I couldn’t not post this. It comes from a friend in NY, a keen observer of the U.S. political scene.
We are taking a breather this morning here in the US after a very tumultuous weekend. My own eccentric historical take on this: after centuries of packs of white men chasing down solitary black men on the loose, we have witnessed the incredible phenomenon of a black man (the big O) chasing down and threatening wild-eyed white Democrats with their tongues hanging out to bring them back into the fold to vote for his health care bill. There was one guy, a blue dog anti-abortion Democrat, who changed his vote to favor Obama in the 11th hour and gave a short speech at the end, looking all the while like he was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, while one Republican called him a “baby killer” and the entire GOP caucus looked at him with disgust. The whole spectacle was riveting.
Earlier in the day, black and white Congressman walked together to the capital, arm in arm, past a crowd of screaming anti-health-care-bill protestors hurling obscenities at them egged on by a bunch of GOP Congressman giving them the thumbs-up from an exterior Capitol balcony. The photo in the paper today was right out of that famous shot of King and Heschel and the others at the march in Selma, and in fact one of the guys in the picture was at both, and told a reporter that the experiences were similar. The protestors were yelling “Kill the Bill” all afternoon, and as soon as the vote reached the 216 votes needed for passage, the Democrats in the House, in a moment of tremendous release after almost a year of enormous pressure, spontaneously broke into chants of “Yes, We Can!” for about five minutes. It was incredible televised political theatre.”
Thank you, Adam.