Thursday, January 7, 2010

Have We Overcome?

On tonight's Daily Show, Jon Stewart shared a video montage of then-Presidential candidate, now President, Barack Obama committing again and again to transparent governing, but not just that. Specifically, Obama Administration goings-on would be broadcast for all to see on "C-Span", he said. So--(and I still struggle with this, although clarity is no more than a thoughtful comment or Wikipedia link away) isn't it ironic (or something) that President Obama is most decidedly NOT on C-Span in spite of Mr. Lamb's bleating--I mean, pleading?

Brian Lamb's plea for C-Span coverage of the health care debate seems to have, as yet, fallen on distracted Obama Administration ears...Some guy had a bomb in his underwear on a plane and there but for the grace of God and subsequent human heroics, went a whole planeful of civilians. (Again.) Health care grandstanding and name-calling took a back seat for a minute.

NOTE: At the time of this posting, the media has just begun to whip up the expected maelstrom around Obama's unfulfilled campaign promises. By the time you're reading it, there's likely to have been enough of a media backlash, that the President will have "relented", in some way, to appearing transparently on C-Span. Politics.

Actually, though, despite Mr. Lamb's and others protestations, it'd be more disappointing than surprising if Obama doesn't demur; policy negotiations are not within the President's purview to authorize for broadcast via C-Span or elsewhere, right? That's Congress' business; the Legislative, not the Executive Branch. Presumably, all the votes and speeches made on 'the Floor' of the Capitol will be televised, per usual. All the hand-wringing, palm-greasing, arm-wrangling, pocket-padding, dealmaking that goes on 'in Chambers', is off the record, one would think--unless or until Pelosi and Reid, head honchos of the House and Senate respectively, not President Obama, state otherwise.

Seems like a reasonable enough argument. Separation of powers and whatnot. Civics.

If the legal-eyed President does not make that or a similar argument, we're left to...surmise and accept that... WHAT?? GO FIGURE! Say it isn't so. Barack Obama's a regular politician, human even, making promises he hasn't kept or can't more often than he'd care for us to remember, perhaps.
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Here's the thing though: Barack Obama's political rise was swift and sleek; unprecedented, period. So swift that it was extraordinary regardless of his perceptible Blackness, while also more extraordinary because of his Blackness.

A Black Man is President of the United States of America. He can be as much of a source of consternation as any of the other Presidents of the United States has been. The President has detractors, and not just those who reflexively discard him because of his heritage; some detractors were formerly supporters! Isn't this what Dr. King meant about being judged by the content of one's character, rather than the color of one's skin?



Now that Barack Obama's President, black people can finally just be Everyman, as full of high hopes and shortcomings as the next guy! No more "working twice as hard to be perceived as half as good". If the White House Executive Residence ain't a "DEEE LUXE apartment", I don't know what is.

President Obama can be as mediocre or competent, as embarrassing or exemplary, as sincere or self-serving; as honorable, or heaven forfend, as dimwitted, as any other President has been, right? Critical observations of Barack Obama's performance as President, assessed against the standards and expectations he set and asserted, have got nothing to do with race; it's all metrics.

Isn't it pretty to think so?

Speaking of observations, Monica Crowley's observation, though critical in a sense, is a whole nother story. Crowley, the arguably hot blonde (in-a-literal-not-figurative-sense) rightwing commenter, dropped an F bomb in a soundbite recently, calling President Obama's response to the underwear bomber's recently foiled plans 'flaccid.' This conjures the most racially-charged stereotype about black men, ever.

I'll wait for a Daily Show montage as evidence, but I'm guessing there's footage galore of former Presidents being called...tepid...anemic... pneumatic, maybe; but flaccid?!

What is it with these Monicas?

1 comment:

Jolly Roger said...

Them illiterate teabaggers (who can't even spell the %$^%^ racial epithets on their signs) are convinced that ACORN stole the election for that "Kenyan." Why, there's no way UHMUHRICUNS woulda voted one of "them" into the Presidency!

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