The massive personality and policy flaws on display by Trump have caused many people to re-evaluate their views. Having been shown that they were intentionally deceived about many things by Republican punditry, they are considering their prior opinions in as fair a light as possible.
Recognizing that, the question arises: Was Obama good? Was he, perhaps, even the “no-drama Obama” that people like Jim Acosta describe?
The short and comprehensive answer is “no.” While it is inarguable that he is a better man than Donald J. Trump, that is not saying much. Trump takes the bar of human decency and buries it a few inches into the ground. There are scurrying animals which are better human beings.
Obama, for example, shows every sign of truly loving his family. Did he love them enough to allow the children to have a pet, until the family was wealthy enough to get someone else to take care of it? No. This would not normally be a serious issue, but I recall Mitt Romney being attacked because he loved his dogs so much that he built a special roof carrier and took slower side roads instead of the highway just so the family dog could go on a trip with them. This isn’t a huge issue, but it’s an insight into the comparative personalities. How one treats animals is sometimes a reflection upon how one treats people.
Note, Trump won’t even have a pet in the White House when others will take care of it.
Obama was a petty man who, when John McCain temporarily stopped his campaigning in order to address the financial crisis, increased his own campaign activity. (McCain never fully ceased campaign activity, but he did pare down considerably, cancelling appearances while they addressed the issue. Obama did not, despite already being ahead in the polls.) He was, in fact, a spendthrift who had an unusually light schedule for a President; he preferred to play golf while those to whom he delegated authority – often people with controversial positions on matters like race relations or economic justice – performed work on his behalf.
Trump is a greater spendthrift, who spends far less time at work than Obama did and who has advisers with clearer histories of racism and whose economic advisers have been hand-selected for agreeing with his established, flawed, beliefs on matters like tariffs and isolationism.
Obama’s charitable donations were virtually nonexistent until he decided to run for office, and even then were minimal until he ran for President. This, despite being a community organizer who worked directly with non-profit charities. Granted, that’s better than Trump, who arranged to have a charitable organization created whose coffers he could raid for private expenditures.
Obama was an elitist who relished being portrayed as brilliant despite little evidence to support it. Independent analyses of available work placed his IQ in the low 120s, roughly equivalent to that of W. or Reagan and considerably less than that of Clinton, Carter or Nixon. Trump does not only relish being portrayed as brilliant, he actively encourages his supporters to do so despite extensive evidence to the contrary. He is not merely an elitist, but a man who believes in the eugenicist “race horse theory”, which states that some people will inherently make the best decisions because they were bred to be superior.
Obama promoted racial division by jumping in on the side of Trayvon Martin, Dr. Gates, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and others before getting the facts of the case. In some instances the police absolutely were at fault, but often they were not. Trump did it by insisting that there were good people on both sides after a white supremacist ran a car into a group of protesters. In neither case was the President alone in their efforts; there were large contingents of racists of all skin colors supporting or denouncing them because they were eager to see their chosen fires stoked. Neither President should have done it. Trump’s efforts were worse.
Obama’s justice department also spiked an investigation into voter intimidation in Philadelphia and turned voter ID into a racial issue, complete with insistence that voter fraud was not a concern… playing to the oft-repeated and easily debunked line that voter fraud had never even happened (during the Obama Presidency, cases of voter fraud were prosecuted.)
None of this even touches on the many times Obama or one of his direct subordinates violated the law. It doesn’t consider the damage of his foreign or domestic policy. (Again, where he measures well against Trump but few others.) It doesn’t address his treatment of the military.
He was not a good President. His policy was sometimes worse than Trump’s, and sometimes better; he, himself, is a better man than Trump, by far. All things are relative, though; and objectively, Obama was, and is, not a good man.