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As the fiscal "cliff" conversation starts to wind down, but the questions about what President Barack Obama's administration is willing to give away remain, what would have been considered fever dreamed wishes of conservatives even five years ago, appear to be possible bargaining chips in a game where, on the other hand, the U.S. wins if everybody does nothing until January 2. The man I knew as a IL State Senator less than 10 years ago would have scoffed at these kinds of give-aways.

This put me in mind of a great OpEd by a man who has been one of Chicago's leading progressive voices for decades, and someone who was an advisor to President Obama less than 20 years ago.  He published this in his local paper, The Hyde Park Herald, but I haven't seen it anywhere else, and I thought it might be interesting to the readers of Daily Kos.  Sorry if someone has already posted this here.

Mr. President, if I were to sit down with you today, I would remind you of the great people of our community, like Dr. Taylor, Dr. Margaret Burroughs and so many others, who paved the way for your achievements. I would encourage you to fight and fight hard to carry on with the kind of determination that your predecessors possessed. Not to fold, not to compromise on the matters of hard-won principle and public policy for which your forebears fought...
More after the jump...

We understood you felt that some compromises were essential. But if I were to sit down with you today, I’d remind you: We stuck by you. We had your back. We expect nothing less from you. We’re retired teachers and postal workers, living on our pensions, or on our Social Security, relying on our Medicare coverage. We contributed faithfully to our savings and pension funds and paid our dues. We trust that you will shield these programs upon which we and our families depend. On Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, compromise means whittling away and destroying the great social programs which shield millions from abject poverty.

We listen carefully to your speeches. We wait for you to use the words “the poor.” We hear only about the “middle class,” but there are plenty of folks in our community for whom that term simply does not yet apply. And yet, they vote. They too deserve your attention and help. For your second term, you can make America’s urban and rural poor visible and help them to get the employment, the training and the assistance they need to survive in hard times. Don’t leave them invisible. We’re counting on you to make them visible and to fight for them.

The rest is on the Hyde Park Herald's website here.

For those who have interest, Google Tim Black. There are a lot articles about him out there, including one that appears to be an anti-Communist site, and though Dr. Black doesn't view himself as a Communist, I doubt he'd object to most of the 'accusations' there.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wonder why you'd characterize it as a (4+ / 0-)

    calling out when professor Black specifically stated that wasn't his intention?

    I want to make clear I am not berating you. I am imploring you and encouraging you to seize this moment as a turning point. Mr. President, during your first term, we know you struggled with incessant, inflexible opposition to your every effort. You tried hard to reach compromises and even then they blocked you at every turn.
    I hope you will hear this advice in the spirit in which I offer it, as your friend, neighbor and ally.
    My contemporaries and I hope and pray for you to become one of the most successful and cherished presidents in U.S. history. We know you can be that. Let’s do that. We stand ready to help.
    I agree with prof Black but am annoyed that you'd use his essay to beat up on the president as some are just too fond of doing here. Prof Black is all too aware of the challenges facing the president and his letter is one of encouragement, of support and love even as he voices his frustrations.

    Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

    by JoanMar on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:30:22 AM PST

    •  Calling out is different than berating... (0+ / 0-)

      and asking the President not to too easily forget who he was a short time ago is not "beat (ing) up on him".

    •  That was my sense too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JoanMar, Send Rahm a Cheesecake

      I think Timuel Black isn't "calling out" Obama as much as reminding him where he came from and who had his back, reminders everyone needs from time to time.

      By the way, I was in Sunday school with his daughter Ermetra for many, many years (she, Kathy Noll, Billy Baum and I were the consistent anchors in that class at First Unitarian from about third or fourth grade through high school).

      I'm glad you posted the link though. My sister had already thrown out that issue and another old family friend had clipped the letter and didn't know where she'd put it.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 03:31:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      • defines 'calling out' as... (0+ / 0-)

        challenging someone, and I used it in that way.

        The main point is to feature Tim's open letter, and I hope people click through to the link and read it.

        People who have known Barack from before he was nationally known (which includes myself) wish he had been able (for whatever reason) to fulfill the kind of goals he supported then, rather than what he's doing now. (I was one of the people who helped Barack win his first race before it even started.) And people like Tim (who I'm happy to call a friend) continue to fight that fight to reach those goals, but, also try to remind Barack of the ALL the people who walked door-to-door for him then, including those who, having worked all their lives, still strive to be 'middle-class'. Those are some of the people left out of this 'compromise'.

  •  It almost slipped me. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You are clever. LOL.
    He called out his friend Barack.
    Dr Black has been accused of being a communist and it's a moniker he'd wouldn't object to.

    See what you did there.  Good try.

    Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

    by JoanMar on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:38:40 AM PST

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