Sunday, September 9, 2012

Catching Up On My DNC Commentary & Looking Forward

By Shonda Renee

Last week was an absolute BLAST!  The DNC's convention was off the hook, if people still say that. President Obama got a very hefty boost in his numbers for the efforts of all of his surrogates and supporters who ventured to North Carolina for the festivities.

Day two’s featured speaker, Bill Clinton, aka #BigDog in the twittersphere, was nothing less than phenomenal in his ability to talk to a crowd of thousands as if they were all his blood relatives.  He dazzled everyone with facts and figures, and put a stop to the GOP’s notion that Obama had been given enough time, by saying “President Obama started with a much weaker economy than I did. Listen to me now. No president, no president -- not me, not any of my predecessors -- no one could have fully repaired all the damage that he found in just four years,” to great cheers from the crowd in the arena and twitter as well.
While he made his address with that wagging finger we all know so well, Mr. Clinton rallied all Democrats in our common cause to reelect President Obama and made the Republicans reluctantly bow down in brief submission to his greatness.  I say brief, because I woke up this morning to Newt Gingrich, on Candy Crowley’sState of the Union program on CNN, attempting to, as only a delusional Republican would, extract Clinton’s subliminal message of superiority over Barack Obama.  After I screamed at the television, fired off a few disgruntled tweets to Ms. Crowley for her lack of journalistic ethics by not insisting her guests speak truth, I calmed down, and put myself back in game mode.  This allowed me to see the strategy behind such an effort, which, as I deteremined, was to try to neutralize as much of the positive effects of the speech as possible.  I then chuckled and thought nice try Mr. Gingrich, whatever dude.
On day three of the convention, Joe Biden came out and just made me want to be his BFF.  Joe Biden is folksy, but not in that Sarah Palin I’m just not smart sorta folksy, but authentically folksy backed up with enough knowledge and experience to wield influence.  This is the concoction that makes people just want to be your BFF forever ever.  The most poignant part of his speech, for me, was when he spoke about how he and President Obama have gotten to know one another.  He said, “I learned of the enormity of his heart. And he learned of the depth of my loyalty.”  What a pair.
President Obama’s speech was quite Presidential, aside from the “Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and call us in the morning!” joke, which went over fabulously.  In his speech, he asserted that we were all in this together, which was reminiscent of his assertion in 2004 that we all must pitch in to get the job at hand done.  President Obama also pledged that he is committed to making sure that everyone will pay their fair share and the tax breaks to the wealthy will come to an end.
Obviously, it is a clear choice for me and one that I’ve posted before so there’s no need to restate it.  I will simply end by saying, it was a beautiful week and October 3rd, the first debate, can’t get here soon enough!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Reflections on the Opening Night of the DNC!

By Shonda Renee

 This evening, after a week of the RNC, I felt like I had returned home from a week-long trip abroad in some foreign land where nobody spoke to me. At home, tonight, people spoke to me. Cory Booker spoke to me, Lilly Ledbetter spoke to me, Deval Patrick spoke to me, Julian Castro spoke to me, and Michelle Obama spoke to me and many more. Not to mention, watching the sea of American faces of all colors in the audience, made me shout out loud “Now THAT’s the America I know!”

Tonight we heard a mother’s testimony to the benefits of ObamaCare that is helping her provide medical care for her sick child. Fortunate for me, all of my children are healthy and I’ve never had to deal with any long-term illness problems with them. But as a mom, my heart goes out to her for having to go through that, and a few dollars from my taxes that could help in anyway is no skin off my back.

We also heard from the spectacular Lilly Ledbetter, who brought home the fact that, here in America, women are still seen as being of less value than men. This is evidenced by the fact that women make $.77 for every dollar a man makes, and if you are African American, as I am, or Hispanic, it’s even worse. I know I’ve been a victim of this practice, and I am glad that the first piece of legislation President Obama signed into order was the Lilly Ledbetter Act which improved the ability for women to pursue legal recourse by extending the time allowed to file charges against offending employers.

We heard great speakers make the case for reelecting President Obama in order to continue moving forward as a country. The Twittersphere was ablaze with praise for the firey Deval Patrick and we were humbled and touched by Julian Castro’s story of true American exceptionalism through adversity and never forgetting from whence one came. He talked of the core reason I favor the Democratic party, the fact that we all do not have access to the same resources. Mitt Romney’s and the GOP's platform was made clear when Castro spoke about Romney’s advice to a group of Ohio University students: “’Start a business,’ he said. But how? ‘Borrow money if you have to from your parents,’ he told them. Gee -- why didn't I think of that?” It was a dig at Romney, yeah, but it was a dig with a truth stick. Mitt Romney is just plain out of touch.

The most exciting part of the evening, was our First Lady, Michelle Obama. The FLOTUS eloquently spoke of her family and their life before the white house. She spoke of her love for her husband and her realization that “Being President does not change who you are but reveals who you are.” She was as brilliant and beautiful as always.

I may be euphoric at the moment, but I am tempering myself by realizing that we have 61 days till election day.  Those days include two more days of this stunning convention along with the much anticipated debates in the next few weeks ahead. It is going to be a wild ride to November 6th, but I’m ready for it, and will often return to my memories of this evening, when Republican rhetoric start to weigh too heavily on my soul.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

By Shonda Renee

Are you better off now than you were four years ago? This is the question that has been posed and will continue to be posed by the Republican Party. If they were to ask me directly, the answer would be a resounding hell no, as it would for the vast majority of the poor and middle-class. However, no matter how much the Republicans insist, the question does not stop with that answer.
How we arrived at these difficult times is of great importance, especially if we do not want to relive them. No matter how much Republicans may be on their knees praying to their God, I have to insist that I do not suffer from amnesia or denial. I know the reason behind the fact that the law firm I worked for, after 114 years of business, closed its doors. I know the reason behind the fact that I'm working in a job making much less than I was making in 2008.  I know the reason behind seeing family and friends loosing homes that they loved and worked so hard for.
I know who drove this ship ashore and I knew it in November of 2008 when I casted my vote for Barak Obama.  I also knew then, as candidate Obama consistently insisted, that it would take all hands on deck to get this ship offshore.  Little did I know; however, that specifically on inauguration day, there were Republican forces at work making pledges and casting their allegiance against the best interest of the American people.  They pledged to keep our ship ashore for as long as they could to ensure the failure of our officially elected President, Barak Obama.
Now, I admitted that I am not better off now than I was four years ago, and the fact that I understand the previous administration is to blame for that, and the fact that there were Republican forces at work to keep us from moving forward.  That leads me to ponder the real question of the day:  Who is going to continue to make progress for the better of all Americans?  Considering all of the facts that I just mentioned, I see no other response to that question than President Barak Obama.