Archive for August, 2008

McCain: What A Fox!

Friday, August 29th, 2008

Have I ever mentioned that this is not a political blog? And that I’m not a political junkie, not really. And that I never, absolutely never blog twice on the same day?

mcain-palin 

But who can let this latest move by the Republicans go by without commenting?

You gotta give it to them Republicans. Choosing Governor Sarah Palin for John McCain’s Vice Presidential running mate was a “high-five, no low” bid whist move. Dang!! 

I’m still picking myself up from the floor on this one.  I’m dying to hear what everyone else thinks.  Especially all those of you who blew this blog up this week this whole campaign, talking about your, um, our beloved Democratic candidate and his wife.

Shrewd. Wily. Bold. Daring. Neck-Popping. Wow, has this presidential race changed a lot in the last 24 hours!!

What was that saying again, “Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line”? 

Sarah Palin:
She’s a woman.
She’s a governor.
She’s a gun-toting woman (she hunts, y’all).
She’s a Mom (of five!!): one son heading off to war next month (she’s patriotic), and she just gave birth this past April to an infant with Down Syndrome (she’s against abortion: wink, wink)
She’s Christian.
She’s married to a Fisherman (wink, wink Labor union).
She’s Green.
She’s young (but everybody is, compared to McCain).
She a former basketball player who went by the nickname “Sarah Barracuda” for her fierce competitiveness on the court (so, don’t let that voice fool ya’)
She’s a former beauty queen (hey, these are Republicans, you know) 
Yeah, Sarah Palin’s white. But so is Joe Biden.

Again, you gotta give it to them Republicans. Let the Democrats sit around and sing “Kum Bah Ya” (while throwing Hillary Clinton off the bus). There must be someone else who don’t mind joining the ”The Sisterhood of Travellin’ Pants” and doing what it takes  to make sure this bus rolls up to the White House in January ‘09.  

Yep, the Republicans are just doing this to win. Yep, the Republicans are appealing to disaffected Clinton voters. Yep. The Republicans are playing to win. By any means necessary.  

In Our Life Time!

Friday, August 29th, 2008

Here’s to my father, Willie Weems, who died in 2003.


 

I wish my father had lived to see this day. He would have been burning up my phone last night. Heck, he and I would have been fighting and yelling this whole campaign about our different choice of candidates. (My father would never have voted for a woman–unless she was his daughter, of course.)

My father would have kept me on the phone all last night jaw jabbin’ (a southern expression, y’all) in my ear about the finer points of Barack Obama’s acceptance speech there at the Convention, but most especially about Obama’s every jab and punch against his critics. 

My father would have gotten up early this morning to dash out to meet up with all the regulars at his favorite”Waffle House” there in Atlanta, and after arriving taken his seat on his favorite stool, ordered black coffee and “the ususal,” and, with the morning newspaper and its headline spread out in front of him, launched into his commentary about “that Barack fella’,” recapping everything that went on at the Democratic National Convention this week, but especially last night’s coup de etat.  Bragging, arguing, signifing, debating, scolding, teaching, and bursting with pride at what a black man had just accomplished. All the while daring anybody in listening distance, sipping the same cofee and reading the same newspaper, but who thought differently to say anything (especially someone from a different race; cough, cough).  

And no, the improbable historic coincidence of it all–that Barack Obama’s acceptance of the Democratic Party’s nomination for president comes 45 years to the day after Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech– would not have been lost on a man from my father’s generation.

(Oh, did I mention that it may have taken him a while, but by last night my father who was a Southern black man with a 11th grade education would finally have gotten to where he could pronounce Barack Obama’s name correctly.)

Here’s to you Pops and to all our foreparents who died a day too soon! 

 And here’s to you and me.  

Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.
Truly I tell you, many prophets, and righteous people longed to see what you see, but not see it,
and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it. (Matt. 13:16-17)

Hillary Delivers

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Hillary Clinton did what she was supposed to do. And more. She brought the Democratic National Convention to its feet on the second night with a rousing, electrifying speech calling for party unity and unbridled support Barack Obama.

Hillary Clinton reached out to her “restless supporters” and thanked them for their support.

Hillary Clinton called for unity in the Democratic party.

Hillary Clinton blasted John McCain and insisted that this country, especially the economy, can not afford another four  years of Republican leadership.

Hillary Clinton responded to those who criticized her of being selfish and running a self-absorbed campaign.

Hillary Clinton spokely openly and proudly about being a woman and used the occasion to contextualized her run for office and talk about what it meant to be at a place  in history when a woman could aspire tp and make a credible run for the office of President of United States.

Hillary Clinton graciously paid tribute in her speech to black women like Michelle Obama, the late Stephanie Tubbs Jones, and Harriett Tubman. 

Finally, Hillary Clinton urged her supporters to vote for Barack Obama and see to it that a Democrat is in the White House come January 2009. 

Does she really mean it? Is she lying? Does Hillary Clinton really support Barack Obama and want to see him become president? someone asked me after Clinton’s speech was over.

Who cares? That’s not the point. So what if she thinks she’s the better candidate and deserves the spot in the White House? Why shouldn’t she? Who cares if the Clintons and Obamas really don’t like each other? The point is that Hillary Clinton mounted the platform there at the Democratic National Conventional and did what she was supposed to do. She called in the strongest language possible for the party to unite and to support Barack Obama for President of the United States. That’s what she did. And more. She proved that she knows how to be tough in battle, and gracious in defeat.  I’ll say it again: her candidacy resonated with me in ways that the others did not. 

Finally, Hillary Clinton left the convention stage last night fully cognizant of her place in American history and the part she played in the 18 million pieces of glass falling from the ceiling in the wake of her departure.

The Obamas: The Family Next Door?

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Even before Michelle Obama could finish speaking last night at the opening night of DNC my inbox and cell phone were popping with inquiries from readers and friends (and a few foes) wanting to know what I thought about her speech and what I thought about Michelle after hearing her speak on a national stage.

Last night’s speech by Michelle Obama didn’t change my mind one iota about her. Michelle Obama is a fantastic woman and a role model for women everywhere. She’s warm, caring, confident, intelligent, well-educated, and very comfortable standing before thousands to speak.  Did I mention that Michelle Obama is smart? In fact, Michelle Obama did exactly what a woman with her background and credentials was supposed to do and what women like her do all the time when they stand up to speak. She spoke like a woman in charge. What’s so strange about that? It’s what we do.

michelle 

Michelle Obama’s carefully calibrated speech last night at the DNC did exactly what it was supposed to do.  Dispel any suspicions (white) Americans might have about her being an angry black woman. Reassure the jittery masses (meaning white Americans) that there’s no difference between Michelle  and Barack Obama and the families they come from and the typical (white) American family. From the story of her stay-at-home mom to that of her blue collar father who worked hard, suffered silently, and and died much too soon from complications from mulitiple sclerosis. From the choice of her make-up to the color and cut of her dress, to the softer facial expressions and movement of her hands. Michelle Obama, I am sure, was in full charge of her own recasting and repackaging.  She even spoke of her love for the United States and how she’s tried to give back “in my own small way to this country that has given me so much.” Remarks obviously meant to quell widespread criticisms that she was not patriotic enough. The point of last night’s speech was to prove that Michelle Obama (and by inference, the Obama family) shares the same values and struggles that all Americans have. 

The most adorable, meta-laden, tone-setting line for Michelle Obama’s speech, in my opinion, was not spoken by Michelle Obama, but by her brother, basketball coach Craig Robingson, who introduced his sister by confiding that even though, as children they were only allowed to watch one hour of television Michelle was the one who managed to commit to memory every episode of “The Brady Bunch.” Not “Green Acres.” Not “The Adams Family. Not “Good Times.” Not “The Jeffersons.” And definitely, not “All in the Family.”  (As a sidenote, I must admit that for someone like me who lost her older brother to lung cancer a few years ago  the most touching moment of the evening was the warm embrace  Michelle and her brother exchanged as he was exiting the podium and when she was coming out onto the platform to speak.)

Couldn’t you just hear the collective sigh of Americans as they sat in their living rooms watching this family drama unfold?

In case you hadn’t noticed, wives of politicans are supposed to show a different side of their husbands.  In the tough and tumble world of politics where candidates hammer each other, cut deals behind doors, and lie without blinking, voters (according to conventional wisdom) want to be assured that the candidate actually has a softer, regular-guy side. One that only his wife and children can prove that’s there. That’s what wives of political candidates are supposed to do when they speak on their husband’s behalf. That’s what family portraits are supposed to convey. That’s what last night’s speech was supposed to achieve. At the end of the speech, there was a staged moment where Barack Obama was piped in via satellite and talked to Michelle and the girls.  An ordinary family. (You did know that that was staged, didn’t you?) 

Once again, a collective sigh was supposed to go up as (white) Americans sat in their living rooms watching on tv a typical modern American family scene – daddy, mommy, and wee ones– reunite, across satellite, after a day at work with kisses and hugs and much love. Instead of Obama. Think Brady.

Ahhhh.  They’re not so different. They’re just like us.  Hey, what can I say? I bought the speech. I can imagine the Obamas as next door neighbors. But I doubt mine is the neighborhood the Obamas are trying to move into.

What do you think? Did Michelle Obama’s speech do what it was supposed to do?