President Obama has outclassed Trump in every sense of the word, much to Trump’s chagrin. And now – insult of insults – Trump manages to hand Obama a massive victory.
It’s no great secret that Trump is jealous of Barack Obama, the man and the president.
As Charles Blow of The New York Times wrote last summer, “Trump wants to be Obama — held in high esteem. But, alas, Trump is Trump, and that is now and has always been trashy.”
Continuing, Blow wrote:
Trump accrued financial wealth, but he never accrued cultural capital, at least not among the people from whom he most wanted it.
Therefore, Trump is constantly whining about not being sufficiently applauded, commended, thanked, liked. His emotional injury is measured in his mind against Obama. How could Obama have been so celebrated while he is so reviled?
With that in mind, a weekend article published by The Atlantic is particularly exciting news for Obama supporters and devastating news to Trump’s fragile ego.
The article is titled “A Domestic Budget to Make Barack Obama Proud,” and its subtitle pretty much says it all:
The Republican Congress didn’t just ignore Trump’s proposals: The $1.3 trillion spending bill actually fulfilled—or even exceeded—many of the funding requests of his Democratic predecessor.
The article begins with the following bad news for Trump:
President Obama finally got a Republican-controlled Congress to fund his domestic budget. All it took was Donald Trump in the White House to get it done.
In the $1.3 trillion spending bill that President Trump reluctantly signed on Friday, lawmakers did more than reject the steep cuts in dollars and programs that Trump proposed for domestic agencies a year ago. Across much of the government, Republican leaders agreed to spending levels that matched or even exceeded what Obama asked Congress to appropriate in his final budget request in 2016—and many of which lawmakers ignored while he was in office.
After a detailed analysis of the budget compromise, The Atlantic went on to cite Bill Hoagland, a senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center, who for two decades served as a top GOP staffer on the Senate Budget Committee.
Hoagland stated that neither Trump nor his lieutenants did much to insist his proposed budget cuts prevailed. “I don’t think they were as deeply involved at the subcommittee and committee levels as Obama or Bush,” Cole said. He also noted that the Trump administration was hobbled throughout the budget process by a lack of appointees in key positions in the administration. “They’re just basically not staffed up to do this work,” he stated.
The Atlantic concluded their article with the following paragraph:
Hoagland said the Trump administration was “somewhat irrelevant” in the budget process. It’s a reality that may explain why a Republican president unhappily signed a spending bill that fulfilled his Democratic predecessor’s wishes as much or more than his own.
Returning to Charles Blow and his New York Times piece, ironically it began with the following observation:
Trump has a thing about Barack Obama. Trump is obsessed with Obama. Obama haunts Trump’s dreams. One of Trump’s primary motivators is the absolute erasure of Obama — were it possible — not only from the political landscape but also from the history books.
Returning to that theme, Blow concluded his article – once again – pointing out Trump’s goal to undermine Obama’s legacy.
Indeed, much of what Trump has accomplished — and it hasn’t been much — has been to undo Obama’s accomplishments, like pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris climate agreement and reversing an Obama-era rule that helped prevent guns from being purchased by certain mentally ill people.
For Trump, even plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act aren’t so much about creating better policy as they are about dismantling Obama’s legacy. The problem with Obamacare isn’t that it hasn’t borne fruit, but rather that it bears Obama’s name.
For Trump, the mark of being a successful president is the degree to which he can expunge Obama’s presidency.
And, as The Atlantic discussed, all that backfired last Friday when Trump signed the omnibus spending bill.