Saturday April 12, 2014, 12:18 am
Yesterday President Barack Obama spoke to the assembly commemorating the 5oth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. In my view, it was Obama oratory at its finest, but you be the judge of that. I have an article, the complete video, and a link to the transcript for you.
Saturday April 12, 2014, 4:44 am
I voted for him twice and still support him, future generations will read about this President and shake their heads in disbelief over the treatment he received at the hands of the republicans, that is unless the republicans are able to alter the facts which they do very well.
Saturday April 12, 2014, 6:11 am
Despite the most vile and disgusting Republicans ever, the President has always handled himself with grace and dignity - something the Republicans are too ignorant to even notice. This is a beautiful First Family and a credit to the country - those of us who voted for this man can be proud.
Saturday April 12, 2014, 6:30 am
Thanks, TomCat. It seemed a bit incongruous watching the video and seeing an advertisement from the TeaParty.org for a poll asking if Obama should be impeached. That kind of personifies the character of the opposition he and Dems have faced.
I voted for Obama twice, and he may not have been my first choice, but he was the best choice available, thus I hold no regrets. However, in my view, he has been a disappointment to progressives in a number of areas. When he talks about the faults of LBJ, there will come a time when others will likewise point to Obama's own faults. The heavy preponderance of blame will fall to conservatives, but Obama and Democrats have not been above reproach. And while LBJ displayed a remarkable amount of political courage in working to enact civil rights, I have yet to see anything approaching that level from Obama. I thought his big mistake was seeking reconciliation and consensus with the other party, which I knew from the beginning was a fool's errand, as the opposition has consistently displayed they are about the politics of destruction, placing team before country, and Republicans would never harbor any intention of playing ball.
Saturday April 12, 2014, 7:20 am
Obama was the best person to make this speech to commemorate the signing of the Civil Rights Act. He is one of the best speech makers among the presidents, not only knowing how to enthral his audience by the way he speaks, but also by the way he balances his speeches, gives credit where credit is due and pointing out both the good and the bad. He is the master of reasoning and reasonableness.
Of course he is also the icon of what this Civil Rights Act has brought America. He would never have become president as an African American if LBJ had not pushed the bill through congress. And at the same time Obama as no other experiences daily that racism is still alive and kicking and that Republicans are thriving on it. And it was very good that he acknowledged this fact and named the elephant in more than one way.
Saturday April 12, 2014, 7:47 am
Obama has fought an uphill battle since day one. I voted for him twice because I saw greatness in him the first time I saw and heard him. If he had not tried to reach across the aisle he would have given even more ammunition to the GOP/jim crow crowd He has had to walk a VERY FINE LINE and he has done it well. The ONLY reason progress was not as smooth as we wanted is because of racist and ignorant politicians on the right and even some on the left. True character is in short supply among most members of congress and even in the senate. The Character of OUR President and the First Lady has had to make up for the lack of character in others. The spineless creatures are STILL trying to eliminate decent health care and voting rights for our people. It is a monumental DISGRACE! I have nothing but total disgust for the Bigoted/ignorant/brownshirted/teabagging/taliban dinosaurs in our country.
Saturday April 12, 2014, 8:05 am
Freedom is never free--as the song says, "each generation has to win in anew 'cuz it's not something handed down to you." Now more clearly than ever we can see who would take this freedom away from the marginalized the Bible tells us to protect and include. A wonderful speech and reminder indeed. Thanks TC.
Saturday April 12, 2014, 8:20 am
"In a speech that stirred an audience of civil rights champions here at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, Mr. Obama acknowledged that racism has hardly been erased and that government programs have not always succeeded."
I haven't time this morning to watch it all, I will later because I love listening to this president speak. But I remember thinking when he was elected that I had never been prouder of this nation than I was that night. Finally. A role model young people of color could look to and aspire to their own highest dreams. I will listen with interest to his take on LBJ, who had many faults, but whose Great Society was a well-meaning effort to bring opportunity to every person. One of its main components was Aid to Families with Dependent Children, AFDC. It was well-intentioned but fatally flawed. It allowed only one adult in the household and it blew the black nuclear family out of existence, in essence. One of the adults had to be looking for work, that was, and is a problem for black males. It turned the black community into single parent households, it encouraged out of wed lock birth because with more children, one could be said to live with mom, one with grandma and another with great grandma, providing three generations of women and children with food, clothing and shelter. It turned them into liars because there were investigators out looking under beds for men's shoes and in closets for men's clothing.
The upside of the program was that it allowed for someone to get a college degree while receiving benefits. And it DID provide for adequate food, clothing, shelter and medical care. But it also created generations of young black men who grew up fatherless, who had no concept of what a two parent household should look like, they didn't see it on tv, in advertising or anywhere else. Only recently has that begun to be more prevalent in movies, ads and tv. The black community has still not recovered from the good intentions of AFDC. That which replaced it in the 90's is even worse with its 5 year limit, its allowance of only 2 years of education. It created a permanent underclass based essentially on race. I know, I've worked in that system since 1976 and have watched these events unfold from within it. A good idea, not thought through thoroughly, and implemented in wildly different, and racially charged ways by the states. There is SO much more to be done. And it will be as soon America will be less than half caucasian, that will be a good thing, because when our government is truly reflective of our population policies that make sense may finally come out of it. We need SO many more women and minorities in Congress and in local politics, business, medicine and education. That WILL come as the face, and color of America changes.
I look forward to that, I hope I live to see most of it happen and wonder only what will our world policies, our internal policies look like when the face of America is no longer white, rich and bigoted. Sooner the better for me.
Saturday April 12, 2014, 8:23 am
One other thing. I heard this quote the other day, from Albert Einstein who was more than a scientist. "In matters of truth and justice there is no difference between large and small problems. Issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same." I wish we all understood and believed that deep within us. What a different world we would see. Now.
Saturday April 12, 2014, 9:46 am
I haven't time this morning to watch it, but what Gene said about his first election - I have never been so proud of my country before (or, alas, since) and was only sad that my mother had passed away and was not around to see it. I'll be back later.
Saturday April 12, 2014, 12:25 pm
" to recall one giant man's remarkable efforts to make real the promise of our founding. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. in this great democracy, you are but a relay swimmer in the currents of history, bound by decisions made by those who came before, reliant on the efforts of those who will follow to fully vindicate your vision. Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race, until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men's skins, emancipation will be a proclamation, but not a fact. "
I didn't have time to listen to the whole speech, but I read it. After reading it, it came to me that democracy is not a destination, civil rights is not a destination, but they are part of a moral journey in life, and that journey never ends because there are always those who are ready to say "good enough" and stop. To me, that is the legacy of the relay swimmer.
Saturday April 12, 2014, 12:49 pm
Speech...there is the man I voted for. I only wish he would fight harder for what the people want and not the corporate overlords.
LBJ...Old School Democrat who did everything he could to get what was RIGHT for the PEOPLE ... ALL the people. Unfortunately, he was all for the War. I hope that his good deeds outshine the bad one in the future.
Saturday April 12, 2014, 2:33 pm
I believe Barack Obama will be one of the best, if not #1, - presidents in our history! He's #1 to me! If we manage to maintain control of the Senate and grab the House...THEN...you will see how great this President is!
Saturday April 12, 2014, 4:22 pm
I've come back, after the opera. It's amazing how an opera written in 1896 about 1792 sounds so much like today's news: "'An enemy of the people.' Ha! It's trite, but fortunately, people still get suckered in." Then, when the guy gets sorry, and admits the whole indictment was a lie, the victim is convicted and executed anyway. This not in Texas or Mississippi (sounds like it, doesn't it?), but set in the French Revolution (well, OK, it sounds like that too).
I have now watched the speech and I have stopped crying. What I think makes my heart bleed the most is, was LBJ the last Democrat who understood that horse trading was not just about giving horses, and part of horses away? I have been watching everything that we worked for (and are still working for) erode since the first day of the Nixon administration, little bits at a time, sometimes hidden away in insufficient cost of living increases to maintain funding, sometimes obvious and gruesome, as recently when the Voting Rights Act was gutted. We need to go forward, but we can't go forward when we are so far behind that we may never catch up!
Now that I have ruined everyone's mood (I hope not actually), I did get a giggle from his throwaway line right at the beginning: "Some things do not change." I'm not quite sure whether that interprets as "Women still know best," or "Wives are still the only ones who speak the truth to power(ful husbands)," or both, but I'll happily go with either or both.
Saturday April 12, 2014, 4:27 pm
I admire him greatly.....despite a vicious attempt to discredit him on every possible point, he always takes the high road! He's inspirational and I believe he'll be famous in future, when people look back on his presidencies.
Saturday April 12, 2014, 5:39 pm
I also voted for him both times,and while I hope Pam's comment is accurate, regarding how he will be seen in the future, I have mixed feelings, now. I do not like what he's done with the deportations, and if he's done it to look "tough" to the right, as Clinton puffed up the military budget, apparently to offset talk of his having been a "draft dodger," I resent the pattern of Democratic Presidents having, or feeling like they have to, kiss up to the right by adopting some of their shtick.
And, why has he not put the Keystone program to rest, how much more evidence does he need that this is a bad thing.
One of the things a President can do is provide leadership, direction, for the culture, and I wish he'd be a lot more aggressive about calling out the anti-climate change propaganda for what it is, assertively push, "with vigor" for a renewable energy policy.
It's not like the Koch bros. and their puppets are going to be any more apt to attack whomever is the next Dem. presidential candidate, if he does push, if that's his concern.
Oh, and Johnson? "Great Society" program financially bombed for the sake of his Southeast Asia imperialist war!
Saturday April 12, 2014, 8:42 pm
I actually watched the address, and you are right, it was outstanding and he is a wonderful orator. I was so angry at LBJ over the war in Viet Nam that I ignored his momentous decisions regarding the civil rights act. Our country has improved because of that act, but we still have a long way to go. I agree with Joanne D, our rights have been eroded since Nixon took office, and they continue to erode today.
Saturday April 12, 2014, 9:30 pm
The Dem's have got Healthcare for all. Obamacare is the Law!
Best thing that ever happened this helped Millions of People.
Everyone should be able to Vote NO voter supresion,
Thank you TomCat
Sunday April 13, 2014, 4:43 am
As it is 50 years since the civil rights bill, it is a moot point that the Republicans consider the Civil Rights Act as "The Great Betrayal". Still, the spirit of Barry Goldwater is still being channelled so often which is why you have certain well known trolls on this site who don't even read the article yet make ex hominem attacks of Obama as if it needs to be done. Judging how dazed Mittens still is it might be a good idea to get some of those fireworks he bought when he thought he was winning, lash them to his arse and watch the bugger fly off to the planet Kolob.