When you gonna criticize your hero, Tim? Been gettin a lot of that. There’s plenty to criticize, but one big one stands out for me.
Much is made of Barack Obama’s many trips to Ohio. They had no appreciable impact on voter turnout in African American precincts, who voted over 90% Democratic.
I could be wrong, so please correct me if I am, but Barack Obama never went to a black church in Ohio during this cycle. In fact, the rally in Cleveland on Sunday was not at a church, but in the CSU arena, which ODP could not, or would not fill (depending on who’s spinning you). If you are the first black president of the United States, you’re a Democrat, and you hold a rally the Sunday before the mid-term election in Ohio, call me crazy, I think you have to start your day in a black church in Cleveland.
We are all quite aware of the pitfalls Barack Obama faces as our first black president. He is also likely to be the only black president of the United States, for the foreseeable future, maybe forever. That’s a lot of pressure. He is being psychoanalyzed at his every turn, by people waiting for him to cross some imaginary line between elitist non-white to angry black man. Barack Obama seems to be governing with an eye toward what a history book will say about his blackness 100 years from now, which explains the endless attempts at bi-partisanship with a Republican Party hell bent on destroying him.
That has to change. It is stifling Barack Obama’s ability to advocate for his beliefs, and elect Democrats. For example, “don’t ask don’t tell”. I’ve been willing, quite vocally so, to give Barack more breathing room on this than most in the LGBT community. Well, the time is up. If something doesn’t get passed repealing DADT in this lame duck session, it won’t get passed. This fear of looking anything less than a transformational post-partisan non-boat-rocker is killing our base. And it’s not getting policy passed. It has to stop.
We all know the Rovian expression, attack your opponent’s greatest strength. That’s what the teabaggers have been doing since the first email smear went out in 2007, right up to today. Republicans know that Barack Obama’s identity, his diversity, is responsible for his presidency far more than he is reasonably willing to admit, and they want to make him afraid to tap that. They’ve succeeded, and Barack alone can reverse this.
By quite visibly going about not being a black man, at least on the Sunday before an election in Cleveland, Ohio, Barack Obama is handcuffing his ability to approach the 98% Democrat, 10% TURNOUT voting bloc that will never abandon him – African American voters. There’s a lot of ways that Barack Obama helped create the Ohio result in 2010, but to me, that’s the most damaging.
Barack needs to black it up a bit. Teabaggers be damned. They can’t hate you any more than they already do, Barack.