Michelle Obama Says Voters Let Her Husband Down. Really?

A response to the former first lady’s Netflix film comments.

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Photo by History in HD on Unsplash

During the Netflix documentary about her “Becoming” book tour, former first lady Michelle Obama shared her thoughts on the voter turnout not just in the infamous 2016 election, but ones that came before it as well.

Summer Lin of the Miami Herald documented her comments, writing:

“I understand the people who voted for Trump,” she said. “The people who didn’t vote at all, the young people, the women, that’s when you think, man, people think this is a game. It wasn’t just in this election. Every midterm. Every time Barack didn’t get the Congress he needed, that was because our folks didn’t show up. After all that work, they just couldn’t be bothered to vote at all. That’s my trauma.”

Every time Barack didn’t get the congress he needed

When Barack Obama first took office, there was a democratic supermajority in the house and a majority in the senate as well. Instead of the promised hope and change, fighting to implement Medicare for All and ensuring healthcare coverage for every single American, before he even approached the negotiating table with Republicans he went with Mitt Romney’s and the Heritage Foundation’s plan: a public option, quickly dubbed Obamacare. But of course, it wasn’t just concessions on healthcare. Obama’s administration refused to investigate and hold trials in regards to war rimes committed during the Bush administration, and refused to break up the big banks as well.

When a Democratic president who ran on the promises of hope and change can’t even be relied on to go after banks who defrauded the American people, subsequently crashed the entire global economy, and took our taxpayer money to give their CEOs multi-million dollar bonus’, is it really any surprise that voters didn’t feel inspired enough to come to the polls?

Above all, I find Michelle Obama’s remarks to be incredibly revealing. Not just in terms of her own personal mindset and probably her husband’s as well, but of the democratic party lawmakers, pundits, and operatives as a whole. Rather than engage in reflection, and consider what it is they could have done differently or why the American people weren’t motivated to turn out and vote for them, they blame the voters themselves. Lamenting over the work that went in to getting Barack Obama elected seems curious considering he made the decision to abandon Organizing For America, the powerful grassroots organization responsible for his victory.

For decades, and over the past few election cycles in particular, Democrats have shown little to no ability to acknowledge the will of their base, or understand the consequences of their decisions. Decisions that not only affect them, but future elections down the line. Personally, I find it rich that Michelle refers to lack of voter turnout among key Democratic Party demographics as her “trauma” full well knowing what her husband did to take out a powerful, unprecedented grass roots candidate at his knees at a moment when he was primed for victory.

As more times goes on, it becomes clear that the Obama’s have had what could arguably be viewed as an incredibly negative impact on the Democratic Party overall. A campaign that promised so much evaporated, and allowed their party to devolve in to an entity that had absolutely nothing to offer besides the fact that they weren’t quite as bad as the other guys. It’s past time for Barack Obama to take some responsibility for his legacy and his role in the devastating transformation of a political party that once belonged to FDR. Voters didn’t let down the Obamas. The Obamas let down their voters. But clearly based on her statements, Michelle Obama has not come to terms with that reality.

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