RE. "Saving Obama, Saving Ourselves" by Tom Hayden (BeyondChron, September 7‚ 2012):
Students for A Democratic Society (SDS) co-founder Tom Hayden and I both agree that President Barack Obama needs to be re-elected, and that the President needs our collective help in getting him re-elected. While the title of Hayden's piece rhetorically sounds "sexy" or catchy for media consumption, I don't agree with Hayden's thesis that President Obama needs our help in "saving" his candidacy for a second term.
I attended an "America for Obama" Party to watch and listen to President Barack, who gave a great and powerful nomination acceptance speech, calling on Americans to "go forward" with him during the next four years and to stand in solidarity with him as he confronts the problems our country still faces.
My family and I are among Vietnamese Americans and Asian Americans across California and the U.S. who support President Obama. The media has often portrayed the Asian American electorate as being somehow like "knee jerk" voters who automatically favor Republican Party candidates and their tickets. This false stereotype perpetuated by the media is based simply on ignorance or lack of understanding of Asian American communities in this country. Asians Americans, like the large majority of other Americans, focus on "bread and butter" issues which affect them individually, their families, and their communities - - issues such as providing a good education for young people (adequate funding for the nation's public schools; Federal Pell Grants for students to receive a college education), having access to good health care (the Health Care Act which President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shepherded through Congress for adoption), and respecting and taking care of the elderly (Social Security, and Medicare). We are "Asian Americans for Obama," and most importantly, we are "Americans for Obama," and we are proud to be part of the beautiful fabric that is the United States of America.
In his speech the night before President Obama's speech, former President Bill Clinton hit so many home runs out of the park that I lost track of the score. We do know that it was "z i p" for Ryan-Romney, I mean Romney-Ryan. Rhodes Scholar Bill from Little Rock made it an unforgettable night, as he tore apart Mitt Romney's and Paul Ryan's disingenuous statements and lies regarding President Obama's record and policies. After he rebutted Ryan's attack on President Obama's record on Medicare, President Clinton condemned Ryan's behavior when he said, "It takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did...," referring to Ryan's earlier position on the Medicare budget.
On the day of President Obama's speech, Mitt Romney said he didn't watch President Clinton's speech, and that he wasn't going to tune in to President Obama's speech either. That was Romney's prerogative, and one respects that. But I just thought that Mitt Romney's statement just showed that he didn't want to take a look at the faces of the Democratic Party conventioneers in Charlotte, North Carolina, whose skin colors and genders reflect the make-up and broad diversity of the American people - - a stark contrast to the demographic scene inside the Republican Convention in Tampa, Florida. Romney's refusal to acknowledge the rich and diverse spectrum of the American electorate represented in Charlotte was unfortunate, as it merely reinforced the criticism that "he doesn't get it."
Romney seemed to not "want to play ball" at the metaphorical "baseball park," even though his team was lagging behind. Does Romney not realize that the American people will be the umpire on November 6th, not the millionaires and billionaires donors who funnel their monies to the super Political Action Committees (PAC's) that pay for Romney's attack ads on President Obama?
On September 8th, Mitt Romney conceded in a pre-taped interview for NBC's "Meet the Press" show that President Clinton's speech in Charlotte "elevated the convention" and that "(Clinton) did stand out in contrast with the other speakers." Like his numerous well publicized flip flops on various issues during political campaigns over the years, Romney's remark on Clinton's speech was another "flip flop," but not a surprising one. Was Romney's comment regarding President Clinton's speech - - in which President Clinton shred the Romney-Ryan ticket to pieces - - practically an admission of Romney's intuitive sense of his defeat at the upcoming election?
While the Democrats brought the "big gun," President Clinton, to Charlotte, George W. Bush was not even present at the Republican Convention. Bush's name was not even mentioned.
Instead, as a consolation prize, Romney got a speech from Condoleezza Rice, Bush's Secretary of State, endorsing his candidacy. Romney also garnered an "op/ed" piece penned by Rice, and James Baker, Secretary of State in George H.W. Bush's administration, and Henry Kissinger, a remnant from Richard Nixon's presidency, alleging that President Obama's foreign policy approach and strategy weakened U.S. military strength, power, and standing in the world. The "op/ed" was published in the September 5th edition of Washington Times, a right wing and "neocon" newspaper, rather than The New York Times, The Washington Post, or some other well respected publication.
I am confident that President Obama will be re-elected decisively on November 6th. At the same time, I do not - - one cannot - - take anything for granted regarding this election. The reasons for this measure of caution include the remaining uncertainty in the voters' choices on Election Day in some of the "key" or pivotal states; the recent efforts in some states to prevent and dissuade Americans from exercising their right to vote; the inherent flaws that exist in the electoral college system; and finally, the history of the sham of the 2000 presidential election vote recount in Florida and the U.S. Supreme Court judges' majority decision on the Florida recount that handed the election victory to George W. Bush.
There is a strong and clear reason why a large battalion of volunteer lawyers are standing prepared and ready to monitor closely the events on November 6th, to make sure that Election Day in the U.S. truly represents democracy in action and does not turn into a mockery of the values of democracy that we espouse, embrace, and uphold.