• author
    • Debra DeAngelo

      Columnist
    • January 13, 2017 in Columnists

    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.

    Boom.

    Mic drop.

    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,

    Debra

    Official portrait of President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, Dec. 6, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

    MY PRESIDENT: Official portrait of President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, Dec. 6, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

     

    President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters, Malia and Sasha, sit for a  family portrait in the Green Room of the White House, Sept. 1, 2009. (Official White House Photo) Photo by Annie Leibovitz/Released by White House Photo Office This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

    THEN: President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters, Malia and Sasha, sit for a family portrait in the Green Room of the White House, Sept. 1, 2009. (Official White House Photo Photo by Annie Leibovitz/Released by White House Photo Office)

     

    obama-family-portrait

    NOW: The First Family, Barack and Michelle Obama, and their daughters, Malia (left) and Sasha, and their dogs, Sunny (left) and Bo. (White House official family photo)


      • Laleh

      • January 13, 2017 at 1:00 pm
      • Reply

      Omg , you made me cry again. I have not cried so much for a President ever ..I have literally been crying and like most Americans I’m going thru depression and so so much anxiety this week. It kinda feels like this is the last week of this country as we know it and it will be completely destroyed for ever, so I can not stop crying.
      Mr and mrs Obama , I’m an immigrant that moved to this country almost 40 years ago as a teenager all by myself and had lots of hope for my future and living in this place that the whole world called land of opportunity. Unfortunately due to many circumstances including a revolution in my country and the status of my family it didn’t happen. I ended up working hard and just surviving rather than reaching many dreams that I had.
      I’ve seen many presidents come and go and ups and downs with the economy. They were just presidents and politicians to me that were part of politics and running the country one way or another.
      When you started running , you actually made me want to listen to what you had to say, for the first time since being an American I found myself actually caring and loving and supporting my candidate and get involved. You made me proud to be American and with our country being in such a mess I strongly believed that you were the only man who could save this country from depression and getting us out of the dark spot we were in not only here but all over the world people were feeling sorry for us as a nation in crisis.
      And I will never forget the day you won and how I was sobbing and had goosebumps and was screaming from joy that finally we have a man that is going to make us proud and shine in the world again, and that you did.
      Mr Obama with your grace, humanity you have brought so many firsts to this country and the world. We are friends with Cuba , who could even imagine that. I have health insurance that doesn’t question my pre existing and as a cancer survivor I sure need that.We have accomplished so much in this country and all over the world.
      I’m really going to miss our intelligent, well-spoken, reasonable, brave, gracious, mature, fair-minded, foward-thinking, inclusive, sensitive, respectful, soulful, compassionate, able-to-form-and-speak-a-complete-sentence president. And yet President Obama as broken as sad as I feel you want me to remain hopeful.
      Good luck, Mr. Trump. Please rise to the challenge of your new JOB.
      Grow up, leave twitter behind, get serious and get to WORK.
      God Bless you Mr. President and Michelle Obama and your beautiful family and God Bless the United States of America.
      Truly deeply Love you,
      Laleh



      • I agree, Laleh – when Obama arrived at the White House, I felt truly encouraged for the first time, like something would really change! But sadly, he had to make change DESPITE all the opposition. And yet, he did. But oh, how much greater it could have been had he not been fighting the Republicans every step of the way!



    • Agree!


      • Sue

      • January 13, 2017 at 2:15 pm
      • Reply

      You are so delusional my head is spinnng. That wonderful bail out to the auto industry was due to the fact that people like you choose to drive imports that are cheap, the financial bailout took money from retirees that forced them to still be working and keeping jobs from younger people. People lost their homes with jobs. Look at Chicago death rate and violence ,where mr Obama comes from I notice he is NOT returning there. Wonder why?
      Health insurance fiasco does not help more than it hurt, WHY did mr obama include Congress and all federal employees in the ACA? They get taxpayer paid for life insurance at a max. Level… please grow up and face reality these 8 years have been a disaster.



      • I have driven nothing but GM made cars, exclusively, my whole life. You are dead wrong about tat… and dead wrong about Obama as well.
        Don’t look now, but your prejudice is showing.


      • Madgew

      • January 13, 2017 at 2:42 pm
      • Reply

      I love Barack Obama and I agree he will become one of those presidents we will read about in history books. We will look back and be proud of him always. His family is an example of a family we should all emulate. I can’t wait to see what they all do and accomplish after a well deserved rest. Our nation is better because of the Obama’s.


      • Joan

      • January 14, 2017 at 9:04 pm
      • Reply

      Well said, Debra….thank you.



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