Monday, February 6, 2017

Barack Obama's birthday – will we celebrate, or use as excuse to bash him?

I can already sense the outrage that is going to occur with regards to a pair of bills pending this spring in the Illinois General Assembly.
Will we someday wish Obama birthday?

Legislators from Chicago in both chambers have it in their heads that Aug. 4 ought to be a holiday noted by people across the state. For that is the date in 1961 in which Barack Obama was born in Honolulu.

THERE ARE THOSE who want Obama to be regarded as an equal to Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King, Jr. Or at the very least, Casimir Pulaski.

Those are other officials for whom their birthday anniversaries have warranted a holiday in their honor. With Lincoln and King, government even shuts down for the day.

They think that Obama is worthy of the same recognition. Probably nationally, but most definitely in Illinois. For Obama did live the bulk of his adult life in Chicago and began his public life in the Illinois Senate, before moving up to the Illinois delegation of the U.S. Senate.

But let’s be honest. This is going to be an issue that will cause outrage in so many places. There will be those who will despise the very notion of giving Obama any form of recognition.

MANY OF THEM are among the 46 percent who chose to back Donald J. Trump for president, in large part because they saw a Hillary Clinton presidency as being sympathetic to the Obama legacy.
Does Obama get Honest Abe treatment?

The kind of people who boo’ed and hissed back in 2008 when John McCain made his concession speech for president to Obama never did get around to accepting Barack as the nation’s leader. Which is why I find it ironic that McCain, the senator from Arizona, is now being regarded as a potential leader of Republican Trump opposition.

They’re the ones who are realizing the problems that can be caused by those who now are focused on using a Trump presidency to eradicate every trace that Obama was ever in control.
Would Barack equal MLK?

It won’t just be the Affordable Care Act, a measure to provide health insurance to the masses whose major flaw is that it gives Obama a historic accomplishment to go on his political record.

JUST AS THERE are those individuals who got so worked up with Trump’s constant “Lock Her Up!” rant that they’re still determined to want her charged, convicted and incarcerated, there will be others who will want every trace of Obama erased.
WWRD (What would Rauner Do?)

They won’t be willing to accept that some parts of our society don’t share their contempt for the man who never was close to being the socialist tyrant they always claimed he was and whose biggest flaw may well be that he tried to compromise on many issues (immigration reform being the biggest) when he should have taken a more hard line attitude!

I can already envision the outrage that will be dumped all over Illinois, particularly Chicago, at the thought that our legislature would even consider making Barack Obama’s birthday a holiday of any type!
Is McCain now head of the GOP old guard?

My question at this point is, “How many days will it be before an Obama holiday becomes the subject matter of the latest Trump rant against Chicago?”

ALTHOUGH I COULD also envision opposition from Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, not so much because he’d want to join in the Obama bashing, but that he doesn’t want to provoke the nitwits who already want to penalize us for matters such as sanctuary cities.

So it will be interesting to see what happens with these bills. The concept came up last year, but didn’t pass in part because people didn’t want to give a holiday to a sitting president.

How long 'til Trump bashes holiday concept?

They’re hoping that the fact Obama is now a former president could cause some people to ease their opposition, although I wonder if the issue is one that is bound to accentuate our regional differences and become something only a Chicagoan could support.

Or could it also be that the Illinois Legislature goes ahead and passes the idea of an Obama birthday holiday out of spite; a way of showing the redder parts of the nation that we don’t see our blueness as anything to be ashamed of!


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