MANSFIELD: Should Obama Start Counterpunching?


From the “birther movement,” which was a total fabrication; to the gasoline shortage in New York City during Hurricane Sandy that Trump said Obama could have stopped but chose not to; to accusing the nation’s first black president of allowing Ebola to spread in this country because he didn’t have the courage to stop the flights from coming in from select foreign countries, Trump had a field day of making accusations before he was elected. And he hasn’t stopped his antics since he took office.

From the failure to vet his man Michael Flynn, to the problems in Syria, to Russian meddling in our elections, whenever Trump perceives that he has a problem he quickly shifts the blame to Obama, feeling supremely confident that the former president is too dignified to fire or fight back. And so far — for the most part — he has proven to be right.

Obama’s strategy, as voiced by his lovely wife Michelle, is “when they go low, we go high.” The only problem with that high-minded strategy is that it’s going to cause progressives to get their collective ass kicked so badly they’re all going to become hunchbacks. They’re already like the proverbial one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.

I understand the desire on the part of the remaining decent folk in America to not engage in verbal mud wrestling, but decorum and manners exited the political arena last November and the only way to effectively fight a bully is by giving him a bigger black eye than he’s giving you. You’ve got to knock snot out of his nose.

What I’m proposing is tit-for-tat, a petty bitch fight in the public press. I know that Obama was raised in Hawaii and might not have learned to play the dozens — that verbal combat where black teenage boys talk about each other’s mothers — but that’s exactly what I’m proposing … that whenever Trump mentions his name Obama fires back and talks about him so bad it’s as if he has a tail. Ridicule and “clown” him.

But there’s a serious reason for this.

Here’s the issue: Until a frontrunner emerges from the pack of Democratic hopefuls (and while I would love nothing better than for Hillary to run again and win, it’s too dangerous to have someone with her high negatives leading the party) Obama, like it or not, is still the face of the Democratic Party, a face that is constantly getting sand kicked into it.

I understand that the former president and his wife care little about the accusations from the fool who became the first white man in history to move into public housing after a black family moved out, but this really isn’t about them and how they feel, it’s about the fate of the nation and the future of the country.

Progressives need something to cheer them up in this dispiriting time; something to laugh about and get re-energized, and President Obama could provide that “bridge over troubled waters.”

He should needle Trump at every turn, get under his skin. People like Trump really can’t take it as well as they can dish it out, and when they get rattled they make mistakes — forced errors if you will. Obama should keep him off balance by making comments like, “Trump had better get his agenda accomplished this term, because the way he’s going, he’s not going to have a second.” There’s no end to the smarmy remarks Obama could make that the media would lap up with a spoon.

Now I understand the fear of decent folk is that by making such remarks Obama is going to piss of Trump’s base — and he will. But that’s the point. Make them angry so they overreact too. What does he have to lose; they’ve never liked or respected him anyway, so why should he play nice in the sandbox?

The real goal is to keep the progressive base from crumbling further and to staunch the flow of blood. Those on the left are going to have to stop acting like wimps, since no one wants to be associated with that kind of leadership.

From CoolCleveland correspondent Mansfield B. Frazier Frazier’s From Behind The Wall: Commentary on Crime, Punishment, Race and the Underclass by a Prison Inmate is available in hardback. Snag your copy and have it signed by the author at

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