I love the man, don't get me wrong. I am
proud of him and what he's accomplished so far in the face of huge odds,
Republican obstructionism, Tea Party attacks, and all kinds of fringe elements
dogging him. Heck, I like what he did with the Affordable Care Act and his
stellar thumping of Mitt Romney, Karl Rove et al in the 2012 Presidential
Elections. And I do think that he will
go down in history as a great president.
But underlying President Barack Obama's
excellent credentials, formidable political skills, and growing ability to triangulate,
is a creeping realization that he is prone, even susceptible, to bouts of political
cowardice. I don't like a trend that says that every time Republicans shout "bloody
murder" President Obama caves in and dutifully compromises in their favor. It
happened during his first term and it's happening now. Republicans who lost the
election are calling the shots by making the loudest noises, threatening the
most, and literally disrespecting the president.
My view? He's got to grow some cajones,
as his Latino community is saying these days.
And if anyone who has seen President
Obama in action these days doubts his kow-towing to the Republican loudmouth
chorus then think again. When the Benghazi incident happened the United Nations
Ambassador, Susan Rice, went before the world to offer the Obama Administration's
rationale and reasoning about how that tragic event happened. It was very days
into the event and the facts were not all in. Rice stated what she was told to
say. Nothing more.
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Yes, Ambassador Susan Rice. Not her
boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Not a senior Obama staffer like his
Chief of Staff. No, Black Susan Rice. The same Susan Rice that went after then
GOP candidate John McCain in 2008 when former
by CouponDropDown">Senator Barack Obama was running
for President of the United States. Now in the face of the most idiotic, petty,
asinine, infantile and racist attacks against an eminently qualified Black
woman to be Clinton's successor, President Obama, like Bill Clinton with Lani
Guennier, caved to the GOP attack chorus.
Small-minded and petulant like a
thumb-sucking spoiled brat McCain and company saw their opportunity to pay back
Rice for her chastising the GOP presidential standard-bearer in 2008. He never
forgot that. How dare this Black B***h speak to him like that? Now, when she could
not defend herself McCain pounced -- with vitriol and anger that made the Ku
Klux Klan smile with envy.
But it was the President that threw
Susan Rice under the bus. He could have called McCain and the Senate
Republicans' bluff. But he did not. So she graciously withdrew her name from
contention displaying in the process more grace and loyalty to the President
than he showed her. She refused to let these Old White septuagenarians in the
US Senate impugn her reputation and breeding. McCain and company, despite their
wealth and influence, came over as so many nit-picking, old and garrulous uber-peons
who, in my opinion, should simply resign and go home to pasture and wait for
the Grim Reaper.
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So how come a Black president who was
not willing to fight for a qualified, loyal
by CouponDropDown">public servant is suddenly willing
and spoiling for a fight when it comes to defending his pick of a white
REPUBLICAN (gasp!) for the position of Secretary of Defense? I don't want to
believe that in 2013 there are still the old, lingering effects of the "Black oppressor
syndrome" where long-oppressed Black BECOME very much like the very oppressor?
And if this was the first time that
happened then I would let it slide. Remember Shirley Sherrod? An Ultra-Right
zealot (now deceased) doctored a video tape claiming that this educated, smart
and loyal Black woman was a racist. In less than 24-hours, and without doing a
simple Google search that would have unearthed the truth about the tape, the
Obama Administration and the President himself threw her under the bus. He was
not even prepared to wait until all of the facts were in. In the end the Administration
was embarrassed when the truth came out but by that time Shirley Sherrod was
already tarred -- by her own race, party and president. What do Sherrod and Rice
have in common? They are both qualified, articulate and educated Black women.
But before them there was Van Jones a
bright, smart and educated environmentalist. Again, some very simple, unfounded
accusations that were regurgitated over and over on Fox 5 and by other GOP
talking heads forced President Obama to give him the boot. He bowed to the
Republican Loud Mouths and jettisoned Van Jones. Van Jones too is Black.
So how can President Obama, who won the 2012
presidential elections with a coalition of Blacks, Latinos, Asians and liberal
white women, now pack his top Cabinet positions with a bunch of white males? Many
of them who did not vote for him and harbor a secret contempt for a Black man
in the White House giving them orders? Is he so naïve as to believe that
because he won the presidency these guys are suddenly in love with him?
Here are the blunt facts:
matter what President Obama does Republicans will NEVER EVER be satisfied. That's
the same people who constantly send racist and offensive memos about him and
his family. There is a big trust deficit -- as big as the US Budget deficit --
between the President and Republicans in Congress, the Tea Party and white
males across the United States. Therefore his picks should reflect the
coalition that got him elected.
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should have fought for Susan Rice. Not doing so was an insult to women,
especially Black women, and demonstrated that when things get tough women
cannot count on him.
Republican in the White House in the last 25 years has EVER elevated a
Democratic to the top five positions in the government. But Obama seems ready
to break the record for a "let's get along" Democrat "reaching across the aisle"
to our "Republican brothers." That's the same people that think he's Muslim and
that he was not born in the United States. And, for the record? Mr. President,
they are not your brothers.
is about taking care of YOUR BASE and bringing into your administration loyal
people that you can trust. The Bush Administration demonstrated that clearly
and effectively. This inner-party discipline is something that Democrats need
to emulate and learn from. But I'm not holding my breath on this one.
MICHAEL DERK ROBERTS
Small Business Consultant, Editor, and Social Media & Communications Expert, New York
Over the past 20 years I've been a top SMALL BUSINESS CONSULTANT and POLITICAL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST in Brooklyn, New York, running (more...)