Keeping the Faith: Happy Birthday, Barack

It almost slipped my mind…

Barack Obama turns 49 years young today.  Happy Birthday, Mr. President.

Your “friends” in the Republican National Committee  marked the occasion by setting up a website to send mocking birthday cards out to…well, whomever it is that patronizes the Republican National Committee website.   Guess RNC Chairman Michael “Big Pimpin'” Steele took time out from ducking out on the National Association of Black Journalists  and hiding $7 million in debts to have a little fun at the president’s expense.

The president’s polls numbers are sliding downhill, the economy is sluggish, jobs are scarce,  the prospects for the Democrats in November look rather dim and the war in Afghanistan drags on with no end in sight.

It’s no the best of times for Barack Obama.

Then again, whomever said this was going to be easy?

I’m pretty much of the mind that we’re just right about where I thought we might be with Obama.   The expectations were always too high.  The problems too many in number.  The  intransigence and the vilification by the Right too fierce.   The racism too entrenched.    Trying to undo eight years of Bush-Cheney dickery couldn’t be done in two years and probably not completely even in two terms if  the president is reelected, far from a certainty at this point.

But it’s nothing worth losing sleep over.   I could spend a lot of time and effort going down the list of disappointments the president has served up his supporters.   That doesn’t mean I’m feeling any sort of “buyer’s remorse.”   All things being equal, I’d pull the lever for Obama all over again.

Without reservation, qualification or reservation.

Whenever I get a little wobbly on Obama, I go refer back to what Gil Scott-Heron, the musical genius  behind such classics as  “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”  one of the inspirational figures of rap said in an interview with The Washington Post after Obama took office.

Q. In the early 1970s, you came out with “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” about the erosion of democracy in America. You all but predicted that there would be a revolution in which a brainwashed nation would come to its senses. What do you think now? Did we have a revolution?

A. Yes, the election of President Obama was the revolution.

But that was televised. You said in the poem, “NBC will not be able to predict . . . or report from 29 districts. The revolution will not be televised.” But NBC and every other TV network station did just that.

The revolution was a change in thinking, people changing their hearts and minds. This country was at a crossroads and could have gone either way. But the people stopped taking whatever was being handed to them at face value; they stopped putting up with the status quo and started thinking for themselves. The revolution is a mental thing. You did not see it televised.

So what do you think of Obama so far? Already, some on the political left are accusing him of bending over so far to please the political right that he’s coming awful close to kissing his own behind, so to speak.

Give him time to make his mark. He’s like a young rapper working to find his voice. Don’t judge him by his first CD. Remember, Obama did not get us into this mess. You might not agree with his solutions, but there were no solutions before he took office.
Absolutely and 100 percent right.   Anyone who thinks things are bad now is suffering from a severe case of short-term memory loss.  Things were worse under George W. Bush and his corrupt, evil reign of error and terror.    Obama has to do better, but he can’t do any worse than what we had before him.

Happy Birthday, Mr. President.  Hope the big 5-0 is an even happier one for you and the nation.   A few disappointments is no reason to lose faith.

Scott-Heron says Obama's election was the revolution he spoke of.

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