Sometimes (okay, more than sometimes) I find myself missing the energy that we had in 2008. Barack Obama was exciting. Not only was he the first African-American major party nominee for President, he was brilliant, handsome, charismatic and seemed like a genuinely nice guy. His candidacy was revolutionary and naturally, we expected that his presidency would be the same.
Some of us found ourselves blinded by our fantasies. He looked, sounded and acted like the anti-Bush. Our country was in the worst state that most of us have seen in our lifetimes. We desperately needed the anti-Bush to pull us out of the hole that had been dug by not just eight years of Bush/Cheney policies, but by 30 years of Reagan policies.
We didn’t listen very well, though. His words, while being many degrees from the extremes of his predecessor, were still pretty moderate. Despite what many in the Republican party tell us, our country isn’t yet post-racial enough to elect a truly radical African-American leader. In order for an African-American to achieve success in this country, at least outside of the entertainment industry, he still needs to conform to certain societal norms, long established by the White power structure.
While we did elect a new kind of President, we elected a very old kind of Congress. We did hold the majority in both houses of Congress for two years, but while Nancy Pelosi was rocking the House, the Senate was being held hostage by the tyranny of the minority due to the lack of a filibuster proof majority. And don’t forget the Supreme Court. In 2010, they gave corporations unprecedented power over our electoral system. Then, in 2010, came the Tea Party Congress.
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