The re-election of Barack Obama is a referendum on a leader and a human being. It says that the majority of Americans do not want to turn back the clock, have their civil rights rolled back and their health care hijacked by people who think that their God should run the women of the United States as if separation of church and state were not written into the Constitution.
It says that only two weeks ago our confidence in Obama grew as he joined forces with a Republican governor to put his arms around those who lost everything in a hurricane and that our hope factor got a boost when the job numbers looked better–and the many other indices that things are moving, turning around.
“Forward,” in retrospect, has been exactly the right mantra.
Obama’s reelection is emblematic of the country’s refusal to let elections be bought, voters suppressed, and lies be created, spun and brought into our homes to scare us.
It is a signal to those engaging in the pathetic demonizing and racist mischaracterization of Obama– Newt Gingrich, John Sununu and Karl Rove and Dick Morris and Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Bill Crystal, Dan Senor, Reince Preibus (where did they find him?) Megan Kelley, the rest of the Faux News Barbie dolls and half-literate pundits, that they need a reality check and to search their souls about the kind of people they are.
The Republican tactics have been things one would expect out of some unscrupulous gang of thugs in the Third World or the ‘Ndrangheta of southern Italy. These are not American tactics and the men who have engaged in them from John Boehner to Eric Cantor to Paul Ryan, to Rush Limbaugh and Donald Trump and Glenn Beck with his schizophrenic rant, are not genteel, or civil, or refined in the patrician sense; there isn’t a real statesman, a visionary and man of the people, a Lincoln, a Jefferson among them.
The GOP has a chance to take the high road tonight and pledge to work with Obama this time around instead of meeting in a back room to plot how to take him out. But they won’t. And the Romney campaign has already put it out there that it was the Obama campaign who defined Mitt Romney before he ever had a chance to define himself.
Go ahead, blame and weep. But every time he opened his mouth, Womney Boo-Boo capably defined himself as a weak, quick to anger, thin-skinned, naïve boy-man unqualified for the job he was trying to land.
It’s so many other things, but it’s also, for so many of us, personal.
Those who follow this blog know that I’m a disabled writer and professor whose career was derailed by illness and a bad fall from a horse, who relies on a Social Security stipend, Medicare, Medicaid home health care, and after being on a waiting list for eight years, a Section 8 voucher that pays a chunk of my rent and utilities so that I can survive.
Don’t tell me that the federal government is expendable.
It’s personal. I thrive in a creative and intellectual climate in which I am valued as a poet and thinker. I don’t have it in my community proper for a host of reasons. But I have been so validated and supported by those with whom I inhabit the virtual world. That climate, that community, would suffer if the National Endowment for the Arts, public television and radio were 86’d by Romney and the merry band of spiritually and aesthetically constipated whack-jobs he would install in his cabinet.
It’s personal, because I feel safer with a brilliant president, a visionary and refined one, than someone who is a political stand-out solely because he’s rich and his handlers bought his way to the top.
And it’s especially personal because of this. As a young woman, two years out from the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling, I made a conscious and anguished choice not to carry a baby to term. The right to choose was two years old. I believed that I did not have to pay for a bad decision for the rest of my life. I would make the same choice again. I didn’t have to go to Mexico like a high school friend did who nearly died.
I want the women in generations coming after me to have the same choice.
It’s personal; I believe health care should be freely available, that the poorest person with heart disease should be given the same care as a member of Congress. I just had to put a local dental clinic in a choke hold with the Americans with Disabilities Act to obtain the same level of care given to other disabled people, to fight a solitary and draining fight.
No one should have to fight for health and dental care. People in England don’t call each other socialists for having the government run health care.
So long, Womney Boo-Boo– it’s been a laugh riot. Thank you, President Clinton, for having Obama’s back. Thank you, Elizabeth Warren, for showing us what courage and convictions are. Thank you, Rachel Maddow, for teaching and mentoring me, although you don’t know it.
Thank you, women friends in my network which is so much more than a network. I would be all alone in the void if it weren’t for you.
I hope and pray that the House of Representatives will understand that the country has sent them a message:
Stop the obstructionism. Stop acting like children. Quit convening committees to investigate things you know nothing about, impeaching attorneys general and otherwise beating your breasts.
Act like men and women entrusted with solving the problems of your constituents.
If you don’t, at the mid-term elections I predict that we will speak again and send you packing.