I finally overcame my sense of dread and opened the diary addressed "to the neoliberals on this site."  I suppose it might have some points; if it did, they're past where I stopped reading.  I stopped reading the the phrase "list of minor accomplishments" was linked to a list of accomplishments by the Obama administration.  

Among many, many other things — some of them minor — was this:

Required insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions.
This one accomplishment will save thousands of lives every year, possibly millions over the long haul.

That's not minor.

I've been looking for a reason to share my favorite "Rabbi story," and this seems like a perfect opportunity.  It illustrates a moral truth that we, as Progressives should have at hand because it applies to so much of what we do.

A father and son go to walk the local beach right after a major storm has passed through.  The beach is empty except for thousands of starfish, pushed by the storm surge onto the beach. Seeing that the starfish are dying on the open beach, the boy runs to the shore and frantically starts carrying the creatures from the sand and dropping them gingerly back into the water.

The father calls after his son, "You're not going to accomplish anything, son.  You can't save them all."  The son pauses just long enough to turn back to his father, "Yes, father, but for the ones I do save, it means everything.

We can't fix everything.  We can't solve everything.  We won't get everything we want from Obama.

But some of the things we have fixed, some of the things we have solved and some of the things we've gotten from Obama mean everything to some.

It's not wrong to want more, but it's wrong to trivialize what we've gotten just to fit a narrative.

Originally posted to The Red Pen on Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 10:39 AM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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