President Obama's instinct to unify a fractured nation after Tuesday's nightmare election was noble, but his upbeat, almost complacent tone on Wednesday was difficult to swallow, knowing what we know about the scoundrel who "won" thanks to the antiquated machinery of the Electoral College (among other things). During a speech in the White House Rose Garden, a smiling Obama appeared almost shockingly nonchalant, as if the president-elect was simply someone with whom he has "significant differences" of opinion. It is so much worse than that, and Obama is not doing anyone any favors by downplaying the dangerous situation in which all Americans now find themselves. Below, what could be called the Bizarro World version of Obama's speech, if only we hadn't already been thrust into Bizarro World.
"Afternoon, everybody. I wish I could say it was a good afternoon, but I'm not going to sugarcoat this and pretend everything is going to be okay, because it's not. For eight years, the sole agenda of the Republican party has been to obstruct every policy change my administration has attempted to make. Refusing to negotiate in good faith, they've done everything in their power to bring government to a standstill and blame it on me. Upon reflection, it is remarkable that any of the legislation I proposed became law, particularly the Affordable Care Act. Though not perfect, the Affordable Care Act has provided health insurance to a record number of Americans. Now, with Republicans controlling Congress and the White House, they will be doing everything in their power to dismantle it.
"I was tempted this morning to come out here and offer conciliatory platitudes in an attempt to bring the country together, but I cannot bring myself to force a false narrative on the American people. It is impossible to bring America together under this Republican leadership, because their goal is not to serve the American people but themselves, and their wealthiest supporters. Their goal is to dismantle all the progress we've made since the New Deal, cutting services and funding for infrastructure, defunding the FDA, privatizing Social Security and Medicare, and tasking a climate change denier with eviscerating the Environmental Protection Agency.
"President-elect Trump—and I am personally sickened that I have to stand here and say those three words together—said this morning that he would be president for 'all Americans,' and it would be comforting to tell ourselves that he meant it. But throughout his life and throughout this ugly election season, Donald has demonstrated an incredible aptitude for lying. Nobody lies more than Trump, as he would put it. I don't think he can say he's the best at it, because his lies are so easily disproven, but maybe the results of this election suggest otherwise. He lied just enough to manipulate the Electoral College to his advantage and ascend to the most powerful office on earth, and become Commander-in-Chief of the biggest military in history. Let's be clear: This is terrifying.
"So when President-elect Trump—sorry, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. When Donald promises to be president for all Americans, do not 'hope' he's telling the truth. Everything he has said on record shows that he's lying. I believe he intends to do everything he promised and more, and with control of both houses of Congress, what is to stop him?
"All Americans should be alarmed—not just the majority of Americans who voted for Hillary Clinton, but those who voted for Trump, many of whom feel understandably frustrated with an economic recovery that has left them behind. And I am personally very afraid of what Donald Trump will do with the power that has now been bestowed upon him. While I intend to oversee a peaceful transfer of power to his administration, I will spend the next two months doing everything I can to protect America from the onslaught that is to come. I hope that you will join me in this fight, now and after I leave office to join you as a civilian.
"Yes, the sun has come up today, but America is plunged into darkness. We must summon our own light from within, and if you are feeling sickened at the sight of this clearly incompetent, bigoted, misogynistic, reckless buffoon becoming president, know that you are not alone. In fact, the majority of Americans who voted on Tuesday are also feeling sickened, and I would wager that the majority of people on earth are similarly dismayed. I find strength in that, and the knowledge that our numbers will only grow once this second-rate demagogue is more fully exposed. Let's join together and work to minimize the damage that is to come in as many ways as we can.
"Don't mourn, organize!"