Are You Kidding? I Wish I Wrote That Stuff For Him. January 22, 2013Posted by Benjamin Wendell in Politics.
Tags: civil rights, confrontation, gay rights, hillary clinton, inauguration, liberal, progressive
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The second four years will be different from the first, at least insofar as you can judge by an inaugural address. I think the twenty minute speech could be summed up as declaring: If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. The administration of conciliatory compromise is behind us and the administration of confrontation begins today. You get the feeling that this is a president who wants to do large and important things, realizes that the clock is running, and understands that he politically has nothing to lose. It was a courageous speech given on a momentous day. To acknowledge that gay rights is the civil rights issue of this generation was to affirm that the direction of liberty in this country has always been liberal and progressive. We’ve always moved in the direction of more tolerance, more inclusion, and more respect. From a country that started out believing that women were little more than possessions, children were a source of cheap disposable labor, and that blacks were a commodity of no more import than pork bellies or wheat futures, we struggled in fits and starts to the country that gave it’s first African-American president a second term, and a country where when Hillary Clinton stepped onto the dais in front of the Capital, she had to be thinking, “I wonder if next time I take this stage, I’ll be the one they’re cheering for.”
Yes, it’s back to real life today, and progress will continue to come in fits and starts, but at least for awhile, the dominant feeling is one of hope. And by the way…the president said that peace doesn’t have to come at the price of constant war. I believe him.
And The First Real Opportunity To Change History May 1, 2009Posted by Benjamin Wendell in Politics, World Events.
Tags: abortion, afghanistan, choice, ginsburg, iraq, moderate, nuclear weapons, obama, pakistan, progressive, souter, supreme court, taliban
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I said it repeatedly during the campaign. This was the main reason we needed a Democrat in the White House. Souter’s retirement is something of a surprise, but there will almost certainly be another opening on the court during Obama’s first term. Realistically, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who already survived a colon cancer in 1999, might succumb to her pancreatic cancer, or at the very least decide that her health and happiness would be best served by retiring. However many openings may occur, we can be assured that the new appointees will be moderates or progressives, and with a super-majority in the Senate, Obama’s nominees will be approved. That makes me rest a bit easier.
Now, as for the issue of Pakistan and the Taliban, there is no doubt that if Islamabad were to fall to Islamic radicals, none of us could sleep easy. Keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands out of the hands of ceritfiable nutcases is job one of any president. There was demonstratably no good reason to invade Iraq, and aside from revenge, I’m still unconvinced that we were justified in attacking Afghanistan. That being said, if push came to shove, there’s probably nothing we shouldn’t do to prevent the Taliban from gaining control of a hundred targetable functioning hydrogen bombs. With our military stretched as thin as it is, wasting time and resources in pointless entanglements like Iraq and Afghanistan, that’s going to make it a hell of a lot tougher to act in a place where intervention might really count, like Pakistan. Good luck, Mr. President.