10, 2016 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Professor Coyne, you say imagine what he could have done had Congress been democratic. Imagine what he could have done as PM in a Parliamentary Democracy. And even had he not, at least there would have been a class and standard of oratory not heard in the House these past 60 years or so.

  12. chris moffatt
    Posted November 10, 2016 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    As others have noted the democrats had the house, the senate and the white house from Jan 20/2009 until sometime in 2010. When Arlen Specter moved from R to D the democrats had 60 members in the senate. Apart from the ACA, and even during the time that was before congress, Obama wasted his majorities in futile attempts at so-called bipartisanship; after McConnell had vowed to make him fail at every step and be a one-term president. Obama had his chances and he did worse than nothing – he threw them away with both hands “osculating the republicans’ rump”. I believe the people gave up on the democrats then. The only reason Obama got a second term was because the republicans put up Romney of all people to oppose him.

    BTW we should note that the GOP put up 15 candidates most of whom were worse than Trump. Can we imagine if Cruz had won the presidency? Or Carson?

    • GBJames
      Posted November 10, 2016 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      Two words: Mike Pence. One heartbeat or one impeachment away from the Presidency.

      • Posted November 10, 2016 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        Actually, Pence scares me more than Trump does. I don’t think Trump holds any firm beliefs other than his own greatness, so perhaps he is malleable. Pence thinks he is doing god’s work on earth.

        • Posted November 10, 2016 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

          I heard he was watching the Flintstones the other night. He thought it was a documentary on how humans and dinosaurs co-existed.

      • chris moffatt
        Posted November 10, 2016 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        Too true. I’ve said here before that Pence is the really scary prospect And now he’s going to be “the most powerful Vice President ever”.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted November 10, 2016 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

          Whoa, more potent than the right honorable J. Danforth Quayle?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted November 10, 2016 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        One heartbeat of a flabby 70-year-old who half the time looks like he’s fixin’ to burst a blood vessel.

        A President Pence’s first order of business would be rolling back Obergefell and Roe v. Wade. Then, maybe, start hacking away at the Establishment clause.

  13. ToddP
    Posted November 10, 2016 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    One positive thing to keep in mind is that we’re about to get an unshackled Obama as an advocate and spokesperson (Biden and Michelle, too). That could be a huge asset for the Dem/progressive movement. He’s been in office, knows the playbook, and can act as critic, watchdog and rallying agent.

    I don’t think Obama is going to be like Dubya and just slink off to a ranch to paint watercolors and mend fences. He’s likely going to stick around and be a thorn in the side of the Republicans who obstructed him so much. A popular thorn, too.

    • Carl
      Posted November 10, 2016 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      You apparently don’t understand that Bush’s absence from the public eye is out of respect for President Obama. He wants to give his successor space, understanding that his own time is over and now it’s someone else’s turn. I expect President Obama to show the same kind of class.

      • Posted November 10, 2016 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think Trump deserves that respect.

        /@

      • ToddP
        Posted November 10, 2016 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        You make a good point, and I doubt Obama would or could do anything without class. He oozes class. Clearly he highly respects the office and I’m sure he’s willing to give Trump a fair chance to work for the benefit of the country.

        But the Republicans in Congress who were his bane? I’m not sure he’s going to be very cordial with them in the coming years. We’ll see.

  14. Posted November 10, 2016 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Sam Harris has spoken on Trumps victory.

    The Most Powerful Clown

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted November 10, 2016 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      A very good 30 minutes by Harris. Almost chilling to hear him go over this guy’s show for the last couple of years. Also the hit he gave the liberal left, the apologists. The idea that possibly Trump’s performance over this entire contest could be nothing but theater and he is really a decent human being…can’t believe that for a minute. Maybe it allows for a breath of sanity verses complete depression.

      • Posted November 10, 2016 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        “The idea that possibly Trump’s performance over this entire contest could be nothing but theater and he is really a decent human being…can’t believe that for a minute. Maybe it allows for a breath of sanity verses complete depression.”

        Me either, and yes, but then I almost suffocated when reading about his short list for cabinet positions, clowns one, and all.

        Gingrich Secretary of State
        Giuliani, or Christie Attorney General

        I don’t know how any of them will fit in the clown car.

        http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/who-is-in-president-trump-cabinet-231071

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted November 10, 2016 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

          Who gets the job of building the wall? Maybe Trump does that one himself. And puts in a golf course every 50 miles or so he can play a few rounds while watching it go up. Be interesting to see where he gets the work force?

        • somer
          Posted November 11, 2016 at 2:13 am | Permalink

          Ick. Not Newt Gangrene

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted November 10, 2016 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      The best thing I heard leading up to the election was the podcast Sam did with Andrew Sullivan the day after the third debate.

      You can write off part of my evaluation as confirmation bias, inasmuch as they said some of the same things I’ve been thinking and saying, too. But they also unearthed aspects of Trump-vs.-Clinton I hadn’t thought about yet. Plus, they riff on it so articulately.

      It’s a pleasure to hear two first-rate minds discuss a topic with such absolute intellectual honesty.


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