Americans anxiously leaned towards their televisions Tuesday night some wearily and others warily awaiting the conclusion of the twenty-four month political brawl. As the numbers began dialing in, people began to perform the arithmetic. Obama in the White House, the democrats barely tipping the Senate scale of power lower, and republicans remaining the dominant party of the House; a split decision victory for the champion. Local elections may have yielded more noteworthy outcomes. Elizabeth Warren‘s election to the Senate, Colorado and Washington’s legalization of marijuana, Even Longmont’s ban on hydraulic fracturing all will act as progressive-test-tube-experiments for the nation to eye.
“Why do you like Obama? Just tell me, what has he done?” A coworker asked me that day. He spearheaded the auto industry bailout, appointed the first Hispanic woman to the Supreme Court, wrote the Affordable Care Act, granted NATO support for Libyan opposition, led the repeal of don’t ask don’t tell, reduced troops in Iraq, stopped by my hometown three times, quit smoking, and most importantly, he did not start a war with Iran.
No Franklin Roosevelt
However, the President has also continued to permit risky oil drilling, not done enough to lasso the bucking financial industry, seemingly given up on closing the Guantánamo Bay detention facility, signed a suspect NDAA (Wendy Gittleson, Addictinginfo.org), and his Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta has used a predator drone to execute American citizens overseas without trial (Charlie Savage, NY Times). All of which raise eyebrows and questions. The people are on his side. We want him to do well and to do civilly right by us. We don’t need excuses. We know that it’s hard, that the republicans have been like children unwilling to play with him. We know that there are two other branches of government sharing the controls and thousands of lobbyists pressuring and bribing their grubby little way into every politician’s heart and mind. The election proves that some of us still have hope. Hope for him and hope that our clunker of political system can adapt to still provide a government for the people, by the people, and of the people.
So, ladies and gentlemen the electoral college presents: Barack “el presidente” Obama vs the Tealephants: Round II