Monday, August 7, 2017

Obama Day in Illinois is bound to become a politically partisan fracas

Beginning next year, we in Illinois are going to have the concept of Obama Day.
Some will sing 'Happy Birthday,' others will boo

Everybody duck! Take cover!!! You just know the very notion is going to get some people amongst us all riled up.

PARTICULARLY SINCE IN this Age of Trump, we’re supposed to be repudiating everything that our nation’s 44th president ever stood for. So how dare anybody think that Barack Obama’s memory is in any way worth veneration?

Yes people, my foot is leaning extra heavy on the gas pedal of the sarcasm engine in writing that last sentence. Although I don’t doubt there are individuals who are going to be grossly offended Illinois really took such action.

Personally, I feel having Illinois acknowledge publicly one of the few presidential figures who had ties to this state isn’t that inappropriate. It’s probably the least the state can do (and yes, Illinois is usually capable of doing its least on any issue).

But there are those who want history rewritten in such a way that the Obama memory becomes one of great shame that our nation was ever deluded enough to choose “one of THEM” to be president.

THESE ARE THE same people who want to believe that the man who got 46 percent of the vote in last year’s presidential election really won by a majority! Because they want to believe people who had no business voting were amongst those who voted for Anybody But Trump!

Although one can also make the legitimate argument that Obama’s legacy is heavily tied to his inability to overcome the political hostility he faced during his eight years in office. More bluntly, he was too weak to overcome the bigots of our society.

Who are now going to get all worked up over the fact that Gov. Bruce Rauner signed off on the measure that turns Aug. 4 (Obama’s birthday anniversary) into the aforementioned Obama Day.
Will Rauner face backlash for backing Obama Day?

The bill specifically says that Obama Day is not one of the official holidays for which state government closes. It’s purely ceremonial.

YET THAT WILL be enough to bother the ideologues who went through the 2008 and 2012 election cycles desperately determined to spare this country the humiliation of a non-Anglo working in the Oval Office.

It didn’t matter that with his Ivy League education (Columbia and Harvard Law), his credentials were remarkably similar to many of the other white men who have served as president. He still wasn’t good enough.

In fact, I suspect much of the hostility that Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., faces these days for refusing to support the efforts to blindly dump the health care reform measures implemented by the Obama administration is more frustration that McCain lost that 2008 presidential campaign.

The bitterness remains. Just run through the anonymous rants appearing Sunday on various newspaper versions of the Obama Day story. One implied Illinois should honor a “REAL president from Illinois … The Gipper” (even though it could be argued his preferred Ronald Reagan abandoned Illinois after finishing college).

WHILE ANOTHER LAMBASTED Obama for “setting race relations back 300 years … demonized law enforcement and wrecked healthcare.” And a third mocked that such a day should only be “commemorated in Kenyan mosques.”
One person's tribute is another's offense
The ideologue nonsense is firmly entrenched in some people, and they’re going to be determined to go through lives snapping at anything and everything that challenges their narrow view. A part of me wonders if the way to truly “Make America Great Again” would be to take away the vote from all the nitwits who wear those caps? An idea that makes as much sense as what some of those people try to pass off as “the American Way.”

A part of me wonders if Rauner is going to get backlash. Such a gesture was probably meant to appease the majority of the people of this state who view the situation rationally. Yet it is many of those irrationals who could be called upon to vote for his re-election bid in 2018.

Personally, I think their hostility toward Obama, even now that the man’s time as a public official of any kind has come to an end, really says more about their own pettiness and ignorance than it does about anything Obama did or did not accomplish.


EDITOR'S NOTE: Yes, I signed the digital birthday card last week for Barack Obama meant to mark his 56th birthday anniversary on Friday. No, I didn't make a contribution to the Democratic Party, which was the real point of the party seeking to honor Obama's memory. And yes, I'm probably a cheapskate!

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