Tribute to Obama

POLITICAL POST—I didn’t vote for Obama in ’08; I was skeptical of him and did not buy into the notion that he was some sort of demigod who was any different from every other politician. So I voted for McCain, because I liked him and felt he was a moderate whose views more closely aligned with my own. (That and I had yet to fully appreciate the sheer batshit crazy that is Sarah Palin.)

But I welcomed Obama and saw he was somebody who comported himself with dignity, class, and sincerity. I could see he was temperamentally suited for the job, although he was probably naive in thinking he was going to effect the wholesale change of our political culture he envisioned; and well into his second term, I could tell he was becoming worn down and is probably a bit relieved to be leaving office tomorrow. 

And this is the first time I’ve revealed this publicly, but I did vote for Obama in 2012 (cue the unfriending!). Not that I had an issue with Mitt Romney; even though he was another moderate, I’ve long felt the conservative/Tea Party wing of that party has been hamstringing it for years, and my reasoning was that the Republican Party needed to get their asses kicked badly enough that they’d reorganize behind more centrist policies (though Romney in my view was a moderate, like McCain before him, he had to kow-tow to “proper” conservative dogma).

Whoops. So that totally didn’t work out for me, did it?

Anyway, I’ve come to like and respect Obama more and more over the years, and especially in view of his successor, who I view with great trepidation, to put it diplomatically. I’m sad to see Obama leave office. This post isn’t about any particular policy or decision he made, although I tend to see the merit in all he tried to achieve, even if they weren’t perfect or have had varying degrees of success (i.e., Obamacare and the Iran deal, among others). Most of the time, the President is just doing the best he can, and I’ve felt that way about just about every President, from Obama to George W., to Clinton, Bush Sr., Reagan, etc. As much as I’d like to apply that to our incoming President…well…all I’ll say for now is that I hope the realities of governing somehow temper that person’s impulses.

For the final time, Godspeed, Mister President. Thank you for your service this country.

~B

NOTE: This is a tribute and not meant to spur a debate, so please keep any attacks to your own page. You know who you are.

A Message to Bernie Bros…

I have something to say to the Bernie people who are still gnashing their teeth in lamentation over Hillary’s nomination. This is something I commented on a friend’s thread and have been meaning to post on my page, so I figured I’d paste it here with some additions:
 
RE: Anger at the Democratic Party for screwing over Bernie Sanders.
The fact of the matter is that the parties can select their candidates in whatever way they so choose; they’re not accounted for at all in the Constitution. Binding popular selection by the public via the primaries is actually a relatively recent development dating to the sixties. Before that it was basically the kind of backroom dealing among party bosses that I see a lot of people (mostly Bernie people) lamenting about today regarding Hillary’s nomination (see: Super Delegates).
 
My overall point is that Bernie chose to run as a Democrat…which actually probably enabled a higher profile for himself than he would have gotten if he had ran as the independent he’s always been throughout his career. But in running as a Democrat, he simultaneously ran into the “rigged” party system that was almost explicitly designed to keep someone like him out. Is it fair? No. Is it democracy? No. But we’re not even a true democracy as it is; we don’t even elect the president by direct popular vote. Undemocratic? Maybe, but in any case that’s how the Founders DESIGNED the system.
 
I guess the ultimate question Bernie followers need ask themselves now is, is the progressive movement (i.e., the policies Sanders’ espoused) in a better position overall now than if he hadn’t ran as a Democrat. Hillary was forced to pivot left in order to accommodate him. That’s something right there. You can say she’s lying to get votes, but Sanders’ profile is exponentially higher now and he could be in a position to influence things via the Senate if Hillary wins. Just a thought.
 
Oh, and who would you rather have choose the make up and character of the Supreme Court for the next generation? Chances are the next president will get to nominate as many as three or four new justices since so many current ones are in or are about to enter their 80s (to say nothing of the current empty seat that one particular party refuses to hold a hearing for). Roe V Wade, gay rights, voter laws, environmental laws, health care laws, gun rights…those worth giving over to Donald Trump just because you don’t feel like you were treated nicely enough by the DNC?