Sunday, January 31, 2016

How do You Vote Against Hillary After Listening to President Obama?

Look. If you've read me for 7 years you know that I am second to no one in loving President Obama. 

I have defended this man, this President against lies and disingenuous attacks, and attacks which are just plain racist for years. 

And I would do it again, a thousand times if needed-surely I've done it over 7 years more than that already. I'm not a fair weather supporter. 

I've also recently talked about the fact that I was initially a Hillary Clinton supporter in 2008. It was nothing against POTUS. I just had  known her since 1992 and her resume seemed longer and more in line with someone that was ready to be President. 

But I could tell Obama was very qualified. It was a tough choice. You had two excellent choices. 

I did feel that some of his supporters went too far in their criticisms of her. A lot of it, sad to say was gender based-and that says nothing about the media that year. What Chris Matthews and others said. 

It also seemed to me a double standard. Everything she or Bill Clinton said was examined microscopically for signs of racism. Yet, gross and blatant sexism was often given a pass. 

It kind of belied an idea you often hear-and even now Bernie Sanders repeated at a recent Black and Brown Forum. That we've made more progress on sexism than racism. I disagree completely with that. 

At least when you talk about racism you get a respectful hearing. No one just say 'Oh, please.' But this is what you hear when you talk about gender. 

Anyway. It was a very close, tight race and Obama won. Once this happened, I wasted no time licking any wounds. The important thing was to get the Dems back in the WH after eight horrible years under George W. Bush. 

Once Obama was actaully in office I loved him even more. When the GOP applied scorch earth tactics against him-when Mitch McConnell admitted that the only thing they GOP cared about was beating Obama, rather than ending the recession and helping the American people, I was an even more staunch defender of the President. 

Then in the dark days of 2011 and the absurd game of debt ceiling chicken the GOP played, Obama was pummeled every day by the firebaggers. I found that while he had run on  a 'post partisan' world, when he was under relentless partisan attack was when I was most relentless in my love and defense of him. 

This is an interesting dynamic. I remember in 2008 those who loved candidate Obama but once he was in office, they were immediately critical of him. I was the opposite. I never loved some of caniddate Obama's rhetoric-Yes we can-was just a catchy slogan in my mind. 

If yes we can meant we an elect a black President, it was accurate. If it was about 'Yes, we can have a post partisan world' obviously the answer to that was 'No, we can't.'

I didn't hold it against him too much as I could see that he was basically, like Hillary Clinton herself, a pragmatist. 

But I always have been a much bigger supporter and fan of President Obama than  I had been of candidate Obama. 

Again, this is an interesting dynamic. Many folks seem to only like someone when they are a candidate-when they actually gain power then they turn against their former hero. 

To me such folks are just fair weather fans. When things get rough, they are like the Hebrews turning on Moses or something. 

But as much as I've loved Obama and think he has been a just superb President, never have I loved him as much as when he spoke up for Hillary like he did last week. When he defended her, when he half almost apologized for some of the tactics of his own team in 2008, when obviously he can be forgiven for them: after all, she was his opponent for the most important job in the world.

He admitted what had seemed clear to me in 2008; that even as a black man he benefited from the sexist hatred of a white female Presidential candidate. 

After he spoke out for her this way, it's just clear to me that it's destiny that we nominate Hillary Clinton and she lead our party to that next level. Where we consolidate and build on the Obama achievements. 

When the dust settles. I still think that the Barrack Obama-Hillary Clinton dynamic is one for the ages. Just an incredible political relationship where they begun as competitors but ended up being friends and part of the same Administration and linked forever in the future of the Democratic party. 

There is a great history of the 2008 race and their history which traces back to 2004 soon after Obama's great speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention.

Obama had actually been a huge Hillary fan from when he first met her then. 

One thing that was said about Obama in the early years-around 2006, 2007-was 'Wow! Here is a black man that feels totally at ease around white people!'

I have to laugh at that. I, like Obama am of mixed race-I have a white father and a black mother; though my mom is from Jamaica. Blacks from the West Indies tend to have a different worldview than African-Americans. 

Obama's mom is white. I mean, if your own mother's white, you probably will have some comfort around white people-assuming you love her and she loves you. I suppose it also depends on the race of most people you associated with. Whether you lived in an all white vs. all black neighborhood, etc, who you went to school with, clearly has a big impact. 

I myself don't have any more or less 'comfort' around white vs. black folks. 

When Cornell West more or less slurred the President for being a 'half breed'-I could relate. When I was in high school, many black kids spoke the same way about me. I was pretty fair-my Mom herself is a mulatto. 

But when you think about it, Hillary and Obama have a lot in common. If you look at their mothers who raised them. Both white American women with a strong sense of midwestern values. 

Anyway, I don't see how you don't vote for her after listening to the President's words. 

If you live in Iowa, I hope you will make sure to get out and do it tomorrow. 

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