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Fri Jul 31, 2020, 05:33 PM

Barack Obama Just Changed the Landscape of a Joe Biden Presidency

From Esquire

Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States, delivered a eulogy at the funeral for John Lewis in Atlanta on Thursday that traced the long arc of history that ran through the great man's life. He spoke of Lewis's bravery at Selma—and in the Freedom Rides, and in the Nashville sit-ins—and how the Alabama state troopers, some of whom nearly beat Lewis to death at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, might have thought they'd won at the end of the first day. That they'd pushed back the tide of history and preserved for themselves the order of things. But then another day came. It seemed an allegory for our times, when, as ever, the relentless movement to make this country live up to its founding values is "hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed."


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But Obama's grasp also tightened on what might be called more concrete concerns. He demanded that those many politicians calling John Lewis a hero could best honor him "by revitalizing the law that he was willing to die for"—the Voting Rights Act, which Senate Republicans have refused to renew. The Supreme Court's gutting of the Act under John Roberts precipitated a wave of voter suppression, particularly in the very same former Jim Crow states that the Act had originally targeted for the most stringent oversight. Obama demanded the Act's revitalization, but he went further: he called for the destruction of the Senate filibuster if it's necessary to do so—that is, if Republicans lose control of the chamber and abuse the filibuster to block legislation. In the process, he classified the filibuster itself as a "Jim Crow relic."

What's at stake now is whether the American republic itself will crumble under the weight of corruption and neglect and, most of all, the ancient sins of its founding. But on the other side, we are presented with an opportunity to redeem this nation once more, to carry on the project of making this a true democracy where all people claim the full rights of citizenship. For Obama, this explicitly means giving full voting rights to the people of Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. It means fair redistricting to loosen the grip of minority rule on so many of our institutions. That, at root, is what's at stake: can one of our political parties continue to abuse the mechanisms of our republic to exercise power without vying for the support of a majority of citizens? After all, no one even pretends Donald Trump might win a majority of actual votes.

And beyond all that, there's the politics here. Obama's former vice president, Joe Biden, is now the presumptive Democratic nominee, but he has never gone as far as Obama did Thursday. Biden has mused about nixing the filibuster if Senate Republicans prove "obstreperous" should he take office as president, but he may still be clinging to his first love, Reaching Across the Aisle. So did Obama, for far too long. He sought Grand Bargains well into his second term, continuing to hold out for some outbreak of Republican conscience, for a conservative movement governed by reason rather than backlash and paranoia. It seems that even Barack Obama has dispensed with all that now. Vote, win, and govern without apology. There's no time for Joe Manchin's protracted calculations as The Republican's Democrat, and the last Democratic president may have just taken the decision out of his hands.

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/barack-obama-just-changed-landscape-193800025.html

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Jul 31, 2020, 05:51 PM

2. "calls for automatic voter registration, statehood for D.C., Puerto Rico."

I just looked and see that PR's population (3.47M) is larger than that of 21 other states. On that alone, yes, it is time they became a state.

And DC has a population of 0.705M, a population larger than both Wyoming and Vermont. Time for DC to be a state too!

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/26/opinions/dc-statehood-puerto-rico-democrats-priority-hemmer/index.html

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Response to gristy (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 31, 2020, 06:09 PM

4. This. Ram through two new states, MFA, and expand SCOTUS

ram it through

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Response to gristy (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 31, 2020, 07:30 PM

6. I think the US Virgin Islands should be included along with Puerto Rico.

I don’t know if that is culturally insensitive. I realize the islands have distinct histories and cultures. But they are geographically so close. It would be beneficial for the USVI to join the Union and I can’t imagine the territory ever getting the nod for statehood on its own given it’s small size and population.

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Response to gristy (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 31, 2020, 07:52 PM

8. agree on statehood for Puerto Rico and DC -- should have occurred years ago. nt

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Response to gristy (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 31, 2020, 08:15 PM

10. Revitalize the flag industry!

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Response to tclambert (Reply #10)

Fri Jul 31, 2020, 10:39 PM

12. 7x4 + 6x4 equals 52!

Beautiful!

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Jul 31, 2020, 06:01 PM

3. He's had 3.8 years to reflect on his Presidency

He's had time for the shoulda-woulda-coulda's. He sat back and silently watched Chump tear his legacy to shreds. It's time for Obama to speak up and cheerfully remind us why he won his 2 terms so resoundingly.

I don't believe it was his intention to politicize the eulogy, however he did want to point out the things that John Lewis's life stood for. Well done, PBO!



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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Jul 31, 2020, 06:14 PM

5. I'm sure he did nothing that would contradict in any way Biden's

own planned framework and goals for his presidency. They're working as a team, but with Obama in the supporting role this time as he works to make a man he came to admire greatly our next president.

People like Barack Obama don't stumble and abuse, and betray, their ways through life.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Jul 31, 2020, 07:50 PM

7. Things are in flux. Biden has the capacity to change. Right is right. Biden knows this.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Jul 31, 2020, 08:15 PM

9. K&R n/t

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Fri Jul 31, 2020, 08:32 PM

11. OBama must be hearing pretty strongly that Dems will take the Senate

because if not, breaking the filibuster could go the other way

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