Obama's Photographer Expertly Trolls The GOP Yet Again

by Lani Seelinger
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Remember how there actually was a president before Donald Trump? One who sometimes had legislative successes, and always had a photographer? Well, now you can watch as Obama's White House photographer trolls the Republican health care plan, giving everyone the small happy memory that we need right now.

Obama's former photographer, Pete Souza, hasn't held back in criticizing the Trump administration with photos. He went after the administration's new practice of not releasing White House visitor logs back in April, and he's continually posting pictures from various periods of Obama's presidency. If you want to pretend that Obama is still the president, then Souza's Instagram feed is the place to go.

Now, while the new Republican Obamacare replacement plan passing the House hasn't brought out the best in very many people, Souza has definitely stepped up. He posted a picture from the evening after Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into effect, with a very young looking Obama smiling at a phone in his lap. He was reading some text messages, Souza explains, and one of those apparently ended with "your mother would be so proud." Obama's mother, Souza goes on to say, had died of ovarian cancer, and had spent her final days worrying if her insurance would cover the costs of her care — as cancer, of course, might have been a pre-existing condition.

It's bittersweet to look at pictures from the Obama administration. And it's downright sad to think of the mothers with cancer who will now go back to worrying about whether their treatment might become unaffordable because of their "pre-existing condition." But that's exactly what makes Souza's photo and caption so strong at this moment in time. Was anyone saying the same thing to Paul Ryan after he forced the bill through the House? Would Trump even have paid any mind to a message like that, if someone had sent it? The pride is visible in Obama's face, along with a touch of the heartbreak.

Hopefully, the AHCA will get voted down in the Senate, and no one will have to endure the evening after Trump signs it into law. In any case, Democrats still have the filibuster in place to block bad legislation, and Souza to remind them of a better time and better legislation. You don't need to be a senator to appreciate Souza's trolling, though. Keep going back to him for your daily dose of nostalgia, and the occasional pointed jab at the current political situation, as well as those who have created it.