‘Seneca Falls, and Selma and Stonewall’

Here’s a link to a complete transcript of President Barack Obama’s second inaugural address.

For me, this bit was the crescendo and highlight of the speech:

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth. It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.

(White House photo by Sonya N. Hebert)

That is our generation’s task – to make these words, these rights, these values – of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – real for every American. Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in our time.

For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect. We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and forty years, and four hundred years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.

Wow. “Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall” struck me as historic. I heard that and expected those allusive, alliterative references to be left to stand alone, but then Obama went on to make a more specific and explicit endorsement of the continuing struggle for the rights pursued by the unruly patriots of Seneca Falls and Selma and Stonewall.

I was also very pleased to hear this surprisingly blunt section on climate change:

We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snow-capped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.

That language on climate change will be tested, over time, to see if it is more than only language. Same with the bit that followed it, a welcome rejection of the idea of “perpetual war”:

We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war. Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage. Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty. The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm. But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well.

We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully – not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear.

Odd coincidence: During the massive protest marches before the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq, I carried a sign that read, “Engagement Can More Durably Lift Suspicion and Fear.”

And my friends told me it would never catch on as a slogan.

It was also good to hear Obama’s forceful and clear endorsements of the common good and the programs that embody our commitment to it — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, infrastructure, education.

One final note from this speech, which began with this:

We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional – what makes us American – is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Obama isn’t saying anything original there, but he’s embodying it in a way that no previous president has. He latches on to that sweepingly inclusive first-person plural “we” and employs it throughout the rest of the speech — more than 70 times.

But let me just note that this was the umpteen-hundredth time we’ve heard President Obama recite that passage from the Declaration of Independence. It’s a familiar passage from all of his stump speeches, his addresses to Congress, and nearly every big-occasion speech he ever gives — all of which were public and remain in the public record. Presidents do not give covert speeches.

And yet, for four years now, we’ve heard a constant stream of white evangelicals repeating the zombie lie that Obama never says what he always says — that he never says what he just said, yet again, before the entire world in a live television broadcast. Despite the frequent, documented and very public nature of the president’s many, many recitations of this passage, numerous white evangelicals still claim that Obama always omits the Declaration’s reference to “their Creator” when reciting this passage. He does not, but that doesn’t stop them from repeating the claim.

Even now, just hours after Obama quoted the full passage again in the most public forum imaginable, some white evangelical leader somewhere — Tony Perkins, Bryan Fischer, James Dobson, Charisma magazine — is preparing to assert, yet again, the nonsensical lie that Obama never says what we all just again heard him say.

It’s a particularly weird lie, given that the president is so enamored of this passage and repeats it so often and so publicly. But when all you’ve got are weird and obvious lies I guess you have to make peace with accepting your role as weird and obvious liars. (Hi there, Mark Driscoll!)

 

  • EllieMurasaki

    Every time I see somebody mention that Obama pointedly referenced Stonewall, I start crying.

    Man’s a damn good speechmaker, too.

    Now here’s to living up to every word of that speech.

  • MaryKaye

    Buses and bus shelters here in Seattle are plastered with posters advertising an upcoming series of talks by Mark Driscoll on “finding your identity in Christ”.  The picture is of a man holding a blank white piece of paper in front of his face.

    At the bus stop I frequent, someone has written “Creepy!” below this picture, and it really is.  The image suggests not discovery of self but erasure, concealment, silencing, homogenization.  I wonder what was going through the head of the artist who chose it.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    The image suggests not discovery of self but erasure, concealment, silencing, homogenization.  

    Truth in advertising? It certainly sounds exactly like Mark Driscoll’s version of Christianity. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    A lovely speech :) It had some FDResque vibes to it, particularly this snippet:

    Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about
    the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in
    our time.

    For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford
    delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute
    spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    I wonder what was going through the head of the artist who chose it.

    Sometimes when commercial artists are hired by someone whom they find appalling, they slip stuff into advertisements and such showing what they really think. It sounds like that’s what was going on here.

  • Isabel C.

    I loved the speech as well, and am tentatively hopeful. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZNNUWEXUPQUQAYGBFDHTEIJBUI Joshua

    Or maybe the person who commissioned the art micromanaged the artist to some ridiculous extent. It’s always silly to me when businesses hire artsy people like graphic designers and painters, specifically because those people are good at art, and then end up dictating them every single aspect to them in such exacting detail that the artist has zero discretion and the end result turns out to be a well-executed mess. If they wanted something incompetent, why hire anyone at all?

  • LL

    Why are Republicans/evangelicals not embarrassed by the contrast between how they speak and how Obama speaks? I’m not talking good speechifying vs. bad, but just the shit they say. Obama’s all presidential and inclusive, and all the Republigelicals can seem to do is talk about how much they dislike one group or another. Black people, poor people, Latinos, gay people, women. 

    I mean, I guess for Obama’s purposes, it benefits him that the Republigelicals are so explicit in how much they hate everybody who isn’t just like them, it means that only the very stupidest and/or insulated among us aren’t aware of it, so we know that everybody who votes Republican now is – almost by definition – a hateful asshole or an idiot (c’mon, you know it’s true), but seriously… Are they just that un-self-aware, or do they think that doubling down on the assholishness is gonna pay off one day? Do they think there’s a giant group of hateful old white people Fox News hasn’t reached yet who haven’t voted Republican yet that are going to come through for them? I’d like a Republican to seriously answer this question. I can’t ask any of the ones at work, I have to work with them. 

    Note: I realize that Obama is not perfect and that some people have issues with his administration (drones, torture, surveillance), so if somebody didn’t vote for Obama because of these issues, fine, but if you voted for Romney, maybe you should get yourself checked out to make sure you still possess a soul. 

  • P J Evans

    Obama’s all presidential and inclusive

    There are Republicans complaining because, they say, the president ‘didn’t reach out’ in his speech. I suspect what they really mean is that he didn’t promise them whatever they want.

  • arcseconds

    You know, one of the interesting differences between USAmerican political discourse and discourse in other places is how much talk there is about freedom, whereas in other parts of the world (e.g. Australia, Canada, New Zealand) the talk is often about fairness and equality.

    So it’s interesting to me to see Obama really making points which are more about fairness than freedom, but using the language of freedom to do so.

    As an outsider, though, this business about not ‘ceding’ green technology to other nations but ‘claiming its promise’ doesn’t excite me too much, and even sounds vaguely threatening.

    (Although of course it’d be great if the USA did as a nation become extremely interested in emissions-reducing technology, because it’s more likely to become more of a reality if that happened)

  • http://profiles.google.com/bexa.raven Rebecca Raven

    And please note…he didn’t say that HE was going to do this. He said all of us working as citizens were going to do it.  So instead of watching to see if he does “what he says,” get off your ass and do it.

  • http://accidental-historian.typepad.com/ Geds

    Obama isn’t saying anything original there, but he’s embodying it in a
    way that no previous president has. He latches on to that sweepingly
    inclusive first-person plural “we” and employs it throughout the rest of
    the speech — more than 70 times.

    And yet not ten minutes later the gobshites on the CBS broadcast were talking about how he wanted a legacy of inclusiveness but the Republicans would say that he hasn’t spent nearly enough time coming over to their side of the aisle.  I kinda wanted to scream at the TV something to the effect of, “Shut the fuck up!  The lying assholes on the Republican side of the aisle are lying assholes who are lying through their assholes and this country would be a much better place if you just pointed that out.”  But I didn’t, because that would be weird.

  • Hilary

    Gotta give it to him, the man can talk.  Now for the rest of us to hold him to it – especially the part about war and climate change. 

    About Mark Driscoll, every time I’ve seen something for/someone complaining about his new book, “Who do you think you are?” my inner Pavlov rings a bell

    “Baring in on me and my gitar
    Little girl, hey, the door is that way,
    You better go you know the fire is out anyway.

    Take your powder, take your candle,
    Your sweet whisper I just can’t handle.
    Well take your hair in the moonlight,
    Your brown eyes, goodbye good night”

    Maybe that’s how we should collectively deal with Driscoll.  Every time he tweets something, or preaches or has a book signing somewhere, we all respond with a breakout chorus of RENT. 

    “Measure your life in love – seasons of love . . . .”

    Or we could just cut to the chase: 

    “To sodomy, it’s between God and me, to S&M
    La Vie Boheme!”

    Hilary

  • Chrissl

    Yes, I’ve been that artist.

    A surprising number of people, when shown good design and mediocre or even terribly ineffective design, will unhesitatingly pick the bad design.

    Why? It’s most often because bad design is comforting and familiar. They feel in control of it. It’s what they’re used to. There’s so much of it around.

  • Chrissl

    It’s the same problem a lot of white people have had with Obama all along. No matter how inclusive he is, when he says “we”, those who are afraid of losing their privileged status persist in hearing it as “we Black people.” Or “we who do not belong to the eternally privileged group.”

    Thus when Obama says that “we”, working together, are going to solve such-and-such a problem, their inner-ear censors persist in hearing it as a threat — that those who have not been privileged in the past are going to work together and solve the problem whatever way they damn well please and despite anything the privileged can do.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I took it more as a “we do what we do best by reaching for the brass ring” kind of thing. Kind of a post-Sputniky equivalent of “we’re going to race and race hard to be the best”.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    It really is amazing how much people like that fetishize the authoritarian “President GOOD, because the President is the President!” notion of power relations in the USA right up until Bill Clinton’s or Barack Obama’s ass hits the seat in the Oval Office.

    Then they find every excuse under the sun why it’s okay to all but directly foment armed revolution.

    These arselumpish fuckmooks weren’t even on the radar when Jimmy Carter was President.

    Probably because Republicans back then at least understood the concept of actually living up to their words about respect for the office, if not the person.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Republicans don’t want to be inclusive. Their entire base of support is built on demonizing the Other*. The scary Other who is coming to take your job, your freedoms, your guns, your god, your country, your money, ETC. 

    *Values for The Other vary depending on the need of the moment, but pretty much everyone who isn’t a rich white heterosexual Christian male has filled the role at least once. 

  • Baby_Raptor

    Sign me up for this. I love Rent and I enjoy showing up fundies. 

    Another potential quote: “The opposite of war isn’t peace, it’s creation!” 

  • Jessica_R

    I’m not surprised that Romney didn’t show, but damn, I’m still impressed at the depths of his petulant entitled sulks at not getting his way 

  • Lori

     

    Why are Republicans/evangelicals not embarrassed by the contrast between how they speak and how Obama speaks?   

    When was the last time that you saw the Republican party embarrassed by anything?  Not when did they last do something embarrassing, but when were they last embarrassed by something that they did? Note that being frustrated that something cost them an election =/= embarrassed.

    At the institutional level the GOP has no shame and hasn’t for quite some time. They’re the reason I’ve come around to thinking we as a society should reconsider our collective position on shunning.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Buses and bus shelters here in Seattle are plastered with posters advertising an upcoming series of talks by Mark Driscoll on “finding your identity in Christ”.  The picture is of a man holding a blank white piece of paper in front of his face.

    Really?  Which ones.  I never noticed those, and I take King* County Metro frequently.  I will keep an eye out for them in the future.  Incidentally, the only desire I would ever have to attend a Mars Hill sermon would be the opportunity to punch Mark Driscoll in the face in front of his congregants   But then, I am not looking forward to the assault charges such an act would be accompanied with.  

    *For the unfamiliar and because it is an auspicious day to mention, King County (the county in which Seattle exists) was named after then Vice-President William King when the state was formed, but later “officially unofficially” redefined in 1986 to refer to Martin Luther King Jr., who’s face has been the county’s icon since then (though this rename was only made law in 2005.)  

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    There are Republicans complaining because, they say, the president ‘didn’t reach out’ in his speech. I suspect what they really mean is that he didn’t promise them whatever they want.

    I think that the reason they are speaking like that is because they know that their constituents are only going to listen to what they say, and will never willingly listen to what Obama actually said.  So to their voters, whatever they said that Obama said is what Obama said, end of story, and if they say that Obama was being exclusive and rejecting them, their voters will assume that Obama was belligerent and rejecting.  Even if, by some means, those voters were made to hear what Obama actually said, they would just retreat into their dogmatism and immediately go back to surrounding themselves with people who would back up their belief that Obama is some tyrant.  

    In Oceania, truth is whatever the Party says it is.

  • ReverendRef

    It’s a particularly weird lie,

    Well . . . they are particularly weird little people.

  • Carstonio

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/17722084-505/obamas-gay-rights-remarks-inspiration-and-watershed-or-thumb-in-the-eye-of-people-of.html

    A thumb in the eye of people of faith? Putting aside the false claim of speaking for all religious people, this is like saying that protecting the right of people to eat meat is a thumb in the eye of vegetarians.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    When was the last time that you saw the Republican party embarrassed by anything?  Not when did they last do something embarrassing, but when were they last embarrassed by something that they did? Note that being frustrated that something cost them an election =/= embarrassed.

    Considering that groups of people are not a monolith, I would say that Bush’s second term was quite an embarrassment for many Republicans.  A lot of the ones who were not embarrassed chased the embarrassed ones out of the party for being doubters or showing self-reflection.  Indeed, I have a roommate who identified as Republican up until after the 2008 elections, when he got too embarrassed by the party to continue affiliating himself with it anymore (he is no more a fan of the Democrats now than he was before but the Republicans just got to be too much for him.)  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    One of the more annoying things about our politics are that even when Obama concedes to his opponents — which happens fairly often, actually — they are still angry because he isn’t sufficiently subservient when he does it. 

    Yes, Obama is obligated to reach across the aisle and work with Republicans, but it works both ways — Obama isn’t Congress’s boss or it’s servant — he is their partner, and they have to meet him at least half way on these issues. They’re not going to agree on everything, but Republicans have until very recently been acting as if they have no affirmative obligation to come up with any ideas at all. Obama has to do all the legwork coming up with proposals and ideas and Republicans just sit there and complain about them.

    One of the GOP’s biggest talking points is that Obama hasn’t passed a budget (Romney hammered Obama for that during the past election). That phrasing in and of itself is problematic, because it suggests that Romney and others believe that it’s the President’s job to enact a federal budget (a power which actually belongs to Congress). The President is required to submit a budget request — which is kind of like opening negotiations; while Obama has submitted his budget proposal late almost every year since he’s been in office, he has always managed to turn one in eventually (usually within the same month). 

    It also ignores the fact that part of the reason Obama can’t complete a budget by the legal deadline is because of the sheer level of uncertainty; for example, Obama is unlikely to submit his 2013 budget proposal by February 4 because Congress waited until January 2013 to decide what it was really doing with the tax increases and spending cuts it enacted almost two years ago (!)  But even if he did turn the proposal in on time, it then becomes (as the law demands) Congress’s job to turn the proposal into an actual law for him to sign. He can’t hold their hands through the process of discharging their legal responsibilities. 

  • Lori

    Individual Republicans can be embarrassed. The party can not. Hence my referencing the party and the institutional GOP.

  • MikeJ
  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Incidentally, the only desire I would ever have to attend a Mars Hill
    sermon would be the opportunity to punch Mark Driscoll in the face in
    front of his congregants

    Would be better to find an aspect of hypocrisy he has engaged in which his audience would dislike.

  • Jessica_R

    This got to me, one last look goodbye, http://t.co/JkK97J6D

  • Dash1

    I am so glad they stepped away from trying to make peace with the fundagelical preachers and went with a good Episcopalian priest and Myrlie Evers Williams for the two prayers.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    They think gay marriage is a thumb in the eye to straight marriage, women who work outside the home are a thumb in the eye to women who are homemakers, etc.

    If you are not just like them, you are hurting them. And I think they mean it. Their lives are so un-examined, so unconsciously chosen, that simply showing them another way of existence is possible causes them a weird kind of pain.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    It may be the first time in Romney’s entire life he has not gotten his way simply for existing. It could possibly lead to an ephiphany. Well, not likely, because he’ll continue to get his way with everything else in his life.

  • Trixie_Belden

    Were there people who were claiming to be surprised Romney wasn’t there?  I don’t see that there was any particular reason for him to be there in the first place ( other than as just another citizen).  After all, he hasn’t held an elected office in several years,  the elected office he did have wasn’t connected with Washington, D.C., and he doesn’t have any appointed position or connection with D.C. now.  As far as I’m concerned, it would have been awkward to have him there.  

  • Jessica_R

    I thought it was custom, and I certainly didn’t miss him. But it definitely was assy that he made clear he wouldn’t even be bothering to watch as he had big plans for the day. Again, kudos for keeping up the Preppie villain from a college sex comedy act up to the very end but acting like an adult and wishing the President well might have been nice. 

  • reynard61

    “Despite the frequent, documented and very public nature of the president’s many, many recitations of this passage, numerous white evangelicals still claim that Obama always omits the Declaration’s reference to ‘their Creator’ when reciting this passage. He does not, but that doesn’t stop them from repeating the claim.”

    And that’s why I don’t put anymore stock in *anything* that those particular “numerous white evangelicals” say anymore. They want to keep crying “Wolf!”? Well, there’s nothing that says that I have to listen, let alone come a-runnin’.

  • Mrs Grimble
  • Foelhe

    It would have to be something they’d dislike and wouldn’t immediately forgive him for because he’s a “good Christian who’s made mistakes”. So sleeping with another man, or… well, no, that’s pretty much it.

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    Were there people who were claiming to be surprised Romney wasn’t there? 

    He was the first losing candidate not to attend since Dukkakis – who as a sitting Governor had other business elsewhere.

  • The_L1985

     I’d like to object to the “every Republican is an asshole or idiot” statement.  Both my parents are Republican.  One of them is legitimately an asshole; the other simply doesn’t self-examine WRT politics, because everyone in the rural county Back Home was pretty far to the right, and you just did not question that.

  • The_L1985

    One of said mooks actually voted for Carter, then swore to never vote Democrat again after the Iran hostage crisis and the inflation, neither of which could really be “fixed” by the President in the first place.

    I am the daughter of this person. Imagine how that feels.

  • The_L1985

     “One of the more annoying things about our politics are that even when Obama concedes to his opponents — which happens fairly often, actually — they are still angry because he isn’t sufficiently subservient when he does it.”

    The phrase “uppity N——” comes to mind.  They really do expect an antebellum minstrel-show caricature from their black people.

    This same odd sort of racism shows up in the fact that some members of my parents’ generation hate most shows (past and present) with a predominantly-black cast, but love the Cosby Show because “they didn’t act black,” whatever “acting black” is supposed to mean.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    Paul Ryan — who still has an actual job, by the way — to send a congratulations to Obama:

    “I congratulate President Obama on his inauguration, and I join the country in celebrating this American tradition,” Ryan wrote on his Facebook page today. 

    “The president and I were political opponents. We had strong disagreements over the direction of the country–as we still do now. But today, we put those disagreements aside. Today, we remember what we share in common,” he continued.

    As did John McCain after the 2008 election:

    “His success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance,” McCain said then. “But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans, who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president, is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.”

    Romney going out of his way to point out that he won’t even be watching on TV is definitely a break from tradition. Most candidates, even his own running mate, have more class than that; and if he had won, he likely would have expected better than that from Obama/Biden.

  • Jim Roberts

    For Biden, that depends? Does he get to be in the parade? Because if he does, then he’s all over it. I swear, that man’s determined to hug or shake the hand of every resident of the country before leaving office.

  • Lori

     

    I am the daughter of this person. Imagine how that feels.   

    I don’t have to imagine it, I live it every day. I love my parents and I can understand where a lot of their ideas about things come from. They’re old and religious in a very fundamentalist way and in that context their views are fairly internally consistent. They both have many fine qualities, and I love them very much.

    That said, my parents aren’t some sort of exception to the “Republicans are assholes” rule. They’re bigoted in many ways and they would happily use the government to enforce their particular vision of how the world should be if they were able to do so. They think separation of church and state is a liberal lie designed to oppress Christians, deny the truth that America is a Christian nation and send us all speeding down the road to damnation.

    It took time and effort for me to get my father to quit agreeing in my presence with people who say that natural disasters are God’s punishment on a sinful nation. Note that I said “in my presence”, because I know full well he still says shit like that when I’m not around.

    My mother doesn’t like that MLK day is a federal holiday. She will never admit this, but it’s pure racism. It’s not that she wants to bring back pre-Civil Rights era rules, let alone slavery. She admires Lincoln for freeing the slaves and can’t stand MLK day because her unconscious and unexamined assumption is that freedom is a gift white people give to non-white people. She admires the white man who gave freedom to blacks, but is profoundly uncomfortable with the black man who stood up and claimed equality as his right.

    IOW, they’re assholes. They’re my parents. I love them. They’re assholes. There’s no point wishing that any of those things weren’t true, because they are and I just have to live with that.

  • Lori

     

    They
    think gay marriage is a thumb in the eye to straight marriage, women
    who work outside the home are a thumb in the eye to women who are
    homemakers, etc.

    If you are not just like them, you are hurting them. And I think they
    mean it. Their lives are so un-examined, so unconsciously chosen, that
    simply showing them another way of existence is possible causes them a
    weird kind of pain.  

    I think a lot of it is simply projection. When they do things it’s to poke liberals in the eye, so therefore when liberals do things it must be to poke them in the eye.

    Perfect example—yesterday while our first black president was being sworn in for his 2nd term in office the Republicans in the Virginia Senate used the fact that Civil Rights veteran Henry Marsh was in DC for the inauguration to pass a gerrymandering plan designed to keep the GOP in control of the state. After completing their little power grab they adjourned the session—“in memory of  Stonewall Jackson”

    I am not making that up.

    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2013/01/two-stonewalls-two-americas

  • Carstonio

    The Virginia trick was indeed about poking a certain group in the eye, but it wasn’t necessarily liberals. To me, the talk about Jackson seemed only vaguely related to Lost Cause revisionism to me, and I say that as someone who believes that all the slaveowners and all Confederate officers deserved to have been tried as war criminals. Instead, I think it’s more the childish mentality that treats critics of hegemony as prudish spoilsports, that thinks “vegetarian = bad hunter” is a hilarious put-down, that responds to MLK Day with “You have your holiday, why can’t we have ours?”

  • Cathy W

    …except that he might be sad to no longer be Vice-President. Vice-President would seem on its face to be a hard job to love, but he loves it, whole-heartedly and enthusiastically.

  • renniejoy

     What makes you think that?


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