A Helleva of a Choice (but I’ma Have to Support My President)

obama thinkingWith two weeks left in the national campaign season and the political balance of Congress on the line, voters are going to have to make some gut-wrenching, nose-holding choices this November. Including myself. Now that President Obama is out on the campaign trail, and the issues become more clear as the spotlight is put more on him than on partisan commercial ads, we can be assured that gridlock will be returning to Washington if the Republicans takeover the House.

Not only will we see a formulated attempt to repeal health care reform, but we will see a radicalization of Republican ideology controlled by the extreme right that will seek to implement a radical policy platform similar to that of the 1990s. We can’t possibly let history repeat itself. I’m not a Democrat, nor am I a Republican so I don’t have a “party stake” in this election. But, as an Obama Independent, I do have a stake in helping the administration carry out the change we voted for two years ago. That means I’m taking my cues from the President. As ugly as it is out there for some Democrats, one in particular-in California-y’all know who I’m talking about, I’m going to have to trust the President on this election.

The political realities are what they are. Keep the Democratic majority or prepare for two years of stonewalling going into the election of 2012, where they (the Republicans) will try to paint the word “failure” on President Obama’s first term. Never mind that they did nothing to help him get the country out of this economic ditch their party got us in. The economy buried us deeper than the coal miners in Chile, and President Obama has led an economic rescue that was just as improbable and painstaking.

If only the Republicans had the patience of the 33 coal miners, we’d be celebrating the economy’s recovery this season. However, to give Obama and the Democrats credit for economic recovery would not serve the political interests of the Republican Party nor their takeover ambitions. So, they continue to ignore results, juxtapose results with projections, play “he said-she said” and do everything to impede the progress.

If America was a drowning victim, the Republicans would be arrested for interfering with a lifesaving rescue. The partisan media, and the mainstream media followed suit, highlighting voter dissatisfaction because the change has taken longer than expected. But let’s be truthful…Who (in their right mind) expected us to have a total economic recovery in less than two years? Okay, in my crystal ball, I see two hands out there…but the rest of us were hopefully realistic in our cautious optimism about change.

It was foolish to expect an economy in freefall to be reversed in such a short time.  This economy was the worst since the Great Depression (even though they refused to call it what it was [is]), and the Great Depression lasted ten years. It took President Franklin Delano Roosevelt THREE of his four elected terms to turn the economy around. It’s insane to believe President Obama can turn around a much larger economy with a nation twice the size of Roosevelt’s in a fifth of the time.

But the partisan pundits and the radical fringe, in this instance—the Tea Party, confuse the public by making them think what we all know is impossible is remotely possible. That’s the sum total of this political landscape—unreasonable expectations by unreasonable people.

So, why should we, the public, buy into unreasonableness? And I almost bought into it. I am so disappointed in my U.S. Senator I don’t know what to do. California Senator, Barbara Boxer, is a poor representation of a Senator. I’m sure you’ve been following my eight-month rant against her. I DID NOT VOTE for her in this year’s primary. She has not served my community nor my community’s interest in the 18 years she’s been Senator. We’ve seen her less than five times. In 18 years…I almost hosted her Republican opponent, Carly Fiorina, (operative term here is ALMOST) at my Urban Issues Breakfast Forum. Not because I’m all that impressed with her, but because I’m tired of my community being ignored by Barbara Boxer. But then I heard House Majority Whip, James Clyburn, who I did host at the Urban Issues Forum. And then I listened to my President, who is back in L.A. this week to help Democrats hold on in Congress.

Now is not the time to make a statement on Boxer. We’d actually hurt the President more than we’d be hurting Boxer. So, I’ma have to hold my nose…Yeah, I know. It stinks, doesn’t it? But we’ll all have to hold our noses when we go to the polls in California. I’m sure many communities have similar stinky choices they have to make in other states. But that’s politics…it stinks until it works. Right now, we need it to work.

Anthony SamadThat brings us to the tough choices we have to make this November. The Republicans haven’t shown they deserve a chance to run Congress on a warmed over soup called “Pledge to America.” All it represents is a made over 1994 Contract with America platform to impede and obstruct any change in Washington. We cannot, in good conscience, participate in sending ideological obstructionists to Congress. That’s the only thing I feel will save Barbara Boxer, and the likes of Barbara Boxer in all the other states.

We cannot afford a repeat of the 1994 Contract with America. Yeah, I know. It stinks, but hold your nose and help our President complete the non-violent political revolution we started in this country to change the face and tenor of American politics.

Anthony Asadullah Samad

Published by the LA Progressive on October 23, 2010
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About Anthony Asadullah Samad

Dr. Anthony Asadullah Samad is an author, scholar and the co-founder, Managing Director and host of the Urban Issues Forum. Dr. Samad's most recent book is entitled "Saving The Race: Empowerment Through Wisdom". His national column can be read in newspapers and cyber-sites nationwide. His weekly writings can be read at www.blackcommentator.com. For more information about Dr. Samad, go to www.AnthonySamad.com.