Today is the birthday of Barack Hussein Obama, my President and the leader of the free world. Mr. Obama was born to a mixed race couple in Hawaii (a part of the United States of America) fifty-four years ago today, was raised as a resident of the world who occasionally bunked with his maternal grandparents - and went on become a lawyer and law professor, successful community organizer, and a very savvy politician.
Barack Obama felled two noteworthy political adversaries on his journey to the White House. In 2008 he defeated Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, and he easily beat Senator John McCain in the general election. In 2012 Obama won re-election with a victory over former Governor Mitt (Bring me the royal etch-a-sketch!) Romney of Massachusetts.
Obama, unlike his predecessor, was comfortable surrounding himself with competent individuals and, as a result, was able to accomplish some notable achievements - despite the constant, unrelenting efforts by GOP members of Congress to sabotage any and everything that he supported. The signature achievement of his first term was the Affordable Care Act, better known as "Obamacare." Republicans have tried an astounding fifty-eight times to repeal the measure which provides millions of Americans with basic health care. So far the dam has held, even with the new Republican majorities in both houses of Congress and a Supreme Court which leans dangerously to the right.
The high point of his second term in office appears, at this point, to be the treaty with Iran banning nuclear research and testing. Here, too, Republicans have gone nuts, literally, with their efforts to obstruct this agreement - including sending a letter to the leaders of Iran signed by forty-two traitorous Senators telling them that the agreement would be unlikely to pass muster with Congress and wouldn't really mean much on the part of the United States.
The level of disrespect that our President has had to suffer is massive compared to that inflicted on any President within memory. Even George Bush, a total incompetent, was cut some slack out of respect for the institution of the Presidency. But there has been no slack for Obama. The right-wing of the Republican Party has been in a frenzy for eight years screaming that Obama was not a citizen of the United States because he had been born "abroad," that he is a secret Muslim and therefore unfit to lead a "Christian" nation, that he has a secret agenda to take the guns of Americans, and that he is an enemy of Israel. All of that, of course, is not true - and the primary angst that many Americans harbor toward the President appears to be more rooted in race than it is anything else.
To my way of thinking, the fact that Barack Hussein Obama drives the racists and tea-baggers absolutely crazy is just one more point in his favor!
Happy birthday, Mr. President. Thank you for having the courage and strength to recognize what is good in America and to stand up for all of us.