On the night he took to the podium ten years ago Tuesday, few would have dared dream how far this guy would go. For a lot of them, that dream turned into their worst nightmare.
"I stand here today, grateful for the diversity of my heritage, aware that my parents’ dreams live on in my two precious daughters I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American
story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that in
no other country on Earth is my story even possible."
Barack Obama speech to the Democratic Convention
27 July 2004
On Election Night 2008, America was faced with a simple, eight year challenge, and the whole freaking world was watching:
How would this nation, built as it was on the lacerated backs of black people, deal with the elevation of the first African American to the presidency?
I'm not saying that most white Americans failed that challenge; the majority of us are sophisticated enough, I think, to understand that we're on the edge of a new dawn in this country, and that very soon - and in the lifetimes of most of you reading this - America will no longer be "a white man's country". The problem here is the fact that a significant minority of people broke down with a severe case of spastic apoplexy at the very sight of a KNEE-GROW family living in the executive mansion. While it is always oodles of fun to watch a right-winger suffer a complete nervous breakdown, their unhinged, delusional reaction to the administration of President Obama raises more-than-a-few troubling questions.
Most disturbing has been the reaction of the Tea party crowd - particularly in the South. Something like this was never supposed to happen. A damn darkie livin' in the same house that the sainted Ronald Reagan once called "home"??? Pass me mah smellin' salts, Esther! They had taken it for granted that Pennsylvania Avenue was an exclusive, all-white neighborhood. Barack Obama is viewed by them as the block-buster from hell.
Of all of their paranoid hallucinations regarding this boringly moderate president, the one that tickles me the most is the right's perception of him as this wild-eyed, borderline communist. Whenever I see someone denouncing Obama as "the most liberal president in the history of this country", that tells me one of two things:
(1) The person is lying, or....
(2) he/she has absolutely no understanding of the history of the country they profess to love so much.
Haven't these knuckleheads ever heard the name "Franklin Delano Roosevelt"? FDR was not merely a "liberal" - he was a radical! In a time that was in desperate need of radical change, Roosevelt was made to order. It is that type of administration that is desperately needed again, too. That is what I was praying for when Barack Obama took the oath of office on January 20, 2009. A lot of us lefties have been bitterly disillusioned.
The president has been taken to task, by the left and by the right, for not "reaching out to" and "working closer with" congress. Are they kidding? What good would that do? It is unrealistic to expect a sane, rational human being to try to deal with a cabal of people who have lost their freaking marbles. HELLO???
All that one can possibly hope for at this late date is that, by the November midterms, the voters of this country wake up and understand the the damage that the GOP is collectively doing to their once-great nation. That's the only chance Barack has to go down in history as a good, even great, president. If his administration is judged by future historians as being a failure, most of the blame will not be his. Look at all of the grief and obstruction the man has had to put up with. Hats off to the guy for being able to accomplish anything!
It's now a little over three months until Election Day. It is going to be an amusing ride between now and then to say the very least. John Boehner is now in the process of suing the president for merely doing the job that he was elected to do. To make matters funnier still, the right wing is openly talking about impeaching him. What "high crimes and misdemeanors" he is guilty of they haven't made quite clear. Expecting any of these clowns to make sense is a lesson in futility. The reality of a black president is just too much for them to bear. In fact, it's made them crazier than they already were. Not to imply that this hasn't been loads of fun to watch - it has. More fun than the law should allow.
As the months transpire between now and November, their lunacy only promises to get even loonier. I cannot emphasize this enough: These are really interesting times.
A nocturnal meditation:
was the personification of a shooting star. It appears upon the
horizon, rapidly making its way across the night sky; illuminating the heavens
in a brilliant and beautiful light. Then, in an instant, it's gone.
You'll Never Walk Alone
by Frank Sinatra
I love the lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein. So sue me. The
revisionists will have us believe that he was incapable
of writing nothing but sentimental schmaltz. Perhaps a case can be made for that argument. I, for one, think that
sentiment is a beautiful thing.
Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown
Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone
You'll never walk alone.
That's poetry, baby!