Letter from America: Brother Obama must be laughing in his sleep

By Ken Mufuka

We ask our readers to be securely seated before reading this letter.

I have lived most of my life among the saints, and I often wondered why the great ones among them always used the same words: “Bless you my child, go well, the peace of God be with you, Sister Caldwell, you look mighty sharp today.”

Eventually, when I served on a committee that advised the bishop on pastoral standards and salaries, I came to realise what is called “message discipline”. Anybody in authority must learn to say the right words, at the right time.

Former United States president, Barack Obama, is such a disciplined man, an example par excellence. When Joe Biden faced defeat at the hands of Obama in 2007, he confessed that: “I mean, you have got the first African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice looking guy. He is fresh. He is smart. He is insightful.”

Four years later, a dumb New York billionaire wanted to run for US presidency against Obama. New Yorkers are regarded even by fellow Americans as rather brash, careless and insensitive to other people’s presence and space. Trump found a morsel in Hillary Clinton’s repertoire. While Clinton had started the rumour about Obama being “exotic, not one of us, not connecting to white working class and being unelectable”, the foolish New Yorker made it his song.

Obama had addressed the issue previously, but the dumb businessman did not lay off. In a showdown, Obama invited Trump and his wife to a White House dinner party in 2016. According to the Los Angeles reporter who was there, with characteristic, but biting understated sarcasm, and calling

Trump by name: “Obama skewered the New Yorker.”Obama displayed his birth certificate and challenged Trump who had called it fake. Trump was revealed for what he was, a racist. This was very uncharacteristic of Obama, who always allowed bygones to be bygones.

In hindsight, disgracing Trump was probably not such a bright idea after all. Trump swore Hannibal’s oath. As long as he had breath in his body, Rome must be destroyed. His message was therefore easy.

“Obama is the worst president in US history, ever,” shouted Trump on the campaign trail. Whatever remotely was connected with Obama, was to be undone.

After showing his birth certificate, Obama retorted: “Now, he (Trump) can go back to focusing on the issues that matter. Like, did we fake the moon landing?”

Former defence secretary Robert Gates wrote in his book that even in an emergency situation when they were deciding to send special forces into Pakistan (without permission) to kill Osama Bin Laden, Obama was cool and calm, making the decision without fanfare.

Obama, mistakenly, as we now know from hindsight, thought that shaming Trump would seal his fate in the eyes of the American electorate. Such an unpredictable persona should never be allowed near power.

Last week, in a moment of frustration, Obama confided in a reporter that Trump is nothing, but a “bullshitter (sic).” Obama does not swear or use bad words, and he must have thought that he was out of earshot.

A dumb New Yorker

The US is divided into 50 tribal homelands, each tribe with its own characteristics. A poor Texan’s breakfast of steak, three eggs, ham and a “bunch” of potatoes is a millionaire’s dinner elsewhere. Of course, his 10- gallon hat is a badge of honour.

Trump is a quintessential New Yorker, speaks out of turn, is insensitive to others’ wishes or space and does not care a hoot what you think of him. A taxi-driver drove over the pavement because I was late to catch the green light. They are rough with folks.

Trump fired the self-righteous Federal Bureau of Investigations Director James Comey. The president could have simply said that he wanted to make changes in his administration, praise the man for his tenure, and let him go.

Instead, Trump could not control his mouth.

He asked the Deputy Attorney General to recommend Comey’s dismissal. Like a child, Trump could not resist talking “big stuff”. He told the world: “I was going to fire him regardless of the recommendation.” This implied bad faith on his part.

Secondly, on Twitter, he wrote correctly that “Comey’s leaks will be far more important than anyone ever thought possible. Cowardly (sic)”. This is called keeping the pot boiling. As president, one needs to keep focused on big issues before Congress, leaving small fish to stew in their own steam.

Congressional Democrats demanded an inquiry, thus overshadowing his ambitious agenda. Comey, who knew the system better than Trump, started a series of leaks, which diverted attention from Trump’s ambitious agenda to a possible impeachment.

Lately, Trump revealed his inner thoughts about attorney general Jeff Sessions to three New York Times reporters.

News headlines read: “President Trump harshly criticised his attorney general and one of his most loyal supporters, Jeff Sessions… indicating that he regretted his choice.” Obama has expressed a lingering thought whether, “an action, or an election, that proves flawed, can be corrected”.