I hope this won’t come across as too self-congratulatory (Just a little bit ;)), but i do think that we deserve a bit of a celebration.
It’s been exactly 3 months since I opened this place, certain it’s going to be me and couple of dozens people talking to ourselves. What happened since, is simply overwhelming. Right now, we’re just about to reach 1.5 million views and 1,500 members. In three months. I can’t even fathom the meaning of it.
So, to mark this moment, here’s a little video I made. I want to dedicate it to CR, founding of Pro President Obama blog. CR is a loyal, tough and incredibly humble supporter of the president, and she’s the one who gave me the push and encouragement to go on with this blog. Thank you, my girl.
I hope this video will speak to and for anyone here and out there, who is doing their best to provide this great president with a bridge over troubled water.
Let me share with you the newest comment, coming in today, from I’m Grateful:
Thank you for health care reform. Now I no longer lie awake at night worrying that my adult daughter, who graduated from college, but is unemployed (so far) had no health care coverage. Thanks to the new law, she is back on our plan as she had been until graduation. I can sleep easier. I am hopeful that your continued efforts on the economic front will also yield results in more job opportunities and she will be able to secure good employment before she turns 26. Keep fighting for us. Even though the news makes it sound like everyone is against you, I for 1 have been for you. It is such a relief to know that a grown-up, who makes measured decisions based on the facts, even when those decisions are not popular, is running the store again.
Overwhelmed. That’s how I felt looking at this Pete Souza photo from today, of the president being briefed by FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, about the preparations for the coming severe winter storm.
On the surface, there’s nothing unusual about it, but I could not stop staring at it. In my considerable long life, I’ve never seen anyone having to deal with so much responsibility, with crisis after crisis after crisis – having to carry the hopes of so many people, while facing the hate of so many others.
And yet, look at him. Look at the calmness, look at this little smile, look at the grace and the elegance. Once in a while, a simple photo – it’s always the simple photo – will do that to me – make me stop for a second, and say a little prayer for this man.
2. President Obama will host a reception for mayors at the White House in the morning and then travel to Schenectady, N.Y., to tour a General Electric factory. Joining him will be the company’s CEO, Jeffrey Immelt. The president’s announcement that Immelt will be the chairman of the new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness – is obviously some kind of selling out…someone…something.
In the evening the president will spend few hours with House Democrats at their annual retreat in Cambridge, Md. Members of Congress will have a chance to tell him to his face all the things they anonymously tell reporters. On second thought…
Wednesday’s vote to repeal President Obama’s health insurance reform law was supposed to be a crowning triumph. We heard confident GOP predictions that cowed Democrats would defect in droves, generating unstoppable momentum that forced the Senate to obey “the will of the people” and follow suit. The Democrats’ biggest domestic accomplishment would be in ruins and Obama’s political standing would be damaged, perhaps irreparably.
What actually happened, though, is that the Republican majority managed to win the votes of just three Democrats—all of them Blue Dogs who have been consistent opponents of the reform package anyway. In terms of actual defectors, meaning Democrats who changed sides on the issue, there were none. This is momentum?
It turns out that voters look forward to the day when no one can be denied insurance coverage because of pre-existing conditions. They like the fact that young adults, until they are 26, can be kept on their parents’ policies. They like not having yearly or lifetime limits on benefits. The GOP is going to have to design something that looks a lot like Obamacare.
Meanwhile, Obama’s approval ratings climb higher every week. Somebody change the subject. Quick!
6. Here’s president Obama’s beautiful, beautiful speech about the legacy of President John F. Kennedy on the 50th anniversary of his inauguration. Listen carefully to the subtle criticism of blind ideology. Give yourself 15 minutes and watch.
Finally, i want to share a new comment that I just approved this morning for I’m Grateful. This is from Barbara Yeo-Emde:
I just received “I’m grateful” from my sister and cried my eyes out. I am so ecstatic and relieved to find like-minded people. Almost all we ever get in the media are negative things. I don’t understand why President and First Lady Obama’s achievements are not more prominently reported. I’ve been trying to find a way to fight this trend. But I’m one person alone. How can we get more people to speak up?
2. Jon Stewart ripping the media like he knows. I really hope that he’ll go back to do that, and give PBO a break. Time for the “Liberal” media to recall who’s the good guy here, who is on our side, who is more or less our only hope – And who is on the OTHER side.
4. The payroll tax, important part of the tax deal compromise, kicked in, and the benefits are enormous:
$695: Average expected benefit per worker.
$110 Billion: Total tax relief expected to go to working Americans.
159 Million: Working Americans expected to receive larger paychecks this year than they would otherwise.
To get a sense of how this will affect individual working people, the Treasury Department also put together a few hypothetical examples:
$1,362: The amount a married couple living in Detroit, Michigan – an automotive mechanic earning $38,300 and a preschool teacher earning $29,800 – would receive from the payroll tax cut.
$1,050: The amount another married couple, say this one lives in Wilmington, Ohio, would get if one of them earns $28,000 as a delivery truck driver earning and the other earns $24,500 as a nursing aide.
$490: The amount a single mother in Florida working as a hairdresser earning $24,500 would get.
That money is already starting to show up in a lot of people’s paychecks just like them – not only can it help them make ends meet as the economy continues to recover, but as they spend it on things they need that will pump fuel directly into America’s larger economic engine.
I’m inclined to see that speech as a potential pivot in our politics and culture, but it’s obviously too soon to know. Today, I have been trying to find fault in it, and can’t.
And then he posted one email that he received from a reader:
But if you look at the speech as a whole, it’s truly remarkable what an illusion Obama pulled off. Even as I was listening to it, I was somewhat perturbed by Obama’s theme on “rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame”–a tacit rebuke of Democrats’ criticism of Sarah Palin, despite the fact that no Democrat of any consequence has actually assigned the blame on anyone but Loughner; if we cannot scream at the top of our lungs at someone who is, for whatever reason or intention, whatever effect or consequence, indicating that people be “targeted” by the masquerade of a gun-sight, then what sort of healing can be expected when the eliminative harm-mongers can scream at the heal-mongers all they want?
Yet as Obama’s speech unfolded, realize what he did: he led, by example. His speech was about community, brotherhood, love, understanding, listening, caring, healing, and yes, hope–all the things that are anathema to the world-view the Palinites are trying to espouse. Obama effectively took the rug out from under them, baring to the American people the soul of this Stalin, this Hitler, this death-panelist, and showing us that he is none of those things. You want to call Barack Obama Hitler? Then show me Hitler’s Tucson.
So while Obama’s words were more condemning of the Democratic discourse of the past few days, the speech itself was a ringing rebuke of all the Republican delusions, the delusions that the Democratic government is evil, that it’s full of Manchurian candidates and sleeper agents and gran’ma-smotherers, that it’s on the verge of turning America into the Union of the Third Reich of Kenyanistan. In one fell swoop, Obama pulled his entire party away from the brink of confrontation with a weaponized political lunacy and stood, alone on a stage, staring all the hordes down, like Wyatt Earp at the OK Corral, daring them to draw their guns and aim their sights and try to take him down, that no cross-hair or brandished gun can stop the power of love and hope, that no bullet can defeat the strength of the human spirit to open its eyes, and that there is no hate that cannot be washed away by rainpuddles.
6. I read this comment by a poster named David Zephyr somewhere on the net, and I’m going to just copy it for your pleasure:
President Barack Obama clearly found his footing in 2010 after a rough start. The hell-fire of two wars, staggering unemployment, a housing crisis unparalleled since the 1930’s and the collapse of Western capitalism that greeted him upon inauguration tested this man and his leadership skills — all simultaneously — in ways that no President since Franklin Roosevelt experienced.
I do know a thing or two about the American People and I can confidently tell you this: For two years now, Americans have watched and studied this remarkable young President, his First Lady and his two children as our First Family and I can tell without hesitation, and they are warming to President Barack Obama.
His quiet, deliberative manner proved that “No Drama Obama” was more than just a campaign slogan. It’s really how the man is engineered and wired. And that “nice side” that so many of us on the Left sometimes are prone to consider as weakness, well, that really is how he is. President Obama is a gentleman…and there’s nothing weak about him at all.
Our last President apparently believed that showing strength was more important than demonstrating strength. Our country had to endure eight very long years of the former President’s non-stop bellicose talk, fear-mongering, and conceited swaggering posture. It was the only card in his deck. Someone forgot to tell George W. Bush that although Ronald Reagan — who Bush clearly attempted to imitate — really did live on an actual ranch (not a former pig farm) and that he rode real horses, and unlike Bush, could actually be a gentleman and a statesman at times. Thankfully, the quarter’s worth of time on George’s pony ride in front of the supermarket finally expired and someone took his little rifle away from him.
I can’t help but feel nothing less than relief to know that a dangerous fool was replaced by a grownup man, who does more than he talks about doing. He accomplishes, sometimes slowly, what others have only pretended to or have only promised to do.
President Obama has overseen the creation of more jobs already than those created during the Bush Administration. That “bikini curve” is simply staggering to look at, and yet, the President is keenly aware that there’s a lot more to be done. But, for pete’s sake, let’s give this man some credit. It’s bad enough that Republicans will never give this man one word of credit, but it’s even worse when many of us on the Left (I point my finger at myself first) can not or will not give him credit either.
As a gay man, let me say just this: this President has done more for my persecuted community than any living President in American history. And, of course, he didn’t do it alone, but he did keep his word in ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He signed a federal bill including my community into the national hate crimes law. He’s delivered. He’s earned my respect and my gratitude.
As a life-long Democrat and activist, I will tell you that I was disappointed on many levels with the President during his first year, but that’s ancient history to me because I see the makings of a historic, and yes, transformative President in Barack Obama. He’s beginning to deliver the goods, he’s keeping his promises, and he’s putting this country back on the right track again.
There will be no credible political challenge to this President from the Democratic Party in 2012, and anyone that the Republicans choose to nominate will not have a prayer of defeating this good man that resides at the White House. And moreover, Obama will have coat tails in 2012 and we might just wind up with control of the House of Representatives again. Why? Because the American People know a good thing when they see it. And they are figuring out that we actually do have a very good thing with Barack Obama in the White House. A very good thing indeed.
Forget the noise and the nonsense, this is the real thing: Real people and real lives improved, and even saved, because of president Obama’s policies – Health Care Reform is just one of them. That’s what matters. The rest is just white noise, disgusting politicians, la-la-land blogosphere and corrupted media.
This is only the appetizer. This post will be stuck here for a long time.
I have to share this new comment from I’m Grateful. I’m just a little bit teary now.
Dear Mr. President:
I think I have read through all the “letters” up to this point, and if I am not mistaken, no one has mentioned, Mr. President, that you are neither Black nor White – you are both Black and White!
I believe with all my heart, that THIS is what has made you the perfect president for this country! Not only were you born of White and Black parents, but of parents from different countries. Then, you were raised by the White mother and grandparents, in a part of this world (Hawaii) sprinkled with many different races. What a wonderful childhood to prepare you to lead this country of every known race!
I read your book, “The Audacity of Hope” before you had even run for president, but I knew immediately that you MUST be the next president of these United States! So, for every person of the Black race who brags about you, Mr. President, I (very White) must also brag about you for our race. I am not only proud of you, Mr. President, but also of our First Lady and your lovely daughters.
Unfortunately, now approaching my 77th year, I can not do the amount of work I would like to help you to get elected to a second term. All I can offer is my mouth and my written words.
When this post was first published back on Thanksgiving, it was a modest tribute to the work of President Obama up to that point. Since then, not only that more was done – This little post went a little viral. Weeks later, I still moderate comments. Some of them extremely moving, some of them from people who are not even Americans – most of them beautiful. (Dozens, even hundreds of those comments are under specific photos, just click on the pictures of the president in the post itself).
Therefore, I’ve decided to stick this post, and will continue to update it. First update right behind the cut. Enjoy.