Thursday, January 24, 2013

Three Days After Inauguration Day It's Back to Business As Usual For The Republicans

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

My Dear America:

Inauguration Day (Or more truthfully the day after the real Inauguration Day of Sunday, January 20th) was a wonderful day to celebrate the Re Election of our First Black President, Barack Obama.  The weather was cold but not as frighteningly cold as it would be later in the week.  The sun was out and it was bright and cheerful.  I was glad to be watching the festivities from the comfort of my living room on my HDTV.  Although I know it would have been a thrill to be there I felt sorry for those who went to the Inauguration and were locked out of the area and were not able to see, hear and enjoy the festivities as much as I did watching on TV not having to feel uncomfortably cold, in the least.

President Obama and his family appeared to be truly in high spirits and seemed to be enjoying the occasion.  I have to honestly say that the President's speech was a good one but perhaps not as truly stirring as some of his other Classic Obama Speeches.  It seemed to me to be shorter than many of his previous Oratorical Home Runs but more significant about this speech given on Martin Luther King Day, as well as Inauguration Day in America, on January 21st was what it said.

In a rather low key manner (at least for President Obama) the Inauguration Day speech echoed many of those Oratorical Masterpieces given by Dr. King in his Day.  On Inauguration Day President Obama made it clear where he stood and who he was standing with on this historic January Day in 2013.

Obama was standing With the Poor, With the Women, With the Immigrants and those who hoped to be Immigrants to America.  He was also standing With Gay Americans who were hoping to be able to marry whoever they chose to in their Home Country.  Most especially he was standing With the People of America as he repeated over and over the historic phrase "We The People."  Although the President did not demonize the Rich in America, he certainly made it clear that he was tired of the Right Wing demonizing the Poor and the Middle Class.

In the end the speech was an outline for where the President is hoping to move the country.  It was not a definitive detailed descriptive plan.  It was just a simple message of what his intentions will be for the coming four years of his Presidency.

After the speech as everyone in the main seating area around the Capitol Building filed out of the speech area and into the Capitol for a lunch with the President, Obama stood at the top of the stairs and stared out at the still people filled area and remarked that he wanted to take one last look because what he was seeing he would never see again.  

The President and Vice President got some crystal vases and some hurriedly developed framed photographs of the Inauguration and had a pleasant Luncheon with their families, (Certainly the President's daughters were now young ladies rather than just the kids they were during the last Inauguration) the Congress and other guests.    

The Presidential Parade was Great, as were the numerous Inaugural Balls that would come later.

Of course later on in the evening on CNN and MSNBC (and I'm sure on Fox, although I didn't watch them) Republican spokespersons such as Alex Castillio began their digs on Obama's Progressive Speech.  

The drumbeat of Republican displeasure with what certainly was a truly mild and inclusive speech began to pick up steam and yesterday displeasure with Obama and his Team of Rivals finally was back to where it had been throughout his Presidency.

Yesterday, Hillary Clinton testified on Capitol Hill before the Senate Armed Services Committee.  Although many Senators showed respect for the Secretary of State's outstanding Legacy of Service in the State Department there were those like Republican Senator Ron Johnson, who Hillary had to put in his place after he began to try to go after her regarding the Benghazi attack in Lybia that killed four Americans.  Senator John McCain also went after Hillary with little success.

Yes, America it is three days after the Inauguration and it appears that the Republicans, Fox News and especially The Tea Party Candidates like Senator Rand Paul are prepared to once again continue to savage the Obama Administration in service to their out of touch goals.  

But we are America and in Our Country we have to tolerate the bad with the good.  Sometimes we seem to tolerate more bad than we should have to but I guess that is the continuing price of living in a land in which all men are free to say and do what they want, within reason.

Someone once said that American Democracy is the worst system in the world, except for all the others.  

That is True and that is why I (and so many other Americans) are sticking with you until things get better.

I love you, America and I always will.

Thanks for being there for me and all the rest of us for so many years.

Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A New and Quieter Tone on the Sunday Talk Shows One Day before Inauguration Day

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

My Dear America:

It is Sunday, One day before Martin Luther King Day and also One day before the Re Inauguration of President Barack Obama.  

On the Sunday News/Talk Shows there was a noticeably quieter and less confrontational tone than is normally the case.  Certainly part of the reason for this quieter tone was that many of the normally combative commentators were not sitting at this Sunday's News/Talk Roundtables.  Noticeably absent were people like Newt Gingrich, as well as both Democratic and Republican Party Constituent Stokers.

Rick Santorum was on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopolis but from what I could gather, even he seemed to be a bit more controlled as is normally the case.  

On The Bill Moyer's Show Larry Cohen of the Communication Workers of
America showed Bill a preview of a CWA sponsored Television Ad which advocates for a changing of Congressional Rules in the Senate that has made it extremely easy to "Filibuster."  In the old days Filibustering meant that a Senator who wished to tie up or stand in the way of a bill that they didn't want to pass stood up in the Senate and talked and talked and talked to keep  the Senate from voting on the bill one way or another.  

Today, Larry Cohen pointed out, a Senator just needs to make a phone call and doesn't even need to be identified when he or she Filibusters and ties up a bill for as long as they like.  Cohen pointed out that this painless (at least to the Filibustering Senator) process ends up tying up legislation, including approvals of Judicial Appointments, Administration Department Heads and Cabinet Officials and has lead to a Congress that has been one of the most dysfuntional, uncompromising and unaccomplished Congessional bodies in the history of The United States.

Following Larry Cohen on The Bill Moyers Show was Martin Espada, a Veteran Legal Services Lawyer and a Poet who read a very powerful poem which he wrote after visiting Fredrick Douglass's grave in Rochester, New York 3 days after the election of President Obama in 2008.  It was a very powerful and deeply moving poem which expressed the pride Mr. Espada felt following the Election of the First Black President of the United States of America.  

Considering the history of Slavery in the United States it is even more astounding to think of the fact that the United States has progressed so far that it has come from a Society in which Slavery was not only tolerated but was, in many respects, a building block on which this Country was founded, to become a Country which, not only elected a Black Man President one time, but also Re Elected this Extraordinary Man to a Second Presidential Term.

I think the President, under extraordinary conditions, has done an exceptional job in keeping the American Ship of State on track and going in a positive direction.  I, like most Americans, look forward to four more years of exceptional Leadership by President Obama in the long run and also look forward to a Great Speech by the President and some Fine Re Inauguration Festivities tomorrow as we Celebrate with the President as he prepares to give us Four More Years of Dynamic and Outstanding Leadership.

Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher