On Obama's first day in office (2009), I remember Mitch McConnell saying that the number one priority of the Republican Party was to make Obama a one-term President. That was their number one priority. Not repairing the crashing economy. Not stabilizing world affairs. And of course, nothing about the looming environmental crisis or fair treatment of every citizen. That sums up the repulsiveness of the relentless political right in just a few words.
It was constantly a rough road for our 44th President. I was disappointed that he couldn't break the stalemate with Congress that so characterized his two terms, but whose fault is that? There were plenty of great things that Obama accomplished, and perhaps first and foremost was that he listened. Listened to people who thought that pipelines would damage the environment, for one thing. Listened to the majority of the country, who were demanding equal opportunity for all (all genders, cultures, religions, sexual preferences), advancing past decades, even centuries, of prejudice. And he got 20 some million people to take advantage of the Affordable Health Care Act.
The Health Care Act was huge for my family--my wife had no health insurance before the measure was passed. I lost a decent job in 2010 and was soon paying those COBRA scammers well over $800 a month to keep our coverage intact, which sucked the life out of our savings because I wasn't working. We decided that I couldn't stop carrying insurance because of my diabetes. It took a few years, and was a huge sigh of relief for me --and I'm not talking about money here--when Gina qualified for health coverage.
I appreciate your caring, your grace, your intelligence and beautiful articulation, Mr. President. I loved it that you continue to be a true patron of the arts and I don't doubt that you'll continue to address the divisive issues of our time. I appreciate that you brought us Michelle, perhaps the most accomplished First Lady since Eleanor Roosevelt, and a jaw-dropping speaker. To my mind, you and your family are the epitomy of class. Thank you.
Later: Christmas Music Redux (when time permits)