Election 2020

Even After He Leaves Office, Obama May Oppose Trump

(AP Photo/Dennis Rivera) - Puerto Rico OUT

Somehow, you knew this was coming. He just can’t — or won’t — get off the stage:

President Obama is rethinking his plans to withdraw from the political arena after he leaves office next year, hinting to friends and supporters that he wants to add his voice to the shell-shocked Democratic activists and elected officials who are now angrily vowing to oppose Donald J. Trump’s presidency.

White House aides say they expect the president to try to refrain from criticism during the transition because of his belief in the importance of a courteous and dignified transfer of power. But while the president holds out hope that he might influence Mr. Trump, he has made it clear that once out of office he will not remain silent if Mr. Trump goes too far in undoing his legacy.

“I’m going to be constrained in what I do with all of you until I am again a private citizen,” Mr. Obama, who will be living a few miles from the White House next year, told a meeting this past week of Organizing for Action, the group that maintains his political movement. “But that’s not so far off.”

Would that it were even closer.

Watch for Obama to run wild with his phone and his pen, setting all sorts of boobytraps and stinkbombs for the incoming administration. The last thing a country as divided as ours needs — the Leftist half having been driven insane by its stunning loss earlier this month — is a former president running around sniping at the new commander-in-chief.

Dozens of liberal advocacy groups, which have received a flood of donations and new members in the chaotic days since Mr. Trump’s defeat of Hillary Clinton, are gearing up for years of clashes with Mr. Trump. After eight years of advocacy on behalf of the Obama agenda, they are racing to recast themselves as bulwarks against Mr. Trump’s expected assault on an array of Democratic policies.

The mobilization against Mr. Trump began even before his victory was official. At just after midnight on Election Day, panicked immigration rights activists gathered for a conference call to strategize. A few days later, more than 80 representatives of 57 progressive groups convened in the offices of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights in Washington.

The mood was intense, angry and unforgiving, according to people who attended the confidential organizing session, which included representatives from labor, environmental groups, immigration activists, gay rights and civil rights organizations. Jim Messina, who managed Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign, offered brief remarks at the meeting, cautioning against any attempts to compromise and work with Mr. Trump.

Well, at least they’re honest. Best thing for Bannon & Co. to do right now is crush them right out of the box and keep pounding them. To the victor belongs the spoils — a lesson the Democrats need to once again relearn, the hard way.