Wednesday, September 5, 2012

We're in this together

I'd love to write a truly profound post today about what just happened in Charlotte last night. But the truth is - I don't have it in me.

My first problem is that I'm so overwhelmed and still in the process of soaking it all up. As I read around the internet I hear quotes from various speakers and think..."that's the one! Yeah, I want to talk about that!" But if I did, I'd be writing 24/7 for the next week.

I now have a whole new awareness of what the phrase "an embarrassment of riches" means. Did you see all the amazing goodness that was on display last night? I mean really...from Tammy Duckworth to Stacy Lihn to Deval Patrick to Julian Castro to the most brilliant FLOTUS EVER?! How could you not be overwhelmed????

As they all wove the web of their own lives to our shared values to the policies and approach of our own President Barack Obama, I couldn't help but think that this is what many of us have been saying for over 4 years. We've been trying to write about it and talk about it for a long, long time. And last night the whole world heard it loud and clear!

As an example, how wonderful was it when Michelle said this at the end of her speech?
And I love that even in the toughest moments, when we're all sweating it – when we're worried that the bill won't pass, and it seems like all is lost – Barack never lets himself get distracted by the chatter and the noise.

Just like his grandmother, he just keeps getting up and moving forward...with patience and wisdom, and courage and grace.

And he reminds me that we are playing a long game here...and that change is hard, and change is slow, and it never happens all at once.

But eventually we get there, we always do.
That wasn't a new line she wrote for a convention speech - she's said it before. And we've been talking about it for years now. Last night that reality - and many others - were brought to life on a national stage.

The other problem I have in writing about last night is that any words I would put out there would pale in comparison to the words that were already spoken. My commentary would be lifeless compared to the power of those speakers. And so what I'm left with is "ditto" to all they said. Profound, huh?

What I will say is that there was a theme every one of those speakers I listed above spoke to in their own unique way...we're in this together. Tammy talked about how we have to come together - just as her fellow soldiers did when their helicopter went down and they saved her life. Stacy made us all care whether or not her daughter gets the medical care she needs to survive. And Michelle talked about not shutting the door on those who come behind us. Here's how Mayor Castro put it:
Of all the fictions we heard last week in Tampa, the one I find most troubling is this: If we all just go our own way, our nation will be stronger for it. Because if we sever the threads that connect us, the only people who will go far are those who are already ahead. We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
That's the essence of Barack Obama's message. Its the basic difference between Democrats and Republicans. And its the heart of what we need to do to face the challenges that confront us as a country.

In other words, that's what we're fighting for.
If farmers and blacksmiths could win independence from an empire...if immigrants could leave behind everything they knew for a better life on our shores...if women could be dragged to jail for seeking the vote...if a generation could defeat a depression, and define greatness for all time...if a young preacher could lift us to the mountaintop with his righteous dream...and if proud Americans can be who they are and boldly stand at the altar with who they love...then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great American Dream.


  1. One thing, aside from the broadly high quality of the speeches, that struck me about last night is that the lineup offered a ton of evidence that Obama has been not only planning but working on developing a coterie of young Democratic candidates to continue the transformation of the party he--and to some extent Dean before him--began. To borrow someone else's language, our bench is deeper than I knew, and the GOP's is quite shallow.

    I realize I just waded into some semi-treacherous waters mentioning Dean, as a large group of Dean supporters felt that Obama unfairly snubbed Dean during the transition. My take is that Dean certainly knew what needed to be done, but lacked the kind of organizational skill set to thoroughly accomplish it over the long-term.

    Obama has certainly changed politics if only because the Democratic Party that is on display now is a completely different party than Clinton's, or certainly than the post-LBJ party of the 1970's and 1980's.

    Additionally, Obama knows that it's no good to talk an inclusive rhetoric. One needs to be inclusive in staffing questions. We simply cannot have a party in which even well-intentioned white male politicians speak for women and people of color. We need to be a party in which people of color and women speak for themselves.

    1. You're talking to a former all-in Deaniac here. Its one of the reasons I never trust the Clintons these days. I think it was his people that brought Dean down. Same reason they were threatened by Obama. They had spent all that time and energy going after the big $ and were threatened by the insurgents.

      And I totally agree with that last paragraph. Its why I've been a little disappointed at the # of women of color being showcased on the Dem bench. I'll be paying special attention to Kamala Harris tonight for that very reason.

    2. I'm wondering why the hacks are pushing Hilary. She lost badly last time she ran. The message I got was that the base doesn't want her. Bill's better served helping whoever gets nominated.

      Shutting Dean out was brilliant. Getting rid of the guy that made burying the GOP a strong possibility was something that wouldn't have occurred to me. Force the crazies to defend safe seats. If they were serious with Dean's strategy, Texas would at least be a swing state and blue states would have Democrat governors(no voter id laws in certain states). It's frustrating to watch simple minded shmucks get away with the same nonsense they did in the 90s.