Andrew Sullivan: How Obama’s Long Game Will Outsmart His Critics ….It’s not that I don’t understand the critiques of Barack Obama …. it’s that I don’t even recognize their description of Obama’s first term in any way. The attacks from both the right and the left on the man and his policies aren’t out of bounds. They’re simply – empirically – wrong.
….. there have been many times when I have disagreed with decisions Obama has made …. but given the enormity of what he inherited, and given what he explicitly promised, it remains simply a fact that Obama has delivered in a way that the unhinged right and purist left have yet to understand or absorb. Their short-term outbursts have missed Obama’s long game – and why his reelection remains, in my view, as essential for this country’s future as his original election in 2008.
…. If I sound biased, that’s because I am. Biased toward the actual record, not the spin; biased toward a president who has conducted himself with grace and calm under incredible pressure, who has had to manage crises not seen since the Second World War and the Depression, and who as yet has not had a single significant scandal to his name …. What I see is a president whose character, record, and promise remain as grotesquely underappreciated now as they were absurdly hyped in 2008. And I feel confident that sooner rather than later, the American people will come to see his first term from the same calm, sane perspective. And decide to finish what they started.
Bob Cesca: Andrew Sullivan wrote a spectacular cover-story for Newsweek about the president’s achievements ….. he underscores something I’ve been trying to outline here for some time now. President Obama’s strategic planning and, specifically, the roll-out of his agenda, is a long term process that requires us to not miss “the screen for the pixels.”
…. Of course Sullivan continues to repeat the myth that the NDAA authorizes indefinite detention of U.S. citizens when, in fact, it simply does not ban it. There’s a difference, and if we want an explicit ban on indefinite detention of citizens, as I do, contact your member of Congress or make a rational case for such a ban to the White House. I assure you, a liberal president will listen to a reasonable argument from liberals (on the other hand, a paleoconservative who’s locked into a fictitious ideology, like Ron Paul, will not). The president has done so before, and he will act. Steve Benen, for example, wrote a measured and rational memorandum to the White House during the healthcare reform debate and some of Benen’s strategic advice was adopted by the administration….
President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama (C) and their daughter Malia (2nd-L)
President Obama playfully shushes himself as he greets the librarian
A paper-collage of first lady Michelle Obama hangs on a wall at the Browne Education Campus
President Obama participates in a community service project in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. at the Browne Education Campus in Washington
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., FEDERAL HOLIDAY, 2012
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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
On a hot summer day nearly half a century ago, an African American preacher with no official title or rank gave voice to our Nation’s deepest aspirations, sharing his dream of an America that ensured the true equality of all our people. From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired a movement that would push our country toward a more perfect Union.
At a time when our Nation was sharply divided, Dr. King called on a generation of Americans to be “voices of reason, sanity, and understanding amid the voices of violence, hatred, and emotion.” His example stirred men and women of all backgrounds to become foot soldiers for justice, and his leadership gave them the courage to refuse the limitations of the day and fight for the prospect of tomorrow. Because these individuals showed the resilience to stand firm in the face of the fiercest resistance, we are the benefactors of an extraordinary legacy of progress.