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The Vox Dot Com President

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• September 4, 2014 4:02 pm

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Vox.com has quickly established itself as the go to source for definitive explanations of challenging topics such as Palestinian infrastructure and celebrity birthdays. In fact, the very existence of Vox.com, and its rise to prominence in the twilight of the Obama presidency, explains more about our commander-in-chief than its stable of boy geniuses could ever hope to with their "blags" and "card stacks."

Even before Vox.com was a thing, Barack Obama was the Vox.com president. He always has been. Like the people who run Vox, Obama is an ideological liberal who insists on presenting himself as a disinterested wonk who is only interested in "what works."

Vox founder Ezra Klein’s first byline for the site was a treatise on the dangers of ideology—specifically, how conservative ideology is endangering future generations by thwarting a massive government intervention to address climate change. In reality, Vox is staffed by ideological liberals, including several former employees of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

According to Klein, the mission of Vox is "fixing the news" by "delivering crucial context alongside new information." The website routinely promises to deliver literally "everything you need to know" about a given topic—authoritative, ideologically neutral assessments, in some cases delivered in two minutes or less. Explanations abound.

Obama has always followed this same model, minus the brevity. The overriding mission of his 2008 candidacy was to fix the "the broken politics in Washington" by casting aside "the worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics." Years later, Obama continues to argue, with the help of ideological sympathizers such as Vox, that a question like "What’s best for the country?" is not a matter of debate. The science is settled. The only thing preventing him from implementing the correct policies and fixing the country is the ideological convictions of his opponents, and that’s not just his opinion.

Team Vox and Obama seem to share a disdain for things that prevent Obama from enacting his preferred policies, such as the filibuster and the old, "confusing" Constitution, something the "constitutional law professor" in the White House rarely invokes these days, probably because he has spent most of his second term enacting, or proposing to enact, policy changes without the consent of Congress.

Both seem to have ditched their ideological aversion to corporate interests and "money in politics" in favor of using corporate money to advance their own interests. Obama was the first presidential candidate in history to reject public financing for his campaign; Vox is financed by corporate tax cheat General Electric, and publishes sponsored content from Goldman Sachs.

Both have a habit of mansplaining to America’s enemies about what’s really in their best interests:

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The convergence of the two is such that when Obama says something dumb—e.g., "we don’t have a strategy"—Vox leaps to attention like a loyal aide, deploying "context" to explain "what everyone gets wrong" about the dumb thing that was said. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Unfortunately for Obama, he is not enjoying the level of success that Vox is at the moment. But if he’s looking for a career change, or can’t be bothered finishing his second term should Republicans take the Senate in November, a staff writer position at Vox would be a perfect fit.