Archive for July, 2017

In Praise of Barack Obama

July 28, 2017

“I am the B-A-R-A-C-K we are meant to be”

Fans of the Tony Award winning musical Hamilton will recognize the above lyric from the show’s “My Shot” in Act 1. I use it because just like Alexander Hamilton did over 200 years before, in 2008 Barack Hussein Obama took his shot when he ran for president. And like Hamilton, he didn’t waste his shot and ran on, among other things, a fervent promise to pass healthcare reform for all (I still believe it should have been called healthcare insurance reform but I digress). And with a sweeping mandate that gave Democrats control of the White House and both chambers of Congress, President Obama delivered on that promise when he signed the ACA into law on March 23, 2010 without a single Republican vote.

And early this morning, after over 50 fake repeal votes in the House, Supreme Court affirming decisions in June 2012 and June 2015 and a relentless and heartless attack by Republicans hell bent on stripping healthcare insurance from millions of Americans, including many of their own constituents, three brave GOP senators – Susan Collins of Maine, John McCain of Arizona and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska – joined all 48 Democratic senators in voting down the so-called skinny repeal of the ACA.

Barack Obama ran for and won election as POTUS twice, both times winning the popular AND Electoral College vote. He came into office on January 20, 2009 with the nation’s (and world’s) economy on the brink of an unprecedented global economic depression. His actions, along with Democrats in Congress, helped stabilize and save the auto, banking and housing industries. Over his two terms in office, the economy improved, unemployment went down drastically and because he kept his promise, millions more Americans have healthcare insurance today than they did eight years ago. And while Democrats lost their majorities in the House and Senate while Obama was president, they did so while ensuring more Americans would and will have access to healthcare for themselves and their families.

The fight is not over. We have someone in the Oval Office who’s as clueless about his job as can be imagined. Congress is controlled by Republicans fully determined to destroy the accomplishments and legacy of the Obama Administration. They are ruling with a combination of disdain and disregard for anything that doesn’t serve their corporate masters – the Koch brothers among them – and the 1% who already have more money than they will ever be able to spend. Their heartlessness, exemplified by Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan in the Senate and House respectively, continues unabated by last night’s defeat. They have no intention of working with their Democratic colleagues because they just don’t care about doing the right thing for ALL Americans.

But today is a day to celebrate and remember that we recently had a president with intelligence, political experience and the heart and courage to do the right thing for all Americans, regardless of party, race, color, sexual identity or if they voted for him or not.

Barack Obama took his shot and America is a better place today because he did.