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September 14, 2010

@Frank_Schaeffer: "Obama Will Triumph — So Will America"

Re-post of an article by Frank Schaeffer: Obama Will Triumph — So Will America

Frank Schaeffer is a New York Times best selling author.

Obama Will Triumph -- So Will America
By Frank Schaeffer

Before he'd  served even one year President  Obama lost the support  
of the easily distracted left and engendered the white hot rage of  
the hate-filled right. But some of us, from all walks of  life and  
ideological backgrounds -- including this white, straight,  57-year-
old, former religious right wing agitator, now progressive writer   
and (given my background as the son of a famous evangelical leader)  
this  unlikely Obama supporter -- are sticking with our President.  
Why?--  because he is succeeding.

We faithful Obama supporters still trust  our initial impression of  
him as a great, good and uniquely qualified man  to lead us.

Obama's steady supporters will be proved right.  Obama's critics  
will be remembered as easily panicked and prematurely  discouraged  
at best and shriveled hate mongers at worst.

The Context of the Obama  Presidency

Not since the days of the rise of fascism in  Europe , the Second  
World War and the Depression has any president faced  more  
adversity. Not since the Civil War has any president led a more   
bitterly divided country. Not since the introduction of racial  
integration  has any president faced a more consistently short-
sighted and willfully  ignorant opposition - from both  the right  
and left.

As the President's poll numbers have fallen so  has his support from  
some on the left that were hailing him as a Messiah  not long ago;  
all those lefty websites and commentators that were falling  all  
over themselves on behalf of our first black president during the  
2008  election.

The left's lack of faith has become a self-fulfilling  "prophecy"--  
snipe at the President and then watch the poll numbers fall  and  
then pretend you didn't have  anything to do with it!

Here is  what Obama faced when he took office-- none of which was  
his  fault:

# An ideologically divided country to the point that  America was  
really two countries

# Two wars; one that was  mishandled from the start, the other that  
was unnecessary and  immoral

# The worst economic crisis since the depression

#  America 's standing in the world at the lowest point in history

# A  country that had been misled into accepting the use of torture  
of  prisoners of war

# A health care system in free fall

# An  educational system in free fall

# A global environmental crisis of  history-altering proportions  
(about which the Bush administration and the  Republicans had done  

# An impasse between culture warriors  from the right and left

# A huge financial deficit inherited from  the terminally  
irresponsible Bush administration.

And those were  only some of the problems sitting  on the  
President's desk!

"Help"  from the Right?

What did the Republicans and the religious  right, libertarians and  
half-baked conspiracy theorists -- that is what  the Republicans  
were reduced to by the time Obama took office -- do to  "help" our  
new president (and our country) succeed? They claimed that he   
wasn't a real American, didn't have an American birth certificate,  
wasn't  born here, was secretly a Muslim, was a white-hating "racist",  
was secretly  a communist, was actually the Anti-Christ, (!) and was  
a reincarnation of  Hitler and wanted "death panels" to kill the  

They  not-so-subtly called for his assassination through the not-so-
subtle use  of vile signs held at their rallies and even a bumper  
sticker quoting  Psalm 109:8. They organized "tea parties" to sound  
off against imagined  insults and all government in general and  
gathered to howl at the moon.  They were led by insurance industry  
lobbyists and deranged (but well  financed) "commentators" from  
Glenn Beck to Rush Limbaugh.

The  utterly discredited Roman Catholic bishops teamed up with the  
utterly  discredited evangelical leaders to denounce a president who  
was trying to  actually do something about the poor, the  
environment, to diminish the  number of abortions through  
compassionate programs to help women and to  care for the sick! And  
in Congress the Republican leadership only knew one  word: "No!"

In other words the reactionary white, rube, uneducated,  crazy  
American far right,combined with the educated but obtuse   
neoconservative war mongers, religious right shills for big  
business,  libertarian Fed Reserve-hating gold bug, gun-loving  
crazies,  child-molesting acquiescent "bishops", frontier loons and  
evangelical  gay-hating flakes found one thing to briefly unite  
them: their desire to stop an uppity black man from  succeeding at  
all costs!

"Help" from the Left?

What did the  left do to help their newly elected president? Some of  
them excoriated the  President because they disagreed with the bad  
choices he was being forced  to make regarding a war in Afghanistan   
that he'd inherited from the worst president in  modern history!

Others stood up and bravely proclaimed that  the President's  
economic policies had "failed" before the President even instituted   
them! Others said that since all gay rights battles had not been  
fully won  within virtually minutes of the President taking office,  
they'd been  "betrayed"! (Never mind that Obama's vocal support to  
the gay community is  stronger than any other president's has been.  
Never mind that he signed a  new hate crimes law!)

Those that had stood in transfixed legions  weeping with beatific  
emotion on election night turned into an angry mob  saying how  
"disappointed" they were that they'd not all immediately been   
translated to heaven the moment Obama stepped into the White House!  
Where  was the "change"? Contrary to their expectations they were  
still mere  mortals!

And the legion of young new supporters was too busy  texting to pay  
attention for longer than a nanosecond. "Governing"?! What  the hell  
does that word, uh, like mean?"

The President's critics  left and right all had one thing in common:  
impatience laced with  little-to-no sense of history (let alone  
reality) thrown in for good  measure. Then of course there were the  
white, snide know-it-all  commentators/talking heads who just  
couldn't imagine that maybe, just maybe they weren't as smart as  
they  thought they were and certainly not as smart as their  
president. He hadn't  consulted them, had he? So he must be wrong!

The Obama critics'  ideological ideas defined their idea of reality  
rather than reality  defining their ideas-say, about what is  
possible in one year in office after the hand that the  President  
had been dealt by fate, or to be exact by the American idiot  nation  
that voted Bush into office. Twice!!

Meanwhile back in the reality-based community -  in just 12 short  
months -- President Obama:

#Continued to  draw down the misbegotten war in Iraq
(But that wasn't good enough for  his critics)

#Thoughtfully and decisively picked the best of  several bad choices  
regarding the war in Afghanistan
(But that wasn't  good enough for his critics)

#Gave a major precedent-setting speech  supporting gay rights
(But that wasn't good enough for his  critics)

#Restored America 's image around the globe
(But that  wasn't good enough for his critics)

#Banned torture of American  prisoners
(But that wasn't good enough for his critics)

#Stopped the free fall of the American economy
(But that wasn't  good enough for his critics)

#Put the USA squarely back in the  bilateral international community
(But that wasn't good enough for his  critics)

#Put the USA squarely into the middle of the  international effort  
to halt global warming
(But that wasn't good  enough for his critics)

#Stood up for educational reform
(But  that wasn't good enough for his critics)

#Won a Nobel peace  prize
(But that wasn't good enough for his critics)

#Moved the  trial of terrorists back into the American judicial  
system of checks and  balances
(But that wasn't good enough for his critics)

#Did  what had to be done to start the slow, torturous and almost  
impossible  process of health care reform that 7 presidents had  
failed to even  begin
(But that wasn't good enough for his critics)

#Responded  to hatred from the right and left with measured good  
humor and  patience
(But that wasn't good enough for his critics)

#Stopped  the free fall of job losses
(But that wasn't good enough for his  critics)

#Showed immense personal courage in the face of an armed  and  
dangerous far right opposition that included the sort of disgusting   
people that show up at public meetings carrying loaded weapons and   
carrying Timothy McVeigh-inspired signs about the "blood of  
tyrants"  needing to "water the tree of liberty".
(But that wasn't good enough  for his critics)

#Showed that he could not only make the tough  military choices but  
explain and defend them brilliantly
(But that  wasn't good enough for his critics)

Other than those  "disappointing" accomplishments -- IN ONE YEAR --  
President Obama  "failed"! Other than that he didn't "live up to  

Who actually has  failed...

...are the Americans that can't see the beginning  of a miracle of  
national rebirth right under their jaded noses. Who failed  are the  
smart ass ideologues of the left and right who began rooting for   
this President to fail so that they could  be proved right in their  
dire and morbid predictions. Who failed  are the movers and shakers  
behind our obscenely dumb news cycles that have  turned "news" into  
just more stupid entertainment for an  entertainment-besotted  
infantile country.

Here's the good news:  President Obama is succeeding without the  
help of his lefty "supporters"  or hate-filled Republican  detractors!

The Future Looks  Good

After Obama has served two full terms, (and he will),  after his  
wisdom in moving deliberately and cautiously with great subtlety  on  
all fronts -- with a canny and calculating eye to the possible   
succeeds, (it will), after the economy is booming and new industries  
are  burgeoning, (they will be), after the doomsayers are all proved  
not just  wrong but silly: let the record show that not all  
Americans were panicked  into thinking the sky was falling.

Just because we didn't get  everything we wanted in the first short  
and fraught year Obama was in  office not all of us gave up. Some of  
us stayed the course. And we will be proved right.

PS. if you agree that Obama is shaping up to be a great president,  
please pass this on and hang in there!  Pass it on anyway to ensure  
that his "report card" gets the attention it deserves.

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