Friday, June 26, 2015

Lame Duck

American politics has many problems. Unrestricted money flowing gives the one percenters outsized influence. Gerrymandered districts serve to disenfranchise minority groups. Voter apathy allows incumbents nearly guaranteed victories.

One particularly galling problem is how politicians of all parties spend all their time pandering to various constituencies. They will say anything, promise anything, do anything to get elected and retain office.

President Obama is in the second half of his second and last term, a lame duck. He can not stand for re-election, and therefore, he has no need to self edit what he says. He does not have to do what politicians must do in the American system and pander to every group as a matter of course.

Today, Obama gave a eulogy for one of the victims of the recent Charleston mass murder. The speech he made was from the heart, and full of grace and hope. It was a memorable speech that electrified all that attended or watched. It was a dynamic speech that revealed the true Barack Obama, a thoughtful and empathetic leader with an exacting take on the situation and issues at hand.

It makes one wonder what this country might have achieved were it not for the racist obstruction of the radical conservatives that have taken hold of the Republican party. Instead of tackling the great issues of the day, Obama's opponents in Congress have spent the last six and a half years freezing all government functions and failing miserably at their only job, to govern.

In spite of this unrelenting opposition, Obama has an impressive record of achievement. Passing the Affordable Care Act and surviving multiple challenges to it in the Supreme Court, drawing down troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, avoiding war in Syria and Libya, bringing Osama bin-Ladin to justice, just to name a few.

Now as a lame duck, the political shackles are off, and Obama is free to shine. There's not much time left, and his political opponents will give no quarter, yet it's hard not to have confidence in the man that is Barack Obama. History will look kindly upon the Obama administration, and I expect his stature will grow even larger as the years pass.


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