Obama – A Divider or A Uniter?*

“…this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal…this was the time when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves and our highest ideals.”  – Senator Barack H. Obama (June 2008 rally in St. Paul, MN)

Barack Obama was supposed to usher in a post-racial, color-blind Administration under which everyone would prosper.  He assured us that he is a different kind of politician.  Obama said that he would lead us beyond the petty politics of Washington  D.C. to get things done for all the American people.  How is he doing so far?

The first person to get thrown under the bus was Reverend Jeremiah Wright.   You remember him of “God Damn America” fame.  Obama no longer needed Wright to pave the way for him in South Chicago.  Inflammatory remarks surfaced and Obama couldn’t resign from the Trinity United Church of Christ fast enough.  The “elderly uncle” Obama could not disown was, yes, disowned.

Grandma was next. ‘Speechifying’ about the Reverend Wright controversy, Obama pushed Grandma under the bus.  He told a tale of Grandma crossing the street when she saw scary black men walking toward her.  Obama was planning his post-racial Administration.  He just had not gotten there yet.

Obama ham-handily waded onto the Professor Gates confrontation with the Cambridge (MA) police. The police “acted stupidly” according to Obama.  Unfortunately for POTUS, the only thing he knew about the situation initially was that a black man was arrested in his own home by a white police officer.  This farce ended with the beer summit at the White House.  Obama declared this fiasco a teachable moment.

Another racial flare up on Obama’s watch was the firing of Shirley Sherrod.  The NAACP teed this one up for POTUS by adopting a resolution condemning the racist elements in the Tea Party movement.  This was somewhat akin to asking the Tea Party members when they stopped beating their wives.  Breitbart offered a $100,000 reward for pictures of racist Tea Party signs or video/eye-witness proof of the alleged spitting incidents on the Capital steps. There were no takers.  Breitbart started the Sherrod controversy by posting an edited video of Sherrod speaking to the NAACP about initially withholding USDA assistance from a white farmer in 1986.   The Obama Agriculture Department demanded Sherrod’s resignation before the video ran on Fox News.    Sherrod tied the Administration and the USDA up in knots as they scrambled to undo her wrongful termination.  This was declared another teachable moment.

The firing of Van Jones, the alleged pay-to-play scandal surrounding Blago and Valerie Jarrett, the dismissal of the Black Panther voter intimidation case, and the stupid Muslim outreach comments by NASA Administrator Charles Bolton are additional examples of controversies involving people of color and the Obama White House. Obama’s is hardly a post-racial Administration.  Hyper-racial seems a more apt description.

An apolitical loner shoots and kills several people and wounds Gabrielle Giffords, Democrat congresswoman – Arizona. Obama rushes to Tucson
to give his “I have a theme” speech calling for more civility in public
discourse.  Talking heads and Democrat spokespersons condemn the Tea Party as hate mongers before learning that the shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, could not spell Tea Party.  We are all still waiting for the apology.  I’m sure it is in the mail.

Falling poll numbers and the sinking economy have driven the Democrats to near desperation.  Maxine Waters, the ethics challenged Democrat congresswoman from California, recently told a Town Hall meeting that “the Tea Party can go to hell.” Another Democrat congressman, Andre Carson of Indiana, has said that the Tea Party would like to see black people “hanging on a tree.”
Waters and Carson are members of the Congressional Black Caucus which
condemns all forms of racism….except its own.  Obama has yet to comment on either of these reprehensible outbursts.

Not to be outdone, Jimmy Hoffa, Jr., president of the Teamsters union, has declared war on the Tea Party stating that “we are going to take these sons-of-bitches out.” Where was Obama?  He was just off stage.  Hoffa was introducing the POTUS when he made this threat.  Obama has yet to condemn Hoffa’s remarks.  In fact, Obama praised Hoffa as part of his prepared remarks in Detroit on Labor Day.

Think back to the Bush years and list the racial incidents that occurred during Bush’s eight years in office.  Give up?  The infamous James Byrd ad was run by the NAACP.  Both Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice were smeared by left wing critics repeatedly. Fortunately for Gen. Powell, he endorsed candidate Obama and regained his standing with the left wing press and the left wing establishment.  It is noteworthy that Powell recently said that Obama has been a disappointment as POTUS.

Perhaps it was inevitable that racial issues would surface with a bi-racial President in the White House. However, one has to wonder whose interests are served by viewing so many issues through the prism of race.  Could it be that the Democrats need to stir up the block of voters that tend to support them at a rate of 90% or so every election cycle?  Could it be that the President sees his approval ratings eroding by the day and needs a non-policy rationale to explain the erosion?  Anytime a politician says lets look forward not backward he means what I’ve done so far is not working.

Rhetorical questions aside, it is clear that the best way to achieve a color blind society is to govern with an eye to doing what is best for the Country as a whole.  Democrats bemoan the idea of trickle down economics.  Republicans wail about the welfare state.   We are where we are.   The Country seems more divided along racial and party lines than it has been in decades.  The status quo is unacceptable to all of us.  The enemy is the situation we find ourselves in, not each other.

Let’s hope Obama grows into the man he claimed to be when he declared his run for the Presidency.  He has shown few signs of doing this so far.  Obama seems determined to double down on his failed policies like green energy investments and infrastructure projects intended as sops to his union buddies.  It is doubtful.  This would require an admission of fallibility, something Obama is unlikely to accept.

The electorate bought a pig in a poke in 2008, a snake oil salesman in an expensive suit with a fancy teleprompter.  Obama must run on policies he has pushed through Congress and the executive orders he has used to circumvent
Congress.  He must run as his approval numbers are dropping like a stone.  Obama must win back support of groups he has worked hard to alienate with his
interest group brand of policy making.

Obama needs a miracle to get reelected.  The Republicans could nominate another in a long line of old white men like Dole or McCain.  This will not happen.  The economy might turn around.  Obama would be quick
to take credit like Bill Clinton did.  We have Harry Reid to thank for ensuring this does not happen.  We could come together as a nation and do the right things.  Obama will see that this does not happen.  Obama is a divider, not
a uniter.

*Many thanks to a guest contributor.

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