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.
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Merrick Garland

BPR Political Post:
(Uh oh, I’ve been gradually posting more of these recently; need to keep tabs on that…)
It’s eye-rolling that the Republicans are stone-walling Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court. From everything I’ve read, Merrick Garland is a superb choice who is a moderate, and frankly a more palatable pick for the Republican Senate to live with than what they can expect from a President Sanders or a President Clinton. There’s no legitimate reason to block him.
But I “get it”; Republicans want to hold out and see what happens if Cruz or (GULP) Trump get in and can choose a conservative justice. Fine, so be it. As long as they’re honest about why they’re stalling. And for all the Democrats and liberals up in arms over this move, let me tell you, if the tables were turned and it was the last year of George W. Bush and a liberal judge’s seat came open, you would be doing the EXACT. SAME. THING. And giving the EXACT. SAME. EXCUSES. And you know it.
It’s all just political bullshit.
#supremecourt #supremecourtjustice #merrickgarland #Obama
EDIT, March 18th, 8pm: In response to comments conservatives made on my FB page asserting Garland “voted against the Second Amendment”, this was my response:

Interesting. I got curious to find out more regarding both of your assertions that Garland “voted against letting citizens own firearms”, so I decided to research the subject, reading both what would be considered “conservative” and “liberal” websites. 

I’m assuming you’re both referring to Parker vs. District of Columbia, which in 2007 ruled a Washington DC handgun ban was unconstitutional…it was a 2-1 decision, but it turns out that Garland was NOT involved in the ruling; he merely agreed to the city’s request to have the entire court’s judges reconsider the case, not just three of them. Ultimately the court denied the request with a 6-4 vote, Garland being one of the four “yes” votes that included both a liberal judge named David Tatel, but also a renowned conservative judge named A. Raymond Randolph. There’s really nothing in such a vote—voting to reconsider the case—to indicate hostility to the Second Amendment, especially considering Randolph’s vote. Perhaps if they had reheard the case and voted on it, we would know something more definitive.

The other thing I’m finding is that in 2000 he voted to affirm that the FBI could hold on to gun purchase records for six months for auditing purposes in order to make sure background check systems worked…which the NRA asserts amounted to an “illegal national registration of gun owners”. Garland’s vote disagreed with that assertion. Your interpretation may vary.

My take on this is that conservatives are grasping at straws.