Why I Like Barack Obama

From last night’s speech:

We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics who will only grow louder and more dissonant in the weeks to come. We’ve been asked to pause for a reality check. We’ve been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.

But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope. For when we have faced down impossible odds; when we’ve been told that we’re not ready, or that we shouldn’t try, or that we can’t, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people.

Yes we can.

It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation.

Yes we can.

It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom through the darkest of nights.

Yes we can.

It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness.

Yes we can.

It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the ballot; a President who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land. Yes we can to justice and equality. Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity. Yes we can heal this nation. Yes we can repair this world. Yes we can.

And so tomorrow, as we take this campaign South and West; as we learn that the struggles of the textile worker in Spartanburg are not so different than the plight of the dishwasher in Las Vegas; that the hopes of the little girl who goes to a crumbling school in Dillon are the same as the dreams of the boy who learns on the streets of LA; we will remember that there is something happening in America; that we are not as divided as our politics suggests; that we are one people; we are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in America’s story with three words that will ring from coast to coast; from sea to shining sea – Yes. We. Can.

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5 thoughts on “Why I Like Barack Obama

  1. Ask Obama about Police Brutality in Chicago and why he’s endoresed the Mayor who did nothing about it.

    vis Skeptical Brotha,

    On the Senate floor, Barack Obama opposed the Military Commissions Act because it gave short shrift to the rights of foreign terror suspects. He said, “…the fundamental human rights of the accused, should be bigger than politics. This is serious and this is somber…” If he really meant that, he would be defending those same rights here at home, not endorsing a man who repeatedly turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to the screams of scores of black men tortured by those sworn to protect and serve white supremacy in a south side Abu Ghraib.

    Don’t let Obama’s oratory full you about the Chicago Machine where Obama’s a well greased cog.

  2. I’m currently reading his book, The Audacity of Hope, and I’m impressed at how long he’s been using these same themes — acknowledging our history good and bad, celebrating the continual movement toward a more fair and just republic, ect. My impression is that Obama is one of those people who has the (seemingly) rare ability to combine strong and genuine values with the ability to compromise. He’s more interested in a free, passionate and reasoned debate about ideas than simply pushing a particular agenda.

  3. Chicago Arab American Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 4 March 2007,

    The last time I spoke to Obama was in the winter of 2004 at a gathering in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. He was in the midst of a primary campaign to secure the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate seat he now occupies. But at that time polls showed him trailing.

    As he came in from the cold and took off his coat, I went up to greet him. He responded warmly, and volunteered, “Hey, I’m sorry I haven’t said more about Palestine right now, but we are in a tough primary race. I’m hoping when things calm down I can be more up front.” He referred to my activism, including columns I was contributing to the The Chicago Tribune critical of Israeli and US policy, “Keep up the good work!”

    And Chicago anti war activist Carl Davidson, the fellow who organized the demo Obama gave the famous speech before opposing Iraq War, wrote Barack O’bomb ’em.

    I’m from Chicago, too, and known Obama from the time he came to the New
    Party to get our endorsement for his first race ever. I’ve been in his home,
    and as an IL legislator, he’s helped or community technology movement a
    number of times. He said all the right things to the ACORN and New Party
    folks, and we endorsed him, but I noticed too, that he seemed to measure
    every answer to questions put to him several tmes before coming out with it.
    [***]
    Giving the current crisis and developments in Congress, he may move back to our side on the war, and get as far as, say, Murtha’s position. But right now he’s not in the ‘Out Now’ camp, not as good as Murtha, and a triangulator par excellence. I’ve watched him do it up close. The press and his publicists put him in our camp, but if you look at his speeches and votes since his trip to Iraq, I think you’ll find he has a way to go. Our peace groups here are sending a bunch of us to visit him soon, and get on his case. Perhaps he’s still a work in progress, as Jesse Jackson says, but he still has a way to go to get back in my good graces, and those of many
    more of us here also.

    Obama’s a great writer and orator, but don’t forget his friends pegged him right too as the triangulator par excellence.

    I voted for him for Senator, but when I realized Tony Rezko had been grooming him for decades, I realized I had been snookered.

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