Obama: I can't help feeling that I'm partly responsible for my party being destroyed

“I take some responsibility for that,” he admits before shifting instantly to how he wasn’t really responsible, having inherited an economy brutalized by the financial crisis, etc etc. I’d be curious to hear him explain, in detail, where he thinks his share of the blame lies. Stephanopoulos doesn’t press him on it, which may be a symptom of his Democratic sympathies or, more charitably, may be due to him suspecting that Obama would have only given a self-serving answer anyway. You’re never going to hear O say that it was a dumb idea to pass a massive health-care reform bill that was unpopular from day one on a strict party-line vote. The most you’ll get from him is something along the lines of “I overestimated how ready the country was for the sort of forward-looking change I’m interested in.” He was simply too far ahead of his time, and thus must America take a detour into “the wrong side of history” before realizing that Obama was right all along.

The funniest part of this answer is how it develops, of course, into him extolling his own abilities. “Partly because my docket was really full here, I couldn’t be both chief organizer of the Democratic Party and function as commander in chief and president of the United States,” he told Stephanopoulos. “We did not begin what I think needs to happen over the long haul, and that is rebuild the Democratic Party at the ground level.” If only he’d been able to juggle both roles, president and “chief organizer” (whatever that means), the Democratic Party wouldn’t have lost a thousand farking seats at the federal and state level since 2009? I don’t know how to read that answer except as him saying (a) the current “chief organizers” of the party are utter incompetents and (b) there’s no problem with the Democratic Party that a little more Barack Obama couldn’t have cured.

His farewell speech is tomorrow night, by the way, and will reportedly feature “admonitions” aimed at Trump. His last speech will, in fact, be a scolding.