I would go back to bed to try to deal with my wearying insomnia and grab an hour or two before dawn, but we are at an ungodly hour in this country. With the pernicious abandonment of a prairie fire, the Obstructionists and disillusionists we once knew as the GOP are criss-crossing the country making things up, aided and abetted by Sarah Palin and the cluster Fox-folks. They want everyone to believe that we made a huge and irremediable mistake in electing Barack Obama in ’08.
We did not. We the people had a surge of vision and imagination; we dared to dream and believe and we gathered in front of our televisions and millions strong on the Washington Mall to see him inaugurated.
When he became the Democratic nominee, Obama went abroad to connect with those who had come to mistrust us– as a matter of principle and vision. For that he was later to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
Faced with the near collapse of the economy, he commandeered the”bail-out” and the stimulus packages. It’s my impression that there were few alternatives and that this was the only way to keep the country from falling apart.
Then came health care reform. Obama aggressively reached across the aisle, including last winter’s breakfasts on Capitol Hill where his efforts at dialogue were repudiated by snide posturing GOP boors framing questions as accusations and blame. He stood in front of the country and alluded to numerous concessions to Republicans written into the Bill, and yet on every network is the word “Obamacare,” cast as everything scary and wrong and nothing good and right to the American people. Right wing pundits would have you believe that he didn’t listen to them or try to work with the GOP– but remember when they called him a liar to his face?
After that, he came back and rallied the Democrats to pass an immensely important and historic measure–Health Care Reform– most assuredly a boon and a victory that no one else has been able to effect.
He was wrestled to the ground by his Joint Chiefs and would not otherwise have sent more troops to Afghanistan. This was surely far more than an olive branch to the conservatives. Bob Woodward’s book Obama’s Wars reveals a troubled President left high and dry by the Joint Chiefs, who refused to give him alternative scenarios or give him a staged withdrawal plan. He drew it up himself sweating bullets.
In the wake of the Deep Water Horizon crisis he sat BP execs down and wrested a commitment of 2 billion from them– as real money deposited in real banks then and there, to help the beleagured.
Most recently Obama reinstituted peace talks between the Israelies and the Palestinians– a huge accomplishment. He has conducted himself like a true statesman, traveling to and holding summits on pressing issues. He has responded to the bashing he has taken including the absurd claims made about his religion and his citizenship with far more equanimity and dignity than most of us can even fathom.
In short, Barack Obama hit the ground running and he hasn’t stopped even though, time and perspective will demonstrate, the price of being the first African American president is to be the victim of racism as it routinely spews forth from the mouths of the Right. We would not have done to Hillary Clinton what we have done to this man, crucifying him daily.
Presidents don’t become presidents without politics and becoming politicians themselves. We didn’t elect God to the presidency; we elected a mere mortal, with feet of clay. But many of us demand perfection, and are immensely unforgiving– especially white middle-aged men who project their own self-hate and moral failings on Obama.
George W. Bush sat around in the Oval Office for eight years doing nothing, because he didn’t know how. We elected an oilman puppet to lead us, whose puppeteers were Karl Rove and Dick Cheney– the two hidden presidents and master blacksmiths of their era with their ability to turn the hot metal of the truth into horseshoes. Running the country was their game.
If the GOP gets Congress back, they say they’ll repeal “Obamacare” and the right to health care, those things like doing away with preexisting conditions clauses and kids being on their parents’ policies until they’re twenty-six and other measures in the bill to insure the uninsured, when the insurance companies underpinning the capitalist system, in collusion with Wall Street, refused to step up.
If you see an ad contending that “Obamacare” entitles convicted rapists to free Viagra, research that. See if it’s really true.
Before anyone buys into the spew of rhetoric coming out of the mouths of the Republicans and their first cousins the Tea Party, he should do exactly what I’ve done here– see if he can come up with anything Barack Obama has done for America.
You might have to put up a blog, get up at three a.m. foaming at the mouth, a silly headline dancing in your head.