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Back-seat driving at the White House?

I suspect this observation from writer Katya Sedgwick that Mr Obama and his circle are increasingly driving the US administration, is going to gain ground and become noisier in the months leading to November 2024:

It’s clear that Joe Biden doesn’t have the mental agility to lead the country, much less control the nuclear briefcase. The subject of his dementia comes up fairly often, especially on the Right. Yet the question of who is actually leading the country is almost never raised, even though there is an obvious candidate. There is zero willingness to investigate the matter.

The gossip about Joe’s presidency being Obama’s third term has been around for some time. In a fantastic conversation printed in Tablet, David Samuels and Obama biographer David Garrow discussed that possibility. Samuels noted that although there is a lot of talk in the capital about the 44th president running the executive branch out of his D.C. mansion, journalists are reluctant to investigate.

The “reluctance” of journalists to investigate issues unflattering to the Obama/Biden administrations – with honorable exceptions – is almost a default assumption of mine these days. (The Hunter Biden laptop episode, etc.)

Texas Senator Ted Cruz recently made a statement that Barack Obama is running the Biden Administration. But this stands in contrast with the rest of the establishment’s silence. And if an occasional quip about the nature of the regime pops up in the media, maybe in the form of a meme, there is no discourse, no attempt to make sense of what is going on in the Oval Office. Even the Right is more comfortable talking about large, powerful groups like the globalists or the swamp ruling through bureaucratic institutions than to consider the meaning of a senile president embodying the executive authority of the U.S. government. This summer, a vague song about power called “Rich Men North of Richmond” became an instant social media sensation. I can’t help thinking that it’s not the single wealthy individuals that we want to hear about, but one specific man, our clandestine leader.

And because we are a country obsessed with race, our first black president can’t be revealed to be subverting our constitutional order. Interracial relations took a dive during Obama’s second term and continue to worsen. The news that the former president is pulling the strings for the incapacitated Biden could bring them to the boiling point.

The idea is too dark for most Americans to consider. Even conservatives who continuously warned that Obama, born in Hawaii to a foreign father and raised abroad, is not aligned with our mentality are not ready for the hard crash of the hope and change circa 2008. It’s one thing to warn about voting for a questionable candidate, and another to see that same candidate upend the constitutional order.

Obama was in many ways a very bad president. On foreign policy, his stance towards Iran and subsequent views on it, for example, looks like being a disaster, as we are now finding out. Or consider the domestic side – if you cast your mind back all the way to his encounter with Joe the Plumber (RIP), and his “you didn’t build that” speech, it is a reminder of how hostile this man is to the sort of small business free enterprise that is the backbone of the US. It was not all bad – Obama appeared to pursue a policy of benign neglect around private spacefaring, giving an opening for Elon Musk and others to perform wonders. Maybe Obama just wasn’t interested enough. In any event, he did not try to screw with it, and neither did he – at least that much – try to shut down fracking. (Again, I suspect that he just isn’t that into things like engineering.)

OK, I will try and be fair and make the point that I am sure Obama isn’t the first ex-POTUS to try and pull the strings of a successor – as is claimed – but the sheer frailty and mental decline of Mr Biden (I don’t think this is any longer a controversial statement) makes the point all the more serious if it is true. (In the UK there are suppositions that Tony Blair is exerting a lot of influence over the Labour Party again, which if true is also troubling.)

As regulars might know, I am not a Trump fan at all, and I hope for a better choice of GOP candidate to run against Biden, but given the way the Republican Party has developed an almost cult-like devotion to him, almost because of his problems and very serious flaws (his stance on lockdowns and latitude to Fauci hasn’t impressed some conservatives), we are where we are. As a Brit, it bothers me that the choice at the next US elections is so poor. We need someone who could be a two-term POTUS to undo so much of the damage of recent years and be free of the lawfare that is bound to be a relentless feature of a second Trump term.

Back on the back-seat driving allegation vs Mr Obama, an issue is that it is easy to make that accusation on sort of circumstantial grounds, hard to back it up without smoking gun sort of evidence. And to be honest, I imagine that all presidents do at times take advice from former holders of the office. They may even keep and retain cabinet members from previous administrations (such as Robert Gates at Defense, or how Volcker and Greenspan stayed on at the Fed under different regimes). The question here is more whether, because of Biden’s physical condition and the fact that his vice president is clearly unfit for the job, the back-seat control is more glaring, and more dangerous to notions of democratic accountability.

This matters a lot, particularly given the Irsrael horror. It may be that Biden is taking the decisions on what the US ought to do, but given the involvement of Iran in bankrolling Hamas and other terrorist groups that want to destroy Israel, it would be nice to know that a former POTUS whose judgement on Iran was so poor is spending more time writing another set of self-glorifying memoirs rather than influencing policy.

19 comments to Back-seat driving at the White House?

  • Paul Marks

    Yes Mr Obama and other Collectivists dominate the American government.

    But one must not fall into the mistake of thinking that Mr Biden was a “moderate” – he presented himself as one, but his Senate voting record shows he was not.

    Mr Biden was never a Marxist (and Mr Obama and his associates most certainly were Marxist, their whole background was Marxist – although the Economist magazine, and the rest of the “mainstream” media deliberately covered that up in 2008, and blocked anyone who told the truth), but even he was not senile – I do not believe that Mr Biden, even a mentally functioning Mr Biden, would object to this “fundamental transformation” of the United States in-the-direction-of a totalitarian society.

    It need not be Marxism – indeed Dr Karl Marx (1818-1883) never clearly explained what his proposed system would be (he even declared it would be “unscientific” to explain how socialism was supposed to work – and his followers carried on this mad position) – but the “international community” has other totalitarian thinkers (such as Dr Klaus Schwab – but there are many other such thinkers) to follow in creating a totalitarian system, the sort of tyranny Mr Obama, and the other people who now dominate the American government, strongly support. It does not have to be Marxism to be tyranny – and tyranny is their objective, the objective of the international community, government bodies and partner corporations.

  • Exasperated

    If you cast your mind back all the way to his encounter with Joe the Plumber (RIP), and his “you didn’t build that” speech, it is a reminder of how hostile this man is to the sort of small business free enterprise that is the backbone of the US.

    If you realize this, you are on the right track. For many Trump supporters, it isn’t about Trump, it never was. He’s an Avatar for Middle, Working, as in “grow the pie”, America. The Trump “cult” is hyperbole.
    Trump isn’t just a Populist; he is/was an outsider, an interloper. That’s the dilemma. Working with Trump was kissing your career, your financial security, and your children’s security goodbye. It’s naive to think the usual suspects wouldn’t do the same thing to any other Populist or Outsider. I refer you to the smears of all Rs and to consider the bizarre and malicious treatment of Mike Flynn.
    But, I am eager to know, who is the Populist that could bring Trump’s energy and carry on Trump’s policies? Please don’t discount the value of that kind of energy.
    The bulk of the Republican party, with rare exceptions, embraces corporatist globalism, including the concentration of wealth and power into fewer and fewer unaccountable and remote hands. He’s the one that exposed the media and academia for the pimps and shills, that they are. He is the first politician, in a long time, who welcomed working people and small businesses to the table. He stands in the way of a cynical and willful assault on Enlightenment ideals by the most cocooned and privileged, the transnationals, the Citizens of the World, along with their hangers on, the people who view government bureaucracy, NGOs, foundations, media, academia as their own piggy bank. He’s the one that rejects the creepy grim, dystopian Prog future for Middle America, by showing that America doesn’t have to be China’s or anyone’s bitch. He showed that energy independence was possible. Donald Trump is what happens when both major parties abandon the lower and middle classes to their fates and…. actively undermine…. the future of Working People, in the name of open borders, globalization, lining their own pockets, and, then lie about it.
    And, yes, we all know, Trump is exasperating and has a big stupid mouth.

  • Penseivat

    “…..Barak Obama is running the Biden Administration. But this stands in contrast with the establishment’s silence.”
    Obama, is, I understand a close friend, and business partner of the Clintons, a couple who have the unfortunate reputation of seeing many friends and business colleagues suddenly commit suicide or did in unexplained circumstances, a statistic beaten only by Vladimir Putin. I am, therefore, not surprised that there is a silence on Obama’s alleged interference in White House policies.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    “Corporatist globalism”.

    What does that even mean?

  • Even if it is true that Biden is being puppeteered by Obama (either directly or indirectly through the Obama staffers still operating in the Whitehouse), what can be done about it?

    The obvious mechanism is to invoke the 25th Amendment and have Biden declared incompetent due to senility, but then that puts Kamala Harris in the Whitehouse, which is arguably worse.

    All very well to say “Hope the next Democratic candidate is better”, but that still means the current Democratic administration has to stumble on zombie like until January 2025.

    Not an appealing prospect.

  • Kirk

    Spot-on, so far as it goes. I think this analysis should go further, and look at how all the Obama appointees across the Federal Government worked to outright sabotage and undo what Trump promised. That started even before the Inauguration in 2017.

    Obama completed the work of the Clintons, essentially scooping out the brains of the Federal government and replacing them with his ideological fellow-travelers. Just examine, for example, the men and women who were promoted within the military, as well as who was sidelined and thrown out. Carter Ham was a Marine General who was in command in the Med during the Benghazi f-up, and before he could even get the rescue mission launched, the Obama Krime Krewe had him relieved, retired, and virtually out the door. They couldn’t get their asses out of bed to rescue the ambassador and his party, but they could get mobilized to fire Ham… Which makes you wonder, if you know what you’re looking at. Most do not.

    If you know the players, you know that most of the actually competent “citizen-soldier” types were retired and/or encouraged to leave. The curettage performed on the Pentagon left behind predominantly the Courtney Massengale types, the careerists and yes-men flunkies who echoed every pronouncement of God-Emperor Obama.

    One of the telling things about the Obama administration was this: He hired mostly second-raters, men and women who would make him look good, standing next to him. So long as they were ideologically pure, they were golden. Competence? Unnecessary.

    Another thing that I missed in this post was the fact that Obama has kept a primary residence there in Washington DC, something that no other recent president has done. He did so, I suspect, so as to ease his meddling in the government after leaving it.

    As well, you have to remember that he’s speculated openly about how he’d go about getting a third term; that involved getting a cat’s paw elected, and then running things as an eminence grise from behind the throne. Just like Biden’s slip about having the finest vote fraud organization, evah, that’s a telling thing for him to discuss. The two of them can’t help themselves; just like with Biden’s prideful boasting about how he got Shokin fired in Ukraine.

    The idiots who voted for Obama and Biden are getting everything they deserve. The half of the country that didn’t fall for the BS is not…

  • Paul Marks

    The objective of the international community, the rules based international order, both government agencies and partner corporations, is tyranny.

    It need not be Marxist tyranny, although (contra Economist magazine and the rest of the mainstream media) Barack Obama and his associates were brought up and educated in the Marxist tradition, but tyranny is the objective – even if it is the sort of tyranny that Dr Klaus Schwab, and many other international thinkers, push rather than the tyranny of Karl Marx (and, as I have already said, Dr Marx never clearly explained what his system would be – indeed he forbade his followers from explaining how the system would work, as it would be “unscientific” to explain what you wanted to create), but tyranny is the objective.

    It is not really about America, traditional America is just “in the way” so they work to destroy traditional America, parties as far away as Thailand push “digital programmable money” which must be spent within six months (so no saving or buying property to pass on to your children) and within four KM of your place of residence – yes people in the future will, de facto, only be allowed to travel a couple of miles from their home.

    The American intelligence agencies, who HATE traditional America, and the partner corporations, who also HATE traditional America, are obsessed with nations as far away as Poland.

    The government of Poland has massively aided in the Ukrainian war – but that does NOT get them a pass, the international community, the rules based international order, is determined that these “reactionaries” be removed from power, and replaced by “Progressive”, i.e. pro international tyranny, forces.

    Someone like Barack Obama, and the Legion of people who share his opinions, will never be satisfied with “just” establishing tyranny in the United States – the international community, the rules based international order, insists that all national independence (of all nations), and all individual liberty, be crushed.

    “Democracy” would continue in form – elections would still be happen, but it would be an empty sham. Policy would be made by international bodies – hence such things as the amendments to the World Health Organisation treaty, as well as the proposed new treaty.

    By a series of international agreements on various matters (“functionalism” rather than formal “federalism”) policy will be made by international bodies and partner corporations, and with even discussion of policy (the control of information) being under the control of these international bodies and partner corporation.

    No “conspiracy” – it is all out in the open. Let us see if any governments have the courage to say “NO” and stick to “NO”.

  • Paul Marks

    Kirk – in the future it will not be “necessary” to rig elections, as the elections in some American States were rigged in 2020 and 2022.

    It will not be “necessary” to rig elections, because the result of elections will not be important – as policy will be made by international bodies and partner corporations.

    I know of what I write – policy, even at the local level, is sometimes predetermined in the United Kingdom already. “Policy” being something that is handed down to elected representatives, rather than being decided by elected representatives.

  • Jacob

    It doesn’t matter whether it is Obama or Biden who run the US gvmnt. It’s the same. It is the progressive lefty Democrat establishment (also Pelosi, Shumer, etc.). It is the US public, universities, intellectuals, establishment. They are all progressive. The hard working, thrifty, freedom loving, conservative (religious) are a small minority in the US. The US is no longer what it once was (or what we imagined in our youth that it is). It is a different country. Time passes, things change. We need to update our notions and images.
    Neither is the UK.
    Chaos reigns in the world. Mayne it always has.

  • Paul Marks

    Jacob – the institutions, including Big Business, have indeed been captured by evil doctrines of tyranny, but that does NOT mean most people are evil.

    If they were the majority of people, the forces of evil would not have had to work so hard to rig the 2020 Presidential Election, and to savagely persecute those who protested against the rigging of the 2020 Presidential Election – and they are still persecuting people, and they are still rigging elections (for example the election for Governor of Arizona in 2022) – there are many evil people, but I do NOT believe that most people are evil.

    The same is true in United Kingdom.

    In London today a person was arrested for waving a flag – not the flags of the Islamic murderers, no – he was arrested for waving the flag of the United Kingdom

    Let me point that out again – in London today a man was arrested for waving the flag of the United Kingdom, waving it in the capital of the United Kingdom, the people waving the flags of the Islamic murderers were NOT arrested (NOT that I am saying they should be arrested – let them wave their flags so that everyone can see them for what they are).

    The officials behind such policies are terrible people – they have filled the minds of the police with evil nonsense about how Britain is “structurally racist” and that “Islam is a race” (it is not a race – it is a religion and a philosophy of government, a legal system).

    But none of this means that most people in Britain are evil – they are NOT evil.

    Most people would be horrified at the idea of a person being arrested for waving the flag of the United Kingdom in the capital of the United Kingdom.

  • bobby b

    Obama, sitting in his DC home, issuing orders? I doubt it.

    But Obama’s way of thinking having a pervasive influence on, and resonance with, the way of thinking of all of the Deep Staters still running their fiefdoms of federal policy and governance? Sure. I have no doubt this is true.

    Obama could die today and nothing would change. It’s not him. It’s the pro-Iran, anti-Israel, anti-white, anti-West, everyone-who-fails-is-a-victim-of-the-successful bent of today’s progressive. Obama just became the face of that philosophy.

  • lucklucky

    “Corporatist globalism”

    I think it means things like no borders, decisions by world bodies instead of national governments etc. that are supported by various corporations.

  • bobby b

    Paul Marks: I’m in complete agreement with your underlying points, but I feel the need to point out that the cops were saving the flag-waver from certain harm. They released him away from the riot.

    Don’t lick toilet seats, or poke grizzlies, or walk into a Hamas riot alone waving a flag. Same basic principle. 😉

  • Don’t lick toilet seats, or poke grizzlies, or walk into a Hamas riot alone waving a flag. Same basic principle.

    Well you’re no fun at all, Bobby B.

    If it wasn’t for people doing dumb shit I’d have no free entertainment at all.

  • jgh

    Paul: It was barely a generation ago that the country was close to Buckingham Palace being stormed because they were *not* flying the UK flag.

  • Colli

    About the flag-waver, the Met have said:

    he was not arrested for anything in connection to carrying the Union Flag.

  • James Strong

    Away from the ‘man arrested for carrying the Union Flag’ and returning to ‘back seat driving in the White House’.
    The next President ofthe United States, assuming that Biden stays alive till midday on Inauguration Day, will be Michele Obama.
    Everyone can see that Biden can’t hope to run the country for another 4 years; he will be persuaded to withdraw. Equally likely is that the Democrat power brokers will see that Kamala Harris does not appeal to voters. She will be persuaded to withdraw. (Persuasion will be strengthened by both inducements and threats.)
    Then, with no credible candidate just a few months before the election a ‘unity’ candidate will emerge; a woman, a person of colour (as we must say nowadays ) and with a close association to Saint Obama.
    Enough Americans 1) hate Trump and 2) are gullible enough to be taken in, added to the beatification of the Blessed Michele, (to be elevated to sainthood not long after),by the MSM, and it might not even be necessary to do much election rigging.
    I do not make this prediction with any happiness.

  • Paul Marks

    bobby b – if a person is being threatened, in Sydney or London, you arrest the people threatening them – not the person who is being threatened.

    If the police do not know that, it is time they were dismissed. You do not arrest the victim – you smash the mob that is threatening them.

    Or is the life long Liberal John Cleese (of “Monty Python” fame) correct that London is no longer a British city?

  • Maybe we should be doing to the Palestinian supporters what they are doing in India, simply arresting them en mass and throwing the book at them?

    Video of Indian police rounding up Palestinian protestors

    How else do you deal with unrepentant supporters of terrorism?