When it gets to be too much


Yesterday, the House voted to provide subsidies for summertime children’s lunches only to “rural areas”. That wasn’t even a dog whistle, it was an out and out statement of racism.

A few days ago, a New Hampshire police commissioner not only called President Barack Obama a “n***er”, but defended his statement, saying that the President fit his definition for one. He refused to resign until just a couple of days ago.

Today, Mark Cuban admitted to “biases”. He could cross the street—in what I’m sure is a gated, nearly all-white community—if he saw a young black man in a hoodie coming towards him. Of course, if that young black man in a hoodie had a 42-inch vertical leap, I’m sure he’d take the time to sign him to a contract.

It seems as if the past few weeks have seen an explosion of insanity. As Pres. Obama succeeds in the face of unparalleled obstruction—Obamacare, the economy, isolating Russia—certain sectors of this country have decided on a scorched earth policy. If they can’t exercise untrammeled power, if the country elects and re-elects Pres. Obama, then burn everything, like Russians retreating before Napoleon.

It can be forgiven if one gets to feel downtrodden. The forces arrayed against progress are not minor. They have almost unlimited funding. They drive media narratives. They more or less own five Justices on the Supreme Court. The scenario would prove daunting and depressive to even the hardiest souls.

We expect things to be easy. We elect a leader. The leader brings monumental change. We rejoice, without our lives being interrupted too much, or at all.

This tweet, however, exemplifies what 2008 and 2012 really meant:

[tweet https://twitter.com/Shoq/status/469298999577833473 align = ‘center’]

Pres. Obama’s election did represent a sea change. But change is never easy. It’s never simple. And it’s never accomplished without work. We’ve seen that for the past six years. The forces of inertia and reaction will not surrender power easily or willingly. They will fight every inch, house to house, losing, yes, but inflicting severe damage where they can. We can see this in the fact that Senate Republicans filibustered a tax-cut bill, one which enjoyed broad bipartisan support, simply to deny Pres. Obama a Rose Garden signing ceremony.

Too many on our side heard the President say “I am the change you’ve been waiting for.” He said nothing of the sort. I’ve encountered it among some of my friends. “Well, he promised to change everything.” When in fact what he said is “YOU are the change you’ve been waiting for.” He promised to work for the people of this country. He promised to bring humanity back to government. But he didn’t promise that he could do all these things on his own. He not only urged his supporters to hold his feet to the fire, but to stay active and hold the feet of all politicians to that same fire.

Of course, holding 535 mini-barons to account is much more difficult than focusing on the one king. Thus Pres. Obama is assailed from all sides for perceived failings, while the Legislative Branch, even though it’s approved of by only 11% of the electorate, sails on unperturbed. It is at this realization that I think we deserve what we get.

But does an honor’s student in inner-city Los Angeles deserve to be stripped of a summer lunch program?

Does a hard working mother in Texas who falls into the income gap deserve to be denied expanded Medicaid?

Do the long-term unemployed deserve to be thrown out on the street, to swell the ranks of the homeless and hopeless?

When it gets to be too much, we have to remember: WE are the change. Power surrenders nothing without struggle. And despite the rumblings of the Cliven Bundys of the world, it’s his ilk which hold the power, and have for most of the Republic’s history.

For a while after the New Deal, power was wise enough to accede to reforms to keep the system going. But now it has decided to go for it all, and impose a sort of banana republic on the world’s oldest democracy.

Will we let the powerful do this? Will we let this 200 year old experiment die, killed by greed, fear, and apathy?

President Obama’s entire project has been to re-energize active citizenship. A democracy is only as good as its electorate. When the electorate is apathetic and ignorant, the powerful have full sway.

Over the next few months we have to show that this experiment still has life in it. The the Kochs and the Trumps of the world don’t have the final say, that their words are worth exactly the same as ours.

When it gets to be too much, that’s when we have to reach inside, and just be witnesses. We see them, and we will pass judgment.

When it gets to be too much, just remember: it can get far worse. And it’s in our power to prevent that.

68 Responses to “When it gets to be too much”

    • May 22, 2014 at 7:59 pm

      Hello CarolMaeWY. Congrats on first. How are your eyes today? LL that is an incredible post. Thanks so much. I have been feeling, lately, that it is all too much and haven’t felt like posting, or anything. I always come here, of course, but I’ve been feeling down. This post has really helped me. Thanks.

      • May 22, 2014 at 10:42 pm

        Thank you Betsy. My eyes are getting better. I still have a little black dot. I need new corrective lenses so I can’t drive yet. Hubby is a little tired of taking me places. I missed your reply. Hope you come out of your funk. It gets hard sometimes. I have trouble keeping up with things after my absence. LL is such a good writer. 🙂

  1. May 22, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Great essay I’m sure LL. I’m still reading R& S. There is always so much going on with our great President Obama.

  2. 7 donna dem 4 obama
    May 22, 2014 at 1:13 pm

  3. 8 JER
    May 22, 2014 at 1:15 pm

  4. May 22, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    you rock, LL

    you always rock and thank you for this.

  5. 19 donna dem 4 obama
    May 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm

  6. 20 57andfemale
    May 22, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    In addition to LL’s great essay, this is one of the best articles written this year:


  7. 22 Nena20409
    May 22, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    It is always the darkest before dawn.

    LL, you are at your peak with your words and delivery.

    You, Sir are 1001% correct. You are on Fire. Thank you.

  8. 23 JER
    May 22, 2014 at 1:25 pm

  9. 24 Nena20409
    May 22, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    ⭐ Au ⭐ for CarolMaeWY.

    Your TBT was Fantastic.


  10. May 22, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Oh my goodness!

  11. 30 Linda
    May 22, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Ugh….new right wing channel was added to my cable

    OAN – One American News……out of San Diagoand DC

    The network launched 24/7 on July 4, 2013 & has broad national carriage on Verizon FiOS TV and AT&T U-verse TV, along with a number of regional cable providers.[1] The network operates production studios and news bureaus in California and Washington, DC.[2] The network is transmitted on Intelsat Galaxy 13. One America has been known to offer conservative, Tea Party-leaning editorials on its political talk shows.

    • 32 Dakota
      May 22, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      Sitting to the right of the FLOTUS, Angelique Kidjo, one of my absolute favorite singers!

  12. May 22, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Oh Christ, Brian Williams has a Snowden interview.

  13. 36 JER
    May 22, 2014 at 1:47 pm

  14. May 22, 2014 at 1:48 pm

  15. May 22, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Senate is now voting on confirmation of David Barron.

  16. 40 anniebella
    May 22, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Summertime school lunches for the rural areas only. Shouldn’t the media be asking the House why they did something like that..

    • 41 Nena20409
      May 22, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      The media today unfortunately can’t relate to these stories. So if the right is not screaming about any particular issue, they don’t care.
      What would have stopped CNN to address this? Well, it is quite simple the righties would accuse them of “Liberal Bias”……these days, the MSM worries about that than the well being of folks in the urban areas.

      Brian Williams is off to Russia to interview Snowden……Yet his program neglected to notice that 5M plus Americans are denied medicare and thousands will die yearly because of that wicked omission and denial of coverage.

      • 42 99ts
        May 22, 2014 at 6:29 pm

        Unbelievable – with all that Putin is doing at the minute – he will be grinning ear to ear on this one. After 5 years those white pundits have allowed the hate to simmer to unbelievable levels – interviewing traitors is the bottom of the largest barrell

  17. 43 GGail
    May 22, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    So I come back to TOD to have a conversation with J’OB who had landed on First only to find a new Post. What the …???

    Listen People…I have to work, so y’all will just have to s-l-o-w your roll so I can chit-chat occasionally – okay?

  18. May 22, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    LL, thank you so much for this encouraging and powerful message.

    I hope you consider re-posting this powerful message at two more times as the midterm elections gets close.

    Thanks again >>

  19. 47 JER
    May 22, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Live Video: Awaiting President Obama’s arrival – 2:30pm: Air Force One arrives in Rome – http://www.localsyr.com/live-video/one/d/story/live-video-obama-cooperstown-hall-of-fame/31738/kjnX1PvStkaUyLv3jjmjQQ

  20. May 22, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Thanks LL.

    In my life, I have seen tremendous changes.

    Germany once thought it needed to invade all of Europe to “lead” it. Now it leads it through its actual strength: Economic prowess.

    In 1981 I was part of the organization of the anti-nuke protest in Amsterdam, hosting foreign observers (if you think “tactical nuclear warfare” is a good idea, project the USSR maps pf that in Europe onto the US ones).

    Northern Ireland was a mess when I was a teenager – yeah, even on to the point when I helped MetEireann set up its operational weather model predictions in 1994. Now it has a feeble peace – that seems to hold.

    In January 1986 I endured -10 degree centigrade weather to protest at the largest Amsterdam fruit market against South-African oranges – today I enjoy a South-African wine.

    I am hoping to see the Palistian state materialize …

    And (of course) for the first time in my 31-year part of life being economically self-sufficient, the US actually is an attractive country to emigrate to – due to President Obama’s tenacity.

  21. 50 donna dem 4 obama
    May 22, 2014 at 2:10 pm

  22. 51 EricFive
    May 22, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Good essay LL. I for one am happy the GOP and other racists are openly expressing their contempt for people of color. The hate was always there and I think sunlight is the best disinfectant. Not long ago there was a lot of debate concerning the role race plays in the way PBO is treated. Some even said Bill Clinton faced comparable disrespect. I don’t hear much of that anymore and I think that is because the racists among us have exposed themselves. Another reason I am glad the racists are brazenly exposing their hate is because their behavior clearly illustrates that they know they are losing. Just as the southern sheriffs who faught the civil rights movement of the 1960’s with dogs and water hoses knew that they were fighting a losing battle. I take solace in their desperation.

    • 52 Vicki
      May 22, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      Ericfive, maybe their desperation shows they know they are losing, but the point you made earlier today re: Mark Cuban and the institutional acceptance of racism frightens me.

      • 53 EricFive
        May 22, 2014 at 3:46 pm

        I hear you. But that inatitutional racism was always there and I think its best to have it out in the open. Just as police brutality predated Rodney King, it took the broadcast of his taped beating to expose that reality to the masses. Rich folk have long escaped scrutiny for their own racism by using poor whites as their pawns.

  23. 54 Linda
    May 22, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    vote to sunset the Authorization to Use Military Force was just voted down….endless war on terror continues

    vote 191-233 with 27 R’s voting with the Dems to end the endless war.

  24. 55 donna dem 4 obama
    May 22, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    “Republicans in Colorado are apparently under the belief that women would have no interest in watching a gubernatorial debate without a demeaning gimmick.”

  25. May 22, 2014 at 2:23 pm

  26. May 22, 2014 at 2:38 pm


  27. 63 donna dem 4 obama
    May 22, 2014 at 2:50 pm

  28. May 22, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Cant’ understand how PBO and Shinseki can do so may things right for Vets then get hammered because one aspect of a monolithic system fails to function efficiently. This is ACA all over again. Did anyone hear the president say how many letters he gets from vets who thank him for all he’s done to make their lives better, including reducing homelessness, job creation, housing, etc…?

  29. 65 57andfemale
    May 22, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    So Issa isn’t only evil, he’s phenomenally stupid: He thought this was a “gotcha!” moment, except it proves the WH’s information and beliefs about the cause of the Benghazi attack in its first days:

  30. 66 JER
    May 22, 2014 at 2:57 pm

  31. 67 JER
    May 22, 2014 at 2:58 pm

  32. 68 JER
    May 22, 2014 at 3:00 pm

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