From an Illinois state senator to a failed campaign for the House of Representatives, to a successful campaign to become a senator, to running and being elected the first African-American president of the United States, one word has come to characterise Barack Obama: hope. Along with one phrase: “Yes we can.”
So the question is, did hope materialise, and did “Yes we can” become “Yes we did”, especially with respect to race relations?
Obama believed politics could be conducted on a high moral plane, with dignity, rational discourse on ideological differences, and bipartisanship. He soon learned that 15 Republican leaders had conspired in a Washington DC restaurant on his inaugural night to undermine his administration by opposing everything he supported – even Republican ideas. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said his priority was making Obama a one-term president – not jobs, education, healthcare or housing. During a state of the union address, South Carolina Republican congressman Joe Wilson called out “You lie!” in the middle of his speech – then raised over $1m for his campaign on the back of it. Welcome, Barack, to US racism.
Could we pause from the misery of the campaign for a tip of the hat to President Obama? His approval ratings are now higher than at any time since the honeymoon period of his first months.
And not surprisingly. Against the sheer thuggery of Donald Trump and the somewhat blemished history of the Clintons, Barack and Michelle Obama have been models of dignity and probity.
Not the faintest whiff of scandal—no rumors of infidelity, no financial conflicts of interest, serious people, exemplary parents, nothing cheap or tawdry about them. Huffington Post
“It’s been 202 days since I nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. That’s more than five months longer than the average nominee has had to wait over the last 40 years to receive a hearing in Congress – let alone an up or down vote. This delay has nothing to do with Judge Garland’s personality or his qualifications. Senators on both sides of the aisle acknowledge that he is a distinguished legal mind, a dedicated public servant, and a good and decent man.
The last time a Supreme Court seat was kept vacant through Election Day was in 1864. At the height of the Civil War. So, this isn’t about precedent. This is about the obstruction of a broken Republican-led Congress.
Every day that GOP Senate leaders block this nomination, they hamstring the entire third branch of government. The Supreme Court is the final destination in a federal judiciary that routinely weighs some of society’s biggest questions. Already this past June, we saw a deadlocked Supreme Court, with no tie-breaking vote, unable to reach a majority on a major immigration case – leaving our Nation’s immigrants in limbo.” Huffington Post