Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Summing up--Leadership of the Possible

A relative, who is an Obama supporter, to put it mildly, writes opinion. I am an Obama supporter too as those who know me could attest but at times, when warranted, I levy criticism. I am going to paste in what I said to my relative when they summed up the two-year Obama presidency. My relative sees things realistically pragmatic and emphasizes the good this progressive president has done especially given the divided nation in which we live. Everything is a work in progress to which I wholeheartedly agree.

I do not, however, believe in political self-censorship. I believe in speaking truth to power no matter who it is. It is not only ideal it is pragmatic and the essence of the democratic system in which we live. A president or at least his administration must know the criticism especially when it is criticism within the base of the party. The Internet affords the public the unique possibility, not enjoyed by the electorate of bygone eras, of conveying sentiment instantaneously both to the administration itself and to the public at large. This is distinctively characteristic to our time. Those of us who vote in party primaries serve to ultimately choose a candidate. I believe it is my duty to praise and make public that praise but also my duty to criticize power when I deem it necessary. I do and will, of course, not stop. I offer support and have many times when it is my opinion. I did so in my response to my relative's blog below and to offer an end of the year summary in response to that as well.

I wrote the following:

I cannot help but LOVE your perspective even though I may be a curmudgeon at heart.

Yes, we are a split down the middle divided nation and we MUST get our Democratic side out to vote in 2012. A Republican president is what I am afraid of most. I am a pessimist out of mainly fear even though, my hero despite his shortcomings, FDR said that is the only thing we do have to fear.

Another relative of mine told me that the Obama naysayers should just shut up or they WILL get a Republican president next year. The image I had of myself is a little kid maybe like Peanuts or Linus with head lowered, walking away sucking his thumb and dragging a blankey feeling just a bit cowed. Sometimes, indeed, the glass is half full and we should enjoy the drink.

When one ties everything up in a bow it truly is amazing that the president has managed to do what, in fact, he has done including hate crimes legislation, DADT repeal, The Lily Ledbetter law, two progressive female SC justices, and probably a SALT treaty and more. The opposition he had would have overwhelmed any another man even the strongest. I do stare at him sometimes in amazement.

I am happy but I am worried. If one thought these two years were difficult with an intractably hateful other side of the isle, just think what is in store in the next two years. In one of my posts I asked the president to keep his handy dandy veto pen close at hand. Thank god or fate that a Democrat is sitting in the oval office to be able to use it. Remember Sarah Palin? She is always out there making one realize how good it is to have defeated the likes of her.

I, a proud member of Obama’s liberal base, still support him enthusiastically for 2012. The alternative simply chills me to the bone and yes, he has done much good and presented us with a new definition of leadership of the possible. He saw a path to compromise and did so! We did get some rather than getting stuck with none. More than even that is he is a historical figure of monumental import elected to our highest office in our time. I am most happy I had the chance to live to see that, indeed!

Happy Holidays and Happy Healthy New Year!