Four years ago we elected Mr. Barack Obama in the belief that he would do three things forAmerica:
- He would end gridlock and restore bipartisanship inWashington
- He would restore America’s prestige abroad
- He would be bold to tackle long lasting problems that past administrations were too timid to engage. The Audacity of Hope
This game has been played into the fourth quarter and the opponent, the Republican Party), is still alive and there is but just one point separating the two teams. The President has the ball and any turnover could bring unpleasant results. What should the president’s team do? Call up Michael Jordan or Tom Brady and hand him the ball and tell to him prove why he is being paid as much as he is paid and why he is the “franchise player.” Simple as that.
Our Michael Jordan, other wise known as President Barack Obama, is now proving why he is the franchise player
End gridlock and restore bipartisanship in DC
Mr. President has failed abysmally in this regard. He has worked as hard as any president before him had done, but the result is/was “same ol; same ol”. It is not totally his fault because he had engaged Republicans and proposed middle ground on issues;, he has accepted policy matters the Republicans had pushed for, for years; he has sold out his core supporters in health care, immigration, collective bargaining; gay rights, tax cuts; etc, etc, etc. And in return the Republicans had given him nothing except the promise that he would be a one term president. They would accomplish this by making sure the economy remains bugged down in the doldrums. That strategy, has kept them just a point behind with another strategy to initiate a burst of speed at ten yards to the tape and clinch the gold. Leaving Mr. Obama on the dust. With no end on gridlock, no restored bipartisanship and no movement on other agenda items to show for his efforts, it would be a one pathetic term presidency.
Restore America’s prestige abroad
This was the second item in our understanding of the hope Mr. Obama’s presidency would bring toAmerica. This promise is being fulfilled but not to the extent that many had hoped for. Again Mr. Obama has tried, but determined opposition has stopped him short of his goals. Mr. Netanyahu of Israel ought to be counted among the leaders of opposition. His ill advised moves had made progress in the resolution of most Middle East conflicts nearly impossible; Iran’s nuclear ambition has not helped matters; Europe’s anemic economic under performance keeps undue attention to Europe, China’s and India’s emergence as competitors have meant paying more attention to Asia; Obama’s total indifference to Africa has made Africa (Obama’s natural ally) to disdain him and by extension America. There is less anger at Obama’s American than there was at Bush’s. No Arab would throw his shoes at Obama in a press conference and “death toAmerica” has not been chanted recently. There have been progress in this area but it would have been nice if there had been more.
The Audacity of Hope
This is domestic area where the real voters actually live. It is here that the Republican leaders knew that they had to end Mr. Obama’s spectacular rise. It is here that they mounted their most potent weapons of Mass Destruction. And it is here that Mr. Obama has also decided to engage the “Mr. No” party. And he has asked for the ball and the opportunity to prove why he is the franchise player.
This is the fourth quarter.
Here is how he is playing the game:
- He asked the Supreme Court to rule on his Health Care (Obama Care) law. The argument before the Supreme Court brought to the fore front the reasons he went for the law. The elderly now understand what they would gain; the insurance companies have noticed that it is in their interest; the electorate saw how Scott Brown is gaining from this policy change, as he opposes it; the uninsured people realized how much they have vested on Obama care; etc. One does not hear much about this law these days. The Supreme Court would rule on this any day now. But no matter how the ruling comes out, Republicans would not crow for there will be angst if the policy is over turned. And the angst would be directed at them.
- He raised the student loan question. This move forced a closer alliance between the banks and the Republicans and in opposition to families and more importantly to millions of young people in college or about to go to college. It also forced the Republicans to decide where they would be: on the side of Baal or on the side of the Lord. Who would you worship? The dancing had been pathetic. Some are for it and some are against it and some were for it before they were against it. It is called sowing discord among the opponent’s rank. It is “order, counter order and disorder” in the Republican Party.
- He declared that gays and lesbians are people too and in addition are Americans. They are from here and not from Mars. This was a curved ball and brought about timidity in the Republican Party that we have not seen in the past decade. Mr. Romney, a strong supporter of the traditional definition of marriage took the fifth. The Speaker retreated, Mr. McConnell, the one whose only mission is to see a one term president, moved to the valleys of theAppalachian Mountains. They left the Catholic bishops and the Tea Party to take the lead. But even the bishops did not know that there are Sisters who work with real humans. They must also contend with them. It was a kind of throw that only Tom Brady of our New England Patriots could throw
- And now comes the move that would put the Republicans in their place. The stopping of deportations of young men and women who came here illegally, who have live at peace with their neighbors and with all men; have stayed in school and went to college; have served in our country’s armed services and risked their lives for United States; and are willing to grow the economy. These young men and women would walk freely on the streets of this country, would work freely in our factories and stores or work on our lawns (as some did for Mr. Romney). These people would not be inhumanly separated from their family just because they followed their parents where they led. It is called family values. Mr. Obama has thrown the gauntlet. Let us see how Mr. Romney would follow up. He can give the American people the details of how the self deportation program would work in practice. He could tell us that the line: Give me your tired, your poor, your hungry does not mean anything. All the immigrant families would be paying attention.
Mr. Barack Obama has brought us back to June/July 2008 and the Audacity of Hope.
Remember this scene from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar Act1 scene II
(aside to ANTONY) Let me have men about me that are fat,
Sleek-headed men and such as sleep a-nights.
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look.
He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous
(aside to CAESAR) Fear him not, Caesar. He’s not dangerous.
He is a noble Roman and well given.
I sometimes wonder if Shakespeare had Obama in mind when he wrote those lines. Obama has the lean and hungry look and might be as dangerous as Shakespeare imagined.
The Republican has a decision to make: to leadAmericaor to lead the 1%.
This is the 2-minute warning. Michael Jordan has the ball. Swisssh, swisssh.
Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba
June 15, 2012