Yesterday, former President Barack Obama spoke at a campaign rally for Joe Biden in Flint, Michigan. Obama spent most of his time excoriating President Donald Trump for his failures and trying to convince attendees that former Vice President Joe Biden is a decent human being. The most disgusting part however was what he didn’t say. Obama made only a fleeting reference to the water crisis that has gripped the city of Flint for the past 6 years.
Obama stated that Biden would “secure environmental justice. Something that’s important to Michigan. You know something about that”. Of course, Obama didn’t mention that the water crisis began during his Presidency nor that the measly support he and Biden provided was nowhere near adequate to rectify the problem. Michael Moore assailed Obama for his inaction in 2016: “Unless you’re bringing the entire U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dig up and replace the 75,000 lead pipes, plus the Attorney General to arrest Governor Rick Snyder, then this is just another photo-op and half-baked list of new promises we don’t need.”
But apparently his administration’s response was good enough for him. He appeared in front of the media in Flint less than a week after Moore’s post and shamelessly performed a publicity stunt, drinking what we were supposed to believe was clean Flint water. It didn’t seem to matter to Obama that numerous public health experts still maintained that the water was unsafe.
Six years after the Flint water crisis began, many Flint residents still won’t drink the water. People are breaking out in hives while taking showers. The water still smells like sewage. The state of Michigan’s own website doesn’t even declare Flint’s water safe to drink. All of this makes Obama’s half-assed reference yesterday to the ongoing crisis in Flint especially infuriating.
We’re supposed to believe that Biden and Obama care about the people of Flint. We’re supposed to believe that Biden has a plan for reducing their misery. If either of these were true, why didn’t either of them make it a priority to get Flint the help it needed when he they were in office? Biden surrogates are touting the endorsement of Gov. Rick Snyder, who helped perpetrate and cover-up the crisis, on national television. Any presidential candidate with a shred of decency would have vehemently rejected the endorsement of a man who should be in prison. He won’t even commit to a ban on fracking, which poisons groundwater and pollutes surface water across America. Forgive me, but in the words of Kendrick Lamar, “miss me with that bullshit.”
Obama spent a lot of time talking about Biden’s character. He told the crowd that he admires Biden “as a man who learned early on to treat everyone he meets with dignity and respect.” Joe might have learned about these values, but he hardly practices them. What dignity and respect were paid to the millions of people in this country who are needlessly in prison because of his crime bill? What about the millions of innocent dead because of interventions he supported in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, to name just a few? What of the Black people he said “ain’t black” if they don’t vote for him? How about the elderly voter he called “fat” and “too old to vote” for him?
Obama went on to say that Biden “tries to live the values we cherish: honesty, hard work, kindness, humility, and responsibility.” Of course, this is rubbish. The man who bragged about trying to cut Medicare and Social Security isn’t exactly the kind of guy that oozes with kindness. Nor is Joe Biden a beacon of honesty as demonstrated by his serial plagiarizing in college and while running for President in 1988.
“The presidency doesn’t change who you are. It shows who you are. It reveals who you are”, Obama said. This may be the truest thing Obama said yesterday. The presidency certainly exposed Obama as a fraud. We don’t need a Biden presidency to show us that he is a racist and militaristic ghoul who merely pays lip service to the values he claims he holds. But we’re probably going to get one anyways.