In an internet world where trolls lurk around every corner, one has loomed above the rest: Pete Souza, Barack Obama’s former staff photographer. An unlikely troll for unlikely times.
Souza has stood out for the blunt savagery of his Instagram posts, but more than that, for the sheer amount of them. It’s seemed that for every Donald Trump action, there is an equal, opposite, and wistfully melancholy reminder of how things used to be.
Since Trump’s inauguration in January, the posts have piled up, but these stand out as the best of the best.
Troll Level: 8
Straight to the point, no nuance, Trump loves to tweet out hot garbage all day long. Signed, sealed, delivered, xoxo Pete Souza.
Troll Level: 6.5
Nothin’ like a nice implied troll. This Insta appeared after news broke that Trump shared classified information with visiting Russian diplomats. Bring back binder security!
Troll Level: 10!!!
This picture owns. Obama notoriously received ample criticism for his golf games, often from Trump himself. Flash forward to 2017 and Trump racked up 19 rounds in his first 100 days, then claimed they were actually a good thing when he played because they were “meetings.” Two can play at that game.
President Obama recognizes Natoma Canfield during a ceremony in 2013. Natoma had written him a letter in 2009 urging him to fight for health care reform. Natoma had been forced to drop her health care insurance after her premiums were jacked up in price when she had been diagnosed with cancer. She thought because of her medical bills, she would lose her house. “I carried Natoma’s story with me every day of the fight to pass this law,” President Obama said at the time. After the ACA was passed in 2010, Natoma was able to afford health insurance again. That was a good reason to celebrate.
Troll Level: 7
This one is almost not troll-y enough it’s too sweet. But when you take into consideration that it’s a response to House Republicans celebrating the AHCA win that would strip healthcare from millions, it’s like, suddenly not so sweet anymore.
Troll Level: 5
Is it still trolling if you’re just pointing out what great physical shape Obama was in compared to Trump, who turned down throwing out the first pitch for the Washington Nationals. We’ll allow it, Pete.
Troll Level: 7
Points deducted for “by request,” but nothin’ like a reminder of how our president used to have good relationships with other world leaders. Fond mems!
Back in 2010 before Congress voted on the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), President Obama held several meetings with Republicans. One all-day meeting at the Blair House was broadcast live on CSpan and included the now Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Another meeting with entire House Republican caucus was also broadcast live on cable TV and included now Vice President Mike Pence (then a Congressman from Indiana). There was a joint address to Congress. Town halls around the country. Swipe to see more photos.
Troll Level: 9
Pointing out that Paul Ryan had a say in the ACA, that Obama worked across the aisle, and that actual extensive meetings and town halls were held before the ACA went to a vote as the AHCA skipped straight to the final stage? That’s a troll, folks.
Troll Level: 11
Trolls love a good photoshop, and Souza’s no exception. This edit was in response to Trump’s “wire tapping” (IN QUOTES) claim. He’s kind of asking for a troll there, no?
Well, Pete, thanks for reminding us every step of the way that things used to be pretty normal and maybe even nice. Maybe we’ll even buy your book for a hard copy reminder, just in case your Instagram gets mysteriously seized.
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