Thursday, May 24, 2012

Vote for the Cutest

The latest in a series.  According to the New York Times article where it appeared, it's three years old but is still on a West Wing wall because people like it so much.  I do too.  But I first saw it when it showed up on Facebook yesterday, the writer Pearl Cleage was gushing about it, and so it fits into the Cute Obama Pics category.
David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s longtime adviser, has a copy framed in his Chicago office. He said of Jacob, “Really, what he was saying is, ‘Gee, you’re just like me.’ And it doesn’t take a big leap to think that child could be thinking, ‘Maybe I could be here someday.’ This can be such a cynical business, and then there are moments like that that just remind you that it’s worth it.”
Being the hater that I am, the first thing that occurred to me was what it means to "be here someday."  At a press conference closing last week's NATO conference in Chicago, with the attendant police violence and military lockdown of the city, Obama was upbeat:
"And the Chicago police -- Chicago's finest did a great job under, you know, some significant pressure and a lot of scrutiny. The only other thing I'll say about this is thank you to everybody who endured the traffic situation.

"Obviously Chicago residents who had difficulties getting home or getting to work or what have you, you know, that's -- what can I tell you? That's -- that's part of the price of being a world city.

"But this was a great showcase. And if it makes those folks feel any better, despite being 15 minutes away from my house, nobody would let me go home. I was thinking I would be able to sleep in my own bed tonight. They said I would cause even worse traffic. So I ended up staying in a hotel, which contributes to the Chicago economy. "
You see?  Even the Commander in Chief has to make sacrifices.  And if that little kid works hard, someday he can be there too: killing teenagers with predator drones, stuffing uncooperative journalists and random American students into Yemeni prisons, snooping on your telephone conversations and mine.  (I haven't written yet about the NATO conference, but I'd recommend this face-off about NATO from Democracy Now!  It's obvious to me that Obama is ultimately responsible for the storm-trooper tactics of the Chicago police, even if Chicago weren't his political home base and even if the Mayor weren't his crony and former chief of staff.  The people who planned it all must have reported to the President.)

I also remembered something that Thurgood Marshall said late in his illustrious career: that he no longer felt he could go around telling black students that if they worked hard, they could become the one black Justice on the Supreme Court, just like he had.

Also interesting has been the abrupt about-face of many African-American Christians on same-sex marriage since the President declared his support for it.  It's always inspiring to see people think for themselves, and as I've said before, it's educational to see how easily principled, Bible-based opposition to civilization-threatening change can evaporate, almost overnight.