Barack Obama: The Participation-Trophy President

U.S. President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Vice President Joe Biden REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Every coach has had this kid—and his family.

You spend all week teaching him how to position his feet on defense. You explain to him that keeping himself between his opponent and the basket is the most important thing.  Then, you put him in the game and he runs up and down the court, looking energetic and athletic—and flies into the stands trying to knock down a pass he never had a chance at, while the guy he was guarding goes in for a layup.


“Good hustle, Johnny!” his dad applauds from the stands, and you groan inside, knowing your teaching has gone out the window.

Then at the end of the year, when you are giving awards like MVP, Most Rebounds, and Best Defender, Johnny’s mom nonchalantly suggests, “You know, maybe you should have an award for Most Hustle.”

Yeah, because the kids I’m giving awards to who are actually good at the sport didn’t hustle?

Then there’s the other kid who shows up to every single practice. He’s never late, is unfailingly polite, and listens to everything.  He really wants to be a good basketball player.

But he’s not. In fact, everything he does is bad for the team. He hasn’t a clue, and neither do his parents. But you like having him around. He’s good company.

And at the end of the season, he holds his participation trophy above his head so Mommy and Daddy can take a picture, satisfied with his award for showing up.

Last week, in the aftermath of their side being benched by the American people, the Obama Administration spent a lot of time awarding themselves participation trophies.

First, the bar was set very, very low. The following didn’t count, because the refs were biased.

  • Fast and Furious—the U.S. government running guns to Mexican drug lords to undercut the Second Amendment
  • Spying on journalists, undercutting the First Amendment
  • The IRS used as a weapon against political opponents
  • Covering up the truth of the Benghazi disaster by blaming a YouTube video (and jailing its disreputable creator in violation of the First Amendment)
  • Allowing Hillary Clinton to conduct State Department business on a personal server (yes, that’s a current Administration scandal, as even the president took part)
  • Trading dangerous terrorists for deserter Bowe Bergdahl and trying to cover up his record
  • The GSA’s lavish parties exposed
  • The VA cover-up of their death lists
  • Loretta Lynch meeting with Bill Clinton in secret during the Hillary investigation
  • And the politicization of the Justice Department in general

No, no wait—those don’t count. We mean personal scandals.

During his eight years in office, Barack Obama has not embezzled money or cheated on his wife! And you didn’t catch him on tape ordering any of the above actions!

So, even though the Navy and Marines can’t keep their planes in the air, B-1 bomber wings are down to about 50% readiness, all of our major adversaries (Russia, China, Iran, North Korea) are stronger than eight years ago, ISIS became a thing because of his complete withdrawal from Iraq, and his red line with Syria is a cruel joke, this happened:

Barack Obama’s secretary of Defense, Ash Carter, awarded Barack Obama the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service.

For showing up for eight years. And hustling. And getting everything wrong.

Good hustle, Barry!

But wait, there’s more!

Let’s not leave Joe Biden out of the mix. Where’s his trophy for being the administration’s water boy? For being ready to step in if the worst possible disaster strikes the star player?

For that, Barack Obama awarded Joe Biden the nation’s highest civilian honor—for showing up and having a good attitude.

Don’t believe me? Read the transcript. Essentially, Joe Biden was handed an award given to only three other people, two of whom, Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II, teamed up to defeat communism, and one, Colin Powell, who helped restore the U.S. military after Vietnam.

The Medal of Freedom with Distinction citation basically says that Joe Biden was “consequential” for spending his whole life in Washington fighting for liberal causes that mostly failed, overcoming personal tragedy, and keeping his sense of humor.


If that’s not a participation trophy citation, nothing is. But he got selected to the Hall of Fame by a committee of one.

At least this team has finally used up its eligibility.  Now they can go home, look at their participation trophy, and talk, like Uncle Rico, about what might have been, if only the American people had let them stay in the game.


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