Thanks, Obama… no really — thank you
Dear President Obama,
I watched your farewell address last week, and I must say — I was embarrassed. Thoroughly ashamed.
Oh, not at you! Heavens no!
Ashamed at how horribly you were treated for eight years. You rode into office full of hope and change, and Congressional Republicans focused upon crushing every bit of hope and change right out of you. They never wanted hope and change, you see. They wanted the status quo. But more than anything else, they wanted to destroy your presidency.
I’m not being hyperbolic. Their turtle-faced leader, Senator Mitch McConnell, who must have balls the size of Cleveland, came right out and said it in 2010: “Our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term.”
Came right out and said that!
Talk about audacity!
Congressional Republicans’ “top political priority” was to thwart anything and everything you attempted. Period. They abandoned the honorable things Republicans usually work for, like fiscal restraint, supporting business and strengthening our military, and set about to be a constant monkey wrench in your administration. The fact that you prevailed anyway isn’t merely admirable — it’s a freakin’ miracle.
I know you’re well aware of your own victories, but I want to spotlight some of the biggies anyway. You deserve some attaboys. Here’s just a short, but very impressive, list of your accomplishments:
~ You saved our economy. When you took office in 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen to 7,949.09 — the lowest it had ever been on an Inauguration Day since its creation. Banks and investment companies were sinking fast, and as they did, they siphoned jobs, homes and retirement funds along with them, just like a sinking cruise liner siphons anything nearby right down with it by the sheer force of its weight and mass.
You signed the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that same year, amid the Great Depression 2.0, and the rocketing unemployment rate calmed. Within a year, the private sector was producing more jobs than it was losing. Like a comatose patient finally coming to, the economy slowly improved and has now has made a full recovery. Today, the unemployment rate is the lowest in decades, businesses are bouncing back, and the stock market is teetering just below 20,0000 — the highest it’s ever been in history.
You did that.
~ You put health insurance within the grasp of all Americans, including low-income and chronically and terminally ill people. True, the Affordable Care Act needs improving and tweaking, and no, it’s not perfect, but I blame Congressional Republicans for that, because they gnawed and chewed at the ACA until it became something that made everyone a little miserable… but was best for the greater good of all.
Me, I don’t mind paying a little extra for my health insurance premiums if it helps provide medical care to poor and terminally ill people, because, silly, starry-eyed me, I believe we’re supposed to be all in this together. But then again, I’m not a Congressional Republican, and it’s not my nature to be exclusively self-serving at all times.
And sure, Republicans are stripping away the ACA before you’ve even packed your bags, but it will backfire on them, big time. Amongst those 20 million people covered by the ACA, when their health coverage ends, some will die — enough of them to leave a lot of blood on Republican hands. May Republicans reap the consequences of the misery they’re about to sow.
~ You saved our automobile industry. By injecting $62 billion into GM and Chrysler, which were being sucked into the whirlpool of the aforementioned sinking economic ship, those automakers recovered, and the people they employ — about 100,000 of them — didn’t lose their jobs. We still have our automakers because of your efforts. That must still stick in the Republican congressional craw, because they couldn’t go on record as opposing your efforts to resuscitate our auto industry, a staple of the collective American psyche.
~ You eliminated Osama bin Laden. America’s Most Wanted.
I could go on and on about your accomplishments, but here’s the thing, Barack… (can I call you Barack, because I feel personally close to you although we’ve never met)… you made me feel proud. And safe. Even in the most dark and dire times, like when your predecessor crashed the America car into a tree, threw you the keys and walked away whistling, you rolled up your sleeves and got to work. You remained calm and — above all — told us you’d fix it.
And you did.
History will juxtapose your stellar accomplishments with the most vile partisanship and outright racism in U.S. history, and you will be vindicated. You will be ranked amongst the great ones… Washington, Lincoln and Kennedy.
I don’t need to wait for history to catch up. I want you to know right now that I am deeply, truly proud to call you “My President.” My heart swells when I think of you. You were, from start to finish: patient, noble, articulate, calm and dedicated. You have more integrity in your pinky finger than there is in a ton of Congressional Republicans.
And one more thing: Your family is evidence of the strength of your character. Your wife, Michelle, is brilliant and honorable, and your daughters polite, bright, and full of promise. There isn’t one blemish of scandal on any of them, and what a joy it has been to watch them all grow and flourish — right along with you.
“Thanks Obama” has been a snarky social media meme for a long time, but today as you are about to leave us (and oh, how I wish you’d stay), I want to say very, very sincerely, “Thanks, Obama.” Despite incredible and outrageous opposition, you prevailed. You are, and always shall be, a shining star and role model for everyone who believes in the greater good of all.
All my love,