Wednesday, February 13, 2008

America's Eternal Shame

When President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation became the law of the land on the first of January 1863, it wasn't the end of anything but the beginning of the long and difficult road to America's spiritual recovery. The very fact of our slave-holding past has lingered, undying in our national psyche for almost a century and a half. We are now at a point in our history where we can take a real, major step toward our national salvation. Sending Barack Obama to the White House on January 20, 2009 won't erase our past; it won't even bring a happy ending to America's deplorable history with respect to race - but it may very well mean the dawn of our healing.

As was mentioned on this site last month, America has been ready for an African American president since March 5, 1770. That was the day that Crispus Attucks - a Black man - became the first human being in history to give his life for this country. Barack Obama would not be my ideal candidate in any year. As moving a speaker as he no doubt is, he is short on specifics. If he is to survive into the convention, he needs to come up concrete proposals; he needs to fine-tune his solution for America's health care nightmare; and he definitely has got to be made aware of the reality that a successful administration will not involve "bringing Democrats and Republicans together". That's never going to happen. The next president of the United States has got to understand that he or she will be in for a long and bloody political fight with the GOP. Instead of talking about bringing the political parties together, he should be imploring his audiences to vote for Democrats - PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS (Not pathetic cowards like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi) - in order to save the country.

But it cannot be denied that, of all of the major contenders now in the race, he is the best and the brightest. Like John F. Kennedy in 1960 - a candidate who was also short on specifics in many areas - one cannot help but look at him and see the promise of a new era, a new deal for the American people. Unlike Hillary Clinton and John McCain, one looks at Barack Obama and sees the potential for growth. Unlike George W. Bush, you know that he's not going to surround himself with half-witted "yes" men. Unlike George W. Bush, he's going to appoint men and women to his administration whose qualifications are not their loyalty to him, but to the Constitution of the United States of America. Unlike George W. Bush, Barack Obama's natural constituency will be working men and women - not the plutocracy, not Corporate America, not any political party - and certainly not the oil companies who have raped this country's treasure. Unlike George W. Bush, he will not be remembered as the worst president in American history. The Senator from Illinois has the potential to be a great president.

One of the things that people keep pointing to when arguing against an Obama presidency is his youth. True, when comparing him to the bulk of American presidents, he is relatively young. But he wouldn't be the youngest - not by a long shot. Without doing any research, here is a list I was able to come up with - just by memory - of men who were younger than Senator Obama will be January next when they took the oath of office:
James K. Polk
Theodore Roosevelt
John F. Kennedy
William Jefferson Clinton
And here are three other facts to consider: He'll be only two years younger than James A. Garfield was when he was inaugurated in 1881. He'll be only two and a half years younger than Franklin D. Roosevelt was when he took the oath of office on March 4, 1933. When the Democrats nominated William Jennings Bryan to be their standard bearer in 1896, he was ten years younger than Barack Obama is now! No. An administration of a President Obama won't be setting any major milestones - with respect towards age, that is. The "youth" issue should be hurled right out the window.
And now for the real milestone: RACE. There has never been a black family in the history of this once-great nation who have called the White House "home" - unless it was the domestic staff, of course. It's time we had such a family living on the third floor living quarters of the Executive Mansion - High time!. We've had a lot of White women living there - and don't kid yourselves: Helen Taft, Edith Wilson, Eleanor Roosevelt - Hillary Clinton - History proves that these gals had real power! After President Wilson suffered a stroke in September of 1921, Mrs. Wilson was the defacto president for the rest of his term. Eleanor Roosevelt, it was said, was "the President's legs" for the entire twelve years he was in office. Not only that, she was his conscience. She had more influence than any First Lady in American history...that is, until Ms. Clinton came to town. Hillary has had her chance. For eight years she was the power behind the throne. It's Barack's turn.
Please understand, I'm not, in any way, trying to disparage the two centuries-long struggle for equal rights for all women. I desperately want to see a woman elected to the presidency in my lifetime - but not Hillary Clinton. Anyone but Hillary Clinton. Her judgement as Senator has been - to be polite - appalling. At least John Edwards and John Kerry have been wise enough to admit that their initial support for the obscenity our country is now committing against the men, women and little children of Iraq was a dreadful mistake. Five years after the fact, I'm still patiently waiting for Senator Clinton's mea culpa. I'm not going to hold my breath. You shouldn't either.
Sending Barack Obama to the White House will send a powerful message to the planet. Think of the symbolism! We would be saying to the rest of the world: Yeah, we realize we made the worst mistake in our history when we sent this disgusting, half-witted little guttersnipe from Crawford, Texas to Washington. But we're going to correct this deplorable situation by choosing a man, the likes of which we've never even dreamed of electing before. That type of man is personified in the very image of Barack Obama. But not only his image; his ideas as well. His elevation to the presidency would heal many of our stupidly self-inflicted wounds.
The reality must be faced head on: Sending a black guy to the Oval office is an idea that's long overdue. And we're not just talking about any black guy. He's not Jesse Jackson - and he's certainly not Al Shrpton! What we're talking about here is someone who is one of the most extraordinary candidates to come down the political pike in a very, very long time.
Barack Obama's day has come.
NOTE TO THE DEMS: Some of your operatives are hinting that there is a plan in the works that will deny Obama the nomination even if he wins the most votes, via the so-called "super delegate" process. If that happens, count on President McCain taking the oath next January. Your base will bolt the party so fast, you won't know what hit you. That's not a threat. That's a fact. You've got a good thing going here. Don't blow it.
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
I just posted this on the comments page:
"If I had my way, do you know who the next president of the United States would be? Eleanor Holmes Norton. No one - man or woman - ranks higher in my book".


At 3:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I imagine you mean any woman but Hillary.. or Condi Rice. Hillary is not the worst of them.

At 3:26 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Oh, yes! Let us not forget Condi! I was just thinking a few minutes ago: If I had it my way, do you know who the next president of the United States would be?

Eleanor Holmes Norton

No one - man or woman, ranks higer in my book!


Tom Degan

At 6:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...sending a black guy to the oval office..."

Who would really give a screaming shit if he was fucking PURPLE!!???
As long as he's competent in the wake of the previous "white guy's" incompetancies, I wouldn't care if he was orange, mauve, turquoise, or indigo.

As an aside, since the first post references Condi, did anyone see how Barbara Boxer pinned her when she presented the State Dept budget?
Condi, alas, does not yet recognize that the "war" she lead us into with her 94 lies, continues to deny that the US troop presence is an "occupying force". DUH!!!!????
What the FUCK are they, Condi?

I can't wait until the Nuremburg style trials are convened. The USA set the standard to the rest of the world and demonstrated what should be done to leaders that launched genocide on others.
The expectation is that the very provisions stated at the Nuremburg War Crimes trials still apply.
The entire rest of the planet remains in expectation that this is so.
It is the ONLY way the USA will regain international credibility.

At 7:22 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

To The previous commentator who posted as "anonymous""


We MUST talk. Drop me an e-mail:


At 10:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I e-mailed you.

At 4:56 PM, Blogger Fabianna said...

I just ran into an interesting article today about the "N" word. Maybe you have already seen coverage on this. Just my two cents I dont have any comment about anything. I am one of those people that is afraid to open a can of worms on this issue, or put my foot in my mouth.

At 8:08 PM, Blogger Brian said...

Your Saint Obama just caused the Democrats the White House with his errgant bid. This whole "Horse and Buggy Days" of the primary must end We live in a 24 hour news day world.As an Ohioain I think we need to change the system now.We should have a National Intent Day for all canidates and have every State primary on the same day. I am tried of always voting for the lesser of two evils. Obama is NOT quilfied to me President and thats the true. Hewould have servce the Party better to support Edwards and been his running mate then after 8 years of "on the job training" He would have been a shoe in for another 8 years. It is going to take 16 years to fix the mess We are in.


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