Did you see the recent picture of the Obama kids greeting the president? After watching the “America: The Story of Us” marathon on the History Channel this weekend, seeing folks who look like me in the White House is a reminder that we came “from a mighty long way.” However, Memorial Day is a reminder that freedom is not free and collectively we must do our part to move the nation forward.
Cotton working slaves, Chinese railroad builders, and Whites in the manufacturing industry are more than historic footnotes; the Native Americans really got a raw deal. To make omelets, some eggs must be broken and empires are often built on the backs of others. William Mulholland supplied water to Los Angeles by draining the Owens Valley some 200 miles away. It’s about cost benefit analysis; it’s about reluctant sacrifice.
To me, the Blue Dogs in the Georgia congressional delegation are decent public servants who listen to their unique constituencies. In the year of anti-incumbency, the one who should go (if one must go) is the one whose departure would be least dramatic or traumatic. Come on now, we know that Dem Rep. Marshall from Macon is from a district that Senator McCain won in the presidential race. If not for middle Georgia’s personal affection for him, the GOP would have picked up that seat years ago. His opponent, Austin Scott, seems to have a conservative temperament similar to Johnny Isakson; he is not nearly as bitter as some in the conservative movement. Trading Scott for Marshall would be less traumatic to the body politics than losing any other Blue Dog seat and other Blue Dog opponents are more connected to the far Right.
“America: The Story of Us” included the story of Prince Estabrook, a slave and Minuteman who was wounded by one of the first shots fired at Lexington. He started a legacy that includes the former slaves who fought in the Civic War. In some way, President Obama, the commander-in-chief, seems to function with the same regard for sacrifice and national pride. Political safety (his second term) comes after what he considers right…and let the chips fall where they may. As an Obama supporter, I appreciate the Blue Dogs who put their congressional careers at risk by backing Obama and/or Hillary. On sacrifice, Hillary Clinton took one for the Democrat Team when many believed it was her turn but unfair distain for Bill Clinton might have made her a better target for the GOP.
As a person who loves tennis, I enjoyed watching Venus Williams play at the French Open ten years ago; it’s too bad that Arthur Ashe missed the Williams sisters, Tiger Woods and President Obama. When Venus was defeated in Paris this weekend, I knew that she would never have the career grand slam that Serena and Tiger have. I also know that Serena would have let Venus win if they met in the finals in Paris; tennis history shows that Venus has done the same for little sister. Again, it’s about sacrifice and the common good. No one listens to my political speculations but I still think that the right GOPers in congress could actually benefit the second part of the Obama presidency by adding fiscal considerations to policy-making.