Obama understood how to work with Congress, even one that did everything it could to refuse to work with him; he won just enough of them over to pass the Affordable Care Act, the most important new social legislation since the Johnson Administration, fully 45 years earlier. That’s a long time.
It’s pure Trumpism to pretend that a president can shove policies down the throat of the opposition party or disregard the views of duly elected members of our national legislature from an opposing point of view.
Criticizing the most popular Democrat on the planet and in our country as if he is THE EXAMPLE of what not to do isn’t just bad politics, it implies a hostility to compromise and a kind of policy puritanism that is a little scary at this particular moment, since we cannot afford to lose this time.
I’m still undecided, but these debates are pushing me in an unexpected direction. I’m sure of one thing. If the opposition splits, our country will become unrecognizable very quickly, much more quickly than we can imagine.
For those at immediate risk, and for those next on the charlatan’s list of the politically expendable, this nominating process must not be a debating society seeking policy perfection.
No. Already, for people like trans people, immigrants with no documentation, and people of color, this is an existential emergency. And with what is at stake for these groups as well as LGBTQIA+ people and the poor, the utter failure to communicate an appealing message to the entire country we just witnessed the other night was just not acceptable.
This is not just another election (if it is even run properly this time). This is an election where some of us are in actual danger.
Such people do not have the luxury of nominating candidates who will be effortlessly painted as frightening by Trump. This year, candidates not familiar to the American people, or who disrespect Obama, are far too risky to nominate.
Obama is the most popular Democrat in existence, and the only Democrat to win over 50% of American voters twice in a row since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. We abandon Obama’s legacy at our peril, but in doing so, we will especially imperil the vulnerable.