News and Commentary

8 Times The Obama Administration Didn’t Exactly ‘Go High’ Against Their Political Opposition
Obama John Lewis funeral
Alyssa Pointer-Pool/Getty Images

Former First Lady Michelle Obama admonished the nation during her Monday address to the Democratic National Convention (DNC) about the importance of “going high” against their political opponents and stressed the need for “empathy.”

Referencing the famous catchphrase she rolled out during the DNC in 2016, Obama said, “Over the past four years, a lot of people have asked me, ‘When others are going so low, does going high still really work?’ My answer: going high is the only thing that works, because when we go low, when we use those same tactics of degrading and dehumanizing others, we just become part of the ugly noise that’s drowning out everything else. We degrade ourselves. We degrade the very causes for which we fight.”

In examples such as those listed below, however, the Obamas and those around them have not always followed Michelle’s advice.

1. ‘You’re Likable Enough’: Bitter 2008 Democratic Primary

The 2008 Democratic primary between then-Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton was particularly hard-fought and contentious. Obama lobbed attacks at Clinton for supporting the Iraq War and allowing jobs to be shipped oversea, and Clinton, in turn, attacked Obama for having spent so many years in the church pews of the radically left-wing preacher Rev. Jeremiah Wright in Chicago.

During one memorable exchange, Clinton complimented her opponent, saying, “He’s very likable, I agree with that. I don’t think I’m that bad.” To which Obama replied, “You’re likable enough.” Clinton responded awkwardly, “Thank you so much.”

Obama at one time also blurred the distinction between Clinton and her husband after attacking her for something he said. “You talked about Ronald Reagan being a transformative political leader,” Hillary said during a debate. “I did not mention his name.” Obama replied, “Your husband did.” After Hillary said that her husband didn’t speak for her, Obama said, “Okay, well, I can’t tell who I’m running against sometimes.”

The two apparently made amends in their relationship, with Clinton going on to become Obama’s secretary of state. The two also shared a seemingly warm embrace during the 2016 DNC, when Obama threw his endorsement behind her.

2. Obama Condescends To Small-Town Voters As Bitter Clingers To Guns And Religion

During the 2008 campaign, Obama characterized rural voters as embittered people whose economic disenfranchisement has led them to cling to religion and guns for comfort:

You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.

And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

The comment became a key soundbite of the 2008 campaign and maintained its relevance even into 2016, when former Republican Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin alluded to it in her speech endorsing Donald Trump. “How about the rest of us?” she said. “Right-winging, bitter-clinging, proud clingers of our guns, our God, and our religion, and our Constitution.”

3. DNC Implies Romney And Ryan Want To Kill Old People

During the 2012 campaign, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz said that a vote for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would “force us back to the days” when seniors were “choosing between medicine and meals…choosing between healthcare and paying their rent.”

“If you go back to before Medicare was a safety net in place for our seniors, you had seniors who were not able to pay for their own health care needs, whose children went medically bankrupt trying to care for them,” Wasserman-Schultz added.

Wasserman-Schultz based her claim on Ryan’s budget reform plan, which would have increased Medicare eligibility to age 67 beginning in 2023 in an attempt to reduce the nation’s astronomical debt.

Political ads also circulated at the time of a man who looks like Ryan pushing an old lady in a wheelchair off a cliff.

4. Biden Says Romney Will Put Black People ‘Back In Chains’

Also during the 2012 campaign, Biden warned a largely black audience that a Romney administration would “unchain Wall Street” and “put ya’ll back in chains.”

Biden, who has a penchant for making racially insensitive remarks, sparked backlash in May when he told popular black commentator and radio host Charlamagne tha God that “if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

5. ‘The 80s Called’: Obama Accuses Romney Of Implementing Cold War-Era Foreign Policy

Obama hit at Romney during a 2012 debate for placing so much emphasis on the geopolitical threat from Russia. Romney, who at one point had said Russia is “without question, our No. 1 geopolitical foe,” presaged the Democratic Party’s obsession with the country.

“Governor Romney, I’m glad you recognize al-Qaida is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what is the biggest geopolitical group facing America, you said Russia, not al-Qaida,” said Obama. “You said Russia. And the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back. Because the Cold War has been over for 20 years. But Governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policy of the 1950s, and the economic policies of the 1920s.”

Lanhee Chen, Romney’s top policy adviser from the 2012 campaign, told CNN:

Gov. Romney was very careful with his words. He chose the term “geopolitical foe” deliberately, because he wanted to differentiate the challenge posed by Russia from other significant national security threats, like radical Islamic terror or North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. The phrase “geopolitical foe” was meant to evoke a game of Chess, where an opponent is trying to counteract or block every move you make. That’s what he was trying to convey by characterizing our relationship with Russia in that way.

After Trump’s electoral victory, the Democratic Party would pinpoint Russia as the primary source of much of the nation’s turmoil and use its alleged interference in the election as a pretext for impeaching him.

6. Eric Holder: ‘When They Go Low, We Kick Them’

Perhaps most strikingly, Obama’s attorney general Eric Holder flatly contradicted Michelle’s dictum when he offered the inverse as his political philosophy. Speaking to a group in the lead-up to the 2018 mid-term election, Holder said, “Michelle always says, Michelle Obama, I love her. She and my wife are really tight. Which always scares me and Barack. Michelle always says, ‘When they go low, we go high.’ No. No. When they go low, we kick them.”

“That is what this new Democratic Party is about,” Holder told the cheering audience. He later added, “When I say we kick them, I don’t mean we do anything inappropriate, we don’t do anything illegal, but we have to be tough and we have to fight.”

Holder’s rhetoric echoed the sentiment of Obama’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who around the same time said, “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about. That’s why I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again. But until then, the only thing that the Republicans seem to recognize and respect is strength.”

7. Michelle Obama Blames Her ‘Low-Grade Depression’ On Trump

Earlier this month, Michelle Obama revealed that she has been suffering from “low-grade depression” in recent months and blamed her affliction partly on the Trump administration for its response to the nation’s racial tensions.

“There have been periods throughout this quarantine where I just have felt too low,” Obama said during an interview with Washington Post columnist Michele Norris. “You know, I’ve gone through those emotional highs and lows that I think everybody feels, where you just don’t feel yourself.”

Describing her sleep disturbances, Obama continued, “I know that I am dealing with some form of low-grade depression. Not just because of the quarantine, but because of the racial strife, and just seeing this administration, watching the hypocrisy of it, day in and day out, is dispiriting.”

“I have to say that waking up to the news, waking up to how this administration has or has not responded, waking up to yet another story of a black man or a black person somehow being dehumanized or hurt or killed, or falsely accused of something, it is exhausting,” she said. “It has led to a weight that I haven’t felt in my life — in, in a while.”

8. Obama Politicizes Funeral Of Rep. John Lewis

Last month, Barack Obama used the funeral of late Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) as a platform to accuse Trump of suppressing the minority vote. He also alleged during his eulogy of the Civil Rights icon that the Senate filibuster is racist and likened federal law enforcement quelling riots to the police who enforced segregation.

“George Wallace may be gone,” Obama said after invoking the image of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody. “But we can witness our federal government sending agents to use tear gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators.”

“We may no longer have to guess the number of jelly beans in a jar in order to cast a ballot,” Obama continued. “But even as we sit here, there are those in power who are doing their darndest to discourage people from voting by closing polling locations, and targeting minorities and students with restrictive ID laws, and attacking our voting rights with surgical precision – even undermining the postal service in the run-up to an election that’s going to be dependent on mail-in ballots so people don’t get sick.”

Urging his audience to “keep marching,” Obama also took aim at the filibuster, which he claimed is “another Jim Crow relic” that impinges on American rights.

In a July 30 monologue, Fox News host Tucker Carlson offered Obama’s politicized eulogy as an example of how the Left worships power:

Imagine if some greasy politician showed up at your loved one’s funeral and started throwing around stupid partisan talking points about Senate procedure. Can you imagine that? You would be shocked if that happened. You’d probably walk out. Desecrating a funeral with campaign slogans? What kind of person would do that?

But Democrats in the audience didn’t seem offended. They didn’t blink. They cheered. It all seemed normal to them. And why wouldn’t it? Political power is their religion. It’s not out of place in a church. It’s what they worship. People who will politicize a funeral will do anything, and they’re trying to. Democrats are working systematically to dismantle the core institutions of American life, beginning with the family and with faith.

Related: Obama Takes Trump Shots During Hyper-Political Eulogy For John Lewis

Create a free account to join the conversation!

Already have an account?

Log in

Got a tip worth investigating?

Your information could be the missing piece to an important story. Submit your tip today and make a difference.

Submit Tip
Download Daily Wire Plus

Don't miss anything

Download our App

Stay up-to-date on the latest
news, podcasts, and more.

Download on the app storeGet it on Google Play
The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  8 Times The Obama Administration Didn’t Exactly ‘Go High’ Against Their Political Opposition