Three Cheers For Obama’s Restraint!

It’s been a very long time since I’ve had anything unreservedly positive to say about Barack Obama — 6 years, 7 months, and 18 days to be exact (but who’s counting?). Yes, it’s true. 2,424 days ago, on July 28, 2004, I praised Sen. Obama’s keynote address to the Democratic Convention in which he declared (in what turned out to be one of the most mendaciously deceptive presentations of self in American politics):

Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes.

Well, I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America.


There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America….

Now, to my credit (well, somebody’s got to give me credit, and if not me, who?), within four days I had come to my senses and noted the inconsistency between Obama’s rhetorical vision of “One America” and his consistent and continuing support for racial preferences, calling on him and his already sycophantic supporters “to explain why racial preference is not an example of the very division and divisiveness that he so eloquently opposed.”

But now, once again, I rise (or rather, sit at my computer) to praise Caesar Obama, not to bury him. He has been severely criticized, even vilified, often by those in his base, for not moving decisively to support insurgents attempting to dethrone a deranged despot who has forced many of those in his own government to flee and who, unrestrained by mere verbal criticism from outsiders, continues viciously to oppress his own people.

Although praise for Obama does not come easily, I think in this case his restraint has been wise and admirable, not pusillanimous, especially because the temptations to intervene militarily must have been so strong. It must have been extraordinarily difficult for him to turn a deaf ear to the pleas of the very democratic activists who are his natural supporters, to turn a blind eye to the chants of the children trying to rid themselves of their oppressor.

But Obama, showing almost for the first time a combination of good judgment, backbone, and intestinal fortitude, wisely resisted the pressure. He realized that invading Wisconsin would have been really stupid.

Say What?