Monday, July 21, 2014

Once again, you're bugging me, Bud

I like Barack Obama. I respect Barack Obama. I'm proud of being from the state that gave the rest of you Barack Obama (and that feisty Southside girl, Michelle).

But Barack Obama works for us. And, just as I had a performance review last week, I want to have a sitdown with my President and tell him that when it comes to the Border Crisis, I'm rating him, "Needs Improvement."

This is exactly how I felt during the BP Oil Spill. Just as George W. Bush needed to go to New Orleans after Katrina to show he cared, Barack Obama needs to go to the border. He has to set an example for the rest of us, and show the rest of the world, that the United States of America treats children with compassion. Pope Francis spoke out all the way from the Vatican. Barack Obama needs to do that much and more.

Because he is the responsible, elected officer of this goverment.

Don't tell me he doesn't "do theater." Bullshit. He always has. Whoever is reading this has not been to Springfield, IL, as many times as I have. Barack Obama announced his candidacy, and then introduced Joe Biden as his running mate, in an area where he never spent much time, and that's not especially photogenic or especially accommodating for 21th century media -- because it's preserved as it was when Abraham Lincoln walked there.

He appeared "between two ferms" to promote his namesake legislation.

Instead of going to the border, he was played pool with Hickenlooper and his staff sent out social media #thebearisloose missives aimed at showing us he's a regular guy, just like us. Rather than showing me you like beer, Mr. President, I'd prefer you show you're just like me by showing me you ache for those refugee kids and denounce the xenophobia on display.

I don't think I agree with the Administration on drones. I don't think I accept that Gitmo is still operating as it did when he took office. But I also know there's much about these situations I don't understand.

This I get. And I don't like it.

My President is my leader. So lead.

Joe Klein, hardly a Foxhole, wrote an effecting op ed in the July 17 issue of Time. He compared Obama 2014 with the Kennedy I grew up on, the Kennedy I actually remember, Bobby. In 1968 -- Bobby's all-too-brief shining moment -- the nation was aching, too. Civil rights and Vietnam, anyone? But Bobby didn't avoid speaking to our better angels, he "went there." He dove in. In Klein's words:

Kennedy never gave the impression that politics was distasteful, beneath him, as Obama too frequently does. Kennedy was all about passion; Obama seems all about decorum.

Barack Obama can do that. Unlike Bobby Kennedy, he's not an inherently shy man. Unlike Bobby Kennedy, he's not saddled with a thin, nasal voice. Unlike Bobby Kennedy, who relied on poetry, Barack Obama has the gift of original, soaring rhetoric. Unlike Bobby Kennedy, ambition for the nation's highest office came naturally to Barack Obama.

Well, Mr. Obama, now you're our President. Inspire me. Soothe me. Show me your heart. Here's an example. A man forcing his audience to question "what kind of nation we are." The piece of paper he's playing with? A campaign speech that was never delivered. Instead, he spoke from his heart.



We need leadership from you, Mr. President. Go to the Border. Give us greatness.





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