Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Thoughts on the DNC convention...

NOTE: Some of you may have already seen this on facebook last week. That evening, Sept. 5, something was going wrong with my blog, so I couldn't post it here, as I had intended. It seems all is now recovered, and I'm putting it up on the blog. More to come soon... 

We have a major choice facing us in almost exactly two months. Will we reelect Barack Obama or will we elect Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan? 

We all know the economy is struggling. We understand that while we are technically no longer in recession that jobs are growing at too slow a pace and home values are being slow to increase. 

But, what do we do now? 

Do we throw the Current Occupant out because he hasn’t solved all the problems in this country or do we give him a little more time to try to do so? How quickly should we expect any president to solve a problem that was 8 years in the making? 

Here’s the thing: This president inherited the worst economy since FDR in the Great Depression and yet he’s turned around the hemorrhaging of jobs. We are growing this economy now, it is no longer shrinking. Is it fast enough? No, it’s not fast enough for anyone, but it’s going in the right direction.

He passed health care reform that Presidents – both Republican and Democrat – have fought for for 70 plus years. It’s here now. And, it’s making a difference. Millions of young people who are no longer denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions, millions more who are able to stay on their parents’ insurance until they are 26. Soon, NONE of us will be denied for pre-existing conditions, and lifetime caps will be a thing of the past. 

These things matter. 

These things count. 

Bill Clinton spoke forcefully and powerfully tonight at the DNC convention, attempting to make a case for why Barack Obama deserves four more years as our President. I think he hit it out of the park. When we look back at the last 50+ years, by every measure, our country has done better economically under Democrat presidents than under Republican presidents – those are the facts. And, there’s a simple reason: Democrats believe, I believe, that we grow the economy best from the middle out and the bottom up, NOT the top down. It works. It is proven. More jobs are created, Wall Street does better, Main Street does better. Our Veterans are more cared for. 

Now is the time to choose. And, it is critically important that we all cast our votes. Whomever you vote for, what’s most important is that you vote. This is what democracy is all about. 

Bill Clinton pointed out tonight that Mr. Obama appointed several Republicans to his cabinet, and several rivals, including Hilary Clinton, whom he appointed Secretary of State. This underscores and illustrates what’s great about our country. As Bill Clinton said, “Democracy is not a blood sport.” We have a healthy, vigorous competition and then we get on with the business of governing. Or at least that’s how it should be. 

The Republicans haven’t been very interested in that these past few years. Since 2010 their singular goal has been to, in the words of Mitch McConnell, “make sure that Obama is a one-term president.” That’s not leading. That’s obstructionism. And it is un-American.

I was no fan of George W. Bush, but I never rooted for his failure, because I could never root for America’s failure. That’s the difference. I didn’t like Bush. I didn’t vote for him. But, he was my President, and my hope was that he would succeed. That he didn’t (in some important respects) will be recorded in the history books. 

But, even when there was a President of the United States that I did not support, I never hoped he would fail. That’s the difference between then and now. As I see it.