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June 17, 2010

Yes We Did! (…But, Who Would Know?)

Mandel Ngan/Getty Images
Mandel Ngan/Getty Images

In capturing this surprisingly uncharacteristic moment, the photo raises several questions, including: Why not more confidence from the White House? Why not more touting of their accomplishments? Are Dems that constitutionally defensive?

(And then thinking back, wasn’t it strange the good vibe from the health care win lasted about a day? The rare look of outward pride suggests Obama, on a day-to-day basis, is too hard on himself.)

(caption: US President Barack Obama holds a “Yes We Did” sign as he makes his way onto the stage to deliver remarks to the American Nurses Association House of Delegates June 16, 2010 at a hotel in Washington, D.C.)

  • Wayne Dickson

    Obama was reared under very difficult circumstances. He grew up half-white/half-black. He identifies himself as a black man, first black president ever. That carries as much grief as legitimate pride of accomplishment. And, yes, he’s a Democrat. Complex freight to bear.

    We think of ours as a two-party system, but to me that seems only half-true. Both major parties are really shifting coalitions of compromise and convenience. The crisis among Republicans is making that obvious.

    What essential ideological bond would, say, Ted Kennedy, Joe Lieberman, Dennis Kucinich, Alan Grayson, Alan Specter, and Blanche Lincoln share? Why do some persons call themselves Democrats, some liberals, some progressives, etc.? What’s the difference?

    I used to play locally competitive tennis, and everyone in the leagues and tournaments recognized that players tended to approach a match with one of two strategies: try to win, or try to avoid losing. I’m afraid Obama plays to avoid losing. Understandable, perhaps. But not the quality one looks for in a leader.

  • Barton apologized twice today

    He has betrayed me on every single issue that caused me to vote for him.

    I am absolutely disgusted.

  • Michael Shaw

    A follower in the Twitterverse commented that Obama can not afford to be too prideful for the risk of coming off “uppity.”

    Looking at Obama’s expression, again, in this photo — admittedly, I’m also influenced by all the preening and swaggering I saw on the floor of Staples having just watched the Laker victory — the comment seems to make sense.

  • yg

    turns out “yes we can” was actually goldman sachs and the insurance lobby’s slogan. who knew?

  • Molly

    Michael, I was aware of the “uppity” angle from the beginning. I am not surprised he isn’t busting out more swagger; it would make the racist heads explode that much faster.

    I think Wayne has nailed it; he learned a LONG time ago how to be black in a white world. How do you unlearn decades of conditioning or, better yet, why ABANDON decades of adapting so as to be accepted? Would we all really want a President who looks like Al Greene?

    • yg

      imagine if MLK allowed himself to become paralyzed by worrying about being too uppity.

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