The year was 2008, there was an electric dynamism in the air.
For many Americans, particularly those of African heritage, it was like Christmas in July.
No, African-Americans did not get the promised forty acres and a mule their ancestors had been duplicitously promised and denied.
No, there would be no reparations paid to them for the 373 years of slavery their ancestors endured between 1492 and 1865.
It was something less transactional but a lot more motivational.
Contrary to the thinking of most of those Americans, a black man was elected President of the United States, breaking what many believed was a shatter-proof ceiling that would outlast them all.
On Obama’s coat-tails rode a new Congress and a new Senate, all Democratic.
The new President entered 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with a free hand to enact his agenda, or so he and many of the people who voted for the new president and Congress thought.
The Republicans had other ideas for the first African-American president, in fact, Mitch McConnell said his primary goal was to make Obama a one-term president.
I have tried to play McConnel’s statement over and over in my head, I imagined I was a Democrat in McConnell’s shoes and interestingly I do not find it so hateful a statement for the senior Republican in the Senate to have made.
Of course, I would have wanted a Republican President to be a one-term president.
While the new president was being sworn into office, however, a band of Republicans with nefarious intent was having a secret dinner at a private restaurant in DC with one goal in mind.
[How to stop everything Obama attempt to do].
I labeled them [nefarious] because to those involved elections had no consequence.
To them, the will of the American people meant nothing when compared to their own agenda.
In a then newly published book, Robert Draper wrote that as President Obama was celebrating his inauguration at various balls, top Republican lawmakers and strategists were plotting how to derail his infant presidency.
Present at the dinner were Republican Reps. Eric Cantor (Va.), Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Paul Ryan (Wis.), Pete Sessions (Texas), Jeb Hensarling (Texas), Pete Hoekstra (Mich.) and Dan Lungren (Calif.), along with Republican Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.), Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), John Ensign (Nev.) and Bob Corker (Tenn.).
The non-lawmakers present included Newt Gingrich, several years removed from his presidential campaign, and Frank Luntz was conjuring up ways to submarine Obama’s presidency.
In two short years, the Democratic majority in the house was gone and the majority in the Senate reduced to a razor-thin majority for the Democrats.
A well-funded insurgency cloaked under the disguise of grassroots concerns would emerge in American politics as a pushback to Obama’s rise.
The Tea-Party was born, neither the Republican party nor America would be the same again.
A resurgent racism would be unleashed on the nation. We are yet to understand what it will all mean in the end.
The inevitable question then was what the hell just happened?
The reason given for the 2010 loss has been head spinning in number and variations, none of which I subscribe to.
Obama Continued pointless wars some argued.
Others claimed Democrats were outflanked by competing philosophies. Still, others say the Democrats lost support from major corporate lobbies and financiers.
Yadda, yadda, yadda.
The truth of the matter is that Democrats did exactly what they are doing this cycle. They spent time bickering among themselves about who were blue dog democrats as against who were liberal democrats and much of what the new President could have accomplished was shelved.
Fast forward to 2018, the Democrats are powerless in the dog-house, literally shut out of Government at every level and has just been restored to some power after winning the house.
The very first thing which comes out of the new caucus which hasn’t even been sworn into office yet is infighting about jettisoning the leader who just led them back to the majority.
I don’t want to talk about Charles Schumer’s lackluster uninspiring leadership in the Senate which actually cost Democrats seats in that body.
No need to talk about Schumer giving away the store to Mitch McConnell, allowing him to place more judges on the federal bench just so he and other Democratic senators could go home to campaign.
What I want to talk about is the utter stupidity of this Democratic party and the newly elected ones in particular.
Former RNC chairman Michael Steele admitted on national television that the reason his party launched its attack on congresswoman Nancy Pelosi was her effectiveness.
Now, I did not need to hear that out of Michael Steele’s mouth.
If Republicans go after a Democrat it always is because of that Democrat’s effectiveness. Ask Maxine Walters, Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell, and others.
If this lowly opinion writer can conclude that Nancy Pelosi is a thorn in the paw of the Republican Lion, why would these newly-minted elected officials not be able to understand it?
Why would these newly minted elected officials volunteer to be the [Androclus] who removes that thorn? [see Aesop fables]
There is much work to be done in this 116th Congress, much more than any in a very long time. At issue is the need to work on legislation to strengthen the Affordable Care Act.
Voters chose health care as the number one issue they voted on in the recently concluded midterm elections.
There is also the issue of the rule of law and the dire need to instill some oversight of the executive branch.
If the Democrats are stupid enough to squander this opportunity to get to work doing what they were elected to do and decide to spend time-fighting among themselves they should be prepared to be back in the minority come 2020.
In addition to that, it is not a stretch to imagine that a frustrated, fed up and exasperated electorate will re-elect Donald Trump to the presidency, leaving the Democrats crying in their milk once again.