Skip to main content

Lately Ezra's been on board with the Obama-fatigue bandwagon.  It seems pretty much everyone is.  At least everyone on the net.  Fair enough.  These are tough times.  But I was heartened to read this morning's post from Klein, as it mirrored some of the reaction I've had to all of the angst lately.

Thus spaketh Ezra:

I've been pretty critical of the Obama administration over the past couple of days. (edit) If everything plays out as I expect it will, I'll probably be pretty critical over the next couple of days, too. But I've been surprised by the vehemence of the concurring e-mails and tweets I've been getting from discouraged liberals. "Worst president in my lifetime," wrote one. "Jimmy Carter 2.0," wrote many more than one.

I still find this sort of thing surprising. This is the guy who passed health-care reform, financial regulation and a pretty big stimulus bill. I get the disappointment in the compromises and concessions necessary for each. But not the fury.

Ezra clearly hasn't spent enough time at Daily Kos.  We do few things better than fury.  But I digress.  Ezra continues to say:

But then Ta-Nehisi Coates posted this excerpt from Martin Luther King Jr.'s thoughts on his relationship with the black power movement, and I think it speaks eloquently to the dynamic between Obama and (some of) the liberals who've turned on him.

The excerpt is as follows:

   Unfortunately, when hope diminishes, the hate is often turned most bitterly toward those who originally built up the hope. In all the speaking that I have done in the United States before varied audiences, including some hostile whites, the only time that I have been booed was one night in a Chicago mass meeting by some young members of the Black Power movement. I went home that night with an ugly feeling. Selfishly I thought of my sufferings and sacrifices over the last twelve years. Why would they boo one so close to them? But as I lay awake thinking, I finally came to myself, and I could not for the life of me have less than patience and understanding for those young people.

   For twelve years I, and others like me, had held out radiant promises of progress. I had preached to them about my dream. I had lectured to them about the not too distant day when they would have freedom, "all, here and now." I had urged them to have faith in America and in white society. Their hopes had soared. They were now booing because they felt that we were unable to deliver on our promises. They were booing because we had urged them to have faith in people who had too often proved to be unfaithful. They were now hostile because they were watching the dream that they had so readily accepted turn into a frustrating nightmare.

I think this little glimpse into history is pretty instructive.  It reminds me that progress is a long, frustration road - but that in the end, most of the bumps along the way are forgotten.  What remains are the steps forward we take, as well as the ones left still to be taken.

All of the sad meta will fade.  We'll move on to other battles amongst ourselves.   But lest we start viewing each other as the enemy, lets recall that we've always struggled amongst ourselves.  There were pragmatists and progressives during the civil rights act too - and perhaps they hated each other at the time.  But civil rights would never have moved forward as far as it did without everyone in the movement.        

Perhaps we can all find the patience an understanding for each other that MLK found for his critics.  Ultimately we have a difference in opinion on tactics, not values.  We disagree on how change is best approached.  So did MLK and the black power movement.  But ultimately the tactics work themselves out.  As MLK said (and our President likes to repeat) - the arc of history bends towards justice.  

Whatever hopes you had for this time.  Whatever opportunities you feel may have been lost or may have never truly existed - the 2008 election was just a beginning.  It was the first hurdle, not the finish line. We are in this for the long haul.  

Originally posted to snout on Fri Dec 03, 2010 at 09:47 AM PST.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site