Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston





Friday, July 30, 2010


I'll be doing light posting over the next few days since I'm moving to a new apartment on Monday and don't know when Comcast will come to install my internet connection. 

I read Andrew Sullivan's blog almost every day, and he has another post with a reasoned and thoughtful perspective on the progress President Obama has made--against what I deem is spiteful resistance by the opposition party, while at the same time sustaining racial and religious insults and questions on his very citizenship.

Fortunately, history will shame those who seek to defame him and his family, and Mr. Obama will be just fine.  No one denies that passionate criticism is part of the American political culture, but the mud slinging and calumny--the nuttiness  is breath-taking.  The Iowa GOP, for example, wants to rewrite the 13th Amendment to what was rejected by the states in 1812 so that Mr. Obama will have his citizenship stripped from him for having accepted the Nobel Peace Prize.  That's just one example of the galloping insanity that has gripped the GOP--but never mind those loons.  Here are Sullivan's thoughts on what this remarkable man has accomplished so far.

Andrew Sullivan:

"I was never one who believed that Barack Obama could - in a mere two years - repair the enormous damage of decades of unfunded entitlement and defense spending, two disastrously conceived, off-budget and negligently prosecuted wars, a financial market collapse, the worst recession since the 1930s, two burst bubbles in tech and housing, and the importation of torture into the American way of war. Maybe I over-estimated how much the GOP might learn from their appalling record in the new millennium - but that would require an admission of failure that they seem incapable of.

Nonetheless, the sheer difficulties and resistance that Obama has met with - from the FNC propaganda channel to the balls-free liberal press to the utopian activist left and deranged radical right - is remarkable. But, as P.M. Carpenter notes, this is not an inherently bad thing. We need opposition - if a more intelligent and less cynical opposition than we now confront. And no real change has come to America without slowness and resistance and division - as its constitution requires. The filibuster has become, it seems to me, a promiscuously wielded impediment, but in real context, the huge shift Obama has already achieved is quite remarkable:"

"I direct your attention to American history, from early 19th-century social reforms to the decades-long battle for emancipation to the century's later political-bureaucratic reforms to TR and Wilson's Progressive Era to FDR's New Dealism and to the Great(er) Society envisioned by LBJ. Each level of sociopolitical progress was grinding and grueling and packed with half-measures -- because remember, the other side gets its say, too; plus the other side, notwithstanding our oft-proper ridicule, is not always without its own version of idealism, possessed just as passionately.
And now, Barack Obama's correction of a dreadful, 30-year pseudoconservative misadventure. Step by step. Piece by piece. Half-measures by half-measures, which in time will become 60-percent measures, then 80-percent measures ...
That, quite simply, is the way it is. Indeed, that's the way it's supposed to be. If genuine conservative genius there ever was, it came in the Founders' Burkean inspiration that true and lasting progress must pass the tests of peaceful struggle and tireless debate. Achieving a national consensus is hard, but it's necessary to progress' durability; vast and overanxious progress in a consensual void only insures its unraveling."

The rest is here...


Anonymous said...

Great post. He's handled himself well considering all that he's up against.

tnlib said...

Well said with sound reasoning. I like these lines the best:

Sullivan wrote:
"If you backed Obama and want to see real change continue, now is not the time to give up because it's not as easy as you thought it would be. Now is the time to oppose the passionate intensity of his opponents with the reasoned conviction that elected him."

Krugman wrote:
"Mr. Obama may not be the politician of our dreams, but his enemies are definitely the stuff of our nightmares."

And they should be the main target of our criticism, not the President.

Good article, Shaw. Sorry you're moving. Ugh.

Shaw Kenawe said...


In our family, when we want to wish something nasty to someone who's done us wrong, we say "I hope you move!"

(A friend of mine who's a restauranteur says "I hope you open a restaurant!"


K. said...

I'm not a long-time Andrew Sullivan fan, but here he provides some badly needed perspective. I'm disappointed in the naivete displayed by much of the progressive media and blogosphere. When a nonentity like Scott Brown can hold up modest financial reform over a minor point, what chance does legislation to break up the banks have? These libs should get behind Obama instead of becoming stealth weapons for the teabaggers.

But mark my words: When the Dems take a hit in November, Rolling Stone and Mother Jones and The Nation will blame it on them and Obama not being progressive enough.

Sue said...

I've come to the conclusion the righties have gone so far off the edge of reality because their jealousy of our half black democratic president has infuriated them to the brink of insanity! They can not comprehend the fact Barack Obama has started to turn around the hideous 8 years of Bush reign that crippled our country, but he has and he will continue til the job is done.

K, I don't agree, I believe the voters will come around and see the truth about the dems, how they are working hard for the people, and they will hold the majority.

Shaw I peeked at Joe Joe(it makes me ill to even type his idiot name)from your sidebar and I don't know how you go there and discuss any of his sickening hateful posts. The man claims to be a Christian??? He is the devil...

dmarks said...

Darwin did write of gradual change. But isn't the current thinking on evolutionary science involving quick rapid change?

TRUTH 101 said...

That sucks you're moving Shaw. I always figured one day I'd be in Boston and say hi while looking at the cool stuff near where you lived.

I would of course call first. If someone from halfway across the USA just knocked on my door and said I love your blog, feed me dinner, I'd think that was weird.